What Types of Damages Am I Entitled to in a Truck Accident?
Semi-truck accidents commonly result in very serious and expensive personal injuries, for several obvious reasons. Courts award damages to winning plaintiffs in amounts that correspond to their total losses, including both tangible and intangible losses. Three main types of damages are available from courts in a personal injury case: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are losses that can be calculated in terms of dollars and cents with reasonable precision. These types of damages include:
- present and future medical expenses
- present and future lost earnings
- expenses for child care
- transportation that arise from the accident
- any other calculable economic loss that occurs as a foreseeable result of the accident
To win economic damages, you typically need to provide the court with meticulously prepared documentary evidence or expert witnesses proving the amount of your losses.
Non-Economic (Intangible) Damages
Intangible or non-economic damages are generally intended to compensate for any psychological harm caused by the accident. These types of damages compensate for harms such as:
- pain and suffering
- mental anguish
- loss of sexual function or other physical disfigurement
- other intangible losses.
In the case of serious injuries, a court may award non-economic damages in an amount two or three times the amount of economic damages. Six-figure awards are not uncommon when a serious injury is involved, and seven-figure awards are not unheard of.
Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are designed for more than just compensation – they are designed to punish the defendant in cases of serious wrongdoing.
Examples of Punitive Damages:
In the case of an 18-wheeler accident, this might mean that the truck driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, or that he caused the accident by acting in an extraordinarily hazardous manner such as “hugging your bumper” at high speed.
The spouse of a seriously injured plaintiff may be able to join the lawsuit and recover damages if, for example, the plaintiff loses sexual function or the ability to provide love, comfort and emotional support (the spouse can claim “loss of consortium”).
If the accident causes a death, the deceased’s spouse, children or parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the psychological and economic benefits they would have enjoyed if the deceased had been able to live out a normal lifespan.
If you or your relative have been involved in an 18-wheeler accident that resulted in an injury, it is critically important that you retain a skilled truck accident attorney right away. In fact, your choice of personal injury lawyer might turn out to be the most important decision you make in the entire case. Your truck accident attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate a settlement, and win a lawsuit if necessary.
Experienced Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys
Zinda Law Group is a prominent personal injury law firm that handles 18-wheeler accident cases and other commercial vehicle accidents nationwide. Our truck accident attorneys understand the financial and emotional pressures you face during the difficult time that often follows a serious accident, and we will fight to ensure that you receive the full compensation that you deserve. Call us today at 800-863-5312 for a free consultation.