After a truck accident in Florida, a person could potentially recover economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are pain and suffering. They are intangible damages such as pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life. If you want to know more about damages after a West Palm Beach accident, speak with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney. Your compassionate legal advocate can work with you to help you recover the damages you deserve.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages after a West Palm Beach accident are monetary awards that are recoverable for medical expenses such as nursing care, physical therapy, and prescription drugs for treatment incurred as a result of the collision. They include past and future medical expenses that are anticipated and are related to the injury sustained as testified to by medical experts and economists.
A person’s past and future medical expenses take into account any past wage losses suffered as a result of the collision and being unable to work. Economic damages also include future loss of earning capacity when the injuries affect one’s ability to maintain employment in the future or require a transition into a different type of work. There is no cap on damages in Florida truck accident cases.
Future loss of earning capacity might include retraining costs if the person has to take a different position. Perhaps they are able to work only part-time or must work in a sedentary job that does not pay as well as their previous position. In addition, the loss or interruption of their employment can affect the gains they would have made in the employment field in terms of promotions and things of that nature.
Ancillary Costs That Count As Economic Damages
Economic damages after a West Palm Beach accident cover past lost wages and future loss of earning capacity. This includes any retraining costs and other ancillary costs. For example, the person is disabled and needs devices to ambulate like a wheelchair, a walker, a shower chair, a scooter, or a chairlift to go from the first floor to the second floor of their home.
The person can recover the expenses for ancillary services and equipment associated with the injury and their economic damages. While these could be associated with medical expenses, they are expenses that go towards a person’s general life-care and quality of life.
Other out-of-pocket expenses that can be considered economic damages are transportation-related expenses to get to and from the doctor or the expense of hiring a service to take care of the home and property when the person is unable to do so. If the person requires a nurse going forward, that is included as economic damages. Anything that is associated with the injury for which they would not have that expense can be claimed as an economic damage.
Calculation of Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages in a jury trial are ultimately determined by the jury. For non-economic damages, there is no hard and fast rule regarding the calculation of the damage award. An effective lawyer communicates to the jury the magnitude of the harms and losses sustained by their client and may suggest an amount of money to compensate the person for these harms and losses. The jury determines that number.
Punitive damages are a separate issue and require a separate legal showing in court. They may be awarded to the injured person in addition to compensatory damages when the conduct of the person who caused the injuries was especially wanton, malicious, or vicious.
These damages after a West Palm Beach accident are not awarded as compensation to the injured person. They are meant to punish the wrongdoer and serve as a deterrent to others engaging in similar conduct.
Punitive damages are not awarded in every case and are fact specific. A person must prove that the wrongdoer has a legal showing and the court must allow for punitive damages. It is a separate legal showing based upon particularly egregious facts. A person could ask the court to allow a claim for punitive damages and it is only under those circumstances that a person is able to do that.
What Damages Does a Person’s Auto Insurance Cover?
Automobile insurance for the tractor-trailer provides coverage for bodily injuries and for the damages sustained as a result of the collision. Generally in trucking cases, there can be limitations of coverage and as a result, the coverage is insufficient to address the person’s injuries and damages. It is important that the injured person seeks a lawyer that has knowledge and experience dealing with insurance matters so the person’s rights are best protected.
Role of An Attorney When Recovering Damages
An attorney’s job is to present the economic and non-economic damages suffered by you, to the jury. The attorney articulates the harms and losses suffered in the past as well as those that will be suffered in the future, and presents those to the jury that is the final arbiter of the verdict.
The role of your attorney is to compile all the medical records, medical bills, and lost wages. Your legal advocate should also retain the proper experts to evaluate the economic damages in the past and the future.
Your attorney can arrange for medical testimony through the treating physicians and other physicians to the jury so the jury understands the magnitude of the physical damages you have undergone. Most importantly, your determined legal advocate can help you recover damages after a West Palm Beach accident. If you have been injured in a truck accident, get in touch with a lawyer today.