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Truck Accident Damages: How Much Can You Collect?

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on March 21, 2014 8:46 AM

People often wonder how much they can get in truck accident damages. Every case is different, so there is no "one size fits all" approach to calculating damages in truck accident cases.

To determine your specific damages award, courts will examine a variety of factors.

Here are seven factors that can potentially shape the amount you can collect in a truck accident case:

  1. Medical bills. Arguably the most important of award considerations, a court will take into account bills and expenses for medical services such as doctors, hospital stays, emergency room treatment, ambulance fees, physical therapy, accessories (such as crutches), and in-home services. A plaintiff must show that the expenses resulted from his or her truck accident injury.
  2. Property damage. A court may factor in the extent of damage caused to your car and other property. Keep in mind that you will often need photographs or other types of evidence to prove of the extent of damage to your vehicle.
  3. Lost wages. These damages represent the amount of money a plaintiff would have earned from the time of the injury to the date of settlement or judgment. The court might also consider lost future earning capacity from the injury, depending on age, occupation, and other factors.
  4. Pain and suffering. In some cases, a court will award damages for past, present, and future physical pain in connection with an accident or injury. To place a monetary value on pain and suffering, a court considers a variety of factors.
  5. Emotional distress. A court might consider emotional distress associated with a truck accident or injury, depending on many factors, including intensity, duration, related bodily harm, and underlying cause.
  6. Punitive damages. In particularly egregious cases, you may also be able to seek punitive damages, which are meant to punish a malicious defendant.
  7. Comparative/contributory negligence laws. The degree of your own fault can impact how much you collect in truck accident damages. Many states' comparative and contributory negligence laws can reduce or even bar damage awards depending on how much you are at fault.

An experienced truck accident attorney can help you determine how much your specific case is worth under your local laws, after performing a careful analysis of the case.

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