The aftermath of a truck accident can be a harrowing experience, leaving victims dealing with physical and emotional trauma, financial burdens, and complex legal challenges. Understanding the damages available in such claims is helpful when navigating this period and seeking fair compensation.
Damages in a truck accident claim fall under three main categories:
1. Economic damages
These are tangible, quantifiable losses arising directly from the accident. They are often easier to document and value. Your Charlotte truck accident attorney can help you gather this evidence.
- Medical expenses: Past, present, and future medical bills, including hospital stays, surgeries, medication, therapy, and ongoing care.
- Lost wages: Compensation for past and future income lost due to the accident, including missed workdays, reduced earning capacity, and job loss.
- Property damage: The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other damaged personal belongings.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Reimbursement for additional expenses incurred due to the accident, such as transportation, childcare, home modifications, and household help.
2. Non-economic damages
These are intangible losses, encompassing the emotional, physical, and psychological consequences of the accident. They are more subjective and require careful documentation and expert testimony to properly assess. Allow our attorneys to help you with this.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain endured due to the accident, including ongoing discomfort, scarring, and mental anguish.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Reimbursement for the inability to participate in activities previously enjoyed due to the accident, such as hobbies, sports, and relationships.
- Loss of consortium: For spouses or partners, compensation for the loss of intimacy and companionship resulting from the victim’s injuries.
- Emotional distress: Recovering for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health effects caused by the accident.
3. Punitive damages
In rare cases, if the truck driver or trucking company acted with recklessness, gross negligence, or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded. These are meant to punish the responsible party and deter future similar conduct.
Punitive damages in North Carolina are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages, or $250,000 – whichever is greater.
While the above categories provide a framework, there are different nuances and complexities within each. Some noteworthy points:
- Future damages: When injuries are likely to have long-term impacts, future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering are estimated and included in the claim.
- Multiplier approach: To value non-economic damages, a “multiplier” is often used, considering the severity of the injury, the impact on the victim’s life, and the duration of suffering.
- Medical evidence: Comprehensive medical records and expert testimony are important to establish the nature and extent of injuries, and their impact on the victim’s life.
- Comparative negligence: Some states apply comparative negligence, meaning the victim’s partial fault in the accident may reduce the total damages awarded.
It’s important to note that truck accident claims can be complex, and the specific damages you may be entitled to will depend on the circumstances of the accident. To determine the potential damages in your case, consult with our Charlotte personal injury attorneys, who can assess the details of your situation and provide guidance on the legal options available to you.
What types of injuries are common in truck accidents?
Unfortunately, truck accidents are often severe due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles. This means the injuries sustained in such crashes can be quite serious and long-lasting. Here are some of the most common types of injuries seen in truck accidents:
Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries: These are the most serious type of back and neck injury, and can cause permanent paralysis or even death.
- Herniated discs: The force of the impact can cause the discs between the vertebrae to rupture, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness.
- Whiplash: This is a common injury caused by the sudden and forceful jerking of the head and neck in a collision. It can lead to pain, stiffness, and headaches.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): These can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage, and can lead to a variety of symptoms, including memory problems, difficulty thinking, and personality changes.
- Skull fractures: These can be serious, and can lead to bleeding in the brain.
- The force of a truck accident can easily break bones, particularly in the legs, arms, and ribs. These injuries often require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
- The impact of a truck can damage organs such as the lungs, liver, and spleen. These injuries can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated promptly.
- Truck accidents can be traumatic experiences that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological problems.
It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, and any type of injury is possible in a truck accident. The severity of the injuries will depend on the specific circumstances of the crash, such as the speed of the vehicles involved and the type of collision.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not think you are seriously injured. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding, may not have immediate symptoms.
After a truck accident, you likely have serious injuries and medical bills. The truck accident lawyers at Price, Petho & Associates are here to help. We will work to determine who is liable for your damages and hold those parties responsible, helping secure the compensation that you deserve for your losses.
Contact our Charlotte legal team today
To schedule a free consultation, please call our office or complete our contact form today. We have offices in Charlotte, Rockingham, and Rutherfordton for your convenience.
Attorney Doug Petho is the owner and founder of Price, Petho & Associates. His primary focus is the litigation of plaintiff’s personal injury suits, and he has successfully tried hundreds of cases to jury verdict involving car accidents, trucking accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, and work-related accidents. Contact his office in Charlotte today.