How Much is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
When we meet with someone who has been in a truck accident, they often will ask us, “So, how much is my case worth?” We understand it’s a cliché lawyer answer, but the reality is that it depends.
Instead of doing the impossible – guessing what the client’s total recovery will be at the first meeting – we instead explain to clients what types of money damages may be available to them.
Truck Accident Case Injuries and Damages
In general, an injured truck crash victim can recover for any injuries that he or she sustained in the crash. Compensable injuries can include traumatic injuries like broken bones or the aggravation or worsening of pre-existing injuries like arthritis.
Additionally, compensable injuries can include something called an “increased risk of harm.” If a truck hits you and as a result, you become more susceptible to a certain condition in the future, a jury may decide that a trucking company should pay for that increased vulnerability.
Economic and non-economic damages show how your compensable injuries have impacted your life since the truck crash. There are two major types of money damages that are awarded to injured plaintiffs – economic damages and non-economic damages.
Truck Accident Economic Damages
Economic Damages caused as a result of a truck accident are what we call “easy to calculate damages.” The most obvious portions of economic damages are an injured victim’s medical bills and lost wages, including lost future earning capacity.
Lost future earning capacity refers to a decrease in a person’s ability to earn income. For example, your injury may affect your ability to return to your old job or limit the amount of time you can work for the remainder of your career. In this situation, an experienced trucking lawyer may hire an economist to forecast the amount of that monetary loss over the rest of your career. Obviously, the greater your medical bills and lost wages are, the more your case will be worth.
Non-Economic Damages from Truck Crashes
The second category of damages available to injured victims is called non-economic damages. These damages include “pain and suffering,” “loss of a normal life,” and “disfigurement.” They are far more difficult to calculate.
How much should you be compensated for having to walk with leg pain every day for the rest of your life? There’s no one on earth that can predict the exact value. That’s where juries come in. If your case goes to trial, your lawyers will educate jurors on the law explaining how to calculate these non-economic damages. But even then – the law does not provide a ton of guidance. Your attorney will need to show jurors how much your injuries have affected you.
In order to calculate non-economic damages before a jury trial, your lawyer may be able to provide you with anticipated ranges based on verdicts for past cases with similar injuries. As a rule of thumb, here are some basic rules that add to non-economic damages: (1) permanent injuries or aggravations are worth much more than bruises or strains that resolve in a matter of weeks, and (2) injuries that cause major disruptions to your life are worth more than minor nuisance-type injuries.
Putting the Pieces of the Puzzle Back Together after a Truck Accident
In summary, below is a summary of the types of damages that you may be entitled to after a crash. All of these categories include damages that you have already experienced since the date of the crash, as well as any damages that are reasonably certain to be experienced in the future.
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of a Normal Life
- Emotional Distress
At Shannon Law Group, our job is simple. We help people get back what was taken from them. We tell many of our clients that we are glorified debt collectors. Someone has been broken because of the negligence of a truck driver or systemic failures of a trucking company. We have to try and fix that injured person by getting them the compensation they deserve.
In our experience, a trucking company’s insurer will never offer you what your case is worth because they know that (a) you don’t have the familiarity with injury litigation to appreciate the full value of your case, and (b) you don’t have the resources, experience, and knowledge to maximize the value of your case like an experienced trucking lawyer would.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is essential to consult with an experienced trucking lawyer ASAP to ensure that the most amount of money as possible ends up in your pocket, not theirs.