Truck accidents can cause major injuries and damages. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there are over 34,000 a year that involve big rigs. When you have a crash with a truck, your injuries will likely devastate and sometimes, disabling. On average, over 500 people each year lose their lives due to truck crashes in Texas.
Because the injuries can be extensive and the recovery period lengthy, the costs associated with medical treatment can be astronomical. Victims of truck accident injuries may be owed money for their medical expenses and other damages.
Types of Damages in Truck Accident Cases
There are several types of damages in personal injury cases. These include general damages, special damages, and punitive damages. On your accident, you may have compensation for any legally recognized damages.
General damages are generally those that do not have an easily discernible monetary value. Some examples of general damages include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of consortium. These are damages are intangible – damages you suffered but do not have an actual bill or receipt associated with them. General damages are also applicable in a wrongful death case. General damages are those that can be generally attributed to the negligent party.
Special damages consist of losses with a known monetary value. These are losses you sustained because of the accident and have actual costs associated with them. Some examples include medical bills, medications, physical rehabilitation costs, and any other costs for which you received a bill.
While general and special damages are in place to put you in the same economic position you were in before the accident, punitive damages from a truck accident are different. They punish the negligent party. The judge determines punitive damages, and they are not always awarded. When the at-fault party did something grossly negligent, the court may feel that the party must suffer additional punishment to deter that activity.
How Are Damages Calculated?
Tangible or special damages are easy to calculate because they have actual costs associated with them. With non-tangible damages or general damages, the calculation can be more difficult. In Texas, insurance companies typically try to encourage the use of a basic multiplier for damages such as pain and suffering. A multiplier is only a starting point for calculating damages, however.
The multiplier used by adjuster’s ranges based on the severity of the injury. A simple soft tissue injury in which full recovery occurs might be assigned a multiplier of one to three, while a catastrophic injury such as a traumatic brain injury, could be disabling and might be incapable of calculation based on multipliers. Each injury is different and therefore, every case is unique with the number of damages you might expect.
A Trial is Needed in Some Cases
Some cases where the liability is not challenged get tried to a jury simply because the insurance company can’t fit the damages into their multiplier formula. More often than not, the truck driver will contest liability, even when it is clear he was at fault.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury due to a truck accident in Texas, you need experienced legal assistance.
Call the skilled commercial vehicle accident attorneys to discuss your accident in a free initial consultation.
Call (281) 893-0760 for an injury case consultation- there is never a charge for a case consultation!