Facing the aftermath of a horrible truck accident can bring about numerous hardships as you try to seek compensation for the injuries, losses, and damages you suffered. Most aggrieved parties may struggle to determine what kind of claims to bring forth, the evidence required to support the claims, and the points to present when the court is in session to assure them of a successful outcome. Due to the many requirements and specifications to satisfy, it is always recommended to learn of the different types of compensation that you can access as a truck accident victim. The information will prepare you to take reasonable and valid compensation claims to court. Still, it will also guide you by providing all the necessary checkpoints you should fulfill to support a fair trial.
As a victim of a severe truck accident, you will inevitably face some challenges that include serious bodily injury, traumatic distress, and loss of the capacity to return to work, among many other inconveniences. Therefore, we believe that you should receive fair and adequate monetary compensation to help you recover from the life-changing incident by catering to your needs. Moreover, the compensation you receive should be equal to the losses you incur. It should be availed to you using an accurate monetary measurement system that assures you of equitable compensation. We at the Orange County Personal Injury Attorney have worked with many aggrieved clients to help them seek rightful compensation from truck accidents. We offer personalized legal services that put your needs first, to optimize your chances of success upon filing a compensatory suit.
Compensation Available for Truck Accident Victims
Generally, any truck accident victim can sue for compensation from the respective parties believed to be liable for the occurrence, as long as there is sufficient proof of the accident and that its direct causation links to the defendant. The two main types of compensation are:
1. Special Damages
Special damages, commonly known as economic damages, refer to all compensation that you can assign a monetary value to, using approved systems to assign the value. For example, it is easy to put a price on your monthly income, as it is openly disclosed when you receive your earnings. Therefore, the judge will have an easier time evaluating special damages because of the straightforward nature of the claims. Some of the common claims under this category include:
Property Damage Compensation
When you file your injury suit, you can include a claim for property damage suffered during the accident, especially any severe damages to the car. The claim is valid under the personal injury category because the property damage has a direct relation to any harm you suffer. For example, when your windscreen shatters, you become exposed to harmful debris and additional impact from the truck accident that may leave you vulnerable to additional personal injury. Moreover, the property damage suffered is also consequential to your mental state, as it may evoke anger, despair, or even panic as you try to escape from the wreck.
Based on all these legal backings, you can bring the suit forth and claim compensation for the damaged property. Your injury attorney should ensure that you present several important documents and the written submissions that act as your documentary evidence for the claim. One of the important documents to submit is your vehicle's valuation form that indicates the car's price at fair market value. The information on the form will offer a clear guideline for the judge to apply when calculating the amount that the defendant owes you. On top of this, you may present photographs of the vehicle or bike immediately after the accident occurred, to prove that the damage suffered was significant. The photos will also help by providing additional information on the nature of the accident, which helps your case, especially if the truck driver acted in a grossly negligent way.
Your lawyer may also add onto the list of evidential sources by presenting a qualified damage assessor as a witness who can attest to the severe damage caused on your vehicle from the accident, as well as the projected costs for the repair or restoration of your car. The assessor should also provide documents attesting to the claims brought forth, to create a legal backing for all your estimated costs. If you have already engaged in repairs and replacements of broken car parts, it is necessary to provide all receipts of service from the garage store that handled the repair works to validate your claims further.
Typically, there should be few wrangles from the defendants concerning claims for damaged property, especially because of the numerous sources of evidence you will provide. However, they may question your vehicle's state before the accident, which you can support by providing receipts of all servicing you have undertaken on the car, as expected. With such information, it will be difficult to disprove your claims, and you will stand a better chance of receiving a satisfactory amount for the property damage.
Another point to note is that you may include several other property types in your claims if you had the items stored in your car. For example, if you lose valuable jewelry or any other important things from a truck accident, you may include the value in the total claims submitted. However, you should be ready to present additional evidence to prove that the items were stored in their vehicle and receipts of purchase to show that you had bought the items at the said price. While the operation may be a bit tricky, it is worth including, especially if the items lost were valuable.
Compensation for Incurred Medical Costs
Since truck accidents result in a huge impact that is sure to cause excessive damage, you will need to seek medical attention to remedy the personal injury suffered. While some truck accidents cause mild injuries depending on the circumstances leading to impact, most cases lead to serious outcomes that may warrant a complete life change from permanent conditions you acquire. You may also have to undergo prolonged treatment before making a full recovery by remaining as an in-patient in the hospital or scheduling appointments regularly to practice recovering from trauma on your limbs. Personal injuries that require immediate medical attention are:
Spinal Cord Injuries
After surviving the impact of a truck accident, your back may suffer severe injuries caused by the high impact released as the truck smashes into your vehicle or motorcycle. Consequently, your spine will suffer traumatic injuries that may affect very delicate parts of the backbone known to support nerve fibers. If you face an injury this severe, you could face partial or complete body paralysis that affects your ability to move around. Therefore, you will remain in the hospital for reasonably long as the medical doctors monitor your recovery. Your condition may also warrant an emergency surgical procedure to save your life or prevent long-term conditions. In such a situation, it is expected that you will bear large sums as medical costs for the treatment administered.
Traumatic Brain Injury
You are also prone to face traumatic brain injuries from truck accidents, depending on the results of the impact and the force of the collision. You may bang your head against the window or the car seat, while in extreme cases, the impact arises directly from the truck penetrating your vehicle and hitting your entire body. Brain injuries usually attract intensified medical attention, as they involve the most important body organ responsible for all body functions. A traumatic brain injury means that your brain has suffered significant harm that may cause several symptoms, based on the extent of harm. In mild cases, patients only suffer from dizziness or concussions, while in extreme cases, they may remain in a vegetative state for quite some time. As a result, medical expenses of this nature accumulate fast, resulting in the need for immediate compensation.
Additional personal injuries that amount to high medical costs include:
Body disfigurement from missing body parts
Once your injury lawyer presents your suit in court, it is up to the judge to determine the amount awarded to you, depending on the evidence you present to support your claims. It is important to consolidate all your sources of proof to ensure that your lawyer presents valid arguments that are persuasive enough for the judge to grant your needs. The most important documentation to present is all medical receipts after treatment. That should contain all expenses you incurred for doctor consultations, buying prescription medicine, and any surgical procedures you underwent.
Secondly, you also need to back your medical receipts with additional documents that show your course of treatment from the point of diagnosis to the reception of treatment. These include CT-scans, X-Ray images, and MRI images you took before the treatment commenced. The judge may also require to check for any laboratory tests you underwent as you sought a diagnosis after the truck accident.
Despite bringing forth these credible sources of evidence to support your medical claims, the defendant, and the judge may question your medical history, to rule out the probability of an underlying condition that already existed before the truck accident. Therefore, we recommend providing medical information containing your medical history that traces back to five years before falling victim to the accident. The medical records will quickly remove any room for doubt or alternate probabilities for your medical expenses.
Your injury lawyer may also advise you to include a report from your medical insurance provider if you used their services to cover the medical expenses. The report provided covers all costs that the company undertook and therefore creates an additional backing for the figure you submit in your compensatory suit.
Suppose all these sources of evidence are available to support your monetary claim for medical expenses incurred. In that case, you will have very good chances of receiving rightful compensation from the defendant to help you get back on your feet.
Compensation for the Loss of Wages
You are also likely to suffer from the loss of wages caused by the severe injuries sustained after a truck accident. All injuries mentioned above commonly put patients off their daily working routine to allow for recovery time. While it is important to take time and recuperate, you will suffer huge financial losses from the stalled ability to get back to work. Consequently, you should receive compensation for the lost wages to sustain yourself and your family during the period you are unable to resume work.
Presenting a claim for lost wages requires your injury attorney to make accurate calculations, with the help of an experienced financial or economic officer. With the support of a certified financial officer, your claims will be more valid and accurate to your claims, to avoid giving the defendant a chance to poke holes in the submissions presented against them. Moreover, your lawyer, with the help of the financial officer, will ensure that you comply with the following requirements that are necessary for the judge to accept your claims for lost wages:
A Letter from the Human Resource Representative In Your Workplace
A human resources representative is the company representative in any matters to do with an employee. Thus, you will need to include a letter from the Human resources officer or signed directly from your employer to ensure that he/she is aware of your condition and your inability to continue working for the time. The letter will also affirm the need for compensation, as your employer will indicate the company's capacity to reimburse you or not.
Tax Statements in Self Employed Businesses
If you run your own business, the judge will need to see proof of lawfully operated commercial transactions that had to stop because of the personal injury you suffer from a truck accident. Including your annual tax return statements is beneficial to help uphold your valid image because it provides a good track record for your business. In return, the judge is more willing to award compensation.
Documents Providing Information on Policies in Your Workplace
In cases where you were eligible to receive promotions or work bonuses, your lawyer should present documents that elaborate on work policies on incentive matters to persuade the judge to include the bonuses or promotions you would have received if you continued working. Such a move will allow you to receive fair compensation for all additional losses you miss out on after being unable to work. Providing the documents that give information on the policies is not enough. Your lawyer should also prove that you were eligible for the bonuses or promotions before the truck accidents. Taking a further step to show your eligibility ensures that you make a good distinction between your career life before and after the truck accident.
Suppose your proof is sufficient and persuades the judge to include the loss of wages in the final compensatory amount. In that case, you will receive monetary compensation from the defendants to cover your salary that includes any commissions, bonuses, or allowances you were eligible to receive before the truck accident.
Compensation For the Loss of Capacity to Earn
Most accident victims suffer severe injuries but are able to resume work as soon as they undergo a full recovery. However, for others, the damage caused by the injuries may leave a permanent mark that keeps them from getting back to their means of livelihood for the rest of their lives. For example, spinal injuries may affect your career in the long run because of the possible spinal damage that affects nerves and overall body posture. With full-body paralysis being the most severe outcome of such an injury, you will indubitably face the hardship of losing your earning capacity. Additionally, severe body damage that warrants amputation is also a contributing factor to a loss of earning capacity caused by the dramatic change of your anatomy. Thus, if your work field involved employees being constantly on their feet, you may be unable to recover fully and return to work.
You may also sue for the loss of earning capacity even if you are still an unemployed student. In this case, the rationale behind such an allowance is that your career will be compromised even before you get an opportunity to begin. Subsequently, you can sue for all the projected losses incurred, based on your ability to graduate and find a job within your study field. In awarding you damages, the judge relies on information indicating the average pay for newly employed graduates in such a work field. Therefore, you should receive the full compensation to support our life just as you would have if you could enter the work field. In this case, your lawyer will also have to engage with an experienced accounting expert who will make reasonable yet valid projections for your expected income.
Upon hearing your submissions, the judge will rely on several factors like your age and life expectancy to award damages. The factor plays a significant role in issuing fair compensatory orders for both parties. The total projected compensatory amount should last you for all the years your injury will hinder you from working. Moreover, the judge will also check your past monthly income rates and opportunities to advance your career before the accident to award a fair compensatory amount.
2. General Damages
Award for non-economic losses, otherwise known as general damages, is subjected to experiences that can attach no monetary value. The experiences should arise directly from the truck accident for your claims to be valid. Therefore, any consequential losses or suffering that occurs way after the truck accident may not be suitable for compensation. Some of the general damages you can seek compensation for are:
Loss of Protection and Care
Here, the children or direct dependents of an affected accident victim may file a suit to seek compensation for the loss of protection and care that the victim provided before. For example, if the truck accident victim undergoes severe brain injury that leaves him/her severely mentally incapacitated, he /she cannot continue acting in the same way as before. Consequently, the family members will have lost important family elements they previously received from the affected person.
Loss of Consortium
A claim for the loss of consortium is exclusive for spouses to bring forth, as they seek compensation for the loss of love and companionship caused by the truck accident. In some cases, the accident victim may succumb to injuries and die, while in other cases, the victim may remain in a coma or other lasting states for long. Consequently, a spouse may include such a claim for all the lacking companionship that was previously available in the relationship.
Experiencing Pain and Suffering
It is also very difficult to make a clear determination on the value to compensate for all the pain and suffering you may suffer after involvement in a truck accident. Thus, it falls under the category of general damages to ensure that you still have a chance to seek the harm caused. Pain and suffering are caused not only by the numerous medical procedures you undergo but also from the emotional shock when you have to change your lifestyle after the accident drastically.
Once the judge receives all filed claims, he/she will provide two possible means of calculating monetary value on the claims you bring forth, to ensure that all compensation received is sufficient and fairly distributed. One of the available options in determining the exact value to award in general damages includes placing value on each day you experience suffering from the truck accident injury. The suffering may range from pain to emotional distress that requires special attention to control. The method requires you to provide sufficient proof of suffering so that the judge can place reasonable values on your experiences. A good source of evidence involves providing video evidence that shows how your daily life looks like since the truck accident affected you.
Additionally, you can also use the multiplier method to rate your general damages on a scale of one to five to give an accurate projection of the severity of your condition. Depending on the figure you pick, the judge will multiply typical damages for the chosen figure's losses, leading to a higher compensatory amount. For example, if the general damages awarded for pain and suffering start from $4000, and place your experience as a 2, you will receive a total of $8,000 for the pain and suffering caused.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Fighting for compensation after an accident is not always easy, but it is much smoother with the right lawyer by your side. Working with a lawyer from the Orange County Personal Injury Attorney will give you peace of mind. We strive to deliver the best results for your truck accident compensatory claim. Give us a call today at 714-876-1959.