Semis are significantly larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, meaning collisions between the two can be particularly devastating for the occupants of the smaller cars. Due to this, Pennsylvania allows injured motorists to seek recoverable damages after a truck accident in Johnstown.
However, to maximize your potential compensation, it could be highly beneficial to work with an experienced Johnstown truck collision attorney. A dedicated lawyer in the area could explain the local laws and help you build a strong claim for financial restitution.
What Damages Are Available After a Semi-Truck Wreck?
The purpose of tort law is to make a victim whole by approximating the situation he or she would be in had the truck accident not occurred. The way this is done is by awarding different kinds of damages to that individual to account for the losses he or she has suffered. These losses can be economic or non-economic in nature.
Economic damages are the quantifiable losses that a person may suffer as a result of an 18-wheeler accident. Lost wages are a common recoverable damage after a truck wreck in the area. This can account for time taken off work for treatment, as well as lost future earning capacity if the individual is unable to return to work or must work at a lower wage due to his or her injuries.
Medical bills that are unpaid or incurred out-of-pocket are also quantifiable economic damages. Liens must also be factored into any settlement, meaning that if the claimant must reimburse the health insurance company from his or her recovery, the damage award must account for that reimbursement.
It should be noted that once a case is settled, a claimant cannot revisit the claim and ask for more compensation, should his or her injuries worsen. That is why it is important to work with a seasoned Johnstown attorney who is experienced in calculating fair financial compensation for harm that results from truck wrecks.
Pennsylvania law also accounts for non-economic damages suffered in a collision with a semi-truck. These are losses that a person might experience that are intangible or not easily quantifiable. For instance, pain and suffering, decreased quality of life, loss of consortium, disfigurement or disability all are considered non-economic or human damages.
Compensation for these losses will be determined by a jury and vary case by case. However, a well-practiced lawyer could help calculate what a claimant could potentially recover.
When are Punitive Damages Awarded in a Truck Crash Claim?
Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages do not seek to compensate the claimant for the harm he or she suffered as a result of a tractor-trailer accident. Punitive damages instead aim to punish the defendant for acting egregiously or recklessly.
For instance, if a truck driver was excessively speeding or texting while driving, a jury may decide that reckless conduct warrants punitive damages. Another common instance that results in an award of punitive damages is drinking and driving.
Like non-economic damages, punitive damages are determined by a jury, which may examine the wealth of the defendant or the size of the trucking company so as to have an actual meaningful impact on the defendant to truly send a message.
Seek Recoverable Damages After a Truck Accident with a Johnstown Attorney
The recoverable damages after a truck accident in Johnstown can be substantial due to the traumatic impact a collision with a large commercial vehicle can have. A hardworking and passionate local injury attorney could work tirelessly to make sure you are fairly compensated for the harm you have suffered at the hands of a negligent truck driver. To learn more about what a legal professional could do for you, call Marcus & Mack today and schedule a free case consultation.