Truck accidents can cause very painful, serious injuries, costly medical bills, a lot of missed work time, and emotional damages that stay with you for years (or for a lifetime). Thankfully, if you did not cause the accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. The damages you can collect for a truck accident depends on the specific losses you experience.
The three main types of damages you can receive in a truck accident case are economic damages, non-economic damages, and (in rare cases) punitive damages. If you lost a loved one because of a truck accident, you may be able to seek damages in a wrongful death case. We’ll discuss the details of each of these damages below.
It’s often hard to get full compensation for all of your damages after a truck accident. To make sure you are seeking the financial recovery you deserve, talk to an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. At John Foy & Associates, we’ll give you a FREE consultation to talk through the details of your case and your total damages. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your FREE consultation.
Economic Damages You Can Collect for a Truck Accident
Economic damages, or special damages, in a truck accident claim are those that “must be proved in order to be recovered” (Georgia Code § 51-12-2). Economic damages can be demonstrated through actual dollars and cents, and they are fairly easy to calculate in an insurance claim.
Here are the most common economic damages you may face because of a truck accident.
After a truck accident, you can collect damages for all costs of medical care resulting from the accident. These may include:
- Emergency medical care
- Doctor bills
- Hospital stays
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Other long-term or future medical care
To prove your medical damages, you will need to see a doctor as soon as possible after your truck accident. Since most truck accidents result in very serious injuries, you will probably need emergency medical care. Getting the necessary treatment is so important for your insurance claim because:
- It gives you an idea of your injury severity and
- It shows the insurance company that your injuries are serious enough to require treatment
If you wait too long to get all of the medical attention you need, the insurance company may try to say your injuries were not as serious as you’re claiming.
Also, make sure you are following all treatment advice from your doctor. Otherwise, the truck driver or their insurance company may claim you were not doing everything you could to reduce your damages. In addition, make sure you are keeping detailed records of all medical costs you experience.
If your injuries (or emotional damages from your injuries) prevent you from working, you may be able to collect compensation for lost wages. This is significant for any truck accident victim, as lost work time means less money to go towards your living expenses and the immediate costs of the accident.
If your injuries prevent you from going back to work in the same capacity, you may also be able to collect for “loss of earning capacity.” If you believe this applies to your situation, discuss it with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
It’s very common for vehicles to end up totaled after a truck accident. Even when a collision with a large truck happens at low speeds, the damage can be extremely serious. After a truck accident, you can collect for damage to your vehicle—either for its repairs or its replacement, if it’s been totaled.
Property damages also refer to other personal items, such as electronics, watches or other jewelry, prescription glasses, etc. Consider any and all property that was damaged in the accident.
If you have to travel to certain destinations, such as to doctor appointments, as a result of the accident and/or your injuries, you can usually collect travel costs as damages in your claim.
Any costs of hiring your truck accident lawyer can typically be collected in your claim. This includes legal counsel as well as court-related legal services.
Thankfully, most truck accident lawyers (like those at John Foy & Associates) do not take any fees unless they win you money—and you only pay after your case has been resolved. This removes any upfront costs or risks to you.
To collect these economic damages, you will need to provide evidence of your losses. You’ll also need to calculate the total value of your damages. This is difficult, if not impossible, to do alone, so it’s best to work with a skilled lawyer who is experienced in building truck accident claims.
Non-Economic Damages You Can Collect After a Truck Accident
Non-economic damages, or general damages, are handled much differently than economic damages. Non-economic damages do not have a set dollar amount because they are meant to compensate you for the physical or emotional suffering you experience because of the accident.
Examples of non-economic damages may include:
- Physical or emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Scarring or other disfigurements
- Fear, anxiety, or humiliation
These damages can be worth a lot, but they are difficult to calculate and prove without the help of a lawyer. Your lawyer will use a complicated formula to determine the value of your non-economic damages along with your economic damages.
Wrongful Death Damages After a Loved One Dies in a Truck Accident
If a loved one dies in a truck accident, certain family members can bring a wrongful death claim to collect damages like:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Loss of care or companionship
- Medical costs from the deceased’s last injury or illness
- Funeral and burial costs
- Pain and suffering the deceased endured before they died
Punitive Damages Are Available in Some Truck Accident Cases
In some cases, punitive damages are also available to collect from a truck accident. Rather than act as compensation for the injury victim, punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and discourage future wrongdoing (Georgia Code § 51-12-5-1).
Punitive damages are typically only available when the wrongdoer’s actions showed fraud, malice, or willful misconduct. For example, if the truck driver was drunk when the accident occurred, punitive damages may be awarded to the victim.
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer in Georgia for Free Today
The full damages you can collect will determine the value of your truck accident settlement. However, you should know that the insurance company will be looking for ways to reduce the value of your claim. It pays to have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side from the beginning.
At John Foy & Associates, we are dedicated to helping you seek full compensation for your damages. It’s risk-free to work with us because we don’t take a fee unless we win you money, and the consultation is always FREE. To get started with your FREE consultation today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.