Discussions about personal injury claims involving truck accidents generally focus on the facts of the case. Who hit whom? How fast was the truck moving? Was the light green or red? How long was the driver on the road? Was alcohol involved? Was anyone texting? Was the vehicle properly loaded? All these questions focus on the events that led up to the crash.
News reports or posts may also focus on the injuries suffered by the victims from broken bones to brain injuries. They might even mention that victims can recover damages for lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. What do these actually cover and are any other types of damages available in Missouri?
The following are a few examples of damages recoverable in a lawsuit:
- Lost wages: This includes the time you were unable to work. It also includes the time you missed portions of work while obtaining ongoing medical treatment. It applies whether you work part-time, are an hourly employee, receive a salary or are self-employed.
- Medical expenses: This covers more than just hospital bills related to surgeries. It includes expenses for services and goods related to your injury, like wheelchairs, therapy, counseling and prescription medication. Keep receipts for everything.
- Pain and suffering: This includes physical pain, mental anguish and emotional turmoil. It covers serious depression or other less obvious examples, like the mental and physical pain associated with missing a marathon you were training for because it was too painful to exercise.
- Loss of consortium: This involves the loss of intimacy and affection from a marital relationship resulting from the accident, including sexual and non-sexual affection.
- Property damage: You can recover for repairs made to your vehicle or the loss of a totaled vehicle.
- Punitive damages: These are damages designed to punish the party at fault if he or she exhibited a “complete indifference to, or conscious disregard for, the safety of others.” Was the driver drunk, swerving and out of control?
This is not a complete list of potential damages, and there are certain exclusions and limitations. If you are in a truck accident, it is crucial you consult with an attorney for legal advice about your specific case.
Source: Westlaw 24 MOPRAC § 13:13