Types Of Compensation In Truck-Accident ClaimsLast updated on: October 4, 2022
We’re all familiar with the phrase; ‘the bigger the better.’ One place, though, that it usually isn’t better when bigger is car accidents. Due to an 18-wheelers’ size and power, it has the ability to cause severe property damage and even more severe bodily injuries when involved in an accident.
Because the injuries caused by 18-wheelers can be so severe, victims of an 18-wheeler accident oftentimes must miss work in order to recover and might seek medical treatment. In this scenario, the injured party may be able to state a claim for lost wages as the result of the accident.
The legal process can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially for an individual who has just experienced an 18-wheeler accident resulting in injury. The best way to make sure you are being treated fairly, don’t get taken advantage of, and seek the compensation you deserve after an 18-wheeler accident is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who has dealt with 18-wheeler accidents and lost wage claims.
If you or a loved one has missed work as the result of an injury caused by an 18-wheeler, contact Zinda Law Group at (888) 659-9392 for a 100% free case evaluation with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer today.
Economic Damages In A Truck Accident
Economic damages including any out-of-pocket expenses that were incurred as a result of your accident are all potentially recoverable when filing a claim.
Lost Wages And Income
If your injuries after a car accident are severe enough that you are unable to work, then you may be able to recover lost wages as a form of economic damage. Your lost wages will be determined based on a calculation of how much you make and how much work you have to miss due to your injuries.
The type of work you do will also factor into calculation. For example, if you are a surgeon and you suffer nerve damage that makes you unable to operate so that you are forced to have to accept work that pays less than a surgeon, you may be able to recover loss of future income.
Here are the steps you should take in order to determine the amount of lost wages you are owed as the result of an 18-wheeler collision:
- Determine How Many Hours You Missed From Work
This step may seem obvious, but it is important to emphasize because it is a crucial component when making a claim for lost wages. It is impossible to know what you are owed if you don’t know how many hours you missed. If you work regular hours on a consistent basis, this will be easy. If your hours change often try to obtain official documentation of your work absences to determine the hours you missed or try to determine an average based off of a 6-month period.
- Determine Your Pay Rate Per Hour
For some, this step is easy. If you are paid by the hour then it is easy to determine your hourly rate. However, if you are paid a yearly salary or something similar, simply take your salary and divide it by the number of hours you work in a year or in a month on average in order to determine your hourly rate.
- Calculate a Total Amount
In order to calculate how much you are owed in lost wages simply take the number of hours you missed from work and multiply it by your hourly pay rate.
If your car was damaged as a result of a truck accident, you may be able to recover the cost of repairs or a replacement vehicle, depending on the extent of the damage. You may still be able to recover compensation from the other driver if they were at fault even if you have insurance. It is important to note that your insurance may not cover everything, and you may have additional costs.
In addition to the cost of the damage to your own vehicle, you may have suffered other losses in the form of damage to your property. For example, if something like your cell phone or other expensive electronics were damaged, then this also may be able to be addressed in the calculation of economic damages.
As anyone who has had to have extensive medical care knows, medical bills can quickly pile up to total extraordinary amounts. In a truck accident, victims may find themselves in a situation where their medical insurance is disputing the amount that they should be required to pay or otherwise is trying to pay less than they should be. Some common truck accident injuries include:
Unfortunately, trucking accidents have the potential to be fatal. This is especially the case for accidents involving elderly persons, small children, or passengers who are not wearing a seatbelt.
Head, Neck, and Brain Injuries
Head, neck, and brain injuries are some of the most prevalent and severe forms of trucking accident injuries. For instance, the victim of a trucking accident may suffer whiplash; a type of head and neck injury that results when a person’s head is quickly and suddenly forced backward. In some cases, brain injuries such as a concussion may occur.
Cuts, Scarring, and Permanent Disfigurement
Lacerations and bruising are other common trucking accident injuries. Seatbelts may cause serious skin rash. When seatbelts are not worn, a collision may lead to a passenger being ejected from their vehicle, which may cause permanent disfigurement or death.
Non-Economic Damages In A Truck Accident
Non-economic damages will refer to suffering caused by the emotional distress of dealing with an accident. Each individual will have a different calculation because people deal with trauma and pain in different ways. Non-economic damages are not as easily calculated because they are subjective to what the victim experiences and are determined by various factors. Some common examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental health counseling
- Substance abuse counseling
- Post-traumatic stress from the accident
- Accident-related anxiety or depression
- Mental anguish
- Long-lasting disabilities or diminished functioning
- Loss of quality of life
- Inconvenience of being injured and unable to enjoy daily activities
Non-economic damages are calculated based on the severity of the injury, length to recover, and extent of medical treatment. Those who suffer substantial injuries such as the loss of a limb or loss of eyesight will likely receive more compensation for pain and suffering than someone who only suffers broken bones.
Punitive Damages In A Truck Accident
In most personal injury cases, economic damages such as medical costs and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering may be available. Both economic and non-economic damages are intended to provide compensation for losses you actually suffered as a result of the accident. However, in cases where the person at fault caused your injuries either with extremely reckless behavior or out of malice, punitive damages may also be available in addition to any economic or non-economic damages you may also be entitled to.
Some states may also allow for punitive damages where the other party acted with gross negligence. Thus, depending on the nature of your injuries and the other party’s misconduct leading to these injuries, you may be entitled to compensatory and punitive damages to provide.
Punitive damages generally serve two purposes. First, they are intended to punish the person or entity at fault for the particularly outrageous misconduct that caused your injuries. Punitive damages may also be available in a personal injury case to prevent or deter others in the future from behaving in the same or similarly reckless behavior that led to your injuries.
The amount of punitive damages a victim receives is generally left to the jury’s discretion, and it generally depends on the severity of the victim’s damages and the egregiousness of the other party’s misconduct. The jury may also consider how much punitive damages will be necessary in order to send a clear message punishing the party at fault while warning the public at large to avoid such misconduct. Finally, the jury may also consider the other party’s financial condition in order to help determine the amount of punitive damages that will be necessary to deter the party from similar misconduct in the future.
Need Help? Contact Zinda Law Group Today
A semi-truck accident can leave you in a financial bind. Your injury could leave you unable to work and result in lost wages. Medical bills or rehabilitation costs can add up. If the accident results in the death of a passenger, psychological distress can be devastating. The stress of dealing with all of these problems can take a toll.
Our truck injury lawyers can investigate your accident and determine if it was due to the disregard of regulations, truck driver error, or if the trucking company is at fault. If you were harmed due to someone else’s negligence, we will fight aggressively to help get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident, consult with a truck injury attorney at Zinda Law Group today. Our team of experienced truck accident lawyers can advise and handle the legal work for you so you can focus on what is most important-your recovery.