What Damages Can I Recover After a Truck Accident?
Being involved in a truck accident can cause serious physical and emotional damage, not to mention the financial burden that comes with extensive medical treatment and lost wages. You may be wondering what type of compensation you’re entitled to after a truck accident in Charleston.
Recovery options typically fall into two categories – economic damages and non-economic damages. In some rare cases, you can recover punitive damages as well.
Economic damages relate directly to the financial losses that result from a truck accident—tangible expenses you can quantify. Examples of these include:
Hospital and Medical Expenses
These encompass costs associated with your initial treatment following the accident, including ambulance fees, hospitalization costs, surgeries, and medications, among others.
Future Medical Care Costs
If your injuries require long-term care or multiple future medical procedures for full recovery, compensation could cover those anticipated expenses too.
Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Capacity
This represents income lost due to missed work periods during your recovery as well as compensation for the impact on future wage potential if the injuries permanently limit your ability to earn the same amount of money.
If the truck accident resulted in damage to your vehicle or other personal property, those repair or replacement costs could be included as recoverable damages.
Non-economic damages represent intangible losses that typically do not have an explicit dollar value attached. These can include:
Pain and Suffering
This compensation helps offset ongoing physical pain resulting from injuries sustained in the accident.
Emotional Distress/Mental Anguish
Beyond physical injury, accidents may inflict severe emotional distress. Compensation for this mental disruption is intended to help victims reclaim their emotional well-being.
Loss of Consortium
If injuries affect relationships with spouses—through loss of intimacy or companionship–you might receive compensation for this.
Accidents disrupt your day-to-day routine, adding unforeseen chores like making trips to medical appointments; damages can compensate for these inconveniences.
In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Unlike the compensatory nature of economic and non-economic damages, which aim to make victims ‘whole,’ punitive damages are awarded strictly as a form of punishment and deterrence.
For these types of awards, there must be clear and convincing evidence that the party responsible for your accident engaged in reckless, willful, or wanton behavior.
“Punitive damages may be awarded only if the plaintiff proves by clear and convincing evidence that his harm was the result of the defendant’s wilful, wanton, or reckless conduct.”
Evidence Needed to Obtain Damages
To successfully secure damages following a truck accident, particular pieces of evidence are essential. Here’s what you might need:
A comprehensive police report detailing the facts surrounding your accident is foundational in establishing fault.
Medical records provide an account of the injuries sustained and treatments received – they’re critical when calculating economic damages.
Pay-Stubs or W-2s
These help demonstrate any income lost due to missed work hours, building strong support for recovery of these wages.
If there were eyewitnesses who saw firsthand what occurred during the accident, their written or recorded statements could be influential in supporting your claim for damages.
This is not an exhaustive list, but this is some of the most critical evidence you can compile to have the best chance of recovering compensation.
If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a no-cost consultation.