Calculating Arlington Truck Accident Damages
Tractor-trailer, big rig, or truck accidents could cause serious damage and significant injuries to all parties involved. Often, victims sustain permanent and debilitating injuries in a collision. Fortunately, if another party causes a big rig collision, they could be held liable for damages.
A seasoned lawyer could help with calculating Arlington truck accident damages. Speak to an experienced truck accident attorney to learn about the nuances of tractor-trailer collision claims.
Types of Injuries
After a truck accident in Arlington, a person can look to recover various damages. Besides non-economic damages, a person could have back and neck injuries, clinically moderate neck pain, or more serious injuries like a dislocated disk in the spine. Because a person’s back and neck are so critical to everything the person does, these injuries often prevent victims from returning to work and daily activities. Truck crashes are powerful, which means bones can be more easily broken than in wrecks involving just cars.
Severe Head Injuries
Head injuries and head trauma in an accident can result in an injury to the brain, which may life-altering. Brain injuries can occur even in the absence of direct trauma to the head due to whiplash or rapid acceleration or deceleration. These injuries might not be immediately apparent, and sustaining a brain injury does not necessarily mean being knocked unconscious.
Symptoms may develop, including confusion, nausea, vision problems, and various cognitive difficulties. Head injuries are some of the most heartbreaking injuries sustained in truck accidents as they often cause loss of cognitive and motor functions. Some people will never be the same after suffering a brain injury.
There are also internal injuries. Powerful blunt trauma from crashes can cause internal bleeding to organs like the bladder, liver, kidney, pancreas, and spleen, and these injuries are very difficult to treat.
Lacerations from truck accidents can be potentially painful and often leave massive scars that may never heal. Rib and torso injuries can be severe as the rib cage protects the body’s vital organs. Seatbelts can also cause injuries like whiplash.
Spinal Cord Damage
Injury to the spinal cord can be especially devastating and lead to paralysis. The damages are always initially apparent, which is why anyone who suffers an injury in a truck accident should always get medical attention as soon as possible. MRIs will detect injuries that X-rays may miss.
Unfortunately, truck accidents could also wrongful death. Tractor-trailer accidents are ten times more likely to kill than crashes with cars. When a truck accident kills a person’s loved one, only an experienced truck accident attorney can hold the company responsible. A tractor-trailer collision lawyer can seek the compensation necessary for a family to try to move forward.
Seeking Compensation for Damages
When a party is injured in an accident, they could hold the negligent party accountable in court. Additionally, injured claimants may be eligible to recover compensation for their injuries and damages. Injured claimants may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
A person’s auto insurance typically covers property damage and injuries. If a truck was uninsured and the plan has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, that would be covered.
Damage caps limit the amount of compensation victims are eligible to recover, and in various states, they may apply to certain types of damages in certain types of cases. In the State of Texas, there are laws that cap damages in injury-related lawsuits. However, one should know that in most personal injury lawsuits, economic and non-economic damages are not capped for victims. This means most victims are entitled to a full and thorough recovery of the losses they incurred as the result of their injuries, for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Injured claimants may also be awarded punitive damage in a truck accident case. Punitive damages are also known as exemplary damages. These are above and beyond economic and non-economic damages and are meant to punish extremely negligent perpetrators and deter similar bad acts. Punitive damages are not always automatic and must be requested. Punitive damages are only appropriate when the driver was grossly negligent. Certain criteria must be met to win punitive damages. To proceed with punitive damages, there must be actual damages caused by the accident. A person cannot collect damages for pain and suffering if they have not suffered an injury.
Texas Damages Act is legislation that limits the money that can be awarded for punitive damages. Punitive damages cannot exceed twice economic damages plus the amount equal to non-economic damages, so they cannot exceed $750,000 or $200,000, whichever is greater. Before the limits were in place, juries could decide punitive damages without limits. Therefore, a jury could cause financial ruin if they imposed excessive punitive damages. The cap limits the amount to ensure that it is kept within reason.
Truck Accident Investigations
To recover damages, attorneys work with expert witnesses and investigators to investigate every aspect of an accident. Following a crash, a trucking company and their insurance company will start an immediate investigation of the scene. They may record statements for witnesses, take photos of the accident scene, and examine the vehicles to determine the extent of damage caused by the crash. State authorities may also launch their own investigation in the accident, which could potentially be beneficial for their claim.
Once a person has chosen to retain a truck accident lawyer, they examine every aspect of their case. They may record statements from witnesses and take photos of the accident scene and examine the vehicle to determine the extent of the damage from the crash. Steps they take include reviewing camera footage, interviewing witnesses, reviewing mandatory police and accident reports, analyzing and reviewing medical records, interviewing medical staff, and consulting experts to reconstruct the accident scene and recreate the accident.
Lawyers help ensure important evidence is preserved by the trucking company and driver. They obtain alcohol and drug testing from the truck driver and obtain the data from the truck’s electronic control module, otherwise known as the black box. They work to protect any critical evidence from being corrupted by sending a spoliation letter to the trucking company before any crucial evidence is lost or destroyed. The evidence could be used to prove negligence in court.
How a Truck Accident Attorney Could Help
A big rig crash could cause devastating injuries. Depending on the extent and severity of the injuries, the injured party may be eligible to recover a wide range of damages. A dedicated attorney could investigate a truck accident and help prove the defendant’s negligence.
Reach out to a knowledgeable attorney to learn about the nuances of calculating Arlington truck accident damages. Call today.