We are often asked about financial recovery after truck accidents, specifically: what damages can I receive after a truck crash? Victims of big rig and truck crashes are most often left with debilitating, life-altering injuries that will require significant financial resources throughout their lifetime. Beyond medical expenses and hospital bills, accident victims (plaintiffs) will likely need financial compensation to account for time off work, future medical costs, and other monetary losses caused by the crash.
In a truck accident lawsuit, you may be able to sue for the following damages:
· Medical bills including diagnostic and laboratory tests, surgeries, medical devices and prescriptions expenses, etc.
· Physical therapy and rehabilitation
· Counseling and mental health assistance
· In-home care or 24/7 medical assistance for disabilities
· Home remodeling costs (installing guard rails, wheelchair ramps, etc.)
· Lost wages from time off work
· Job retraining and educational costs
· Pain and suffering (physical and emotional)
This list is not exhaustive. In some cases, punitive damages may be available. Punitive damages are intended to “punish” the defendant, or teach them a lesson, and are awarded to plaintiffs in some cases. An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to walk you through the specifics of your case and let you know what you can expect in terms of financial recovery.
Truck Drivers and Federal Laws
Commercial trucks, including 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and big rigs, can easily weigh 20 times what an average passenger vehicle weighs. For this reason, truck drivers and the companies who hire them carry an additional level of responsibility and liability. In addition to state laws, all California truck drivers must abide by the regulations set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
All commercial truck drivers are required to observe the following federal trucking laws:
- Truck drivers may not drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.04%
- Commercial drivers may not drink alcohol up to four hours prior to driving
- Truck drivers must be older than 21 and demonstrate an ability to drive safely
- Truck drivers must inspect their vehicles’ loads at regular intervals
- Truck drivers must exercise extreme caution or stop driving in dangerous weather
- Truck drivers must take regular rest breaks at scheduled times
- Trust drivers may not drive more than a specific number of hours
- Truck companies must schedule reasonable unloading times
Far too many trucking companies choose to push drivers past their limits and ignore these regulations in order to maximize their efficiency. When these unlawful actions result in a serious truck crash, injured victims deserve justice.
For a free, no obligation consultation about your trucking accident case in Orange County, contact the skilled attorneys at Dennis Law Group today.