After a truck accident, the injured party can sue the reckless driver for damages. It is best to speak to a local truck accident attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can review the facts of your case and help you hold the reckless trucker accountable for their actions. A skilled lawyer can help with recovering damages after a San Antonio truck accident.
Economic damages are damages for a specific monetary loss someone suffered because of the accident. The types of economic damages in truck accident cases are medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of household services, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
When the injured person requires future medical care, an attorney may hire a life care planner to evaluate the injured party and do an assessment of the medical needs the individual may have in the future. The life care planner develops a calculation for the future medical expenses which is called a life care plan.
Non-economic damages are those that do not have a specific dollar amount assigned to them, unlike economic damages. These types of damages are calculated by a jury or judge that determines how much someone should be awarded for mental anguish, pain and suffering, physical impairment, and any of the other non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are often awarded in these types of cases because the trucking industry is so highly regulated. A truck accident lawyer may find significant evidence that the truck accident was not caused by standard negligence or error but was gross negligence that supports an award of punitive or exemplary damages.
The calculation of economic and non-economic damages may be affected by the punitive damages awarded to the injured parties in San Antonio and Texas. The law states that an award of punitive damages is capped at the larger of:
When someone is involved in a truck accident in San Antonio, and they have full coverage on their vehicle, that insurance may pay the property damage. If they do not want to go through their own insurance, they could pay to have their vehicle repaired and then look to the trucking company’s insurance for reimbursement after the repairs are done, which is called subrogation.
When someone is involved in a truck accident, and they want to use their own insurance to get their vehicle fixed, they contact their own insurance company and report the accident. This situation occurs when there is some dispute early on about liability, and the person needs to immediately get their car repaired. They go to their own auto insurance to have the property damage repaired, and their insurance company subrogates against the trucking company’s insurance.
Another type of coverage that one’s own personal auto policy may cover is when they have personal injury protection coverage (PIP) or Med Pay coverage that pays for medical expenses associated with the accident. In addition, the PIP also covers income loss or lost wages.
The standard auto policies in Texas typically offer $2,500, $5000, or $10,000 in coverage. However, in our experience, there we have handled cases where the personal injury protection coverage was as much as $100,000. These are some of the types of coverage that someone who has been injured in a truck wreck may have on their own insurance policy that they could utilize.
Damage caps are the result of a law enacted by the legislature to limit the amount of money damages someone can be awarded in certain types of cases. For example, medical malpractice cases have a non-economic damage cap in the State of Texas. There are no damage caps for truck accident cases, with the exception of the cap on punitive or exemplary damages if those are awarded.
The steps an attorney takes to recover damages after a truck accident are:
In many truck accident cases, the plaintiff’s attorney may hire expert witnesses to help prove damages in their case. When the case is in litigation, damages experts provide their testimony to support the jury awarding damages for all damages, including future medical expenses, future wages, and other related expenses.
Additionally, an economist may be hired to look at wage loss information, prior tax records, and things of that nature to write a report of what the loss of past earnings and future earnings may be or loss of earning capacity. When someone has a substantial injury that prevents them from working in the future, an attorney may hire a vocational rehabilitation expert to do an evaluation and determine the type of work or level of work they may be able to do in the future, if any.
To recover economic and non-economic damages after a San Antonio truck accident, the attorney looks at the various insurance policies that may cover those damages, deals with the insurance companies to submit the claims, and makes sure sufficient documentation is provided to support the payment of the damages. This can include making sure that all of the medical records and bills are obtained and submitted to the insurance company, ensuring that there is sufficient documentation of wage loss, and getting that proper documentation through an employer.
Additionally, a truck accident attorney in your community can hire experts such as trucking industry experts, accident reconstruction experts, and life care planners to prepare reports about the claimant’s future medical needs and the associated costs. Reach out to a diligent attorney to learn about recovering damages after a San Antonio truck accident.