Accidents involving commercial trucks and trailers can have devastating consequences thanks to the massive size of some of these vehicles. They are capable of doing far more damage than a car or even a lighter class of a van or pickup truck. That's why there are so many regulations in place when driving these colossal vehicles. It takes a great deal of skill, training, and focus to handle a vehicle this big. However, despite that, many truck accidents do come down to driver error, including things like speeding, running red lights, or driving while tired or distracted - and we don't just mean the truck drivers! In some cases, it is irresponsible behavior from car drivers that puts them into the path of an oncoming truck resulting in a collision. It's down to a truck accident lawyer to determine which party is the one at fault.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
While driver error is one of the most common reasons for truck accidents to occur, there are other contributing factors. Sometimes, neither driver is directly at fault, but the truck equipment is faulty - putting the blame on the shoulders of the trucking company if they are the ones responsible for maintenance and upkeep. Some examples might include defective brakes, improperly secured cargo, too much weight in the truck, and many other faults. Other factors that can result in a truck accident include treacherous road conditions, illegal maneuvers, tire blowouts, and mechanical failures. It often comes down to a truck accident lawyer to help determine the cause and which party is at fault based on the available evidence.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
As you might imagine, truck accidents can result in some catastrophic injuries. Various different types of injuries are common during truck and trailer accidents, and they can generally be categorized as either major or minor injuries. As part of a truck accident lawsuit, your truck accident lawyer can work to secure damages for these injuries and for your pain and suffering. Let's take a look at some of the most common injuries:
Injuries that would fall in the major injury category are those that will result in a long-term disability or even death. Examples of these types of injuries might include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Broken Bones
- Loss of Limbs
- Internal Injuries
The types of injuries considered minor are those that don't usually require hospitalization and will heal without much medical intervention. However, even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to seek medical attention after a truck accident, as those seemingly minor injuries could have the potential to develop into major ones if left untreated. Some of the common examples of minor truck accident injuries include:
- Lacerations & Bruising
- Torn Ligaments
- Muscle Strains
Damages Awarded in Truck Accident Injury Cases
Like most personal injury lawsuits, the damages that may be awarded in a truck accident lawsuit will fall into one of two categories, economic damages or non-economic damages. These are usually compensatory damages to reimburse the victim for losses. However, in some situations, punitive damages may also be awarded as a way to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing. Let's take a look at what can be covered by the two categories of damages.
Economic damages are easier to calculate since they usually reimburse the victim for a specific cost. Economic Damages include:
- Medical Expenses - This will include past and future medical costs incurred to treat any injury resulting from the truck accident.
- Loss of Income - This will reimburse any loss of income from time taken off to seek treatment or to heal from the injuries caused by the truck accident.
- Property Damage - If you need to replace damaged property, including a vehicle, then property damage would cover those expenses.
- Loss of Earning Capacity - If the truck accident has caused injuries that will prevent the victim from being able to work in the future, then economic damages can include the loss of those future earnings.
- Other Expenses - Your truck accident lawyer may also help you claim for any additional expenses incurred as a result of the accident, such as a rental car or modifications to the victim's home to accommodate their disability.
Non-economic damages can be a little trickier to put a dollar amount on since they are not typically reimbursing a tangible cost. Some examples of non-economic damages that a truck accident lawyer might pursue include:
- Pain & Suffering - The victim can be awarded damages for the physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the truck accident.
- Loss of Consortium - Depending on the injury sustained in a truck accident, it may be possible to claim damages for the loss of all or part of a spousal relationship, including loss of companionship, sexual intimacy, and spousal support.
- Mental Anguish - In some cases, the victim may suffer psychological distress, including anxiety or depression. Damages may be awarded to compensate for this.
- Physical Disfigurement or Impairment - Physical injuries that result in permanent disfigurement and impairment or that reduce the ability to function can fall into this category.
- Reduced Quality of Life - Negative changes to the victim's life may not always be physical. There may be a loss of independence or loss of enjoyment which can be considered a reduced quality of life.
If you have experienced a truck or trailer accident, it is worth talking to a truck accident lawyer to discuss filing or defending a lawsuit.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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