The types and amounts of damages you can collect for a truck accident depend on the circumstances of your case and the extent of your injuries. If you qualify for financial awards, you may seek economic damages, non-economic damages, or both to help you restabilize your finances and move forward with your recovery process.
Motor vehicle collisions can occur for many reasons, including human error. If you or someone in your family suffered serious or fatal injuries in an accident caused by a truck driver, an attorney could help you determine the damages you may qualify for and assist you in pursuing just compensation from the at-fault driver.
Dangers of Truck Accidents
Semi-truck drivers must meet certain criteria and obtain a special license to operate their vehicles. The size and weight of large trucks make them especially dangerous on the road, so their drivers have an obligation to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of those around them. When they fail to do so, their negligent or reckless behavior can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of themselves and others.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of all the 2017 traffic fatalities involving large trucks, occupants of other vehicles accounted for nearly three-quarters of all fatalities. This research suggests that large trucks present an increased danger to the passengers of other vehicles when involved in accidents.
Proving the Liability of the Truck Driver
In order to collect an award for a truck accident, you must first determine how the insurance laws in your state apply to your case. In the U.S., states have the option to mandate one of two different types of car insurance: no-fault or at-fault. Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and New Jersey remain the only exceptions, as drivers there can choose the type of coverage they prefer.
In no-fault states, your insurance covers your injuries and property damage up to a certain amount. States typically have minimum limits for coverage to ensure adequate protection, but if you or a passenger exceeds the limits allotted by your insurance policy and meets the specific requirements set forth by your state, you might be able to seek compensation from the truck driver for the remainder of your damages.
In an at-fault state, the driver who caused the accident must use their insurance to pay for your injuries. In order to pursue financial awards from the driver, you must first prove liability. Insurance companies often launch investigations into the accident right away so they can determine the at-fault driver and, if necessary, offer a settlement amount immediately.
However, the victim often has not had an opportunity to assess their damages yet, and the settlement may not cover all of their losses. If you suffered serious injuries in a car accident, a lawyer might be able to help you establish liability and seek the financial recovery you deserve.
Compensation You May Collect for a Truck Accident
If you exceeded the limits of your no-fault insurance coverage or live in an at-fault state and can prove the other driver’s liability, you may qualify for damages for your truck accident. The types vary depending on the details of your case, including the at-fault driver, factors involved in the accident, the extent of injuries, and where the accident occurred. Victims or their families often seek economic damages, non-economic damages, or both.
The court refers to the measurable, monetary losses you suffered as a result of your accident as economic damages. These refer to the types of damages that you can document and calculate, such as:
- Medical bills
- Additional healthcare expenses
- The cost of medication
- Transportation to and from medical facilities
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages
- Funeral and burial expenses
Losses that the court cannot quantify due to their subjective nature involve physical and emotional harm instead of personal finances. A lawyer can help you assess the value of these non-economic
damages, which may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
When the court finds the at-fault driver’s actions particularly heinous, they may also impose punitive damages. This type of compensation refers to the payment that the driver must provide in addition to economic and non-economic damages as a form of punishment or deterrent.
Contact a Lawyer Today to Get Started on Your Case
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), over 4,000 people suffered fatal injuries in large truck accidents in 2018. The occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and motorcyclists accounted for 82% of the victims. Trucks carry a much higher risk of serious injuries and fatalities in collisions, and the damage they cause can affect victims and their families on a long-term basis.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries or a loved one lost their life in a truck accident, a lawyer can help you seek compensation. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 235-0444 today to speak to our team about your free case evaluation.