What Damages Am I Entitled to in a Truck Accident Case?February 1, 2023
When a large truck is involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicle and its occupants tend to suffer more damage and more severe injuries than the truck or its driver. The costs associated with a truck accident can accumulate quickly, especially if the resulting injuries require extensive and ongoing medical care. If you were involved in a truck accident that caused extensive property damage and serious injuries, contact a truck accident lawyer who can assist you with the claims process and pursue the damages to which you are entitled.
What Are the Different Types of Damages I Can Collect After a Truck Accident?
There are two main types of damages that you may recover if you were injured in a truck accident: economic damages and non-economic damages. In a truck accident claim, economic damages must have proof in order to be recovered. The following are common examples of economic damages:
- Medical expenses: This includes all of the expenses associated with the injuries you suffered from the accident. They include the following:
- All hospital bills, including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds.
- Emergency medical care
- Follow-up appointments with your physician
- In-home nursing care
- Long-term care
- Medical devices
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from being able to return to work for an extended period of time, you will likely be able to collect financial compensation for your lost wages. If your injury is severe enough that you are unable to return to work in the same capacity or at all, you will likely be eligible for disability benefits, either on a temporary basis or permanently, depending on the nature of the injury.
- Property damage: Due to the massive size of a commercial truck compared to a passenger vehicle, it is often the passenger vehicle that suffers the most extensive damage. A successful truck accident claim will compensate you for your loss, including the cost to repair the vehicle or replace it if it is beyond repair. If there were other personal items that were damaged in the accident, including electronics, jewelry, or watches, you may be compensated for these items as well.
- Transportation: You may also be eligible for financial compensation for travel costs associated with going to doctor appointments, and any follow-up care required for the ongoing treatment of your injuries.
- Wrongful death: Truck accidents can cause the death of occupants in the passenger vehicle. If the truck driver or the truck company was at fault, the surviving family members of the deceased may be entitled to financial compensation, including funeral and burial costs, medical bills, loss of the deceased’s future income, and loss of benefits and health insurance.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate the victim for the non-monetary losses associated with the truck accident including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, anxiety, fear, and scarring or other disfigurements.
In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are meant to punish the person responsible for causing the accident and prevent him or her from future wrongdoing. Punitive damages are only available if the truck driver’s behavior was particularly egregious or fraudulent. For example, if the truck driver was drunk, or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident, punitive damages may be awarded. In order to seek punitive damages, you must be able to prove that the truck driver knowingly acted with blatant disregard for the safety of other motorists on the road.
What If I Am Partially at Fault for the Truck Accident?
Maryland is one of the few states that continues to follow the contributory negligence law, which states that if an injured person is partially responsible for causing the accident, this will impact the amount of damages that will be awarded. Most other states follow the rule of comparative negligence, where the victim’s damages are reduced by the percentage at which they were at fault, but in Maryland, you are barred from recovering damages if you were even one percent responsible for causing the accident. This makes recovering damages a challenge, particularly if the truck driver claims that the accident was not entirely their fault. It is crucial that you have a skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer on your side who can protect your legal rights, ensure that the negligent party is held accountable for their actions, and pursue the maximum financial settlement that you deserve.
Are There Other Factors That Could Affect My Claim?
Even if the truck driver was at fault, you will need to be able to prove that the truck driver was negligent. Examples of negligent behavior include speeding, distracted driving, drowsy driving, aggressive driving, a failure to properly load or secure the cargo, and a failure to properly maintain the truck. In addition, while all commercial trucks are required to have insurance, if the truck involved in your accident only has minimum coverage, this could limit the amount of compensation you can collect. The following are additional factors that could impact the amount of damages you are eligible to recover:
- The severity of your injuries
- Anticipated amount of time it will take to recover from your injuries
- Your occupation and salary
- The total amount of property damage to your vehicle
Truck companies often employ a team of lawyers who will use a range of legal tactics to protect the truck company and prevent them from having to pay a costly settlement. A dedicated truck accident lawyer will be able to anticipate those tactics, protect your legal rights and secure the financial compensation you deserve.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Secure Maximum Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.