Few types of accidents have a greater potential to cause catastrophic injuries and losses than those involving commercial trucks and/or tractor-trailers. Given how much bigger, heavier, and difficult to control these trucks are compared to even the largest commuter car, it is unfortunately common for collisions with these massive machines to result in life-changing harm even when they occur at relatively low speeds.
Understanding recoverable damages in Chattanooga truck accident cases can be essential for anyone injured by a negligent trucker who wants to preserve their current and future best interests. With a tractor-trailer accident attorney’s help, you could have a much easier time recovering not only for losses you have already experienced, but also damages that you will deal with in years to come because of another person’s misconduct.
The most immediately obvious consequences that truck crashes generally have are physical and financial ones. Occupants of smaller vehicles that collide with multi-ton tractor-trailers often sustain serious injuries to multiple parts of their body, ranging from comparatively minor harm like broken bones and muscle tears to debilitating and permanent disabilities stemming from traumatic damage to the spinal cord or brain.
Regardless of future prospects for recovery, virtually all injuries that individuals involved in truck wrecks experience are very expensive to treat, not just in terms of emergency medical bills but also in terms of future rehabilitative treatment, prescription pain medications, and potentially the need for specialized assistive equipment. Other economic damages from truck wrecks in Chattanooga claims include missed work income while recovering from injuries, lost future earning capacity due to long-term disability, car repair or replacement costs, rental car expenses, and damage to other personal property like cellphones.
Unlike economic damages, which by definition have objective values that can be proven through bills, receipts, and other forms of documentary evidence, non-economic damages have no specific value that is consistent from case to case. Instead, the value of these losses depends on a specific plaintiff’s unique needs and circumstances—or rather, in a practical sense, their ability to convince a civil court or a settlement negotiator that those losses have a particular value. With that in mind, assistance from a seasoned local lawyer can be especially crucial when demanding restitution for damages like physical pain, emotional trauma, lost consortium, and lost quality of life.
It is important to mention, though, that Tennessee state law sets restrictions on how much compensation an individual civil plaintiff may recover for non-economic forms of harm. According to Tennessee Code §29-39-102, the non-economic cap for most claims is $750,000, with a slightly expanded cap of $1,000,000 for cases including “catastrophic loss or injury” like a spinal cord injury resulting in permanent paralysis, amputation of hands and/or feet, third-degree burns covering 40 percent of the plaintiff’s body, and wrongful death of a minor child’s parent.
Recovering fair restitution for every impact a truck accident has on your life can, unfortunately, be much more complicated than doing so for other types of accidents. Thanks to the sheer scope and severity of injuries that a collision like this can produce, comprehensive recovery means accounting not just for current losses with objective values, but also various damages that have yet to actually occur.
Assistance from a knowledgeable lawyer could make all the difference when it comes to pursuing damages in a Chattanooga truck accident case. Call today for a private consultation.