Most Common Damages in a California Truck Accident
Accidents caused by large commercial trucks can be devastating due to the sheer force of a moving truck hitting a car. In these instances, semi-trucks can be 30-40 times the mass of a standard-sized car, reaching 40 tons when fully loaded. Statistically, in an accident involving a car and a semi-truck, the truck’s occupants are less likely to be physically harmed while the car’s driver and passengers sustain catastrophic and fatal injuries.
Injuries caused by truck accidents result in massive financial and emotional burdens. Pursuing damages for a truck accident can be challenging and complex considering the navigation of motor vehicle carrier rules, state and federal transportation laws, and statutes of limitations. Trucking companies and manufacturers retain aggressive attorneys and insurance companies with the sole objective of avoiding large payouts for at-fault accidents. Working with an experienced truck accident attorney is your best opportunity to receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
The state of California has a wide range of damages that can be compensated after a trucking accident. While all cases and compensation packages are unique, most damages can be defined as economic and non-economic.
Economic damages account for any costs or financial losses that can and will be incurred due to injury or death including:
Following an accident, your health and recovery are the top priority. Be sure to seek all the medical help that you need. Waiting to seek medical support leaves an opportunity for the trucking company’s insurance and legal teams to claim you are not as injured as you report. Medical damages can include:
- Hospital bills
- Physical therapy
- Emergency medical support
- Prescription medications
- Current and future medical care
Due to the sheer size of trucks, harm to your vehicle is inevitable. After an accident, it is possible to collect compensation to repair or replace your vehicle. If your vehicle was your primary mode of transportation for attending doctor’s appointments and other necessary meetings, travel costs could be included as damages in your claim. Additionally, personal property such as jewelry, watches, and cellphones damaged in the accident can be compensated for.
If physical, mental, or emotional injuries prevent you from working, you may be able to collect compensation for lost wages. This is critical because truck accident victims are often financially responsible for entire families, and lost wages and piling up medical bills could cause long-term financial devastation.
Furthermore, if the injuries prevent you from working at the same capacity as before the trucking accident, you may be able to claim “loss of earning capacity” compensation.
Non-economic damages or general damages, such as loss of enjoyment of life or mental anguish, are often difficult to calculate without the help of a highly experienced truck accident attorney. These stressors do not have a specific price tag but could harm your life even more than your medical bills. Examples of non-economic damages may include:
- Fear, anxiety, and depression
- Body scarring or disfigurements
- Not being able to hold your baby due to physical injuries
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of identity due to not being able to work
Wrongful Death Damages
If a loved one tragically dies from a trucking accident, certain family members could collect wrongful death damages such as:
- Immense pain and suffering
- Medical costs
- Loss of companionship and care
- Funeral costs
- Loss of benefits and wages
In rare situations, punitive damages may be available. Punitive damages are only available if the driver or the trucking company showed willful misconduct, fraud, or malice and are intended to punish the wrongdoer and prevent future misconduct. For example, if the truck driver was on drugs while driving, punitive damages may be part of the compensation package and may require compensation paid towards awareness campaigns or training.
Bakersfield, California Truck Accident Attorneys
In a small town like Bakersfield, finding a personal injury law firm with a truck accident representation success record, engineering expertise, extensive personal injury legal experience, and the ability to acquire trucking logs and records is a rare combination.
Rodriguez & Associates is a personal injury firm well known for all the above. Founder and lead attorney, Daniel Rodriguez, has a degree in engineering and 30+ years of esteemed personal injury experience with concentrated experience in truck accidents. He, along with attorneys Chantal Trujillo and Danay Gonzalez, obtained the highest personal injury verdict in Kern County history of $70,578,289 million against a trucking company.
Truck accidents are extremely complex as they generally include many more factors than a typical car accident. Hiring a highly awarded trucking accident law firm can help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
For a free and confidential consultation about your case, please fill out this form or call/text: 661-323-1400. We speak Spanish and English.