What Compensation is Available for Drivers Injured By Dangerous Trucks?
When you are injured because of something that someone else did, it can be stressful and complicated to get yourself relief. Large truck drivers, like any other driver, are usually required by each state to carry insurance – but insurance payouts often fall short of being able to fully account for someone’s injuries.
In many cases, the only way to get the compensation you truly deserve after being injured by a dangerous truck driver is to take the driver and his or her trucking company employer to court. Whether you were injured, a family member was injured, or a family member died due to a collision with a tractor trailer, there are a few categories of damages that can be recovered from those who harmed you. The I-68 Maryland truck accident lawyers of the Truck Accident Team explain:
Availability of Damages
When you are harmed by someone else, you need to actually demonstrate to a court that you were indeed harmed, and that the defendants, the truck driver and trucking company, are responsible. In a truck accident case, that means showing the truck driver was at-fault. Additionally, you can usually sue the truck driver’s employer as well, since you were injured while the trucker was doing a job for them.
Part of making your case involves showing that the accident lead to your injuries and expenses. You cannot get compensation for anything unless you can first convince a jury that the crash caused your injuries – but then any injuries that link back to the crash are compensable. That means not only the immediate effects, like broken bones or cuts, but anything caused by the accident. Things like spine and brain injuries may not be obvious right away, but you can still show they were caused by the crash, even if they are not obvious until days later.
Categories of Truck Accident Damages
In the law, there are two major categories of damages that a court can award for an injury. The first is called “economic damages,” and refers to money and expenditures that can be tracked and reimbursed. The second is “noneconomic damages,” which includes any other money you might win based on things that you cannot track with money.
Economic damages include things like money spent on medical care, hospital visits, car repairs, wheelchairs, counseling, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any other expenses brought about by your injury. This is quite expansive and can include nearly any money that you spend because of the accident. It is foreseeable for an injured person with kids to need to hire child care, it is foreseeable that someone who becomes paralyzed will need home nursing care, and it is foreseeable that someone who uses crutches might fall and further injure themselves. Any costs that can be linked back to the original injury are fair game for aggressive legal representation to get reimbursed for you.
Noneconomic damages are the things that do not come with a price tag. If you have suffered an injury, the pain and mental/emotional suffering you faced is something you can never truly be financially compensated, and cannot be measured by changes to your bank balance like medical costs can. This is the core noneconomic damage that most personal injury cases go after. Pain and suffering is different for every person, and can result in some of the highest damage awards, depending on the case. Because of this, some states have capped noneconomic damages in an attempt to limit large payouts. It is important to check with specific state laws to understand this fully.
Noneconomic damages also include damages known as “punitive” or “exemplary” damages. They are used by a court to punish, or “create an example of,” wrongdoers. Trucking companies sometimes break federal regulations for the number of hours a driver can work in a row, the number of hours a truck can drive in one run, or the weight limits on tractor trailers. When they do this, and it results in injury, that might be something courts are willing to punish with punitive damages.
Ultimately, punitive or exemplary damages are quite rare. Obviously causing someone harm is bad, and courts punish that bad action by awarding damages against the harmful actor. To get punitives, there needs to be something extra that the defendant did. Flagrantly disobeying federal laws might be enough, but there is no guarantee. Regardless, if you hire the Truck Accident Team, we will fight for whatever damages you deserve.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer of Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team
If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed or injured, in a truck accident, the Truck Accident Team can represent you. Our lawyers practice all over the United States to get our clients compensation. If you have been hurt by a truck driver, we will fight to make Big Trucking pay for it. Call us at (215) 246-9000 for a free, no obligations consultation.