The amount of money you can recover for your losses and damages may be unclear if you are injured or lost due to a commercial vehicle accident.
There are three types of compensation available in truck accident cases: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
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The financial expenses that an accident victim incurs are referred to as economic damages. Bills, invoices, receipts, pay stubs, and income statements can be used as evidence in calculating or forecasting monetary damages. Typical truck accident damages include:
- Health-care expenses
- Expenses for long-term care at home or elsewhere
- Wages lost as a result of time away from work due to injury.
- When injuries result in lifelong disability, you lose future earnings and work perks.
- Damage to a vehicle or personal belongings
Non-economic damage, as opposed to economic damage, is compensation for an accident victim’s irreplaceable, personal losses. Usually, economic damages are calculated using quantitative data, whereas non-economic damages are determined based on a subjective assessment of an accident victim’s suffering. These damages include:
- Suffering and physical pain
- Emotional and mental anguish, as well as trauma
- Life expectancy has decreased.
- Physical limitations, disfigurement, and scarring that cause embarrassment or humiliation can reduce the quality of life.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, Punitive damages do not pay accident victims for their losses. Instead, they are a monetary reward to the victim intended to punish the guilty party for willful, reckless, or intentional behavior.
Punitive damages are typically only awarded when egregious or shocking behavior was responsible for an accident. Therefore, punitive damages are seldom awarded in truck accident cases.
Who is responsible for truck accidents?
In a truck accident, one might expect the truck driver to be held accountable first. The first step is identifying the driver’s relationship with the company. A truck driver can be classified into three categories:
- Private Carriers (Leasing Owner-Operators): These individuals own and operate their trucks or lease their vehicles to other companies that haul freight.
- Company drivers: Employees recruited by trucking businesses to drive the company’s trucks are known as company drivers.
Independent owner-operators are independent contractor (IC) drivers who transport their own goods and own the truck they drive.
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