What damages are victims of truck accidents entitled to?
It’s commonly known that large commercial trucks have larger blindspots than the average car, and their massive size alone can make other motorists feel panicky. Most drivers actively avoid driving close to these trucks, and with good reason. There has been a recent uptick in truck fatalities. In 2018, 4,678 people died in accidents involving large trucks. For those who survive these devastating accidents, a lifetime of painful and expensive complications can follow.
How is a Truck Accident Different From a Car Accident?
Truck accidents differ from car accidents from a liability and personal injury perspective. Trucks carry more insurance than regular passenger cars. While drivers have to follow local and state laws, there are federal laws that truckers and their companies have to adhere to as well.
Accidents typically happen between two drivers of standard-sized vehicles that usually weigh around 4,000 pounds. Since commercial trucks weigh five to 20 times more than that, the damage they can do is also more impactful.
When an accident happens, determining who is at-fault involves more thorough digging because of all of the parties involved in a trucking operation. In addition to the driver, fault can lie with several entities including manufacturers of faulty parts, a company that didn’t properly load and secure cargo, and a trucker’s employer.
If you become injured in a truck accident, necessary medical care can be extensive, and so are the associated expenses. This includes prescriptions, doctors visits, hospitalization, surgeries, and other expenses related to medical care. Rehabilitation and long term physical therapy may also be necessary.
The recovery period after a truck accident can be lengthy. Meanwhile, the injured party misses work while healing at home or in the hospital. Even those who are able to return to work may have to frequently take time off to go to physical therapy or doctors’ appointments. They are entitled to compensation for the wages they would have otherwise earned.
Potential Lost Earning
Permanent disabilities may prevent truck accident victims from ever returning to work. If you’re left unable to work, your future loss of income can be calculated not only based on your current salary or hourly wage, but also based on what you would have likely earned if you had continued to work. For instance, if an accident strikes during the prime of your career, and you were on track for a major raise or promotion, your personal injury attorney can factor that into your case.
If a truck accident impedes your ability to independently care for yourself or your household duties, you may need to hire a carer to help. In a personal injury case, you can pursue reimbursement for what you have to spend on replacement services such as personal care, housecleaning, and transportation.
A truck accident not only wreaks havoc on finances. It can also significantly reduce an injured party’s overall satisfaction with life.
Pain and Suffering
Recovering from an injury is both physically painful and emotionally draining. The longer it takes to heal, and the more severe your ailments are, the more you can seek in damages for your pain and suffering.
When your ability to earn a living and manage your household are ripped away, it takes away a sense of accomplishment, and that can lead to emotional pain, even depression. Missing out on activities you love, for example, going on a family bike ride, frequently leads to the same negative emotional state. Even accident victims who appear to be fine on the surface can suffer from PTSD due to devastating memories of the accident. Though money cannot undo the accident, it can help ease some of life’s stressors.
Grief or Emotional Counseling
Research has shown that psychotherapy is effective in reducing anxiety and depression. Whether you are an accident victim or a surviving loved one who chooses to seek counseling, share this with your personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will consider the associated expenses when calculating the amount you should receive.
Loss of Consortium
Damages can also be awarded for loss of consortium when an accident leaves spouses deprived of affection and intimacy they enjoyed in their relationship prior to an accident. While the loss doesn’t necessarily have to be permanent for damages to be collected, it does have to be significant. For example, if an accident incapacitates a patient for a matter of days, that patient’s spouse won’t have a strong claim for loss of consortium.
Who pays for Damages?
The insurance company of the at-fault entity will pay for your damages. In a situation where more than one party caused the truck accident, comparative fault is assigned and you can collect from more than one insurance policy. A personal injury attorney can help you to evaluate all of the factors that contributed to the accident so that you don’t leave any money on the table.
Contacting an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Trucking companies have sizable policies, so their insurance companies stand to lose substantial amounts after an accident. They will do everything in their power to get you to settle for less than you deserve. At Eberst Law, our experienced attorneys will evaluate the facts of your truck accident in detail to ensure that you are compensated fully and fairly. Initial consultations are free. Contact us online or call us at 772-225-4900.