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18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuits – From Lawsuit to Settlement

Everything You Want to Know About 18 Wheeler Accidents from Lawsuits to Settlements

18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuits – From Lawsuit to Settlement; there are a lot of 18 wheeler semi truck accidents in the United States. Every year there are an average of 388,000 accidents involving semi-trucks. Of those accidents, over 100,000 of them result in injuries, and over 4,000 of them result in someone dying.

Because there are so many 18 wheeler accidents each year, and those accidents often result in injuries and/or death, there are a lot of lawsuits as a result. Those lawsuits often run into the millions of dollars and in some cases tens of millions of dollars. As of 2023, lawsuits involving 18 wheelers are now reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars. As you can imagine, this is big business for the plaintiff attorneys who specialize in litigating these cases.

Semi-truck accident lawsuits can take years to wind their way through the court systems and it can take even longer to get your money. Once a settlement is reached or a judgment rendered, there isn’t someone waiting outside in the hallway with your check. Depending on the size of the settlement and the guidelines set down by the judge handling your case, it can take months, years, or even decades to receive your settlement check from the defendant.

This is also true for attorneys who represent plaintiffs in 18 wheeler accidents. Nearly all plaintiff attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they don’t get paid until they win a case or reach a settlement for their clients. But just like their clients, once a settlement is reached or judgment rendered, they still have to wait to get their contingency fees.

In this article, we explain some of the things that influence the size of a settlement from 18 wheeler accidents. We also discuss semi truck accidents in general and provide some national statistics about semi truck accidents that help explain why many 18 wheeler accidents end up in court. In addition, we share some information about some of the largest semi truck accident settlements in history, and of course, we explain why it can take a long time to receive a settlement check from an accident involving a semi truck.

18 Wheeler Accidents Happen More Often Than You Might Think

18 wheeler accidents are not as uncommon. In the United States, there are an average of 388,000 truck accidents per year. In 2020, there were 415,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks. Out of those 415,000 crashes, there were 4,444 fatal crashes and 101,000 crashes which resulted in injuries. Of the fatalities, most of the people killed were in passenger cars, and 83% of the time, the fatality was not the driver of the semi truck.


Because semi trucks are so large and heavy, getting tangled up with one is almost always catastrophic to the people or property on the receiving end of the accident. Nearly 25% of every accident involving a semi truck, injured someone. This means that for every one-hundred semi truck accidents, 25 people were hurt.

With so many injuries, it should be no surprise that 18 wheeler accidents result in a lot of lawsuits and those lawsuits result in a lot of settlements and/or judgments rendered in favor of the plaintiffs who sustained the injuries. It should also not be a surprise that semi truck related accidents are big business for the law firms who litigate them. Pretty much anywhere in the United States where you find a lot of semi-truck traffic, you will see billboards on the side of the road advertising law firms that represent plaintiffs who have been injured in 18 wheeler accidents.

Are There Some Places More Prone to Semi Truck Accidents Than Others?

Yes, there are. Please see some of our statistics below. Here is a list of the 10 most dangerous roads in the United States:

  1. I-10 in Alabama
  2. I-95 in Florida
  3. HWY-75 in Idaho
  4. I-40 in Arkansas
  5. US-1 in Florida
  6. M-20 in Michigan
  7. I-80 Nebraska
  8. HWY-5 in Colorado
  9. I-70 in Maryland
  10. SC-35 South Carolina

Where do Trucking Accidents Occur?

Because you see so many 18 wheelers on the interstate, you might think that most 18 wheeler accidents occur there, but they don’t. In fact, according to the NSC website, only 26.7% of 18 wheeler accidents occurred on the interstate. Conversely, 73.29% of semi truck accidents occurred off of the interstate system. So it is usually not on the interstate system where trucking accidents happen, but rather on highways.

Also, 54.6% of the time, trucking accidents happened in rural areas. So it isn’t just in urban environments where 18 wheelers get into accidents with others.


Lawsuits Against Trucking Companies

Lawsuits against trucking companies typically involve a claim of negligence or wrongful conduct against a truck driver, trucking company, or another third party. They can involve claims of dangerous driving, inadequate maintenance or inspection of the truck and trailer, violations of safety regulations or employment laws, and inadequate training for drivers.

Depending on the facts of the case, some personal injury attorneys may also bring claims for product liability if there was a defect in the design or manufacturing of the semi-truck involved in the crash. Claims may also include allegations of negligent hiring and supervision if it is determined that an employer failed to properly train its drivers or address known risks.

It can take several months or more to get a settlement from an 18 wheeler accident.

The length of time it takes for an 18 wheeler accident case to work its way through the courts and reach a settlement will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the accident and how quickly a legal agreement can be reached between the parties involved. Additionally, if there are multiple parties involved in the lawsuit, such as insurance companies, multiple vehicles, or multiple parties who are considered negligent and contributed to the accident, this can also lengthen the time it takes to settle.

The severity of the accident is also a major factor, as more severe cases will generally take longer to settle due to the need for greater compensation and liability analysis. Other factors that can influence the settlement timeline include the availability of witnesses or evidence, legal representation for all parties involved, and any disputes between them about liability or damages. Additionally, if multiple insurance companies and/or individuals are involved in the case, it could take even longer to complete settlement negotiations.

Disputes over liability can have a significant impact on the timeline for settlement in 18 wheeler accident cases. If parties are unable to agree on who is responsible for the accident, it could take much longer to reach a settlement agreement as more time will be spent attempting to achieve a resolution between them.

Furthermore, if either party has insufficient evidence or witnesses and chooses to challenge the other’s version of events or arguments, this could further delay proceedings. In short, it is important for those involved in an 18 wheeler accident to come to an agreement on liability and damages quickly in order to speed up the process of settling their case.

In order to avoid delays in an 18 wheeler accident case, it is important to begin collecting evidence as soon as possible. This could include photos of the scene, statements from any eyewitnesses, and even medical records if necessary.

Additionally, it is crucial for both parties to determine liability for the accident quickly. If assistance is needed, this process can be facilitated by legal professionals who are experienced in such cases.

Finally, both parties should ensure that they have an accurate record of all expenses and damages related to the accident in order to speed up the settlement process. With these steps in place, delays can be minimized and a resolution reached sooner.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement Check From an 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuit?

In addition to the amount of time it takes to resolve an 18 wheeler accident lawsuit, there are also a number of factors that can influence how long it takes to receive payment from the settlement. Something most people don’t understand is that when your semi truck accident case settles or concludes, there isn’t someone outside the courtroom waiting to write you a check. It can take months, years, or sometimes a decade or more to receive your money.

There is a lot that goes into determining the time it takes for a defendant to pay the money they owe from a lawsuit or settlement. Some factors include the size of the settlement, the number of plaintiffs and defendants involved, how well the defendant negotiates the terms of the settlement payment, the defendant’s perceived ability to pay, and any appeals being filed, and more.

As an example, in the massive USC sexual assault lawsuit, the defendant (USC in this case) was given eighteen months to pay, in spite of the fact that they had more than sufficient means available to them to pay plaintiffs and their attorneys.

In the case of the BP Oil Spill case, some plaintiffs waited over a decade to receive their funds, and today there are still people who have not gotten their money (although mostly this is because they have forgotten to claim it or notify the attorney of record of address or bank account changes).

In the recent class action lawsuit settlement against E-Cigarette maker JUUL (link to our article: the judge allowed JUUL to pay over the course of ten years.

So you see, just because you’ve won a lawsuit or reached a settlement, doesn’t mean you are going to be cashing checks any time soon. And this can be difficult for many people. A lot of plaintiffs have been through a lot while waiting to reach a settlement, and have probably incurred expenses along the way, expenses they haven’t been reimbursed for.

There is a way for plaintiffs in 18 wheeler accidents to get some of their money faster. They can take out a post settlement advance, which is also sometimes called a loan against lawsuit settlement, settlement loans, settlement cash advances, and lawsuit loans.

Post settlement funding is a financial vehicle that allows plaintiffs to sell some of their settlement to a finance company that specializes in post settlement funding (like Balanced Bridge Funding). This allows plaintiffs to get some of their money right away rather than waiting for months or years. Read More About Post Settlment Funding.

This is also true for attorneys who litigate 18 wheeler accidents. They have to wait on their money too. But the difference is, although a plaintiff may have had to wait until a lawsuit concludes to get their money from a lawsuit, their attorneys have ben incurring costs to win the case the entire time. Attorneys who litigate plaintiff cases have to cover court costs, investigating the accident, take depositions, travel, hire expert witnesses, and hire courtroom graphics experts – all so they can give themselves the best chance at winning for their clients.

And the larger the case, the more money 18 wheeler plaintiff attorney can expect to lay out to win the case, and the longer they have to wait to get paid.

Imagine having to take on tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a couple of years to win a case as a plaintiff attorney and then also having to wait even longer to get paid – because that is exactly what plaintiff attorneys do.

Because they have been waiting so long to get their fees, and had so many costs associated with the case, many plaintiff attorneys use post settlement funding to get an advance on the contingency fees they are owed so they can get some of that money back in the bank and put it back to work for them.

How Much Does an 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuit Cost?

The amount of fees an 18 wheeler accident lawsuit can generate for a law firm can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case. The amount of damages being sought in a settlement, as well as the negotiation skills and experience of your attorney, can also influence the total fees. Generally speaking, lawyers take around a third of a final settlement or court award if they win the case. This means that if a plaintiff attorney wins a settlement of $100,000, for their client, their contingency fees they earn will be around $33,000.

Do 18 Wheeler Accident Attorneys Work on a Contingency Fee Basis – and If Yes, How Does That Work?

Yes, 18 wheeler accident attorneys often work on a contingency fee basis. This means that plaintiffs do not have to pay out of pocket for their legal services. Instead, attorneys receive a portion of the settlement or court award if they win. The exact percentage an attorney takes in a contingency fee arrangement depends on state law and the specifics of the case. In many cases, attorneys take around 33% of the final settlement or court award.

How Big Do Semi Truck Accident Lawsuit Settlements Get?

When it comes to semi truck accident lawsuit settlements, the size of the settlement can vary greatly depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. To begin with, a plaintiff’s attorney will usually assess factors such as liability (who is at fault for causing the crash), the severity of injuries suffered by all parties involved, total costs associated with medical treatment related to those injuries, any property damage sustained in the accident, lost wages resulting from physical impairments or inability to work following the accident, and any punitive damages as allowed by law. These factors must be taken into account when assessing an 18 wheeler accident lawsuit settlement amount.

It should also be noted that 18 wheeler accident settlement timelines may differ based on specific laws and regulations governing trucking operations in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. For example, some states may limit the amount of damages available for certain types of truck accidents. Additionally, an 18 wheeler accident lawsuit settlement could be affected by factors such as insurance policies held by both parties involved in the crash, existing state and federal regulations governing commercial vehicles, or any relevant evidence that might demonstrate negligence or fault on behalf of either party.

In short, there is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to semi truck accident lawsuit settlements. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits before determining the size of a potential settlement amount.

What are the Largest 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuit Settlements In History?

The largest settlement in history involving an 18 wheeler accident as of 2023 was $150 Million. Werner Enterprises settled with Plaintiffs for $150 million over a semi truck wreck that happened in Sulphur Springs Texas in May 2022, killing two children.

This was not the first time Werner had settled over an 18 wheeler crash. In 2014 they reached a settlement of $90 million when a seven year old was killed in an accident with one of their vehicles.


In 2016, $80 million was awarded to a plaintiff in a case against Total Transportation from an accident in Savannah GA where the driver ran into the back of multiple cars that had stopped because of another accident. The truck driver never hit his brakes. Five students died, and two more were seriously injured.

Other large 18 wheeler accident lawsuit settlements that are known include:

  • $45 million verdict in favor of seven individuals who were injured when their van was struck by an 18 wheeler in Arkansas in 2011
  • $25 million verdict in favor of an elderly couple who were seriously injured when they were struck by an 18 wheeler in Missouri in 2013
  • $25 million settlement for the family of two individuals who were killed when their car was hit by an 18 wheeler in Florida in 2014
  • $17.5 million verdict for a woman who suffered severe injuries after her car was struck by an 18 wheeler in New York in 2015.

And these are just a few of the major lawsuit settlements that have been reached over the years. Remember, there are over 100,000 injuries per year involving 18 wheeler accidents and over 4,000 deaths. Many of those injuries and deaths will result in a lawsuit and a settlement which can often reach into the millions of dollars.

Summary – 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuit Settlements – Costs and Contingency Fees

There are over 100,000 injury causing accidents involving 18 wheelers every year in the United States. There are over 4,000 fatalities per year involving semi truck accidents. Because 18 wheelers are so large and so heavy, when they are involved in an accident, often someone is hurt or killed and it usually is not the driver of the 18 wheeler.

Because there are so many 18 wheeler accidents that cause bodily injury or death, there are a lot of lawsuits filed against those companies. Semi truck accidents are big business for the plaintiff attorneys who bring cases for their clients against trucking companies.

Settlements easily reach into the millions, and in the largest cases, tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. It just depends on how severe the injuries were, and the perceived negligence on the part of the trucking company for the accident.

Once a settlement is reached, it can take months, years, or more than ten years for plaintiff attorneys to collect their fees. All of this depends on the size of the settlement, the agreement the defendant makes to pay, and the perceived ability of the defendant to pay. Often this leaves plaintiff attorneys waiting to get paid after having already waited a long time for their case to wind its way through the court system, and incurring significant expenses along the way.

One way plaintiff attorneys can get some of their money faster is to take on a post-settlement cash advance on their contingency fees once a settlement has been reached. This allows them to recoup some of their money right away to keep their law firms growing.


Saavy Attorneys use post settlement funding to take an advance on the contingency fees they are owed from lawsuits they’ve won for their clients.

Get Some of Your Fees Fast

This is where post settlement funding can help attorneys. If you are plaintiff attorney who represents 18 wheeler accidents, and you are just waiting to receive your funds, you can work with a company like Balanced Bridge Funding and get some of your money right away (for a fee). In the industry, this is known as a “settlement advance.”

How a Post Settlement Funding for Attorneys Works

Let us explain how post settlement funding works. First, post settlement funding for attorneys works the same for plaintiffs as it does for attorneys, so in the following example, the “fees” could also be settlement money owed to a plaintiff. Let’s say Olivia is due to receive $100,000 in attorney fees as part of a lawsuit settlement from an 18 wheeler accident. But she wants to take out a settlement advance now on part of the $100,000.

How a Settlement Advance for Lawsuit Works Infographic

how post settlement funding for 18 wheeler accidents works. Balanced bridge funding offers post settlement funding for 18 wheeler accidents

• Attorney has settlement in a case but will experience some delay before their contingency fee is distributed to them

• Attorney applies for a post-settlement advance with Balanced Bridge Funding.

• Balanced Bridge examines the case. A determination is made on how much of the fee Balanced Bridge will purchase and how much will be advanced to the attorney

• Balanced Bridge discusses the funding terms with the attorney and provides them with the agreement to review and sign.

• Once that is all completed, Balanced Bridge wires the advance directly to a bank account specified by the attorney.

This process is often completed in a day or two but can take longer.

Once the fee is distributed, Balanced Bridge is sent its portion of the fee.

Is Post Settlement Funding a Loan?

A settlement advance is not a loan. When you receive a post settlement advance, the legal funding company does not loan you money. The money you are owed from a settlement is considered an asset (like a stock or bond). And just like any other asset you own (like a stock, bond, or your car or house); you can sell it to someone else for an agreed price.

Using the example from the infographic above, this attorney agreed to sell $50,000 of their contingency fees for the price of $45,000. The settlement advance company now OWNS the right to $50,000 of the lawsuit settlement and will receive their money directly from the settlement through the attorney of record. They bought the asset from you for $45,000 and will receive $50,000 from the settlement attorney of record when the settlement is paid, earning the legal funding company $5,000.

Post Settlement Funding is a Non-Recourse Transaction: We Accept All the Risk 

Post settlement funding is a non-recourse transaction. This means you don’t need to worry about what might happen if the defendant suddenly can’t pay — we accept all risk of non-payment, meaning that you will still get to keep the money from your settlement advance if the defendant goes bankrupt or is unable to pay for whatever reason.

Fast, Hassle Free Application 

In most cases, we can get your money in your hands in one week or less.

Our application is simple, straightforward, and easy to complete. Remember, this isn’t a loan, so there isn’t as much paperwork to go through. In most cases, we can approve your application and have your money deposited into your checking account in a matter of days.

If you think Post Settlement Funding For Attorneys could be the right fit for you, please call one of our Post Settlement Funding specialists at 267-457-4540.  

Or to apply online, simply CLICK HERE and fill out our quick application form.

About The Authors
Balanced Bridge Funding offers legal funding solutions for plaintiffs, plaintiff attorneys, attorneys, and law firms. To talk to one of our legal funding specialists about post settlement funding for plaintiffs of post settlement funding for attorneys, please call 267-457-4540 or email

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