Victims can recover two basic types of truck accident compensation: economic and non-economic damages. In some cases that wind up going to trial, the courts may award a third type of compensation referred to as punitive damages. We will briefly cover each type of payment below.
Economic damages also referred to as special damages, are easily calculable expenses and losses you’ve incurred as a result of the accident. One verifies economic damages with receipts, bills, and other records.
Examples of special compensable damages include the following.
Non-economic damages also referred to as general damages, are those that are intangible and difficult to calculate. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages have no monetary value.
When determining the value of your claim, insurers usually calculate non-economic damages by multiplying the number of economic damages by a particular factor, usually from one to five, depending upon the severity of your injuries.
For instance, if your injuries are severe and your special damages come in at $500,000, your general damages may be multiplied by five ($500,000 x 5 = $2.5 million). In less severe cases, say one with $20,000 in special damages, your general damages may be multiplied by 1.5 ($20,000 x 1.5 = $30,000). However, nothing replaces a truck accident lawyer when trying to determine damages value, so run everything by your attorney first.
Texas is one of the states in the nation that allows for a third type of damage referred to as punitive damages. Unlike general and special damages that are meant to compensate the victim for her losses, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for gross negligence and to deter the defendant from that type of oversight in the future.
For example, in 2010, a woman in Texas who suffered severe injuries in a truck accident was awarded $3 million in punitive damages because the trucking company falsified its driving logs to cover up the driver’s insufficient sleep. The woman’s lawyer argued that the crash was the truck driver’s fault for negligent impairment and the trucking company’s for perjury. The court awarded the woman punitive damages to send a clear message to the company that its actions were intolerable.