For years, the attorneys of Judd Shaw Injury Law have demanded justice for our clients. We achieve results for our New Jersey clients by building and winning lawsuits.
Have you or a loved one hurt in a truck accident? Our legal team can help you determine whether you qualify for significant compensation.
Call (866) 909-6894 to schedule your free consultation. You can also learn what damages you could get by means of a successful truck accident lawsuit in the information below.
Understand What Damages Are
When scrolling through our case results, you will see some big numbers:
- $33 million for pain & spine cases
- $2.6 million for construction accident
- $350,000 to a motor vehicle accident victim
- $100,000 settlement to New Jersey car crash injury victim
These varied amounts might give you hope of attaining financial relief for yourself with a personal injury lawsuit. At the same time, you might wonder what “damages” are and which types of damages may apply to your case. Let’s consider an example.
Suppose a drunk driver caused your truck accident. All drivers have to operate their vehicles safely. When motorists overindulge in alcohol, they irresponsibly put others at risk. If they cause an accident, they should pay for damages.
A lawsuit demands sums of money, called damages, to compensate for the harm caused when someone fails a duty or violates another person’s rights. Thus, in the above case, money could be paid to the victim by the liable party or by his or her insurance provider.
Three Types of Damages You Could Pursue
In our illustration, a truck accident lawsuit might impose one or more of the following kinds of damages.
Economic damages compensate for specific accident-related costs that the victim incurs due to the accident. These also might include money the victim could have earned if the accident had never taken place.
Typical economic damages are:
- Property damage: Costs to repair damage or replace destroyed possessions like buildings, landscaping, or motor vehicles
- Medical costs: The expenses associated with medical treatment (e.g. hospital stays, surgeries, medication, or travel to and from doctor’s appointments)
- Lost wages: Money to make up for the accident victim missing days of work or using vacation time during recovery
- Loss of earning potential or benefits: Compensation for the victims’ diminished capacity to make a living, usually due to disability or psychological trauma
- Replacement services: Funds to cover paying someone to do tasks once performed by the accident victim (e.g. house cleaning, lawn services, or child care)
- Death expenses: The cost of funeral and burial services if the accident victim dies awarded to surviving family members or the estate of the deceased
Since there is no set amount of damages, experienced lawyers work hard to ensure their clients receive as much as possible under the law.
Economic losses are usually tangible and objectives. For instance, you could prove how much your medical treatment costs by providing receipts and bills for healthcare services. However, non-economic losses are measured subjectively.
A truck accident victim might also experience non-economic damages such as:
- Pain and suffering: Physical pain, discomfort, and hardship resulting from injuries
- Inconvenience: Trouble experienced due to the accident or the injuries (e.g. wearing a cast, spending extensive time in physical therapy)
- Psychological distress: Emotional or mental harm resulting in undesirable symptoms like depression, insomnia, anxiety, or fear
- Loss of companionship: The damage to family relationships
- Loss of consortium: The loss of a marriage mate or features of that relationship
- Diminished enjoyment of life: The inability or reduced ability to take pleasure in certain activities (e.g. sports, hobbies, social activities, volunteer work) enjoyed before the incident
Another example can help you understand how and why there are no standard compensation amounts for non-economic damages. Suppose a truck accident injured two pedestrians and they both lost a leg, who do you think might receive a larger settlement?
- An older adult who retired several years ago, or;
- A young professional skier
In most cases, factors influencing non-economic damage settlement amounts include:
- Work history
- Severity of the injuries
- The future emotional and physical impact of the injury on the person’s life
Many courts would award more damages to the younger person, especially since the injury would likely destroy his or her career prospects. Still, predicting the verdicts of judges and jury members with perfect accuracy is virtually impossible. Wise lawyers prepare cases to ensure their clients have as strong a chance as possible for significant compensation.
Punitive damages are one of the most rarely awarded damages. They serve a dual purpose:
- To penalize wrongdoing: When someone (or a business) commits a grave offense, courts might require them to pay money to the injured party as an acknowledgment of the injustice or wrong
- To discourage similar behavior: If the at-fault party consciously disregarded the rights of others or maliciously hurt someone, punitive damages could deter that party or others from taking such action in the future
New Jersey regulations limit punitive damages to 5 times the amount of the compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.
A judge and jury might consider the subsequent conditions when deciding whether punitive damages are appropriate and how much the victim should receive:
- Whether the defendant knew his or her actions were wrong and could harm others
- Whether the defendant hurt someone on purpose or by accident
- The severity of the injuries caused or if loss of life resulted
- The defendant’s mental and emotional health
- The difference between the defendant’s behavior and what would be considered normal or reasonable behavior
Rules about damages sometimes vary from one state to another. Therefore, you must choose a lawyer who is knowledgeable about the laws where the accident occurred. Judd Shaw Injury Law proudly assists New Jersey accident victims to maximize their compensation.
Deciding Factors That Influence Your Damages
The list below describes some details that make a real difference in whether a truck accident lawsuit has a favorable or unfavorable outcome.
How much insurance the at-fault party has will affect how much a victim receives. In New Jersey, each driver must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that pays for certain damages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Drivers also need liability insurance to cover damages caused to someone else’s property.
The statute of limitations
Every US state sets its own deadline for how long you have after a truck accident to pursue compensation under personal injury law. Ignoring this time constraint could result in forfeiting compensation that you rightly deserve.
The quality of counsel
Demanding justice is not easy. Truck accident victims must know state laws and understand how they apply to their claims. They should also understand their opponent, as insurance companies might surprise them with how well they can avoid paying maximum compensation for a claim.
Many who handle things without professional legal counsel only realize their mistakes once their claim is denied or they receive much less than they need to pay for their medical bills.
Experience the Judd Shaw Way
Would you benefit from the help of lawyers passionate about demanding justice? What if you do not have to pay a dime unless we get money for you?
Learn more about the Judd Shaw Way during your free case review. Schedule now at 1-866-909-6894 or submit a contact form. You are important to us, so our representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.