Recoverable Damages in Maryland Truck Crashes
A truck accident can be devastating for the injured victim and affect their life in many ways. While dealing with critical injuries, they will usually face expensive medical bills and property damage. Because each truck accident case is different, recoverable damages in a personal injury case depend on the type of losses the victim has suffered.
Economic damages, which are fairly easy to calculate because they have a fixed value, compensate truck accident victims for present and future financial losses resulting directly from an accident:
- Current and future medical bills including all doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency room care, prescriptions, assistive equipment, home care, physical therapy, and help with daily activities that you can no longer perform for yourself
- Current and ongoing lost income consisting not only of wages or salary lost during your physical recovery but also the loss of future earning potential if you’re not able to work for the same salary you received before your accident and injury
- Damage to your vehicle and any other property damaged or destroyed in the accident
In Maryland, there is no cap on economic damages.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate because they compensate the victim for damages that do not necessarily have a fixed financial value:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Decreased quality of life
- Ongoing impairment or disability
- Loss of services and consortium by family members
If you’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident, your non-economic damages for wrongful death would also include your loss of the society, comfort, protection, guidance, attention, education, and marital or parental care you would have received if the deceased were still living. The cap on non-economic damages in Maryland is currently $905,000 and is adjusted annually.
Punitive damages, which are very rarely awarded, are neither economic nor non-economic. Instead, they are meant to punish the at-fault party and are intended to deter others from acting in the same manner. These damages cannot be recovered through the insurance settlement process but must be set by the court. While there is no cap on punitive damages in Maryland, jurors are instructed to tie punitive damages to compensatory damages in any given case. However, the standard for punitive damages is much more difficult to meet in Maryland than in most states. Early, detailed analysis by your attorney will be critical as this may affect your litigation strategy dramatically.
More Than One Liable Party in MD Truck Accidents
In an accident between two private vehicles, a victim generally has a claim for damages against the driver of the at-fault vehicle, only. In a crash caused by a commercial truck, however, the responsibility for your damages might be spread among several defendants: the truck driver; the driver’s employer/trucking company; the truck owner or a leasing agency; a mechanic or repair service that maintains the truck; the truck’s manufacturer or a replacement parts manufacturer if defective equipment causes the crash; and/or the cargo loading personnel if the truck is incorrectly loaded or overweight. This means, your truck accident claim is more complicated than a car crash claim.
Because truck accidents often have multiple defendants, you’re more likely to recover fair compensation, especially if your claim is an expensive one. Multiple defendants mean multiple insurance policies from which to seek compensation. But it’s critical that you work with a truck accident lawyer to ensure that you obtain compensation from the right at-fault parties.
How to Help Ensure Fair Compensation
When you’re injured in a Maryland truck accident, you are likely to face a complex case and many defense attorneys. It’s important that you have an experienced truck accident lawyer working with you to help ensure your best chance for a full financial recovery.
How a Maryland Attorney Can Help
- Determine all at-fault parties through a detailed investigation and accident reconstruction
- Examine the truck’s maintenance records and the trucker’s driving record, drug/alcohol tests results, and logbooks or electronic logging device (ELD)
- Access data from the truck’s “black box” recorder and/or dash cam
- Interview witnesses
- Obtain a police report of the crash and check it for accuracy
- Communicate with insurance companies
- Make sure you meet all procedural requirements and filing deadlines of the court
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you were hurt in a Maryland truck accident, an experienced truck accident attorney can identify multiple defendants to help you recover fair compensation. Please contact us online, start a chat, or call us at 301-790-3600 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.