In 2022, Louisiana had 3,594 large truck accidents, resulting in 98 fatalities and 1,657 injuries. That same year, there were 2,633 semi-truck accidents, resulting in 75 deaths and 1,173 injuries.

Apart from the emotional and physical effects of such accidents, there can be large financial effects that may leave victims unsure where to turn. They may ask the question: How much can someone sue for a truck accident?

What or who caused the accident, the severity of injuries you sustain, whether they are permanent and life-altering, and the cost of medical care are some things factoring into a truck accident lawsuit.

We will share some of the evidence attorneys and courts may consider when negotiating a truck accident settlement.

Seriousness of Injuries

The severity of your truck accident injuries is one factor the law considers when determining a settlement amount. You may have serious injuries that will heal and allow you to return to living as you were before the accident.

A doctor’s prognosis will aid in determining how long the injuries will impact your lifestyle. Permanent, life-altering injuries may typically increase the settlement amount.

Economic Damages

When suffering injuries from a truck accident, you may incur tremendous financial loss, including:

  • Inability to work
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses

These are financial expenses you can document with written invoices.

Ability to Earn

Calculating the ability to earn requires consideration of earnings before the accident and prospects of advancement. Other elements include the victim’s health and the number of years until retirement.

A 40-year-old in good health is likely to advance their position and income during the 27 years before full retirement at age 67. A person 60 years old will only have seven years until retirement, and less time for career advancement. Their lost wages could be lower than their younger counterpart.

Future Medical Needs

Future medical needs relative to injuries depend on the doctor’s long-term prognosis. This includes treatment, medical equipment, transportation, therapy, nursing home care, and medications.

Needs may exist if you incur spinal cord or brain injuries. Brain injuries may hinder concentration, memory, motor function, and coordination. Spinal cord injuries may cause paraplegia, quadriplegia, or impact muscles responsible for breathing and bowel or bladder control.

Non-Economic Damages

Attorneys, judges, and juries assess non-economic damages by examining the accident’s impact on your life now and in the future. Consideration of things such as disfigurement, inability to enjoy life, and loss of bodily functions are factors in determining the amount of non-economic damages you receive.


Negligent actions of the other driver, including distracted driving, excessive speed, or failure to follow traffic signals, weigh into the amount of your settlement. Factors outside the driver’s control, such as road conditions or mechanical failure of the truck, may result in your attorney adding a co-defendant to the lawsuit.

Your attorney may review records to determine if there are any violations of federal regulations. Things like exceeding the allowable number of hours behind the wheel may impact their level of liability.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may be available after proving negligence in a civil lawsuit. They are a method of punishing the defendant for their behavior and to discourage future negligent behavior.

While punitive damages are allowed under very limited circumstances, it is important to provide any information related to the accident to your attorney to determine if punitive damages are a possibility.

What if an Accident Victim Dies?

Louisiana law specifies that wrongful death is the result of wrongdoing by another human or entity, including negligence in an automotive accident. The state permits certain family members to seek compensation for wrongful death, including spouses, children, parents, siblings, and grandparents.

An award to the family of the deceased may include:

  • Medical bills for the time between the accident and death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost future wages of the deceased
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, and parental guidance
  • Value of household services the deceased handled

If your family member dies in an automotive accident, consult with an attorney quickly. If you don’t file a lawsuit within certain time limitations then you lose your right to file.

What if I’m at Fault?

Louisiana is a pure comparative negligence state. Compensation is offset by each party’s percentage of fault.

For instance, if you receive an award of $750,000, but the court finds you to be 35% at fault for the accident, the final compensation award will be $487,500 ($750,000 – 35% = $487,500).

How You Can Help

You must provide evidence proving negligence and damages. Take photos and video at the accident scene. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. Provide all information along with the police report to your attorney.

Avoid discussing fault with the other driver and refrain from saying anything that could be interpreted as an admission of fault. Innocent comments such as “I’m sorry this happened” can be used against you later.

Do not say anything others can interpret as not having any injuries, including “I’m okay.” Seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident.

Contact your attorney before signing settlement documents or making statements to any insurance company. Insurance companies may push you to sign a one-time take-it-or-leave-it offer. This often happens when offering a lowball settlement in hopes you will agree, eliminating their obligation to pay what your case is worth.

Contact Our Experienced Attorneys for Your Truck Accident Claim

At Talbot, Carmouche & Marcello, we have over 50 years of experience fighting for people in Louisiana. We take pride in our work and will fight to help reach a fair settlement in every case.

Schedule a free consultation today.