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Calculating damages after an 18-wheeler accident injury

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Truck Accidents |

An 18-wheeler accident often causes serious injuries that require multiple medical treatments and long recovery periods. You may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, but how do insurance companies decide how much they will pay, and how do you know if it is a fair amount?

Several factors go into evaluating compensation, but negotiating a fair settlement is challenging if you do it alone.

Economic damages

Calculating damages for medical expenses involves totaling the costs for hospitalization, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation and ongoing medical care related to the injury sustained in the accident. Compensation should exactly match these expenses.

Many people lose income due to their injuries. Calculating damages for lost wages involves assessing the wages or salary lost during the recovery period, as well as potential future earnings impacted by the injury.

In addition to personal injuries, damages may also include compensation for property damage resulting from the 18-wheeler accident. This could involve repairs or replacement costs for damaged vehicles or personal belongings.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages account for the physical and emotional distress experienced by the victim as a result of the accident. These include pain, discomfort, anxiety, depression and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the injury.

If you sustain disfigurement or disability due to the accident, you might receive damages to compensate for the physical and emotional impact of these permanent changes to your quality of life.

These conditions are not tangible, and compensation amounts can vary significantly. The more these things impact your life, the higher your settlement may be.

Punitive damages

In certain cases involving egregious conduct by the truck driver or trucking company, courts may award punitive damages to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future. However, punitive damages are not common and require evidence of willful misconduct or gross negligence.

Evidence and documentation

Calculating damages relies on thorough documentation and evidence related to the accident and resulting injuries. This may include medical records, bills, pay stubs, witness statements, photographs and expert testimony.

Insurance coverage

Trucking companies must carry commercial liability insurance to cover damages resulting from accidents involving their vehicles. However, insurance companies may attempt to minimize payouts or deny claims altogether to protect their financial interests.

Modified comparative negligence

Under this Texas law, victims can still receive compensation even if they are partially at fault for the accident, as long as their degree of fault is less than 51%. However, compensation amounts diminish proportionally to your level of fault.

Do not accept initial offers

Insurance companies often offer low amounts initially, but you do not have to accept them. Ask a professional to help you calculate how much your claim is worth.