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Damages in truck accident lawsuits

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 accident injury.

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 your case.

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.