After being injured in a truck crash, the damage to a victim's physical and financial well-being can seem insurmountable. Extensive medical bills and time off work can create stress and worry about how to continue making a living and providing for a family.
Truck crash victims who were not at fault shouldn't have to pay the consequences for someone else's negligence on the road. Fortunately, Tennessee law allows truck accident victims to seek compensation for a wide range of crash-related damages.
If you were hurt in a truck accident caused by a negligent commercial driver, trucking company, or other liable party, the following types of compensation may be available.
Truck accidents can cause serious physical injuries and property damage, as well as require the victim to be absent from work for a time period that can often affect earning capacity. Economic damages, also known as special damages, compensate truck accident victims for losses that have a quantifiable economic cost. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Medical-related travel expenses
- Future medical costs
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Lost wages due to injury-related absence from work
- Loss of earning potential if the accident-related injuries permanently prevent the victim from returning to work
In addition to financial burdens, truck accidents can also cause losses for which there is no direct monetary value. While economic damages compensate victims for calculable financial losses, non-economic damages, also known as general damages, compensate truck wreck victims for emotional and psychological losses that are difficult to quantify. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In cases where the at-fault party's conduct was particularly heinous, the judge or jury may award the victim punitive damages. While economic and non-economic damages compensate the plaintiff for losses incurred as a result of the truck accident, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for extremely negligent, reckless, or unlawful actions.
Damages in Truck Accident Wrongful Death Cases
Truck accidents kill thousands of people in the United States each year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 3,852 people lost their lives in fatal truck crashes in 2015 alone.
When a person is killed in a truck accident caused by another party's negligence, certain family members or a representative of the victim's estate can file a wrongful death claim to pursue compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic losses related to the death, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial or cremation costs
- Loss of the income the victim would have earned
- The family's mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of the victim's love, guidance, and companionship
- Loss of consortium
The family member or estate representative can also seek a financial award for injuries and losses the victim sustained before passing away, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life (if the victim's injuries were not immediately fatal)
- Wages lost by missing work from the time of the injury to the time of death
- Loss of earning capacity for the period from injury to death
Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, it's important to understand your legal rights and options for compensation. The experienced truck wreck lawyers with Holton Law Firm can offer advice about what types of damages might be available in your case. Contact Holton Law Firm today to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial consultation to go over the details of your truck accident case.