As the number of accidents involving large trucks (and lawsuits related
to such accidents) continues to rise, potential plaintiffs often wonder
how much compensation they can get if they sue over an accident. The amount
of damages awarded by a judge or jury in a civil lawsuit depends on many
factors, many of them somewhat subjective. The most important thing you
can do to ensure a positive outcome is to talk to and hire a quality attorney
who has experience litigating
truck accident cases.
Factors that Determine Damages in Truck Accident Cases
In order to determine damages, courts will look at a variety of issues
and factors, including the following:
1. Medical bills: This is probably the most important factor that a court will take into
account in calculating damages for a truck accident case. The court can
look at bills and expenses for medical services such as doctors, hospital
stays, emergency room treatment, ambulance fees, physical therapy, medical
accessories, and in-home services. To be factored into the compensation,
the plaintiff must show that the medical expenses resulted from the truck
2. Property damage: The court may factor in damage to your car and other property. You will
probably need photographs or other evidence that demonstrate the extent
of the damage to your car. Approved auto insurance claims may also benefit
3. Lost wages: The plaintiff may be able to recover damages that represent the amount
of money he would have earned if he had not been injured from the time
of the injury to the settlement of the case. The court may also consider
lost future earning capacity from the injury.
4. Pain and suffering: The court may consider past, present, and future physical pain suffered
by the plaintiff as a result of the accident. The court will consider
a number of factors when trying to put a money value on pain and suffering.
5. Emotional distress: A court can take into account any emotional distress suffered by the plaintiff
following the accident. The court will look at the intensity, duration,
and underlying cause of the distress in determining damages.
6. Punitive damages: If the defendant’s behavior was particularly egregious, the court
may award damages that are specifically meant to punish the defendant.
Punitive damages are fairly rare, but do occur in some truck accident cases.
7. Comparative/contributory negligence laws: The degree of your own fault in the accident can factor into the damages
the court awards to you. Many states have comparative or contributory
negligence laws that can reduce or even bar damage awards, depending on
how much the plaintiff was at fault.
What to Do if You Are Involved in a Truck Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, you
should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney can
review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a viable
claim. If so, they can help you seek the compensation you deserve.