Truck accidents are among the most devastating motor vehicle accidents.
Even at low speed, a commercial truck can cause significant damage because of its size, especially in a collision with a standard passenger vehicle. The resulting damages fall under two categories: compensatory and exemplary.
Economic damages are one form of compensatory damages meant to replace the tangible losses from an accident. Examples include:
- Medical expenses: hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription medications, medical devices and ambulance expenses
- Lost income: lost wages from missed workdays, future lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Property damage: repair or replacement of any damaged property, namely your vehicle
In a wrongful death case, the victim’s family member can seek compensation for funeral and burial costs as well.
Non-economic damages are compensatory damages related to intangible losses. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries
- Loss of the ability to enjoy your life
- Mental suffering associated with disfigurement or disability
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish caused by anxiety or depression disorders or post-traumatic stress
Wrongful death plaintiffs can claim loss of companionship. If you lost your spouse, you can claim loss of consortium.
Exemplary damages are rare in motor vehicle accidents. However, if the court determines that the at-fault driver acted with malintent or gross negligence, it may require the defendant to pay exemplary damages as a punishment. For example, causing an accident while drunk driving may result in an order of exemplary damages.
Damages can never fully restore all the losses from a severe injury, but they can help to alleviate some financial strain.