There is no exaggeration in saying that truck crashes are among the worst traffic accidents. When it comes to filing a claim on behalf of victims, a Cordele truck accident lawyer always aims for the maximum compensation they can negotiate.
There are many big numbers online related to truck crash settlements – in the range of millions of dollars. You are probably wondering, “What is my case worth?” The answer depends on various factors, from injury severity to insurance coverage.
We’ll explore these different factors and the types of compensation in a truck accident claim.
Damages in a Cordele Truck Accident Case
Georgia personal injury law allows accident victims to seek three types of damages:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages.
Economic damages cover all the current and future expenses and financial losses directly caused by the accident, such as:
- Ambulance ride cost
- Hospital bills
- Cost of treatments, therapies, and prescription pills
- Cost to replace or repair damaged property (car and valuables)
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Costs of physical therapy
- Nursing care or life care costs.
Non-economic damages represent compensation for the pain and suffering resulting from a Cordele truck accident. Aspects taken into consideration are:
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma
- Being left with a disability
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium.
Finally, punitive damages may be awarded by the jury at the end of a personal injury lawsuit, if the plaintiff can prove with clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with:
- Willful misconduct
- Conscious indifference to consequences.
As your Cordele truck accident attorney will explain to you, going to court is usually not the best option. There are no guarantees that you will win the case or that the jury will accept to award punitive damages.
Being Partly at Fault Affects Compensation
One of the things you must be aware of is that you may be found partly at fault for the crash. Since Georgia is a comparative negligence state, being partly at fault does not bar you from seeking compensation – as long as you are less than 50% responsible for your accident.
However, your total damages will be reduced by an amount representing your percentage at fault. Thus, you are not likely to get the full dollar value of your claim. But you can be certain that the amount your attorney will negotiate will cover your damages.
Your Settlement Cannot Exceed Insurance Coverage
A lawyer can only reach a settlement agreement up to the limit of the insurance policy coverage. Insurance companies are not responsible for paying any dollar or cent above this amount.
This is why it is important to hire a lawyer who has experience in truck accidents. A skilled lawyer may find additional liable parties besides the truck driver, such as:
- The trucking company
- The maintenance shop that failed to fix a damaged truck
- The manufacturer of a defective part
Commercial insurance policies are substantial in value, and they can cover even very large damages – in the range of millions of dollars.
You Pay Legal Costs Out of the Settlement
Out of the total settlement amount, you will have to pay your lawyer’s contingency fee – which is between 30% and 45% – and various other legal costs, such as:
- Obtaining copies from public records
- Hiring accident reconstruction experts
- Filing fees.
Call an Experienced Cordele Truck Accident Lawyer
Navigating a truck accident claim on your own is not a good idea, as you are very likely to have it denied or be tricked into accepting a lowball settlement offer. An experienced Cordele truck accident lawyer knows how to prove the trucker’s fault, as well as the trucking company’s vicarious liability.