As you recover from a truck accident, it may become more and more clear that you will need to file an injury lawsuit. Not only have you lost a significant amount of time from work, but medical bills are piling up, and you are not sure what the long-term effects of your injuries will be. While you consider a claim to get compensation for your losses, it is vital that you know how much you are entitled to in order to get all that you deserve.
Types of Damages Available to Tennessee Truck Accident Victims
There are two categories of damages available to truck accident victims in Tennessee. The first is economic damages, which cover the costs you have incurred or the funds you have lost as a result of your injury. There are no limits on the amount of economic damages: everything you paid out, you have a right to get back.
Non-economic damages, commonly called “pain and suffering,” are awarded to compensate the victim for losses that are difficult to calculate. These are typically awarded to victims whose injuries have resulted in lifelong physical or emotional suffering, mental anguish, and lost quality of life. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are limited by state law. The maximum non-economic damages allowed in most personal injury cases is $750,000. However, if victims suffered amputation of a limb, paralysis from a spinal cord injury, severe burns, or the death of a minor child's parent, non-economic damages are capped at $1,000,000.
Costs Victims Can Recover in a Truck Accident Case
Victims can potentially recover any costs they have paid out-of-pocket that were incurred as a direct result of the accident. Unfortunately, trucking companies and their insurers will do everything possible to limit their liability and reduce the amount paid to victims. This is why it is never a good idea to accept a truck accident settlement without a lawyer. Only an experienced attorney will know how much you are entitled to and how to calculate your losses so you receive the payment you deserve.
Your settlement should fully compensate you for:
- Property damage. Truck accidents commonly cause severe damage to smaller vehicles, which may need to be extensively repaired or completely replaced. The trucking company’s insurer could be liable for the cost of towing and repairing a vehicle, or the amount of fair market value of the vehicle if it was totaled in the crash.
- Medical bills. Accident victims may be forced to pay medical bills from a truck accident for years into the future. A truck accident claim can help people recover the costs of emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, assistive devices, medications, nursing care, and ongoing injury treatment.
- Lost past and future income. Victims have a right to collect the income they have lost during recovery, but also the amount of reduced income they will likely suffer in the future. Compensation may be available for lost career opportunities and bonuses due to disability, early retirement, lost employer benefits, and loss of promotion or advancement.
- Loss of a loved one. Tennessee injury law gives family members the right to collect special damages if a truck accident causes the wrongful death of a loved one. In a wrongful death claim, spouses may seek damages for lost companionship, lost contributions to the household, loss of emotional support, and loss of marital assistance and benefits. In addition, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for the loss of wages that their loved one would have earned over their lifetime. If the victim succumbed to their injuries some time after the accident, family members might also file a survival claim to recover the deceased person’s medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in a trucking accident, our lawyers can discuss your next steps in your free initial consultation—and we do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery for you. To learn more about your claim, please fill out the short contact form on this page or download a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.