What damages are you entitled to in a Florida semi-truck crash?
If you or a loved one was involved in a collision with a tractor trailer truck or commercial semi in Florida, then there are some important facts and rules that you should know regarding compensation for your injuries and damages. You may need to seek out the services of a seasoned Florida truck accident lawyer who is experienced with personal injuries caused by trucks and semis.
Florida law provides compensation for truck accident victims caused by negligent drivers of trucks and semis for economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. The sections described below specify the types of damages that you may be able to recover.
Past & current medical costs
Your medical expenses are an important part of your case. In most truck cases, the medical bills are the largest single expense, and it can be the basis for the economic recovery. The medical care and treatment required for your injuries is a measure of severity.
Future medical costs
Once past initial treatment and rehabilitation, victims will often require further medical care in the future — either directly or as a consequence of the immediate injuries. Expert testimony from doctors and therapists can establish this evidence. Extensive medical care is often a factor in truck accidents, since these types of crashes are usually more severe in nature.
Lost wages and business income
Whether employed, self-employed, or a business owner, the time spent away from business, job, or profession due to accident recovery represents an economic loss which you can claim damages for in your lawsuit.
Loss of future earning capacity
Injuries can harm the victim so that they are no longer able to earn income as they did before the accident. This might mean you have to change from an active job to a sedentary one, or from a higher paid classification to a lower one. In such cases, additional compensation may be awarded.
Permanent injury and disability
Some injuries never “go away,” and these long-term health conditions change the victim’s life forever. Florida personal injury law provides for claims for permanent impairment.
Pain and suffering
Injuries cause physical pain that can be extreme and debilitating. And with the pain may come emotional suffering and stress. Uncertainty, anxiety, depression, and fear are common emotional impacts of serious injury. Florida law allows the finder of fact to place a value on the pain and suffering.
Often, your attorney can ask a for two or three times the amount of the special or economic damages. In some cases, like a permanent brain injury or paralysis, you might seek five to ten times the economic damages.
Each case is different, though, and your attorney must prepare and argue effectively for fair and just compensation for pain and suffering.
Additional mental and emotional injuries can come from the physical injuries. These can be devastating like a nervous collapse. Emotional distress proven by experts can support awards for personal injury.
Loss of consortium
Injuries can limit and interfere with basic life functions, and the result is a loss of love, affection, and companionship. Under the title loss of consortium, you can claim for the personal isolation caused by your injuries.
Collisions can leave scars and other permanent marks that never go away such as changes in posture and body structure as well as appearance. The law allows claims for this type of loss as well.
Loss of the enjoyment of life
Truck accidents can deprive accident victims of the things they once enjoyed in life. Whether it’s a hobby like golf or a side job like woodworking, the loss of things that enrich our lives can justify additional compensation under Florida personal injury law.
Punitive damages are granted above and beyond the money given for economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer for the serious and avoidable nature of their actions. This type of compensation is intended to make an example of bad conduct so that others will see and learn that they must avoid doing such actions or risk being punished.
Despite the benefit of punitive damages such as public protection, the state of Florida chooses to limit them and it can be extremely difficult to receive such awards. On the other hand, punitive damages can be very important in cases that deserve punishment but didn’t cause significant economic losses.
Third Party Claims
Truck accidents involve large vehicles and thousands of pounds of force upon impact. These high impact collisions cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Survivors of a deceased accident victim can bring an action for wrongful death.
Florida law provides for the right to recover income, gifts, and the value of services from the deceased. You can also claim for the loss of companionship.
Loss of companionship
A deadly truck accident can devastate a family by taking the life of a spouse, partner, or other close relative. The law provides damages for loss of companionship in certain wrongful death cases.
Don’t Delay —Time Matters in Florida Truck Accident Cases
If a truck or commercial vehicle injured you or fatally wounded a loved one, you may have rights to compensation for personal injury losses, including possibly punitive damages. Florida law sets limits on the time for filing a claim, though, don’t delay. Get expert advice about your rights today by contacting Lorenzo & Lorenzo for a free consultation.