Truck accidents can cause all types of severe traumatic injuries. From broken bones to brain trauma, many victims experience injuries that impact the rest of their lives.
If you have severely been injured or if a close family member has been killed in a truck accident, it is important that you speak with a lawyer about filing a claim for just compensation. But, if your life has been changed forever or you have lost a loved one too soon, what constitutes “just compensation” for your losses?
No amount of money can truly replace what you have lost. However, compensation for your injuries or the death of a family member can help defray some of the expenses associated with the accident, making it possible for you and your loved ones to heal without facing financial jeopardy.
What Types of Losses Can I Be Compensated For in a Truck Accident Case?
In truck accident cases involving non-fatal injuries, victims who are not at fault can recover financial compensation for all of the losses they incur. This includes both losses that are financial in nature (referred to as “economic” damages) and losses that do not have any direct financial component (referred to as “non-economic” or “general” damages).
Examples of economic damages in truck accident cases include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost income
Examples of non-economic damages in truck accident cases include:
- Pain, suffering, and emotional trauma
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Importantly, truck accident victims are entitled to recover their current and future losses under New York law. So, if you will need ongoing medical treatment or if you will be in pain and/or unable to work for years or decades to come, you can recover just compensation for these future expenses in addition to the immediate costs associated with your injuries.
In cases involving serious traumatic injuries, truck accident victims’ future losses will typically account for a significant portion of their total compensation. And, given the severity of injury often seen in semi truck crashes, the amount of compensation may be substantial.
How Much Are Truck Accident Victims Entitled to Recover?
Beyond discussing the types of compensation that truck accident victims can recover, there is really no way to place a dollar value on a potential claim without knowing the specific facts involved. All of the unique details of your case will impact the amount you are entitled to recover.
If you choose O’Connor & Partners, PLLC to represent you, we will meticulously examine the details of your case. We pursue maximum compensation for your accident-related losses from all liable parties.
View our case results to see some of the verdicts and settlements we have achieved for clients in the Hudson Valley.
What Damages Can Family Members Recover in Cases Involving Fatal Truck Accidents?
In New York, there are some important differences between personal injury and wrongful death claims. In particular, the types of financial compensation that are available to family members will often be different from those that are available to victims who survived their crashes.
Examples of the types of economic and non-economic losses that can be recovered in wrongful death cases involving fatal truck accidents include:
- Funeral, burial, and cremation expenses
- Loss of earnings and benefits
- Loss of financial and non-financial support
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of care and companionship
- Loss of protection
In addition to damages that compensate surviving family members in a wrongful death claim, you may be able to pursue compensation for medical expenses and the pain and suffering your loved one experienced prior to death via a survival action.
Can Truck Accident Victims Recover Punitive Damages in New York?
In addition to economic and non-economic damages, in some cases truck accident victims and families may also be entitled to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages, and they may be available in cases involving extreme or egregious conduct such as driving recklessly while intoxicated or knowingly putting dangerous trucks on the road.
A punitive damages award cannot be “disproportionate” to the victim’s or family’s losses, but there is not a clear definition of when an award of punitive damages will be considered excessive. The amount of compensatory damages, the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct (this may include the truck driver, the trucking company, and others), and the amount the jury deems necessary to send a clear message to the defendant are all relevant factors for determining whether and in what amount punitive damages are awarded.
Discuss Your Claim with a New York Truck Accident Lawyer at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC
At O’Connor & Partners, PLLC, we pursue just compensation for losses suffered due to serious and fatal truck accidents. Our firm serves clients in Kingston, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, and throughout the Hudson Valley.
If you have questions and would like to speak with one of our attorneys, we encourage you to call (845) 303-8777 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.