A truck accident causes life-altering outcomes for involved victims, resulting in multiple financial losses. Also, you may suffer physical and psychological harm after involvement in a truck accident, reducing your quality of life. Based on these outcomes, you should understand the types of compensation available to you after the incident. Having the information will be beneficial in helping you raise claims against the party responsible for the accident.
At Truck Accident Injury Attorney Law Firm, we work closely with you to establish the primary cause and effects of a truck accident in your case. Our team is also keen on helping you understand the reasons behind raising specific claims to raise your confidence in the legal process. Therefore, you can expect us to deliver the best services available for clients seeking legal assistance in California as we navigate your truck accident case.
Distinguishing the Different Types of Compensation for Truck Accidents
Notably, truck accidents involve a high-impact collision based on the large vehicle size. Thus, as a victim, you need to establish the types of losses you suffered to help you present a valid statement of claim.
Furthermore, you must consider whether you will file a claim through a lawsuit or negotiate with the liable party’s insurance adjuster. This is because both options present various regulations you must follow for a smooth process.
For example, filing a lawsuit against the liable truck accident party requires you to observe the statute of limitations. Filing your suit out of time reduces your access to compensatory orders, meaning that you may not be entitled to any compensation.
Conversely, working directly with an insurance adjuster requires you to have high negotiation skills to avoid receiving an unfair deal. Among the best strategies when dealing with an adjuster is retaining an attorney to represent you during the meetings. Doing so increases your chance of receiving fair compensation, as the lawyer can bargain for better payouts on your behalf.
Overall, whether you choose to raise compensatory claims through the court or an insurance adjuster, you should understand the compensation you are eligible for. They are:
1. Economic Compensation
The first type of compensation involves paying you back for any economic losses you incurred from the truck accident. In this case, financial refers to any losses that amount to a specific figure, meaning they are quantifiable. Subsequently, claims under this category should not leave the judge or insurance adjuster to estimate or guess a suitable payment for you. Instead, you should provide proof of expenses you incurred based on different costs. Common claims that fall within economic compensation categories include:
As a truck accident victim, you will inevitably need to receive treatment to help you stabilize and make a full recovery. Even where the accident did not cause significant injuries, consulting a doctor to confirm that you are in good health is essential. This is because some underlying issues arising from the incident may go unnoticed and cause complications in the future.
Subsequently, you are bound to incur various medical costs depending on your injuries and the type of treatment your doctor recommended. A common step for injured patients to take is undergoing imaging and scanning.
Thus, you need to cover costs for X-Ray, CT-scan, and MRI scan procedures. Moreover, the doctor may order multiple imaging procedures for each scan, especially where they suspect you face severe fractures. Therefore, you want to gather all imaging bills and receipts to help you establish your claims and provide proof of the amount you claim.
Additionally, your doctor may order you to receive in-patient medical services to monitor your progress and provide emergency responses. This is common when severe injuries require constant reviews until you are stable. While some patients may leave the hospital within a few days, your costs may accumulate to an expensive figure if your treatment is extended.
Surgical treatment may also be critical for your survival after a truck accident, primarily if your injuries could quickly become fatal. Although you may receive the surgery to save your life, the expenses you incur afterward could increase your expenses and add to your current challenges. Adding the treatment cost to your compensatory claim is beneficial, as it helps you recover the expenses you or your family spent.
Sometimes, your doctor may also require you to purchase special medical equipment to aid in your recovery. For example, if you lost your legs to amputation from a truck accident, you will need a wheelchair to help with mobility. Buying these devices without prior financial planning can increase your financial burden, so you want to ensure you include the fees to receive compensation.
Medication is also a significant contributor to expensive medical services, depending on the type of prescriptions you receive. Furthermore, your doctor may prescribe a long-term dosage, especially if you suffered severe nerve, spinal, or brain damage from the collision. Since you will need the medicine to survive, the costs will accumulate over time. Factoring in the length of your medical prescriptions is therefore advisable.
Lastly, medical expenses extend to continuous charges for doctors’ check-ups and physiotherapy sessions. Since these additional sessions come from the injuries you sustain from the truck accident in question, you should also include any expenses you incur when filing your claim.
Noteworthy, providing evidence for all your medical expenses will give you an easier time convincing the judge or insurance adjuster to release your compensatory funds. Specifically, you want to retain all your original receipts, prescriptions, and doctor’s reports to serve as documentary evidence.
Loss of Wages
Additionally, being a truck accident victim may cause you to lose your wages and source of income. The issue commonly arises when you sustain severe injuries, meaning your working capacity reduces or ends altogether.
For example, if you worked a corporate job but suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be unable to communicate, reason, and remember important office operations. Consequently, you are likely to lose your job or receive an indefinite medical leave, which translates to the loss of wages.
Similarly, any injuries that cause paralysis, amputations, or strokes reduce your ability to move and work, causing loss of wages for a potentially long time. Thus, you should receive compensation for your inconvenience, especially if you were a family breadwinner.
When presenting your claim, you want to provide proof of the salary you used to earn before the accident. This serves as a markup point to calculate the amount you should receive for the time you have been unable to work.
For example, if you were an in-patient for one month before resuming work, the party liable for the accident should provide a compensatory figure equivalent to your one-month salary. Additionally, compensation for loss of wages should factor in any bonuses and overtime that you were to earn but failed to after the accident.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Another claim under economic compensation is loss of earning capacity, as you will have missed out on future earnings after sustaining injuries. The main difference between loss of wages and loss of earning capacity is that the latter focuses on your future lost opportunities. On the other hand, loss of wages focuses on the earnings you lost while you were out of work to recover.
Subsequently, calculating the amount you should receive for loss of earning capacity depends on whether you are likely to recover and return to work. If so, the judge or insurance adjuster should receive the estimated time you will take, backed by a medical professional’s opinion.
In situations where the victim is unlikely to work again in their lifetime based on the seriousness of their injuries, the judge will also make calculations accordingly. Firstly, your attorney should provide your current salary amount as the starting point for the judge or adjuster’s consideration.
Afterward, the presiding official will determine your compensatory fee by assessing several factors. For example, they may increase your compensation if you are likely to receive a work promotion or if your industry awards bonuses and promotions in standard increments.
Similarly, the judge considers your age to establish whether you were close to retiring or had just joined the workforce. If you were a young worker, considerations surrounding your potential career growth throughout the years would also inform the final decision to help you receive a satisfactory amount.
Hiring Caregivers to Help in Recovery
Although you may incur significant medical expenses, you can also include a different claim regarding the costs spent on retaining caregivers to aid your recovery further. For example, suffering paralysis after a truck accident may require you to hire a stay-in nurse to support your mobility and daily life.
Notably, the caregiver may charge different rates depending on the duties you expect them to perform. For example, if their responsibilities extend to feeding, bathing, and helping you use the bathroom, it may be higher than a nurse who only helps administer medication.
Further, if you require the caregiver’s service throughout the day and for a whole week, their rates will be higher than a part-time professional. Hence, your attorney will advise you to gather all service invoices to help you support this claim and receive compensation for the additional costs.
Repairing Damaged Property
Truck accidents may also affect you indirectly, leading to damaged property. The events leading up to the incident will inform how you raise the claim, as the court or insurance may only be able to order compensation for specific losses.
If the property in question is your vehicle, you can easily present evidence of the extent of damage that the collision caused. If you can prove that you did not contribute to the accident through negligence, you are more likely to receive compensation to help you cover the property repair costs.
The claim also extends to any buildings or items damaged during the truck accident. For example, if you own a shop along the street where the accident occurred, you can present a claim to help you cover all the losses you faced after the truck crushed windows, walls, and property in the shop. Please note that every case presents different circumstances, so you can adjust the claim to meet your needs.
2. Non-Economic Compensation
Non-economic losses are also available for truck accident victims and encompass all non-quantifiable claims. Therefore, the presiding judge must apply discretion and assess your case facts to establish a reasonable compensatory figure.
This is primarily because these claims are difficult to equate to monetary figures, and each victim experiences them differently. Nevertheless, courts rely on standard practices and considerations to provide a suitable amount for you. Common non-economic compensatory claims are:
Compensation for Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one in a truck accident can cause challenges for the survivors, mainly if you rely on the deceased for financial support. Therefore, the law allows direct family members or recognized beneficiaries to sue for wrongful death.
Although you may present estimates of the financial support you received from the accident victim when they were alive, the court will use discretion to issue proper compensation orders. This is because there is rarely tangible evidence to show that the deceased would have continued supporting beneficiaries in their lifetime.
However, family members like children may have more bargaining power because the deceased had a legal obligation to provide financial support until adulthood. Hence, the judge assesses the average compensatory amount necessary to maintain your lifestyle as the survivor and issues orders that align with it.
Loss of Consortium
Similarly, losing the company and comfort of a spouse after a truck accident can result in drastic life changes, so claims of loss of consortium are acceptable. Upon presenting your grievances, the judge may question the nature of your relationship, specifically if you were legally married to the deceased.
Once the court establishes a legitimate relationship, they will consider the complaints you raise surrounding the loss of company and support from the deceased. The information will help issue a reasonable compensatory fee covering your support loss.
Nevertheless, you should remember that the judge’s orders are discretionary and may not meet your expected amount. However, working with an experienced truck accident attorney can help you present a compelling case and increase the possible compensation amount to fit your needs.
Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering from truck accident injuries also warrant compensation, mainly because of your increased discomfort. Once you present your claim to receive payment for pain and suffering, the judge may require a professional’s opinion to gauge the typical pain levels.
For example, the judge may inquire about the typical pain levels for a victim suffering bone fractures or one who faces multiple burns from a truck accident. A standard assessment requires the medical professional to rate your pain and suffering on a scale of one to ten. Based on the assigned pain level, the judge chooses a reasonable monetary figure and multiples the amount.
3. Punitive Damages
Lastly, the party responsible for the truck accident may have to pay punitive damages on top of the agreed economic and non-economic figures. These orders are commonly issued in court, as the judge will have the discretion to enhance the respondent's liability where necessary.
Typically, punitive damages are applicable when the truck driver or any other liable party completely disregards human life and safety in their operations. Since most truck accidents occur on the road, the judge will assess whether the party was driving recklessly and, if so, to what degree.
If the findings show that the liable party was grossly negligent and indifferent to the existing traffic rules, the judge can impose punitive damages. They will determine the most suitable amount for the responsible party to pay, considering they already have current payment orders.
Despite this, you should note that the presiding court is not under obligation to issue punitive damages. The directives are mainly accessible where the liable party completely disregarded traffic regulations and outright violated traffic laws.
Contact a San Diego Truck Accident Attorney Near Me
You are entitled to compensation when you or a loved one sustains severe injuries and significant financial losses from a truck accident. Nonetheless, you should clearly understand what you expect from the liable party to increase your chances of receiving rightful payment. Thus, working closely with a truck accident attorney gives you better insight into the various types of compensation available for truck accidents. This way, you can better present clear arguments to warrant your payment.
At Truck Accident Injury Attorney Law Firm, you will collaborate with skilled and highly experienced attorneys to help establish a strong case. Additionally, our team is ready to research to obtain helpful information regarding truck accident cases for any victim in need of legal representation in California. Hence, you can look forward to a smooth negotiation with the liable parties to conclude your compensatory fee. For more information on the types of compensation available for truck accidents, call us today at 619-754-7667.