Recover Damages From a Truck Accident
In the United States, over 13,000 people are injured each year in accidents with semi-trucks. Along with that, thousands of dollars in property can be damaged. If your personal property was damaged in an accident, you might be able to recover the costs of those items.
Property Damage Can Be Significant
Because of the large size of a semi-truck, an accident can cause a significant amount of damage. An average 18-wheeler weighs about 35,000 pounds without any cargo. In the United States, the maximum weight on the road is 80,000 pounds. When that weight slams into a car, it can cause considerable damage to your vehicle. If you have been involved in this type of accident, make sure to consult with a trucking accident lawyer. You can ask for compensation for your property losses.
Types of Personal Property Damage
After you have been involved in a trucking accident, you could face some high repair bills. In addition to that, you might have to pay for medical bills and other losses. Along with vehicle repair costs, you can recover different types of personal damages. It might be time to file a lawsuit for damages to your personal property. Some truck drivers or their companies will have a liability policy that can cover the costs of that damaged property. You could recover these damages with the help of an experienced trucking accident attorney.
Repairs to Your Vehicle
The most common type of recoverable damage is the cost of repairs to your vehicle. However, it will not bring your car back to its original condition. Instead, the costs will cover the previous state of your car before the truck accident. In most cases, the insurance policy will work with the auto repair shop. You might be able to get your own estimate from an insurance adjuster. With that, you will receive a direct check for the repairs. With an independent assessment, you can make sure that your vehicle gets all the necessary repairs. When insurance companies use their own adjusters, they try to cut corners. If you are worried about getting the maximum benefit for your claim, it’s a good idea to get an attorney to work on your behalf.
Unfortunately, trucking accidents can lead to your vehicle being deemed a “total loss.” In some situations, your vehicle can be repaired, but you cannot drive it for a certain amount of time. For example, if the car is in the shop for two weeks, you cannot use it. You can request compensation for damages that include the cost of a rental car, cab fare, public transportation, or rideshare. Some insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost of the rental vehicle and may even get you a car for the duration of the repair. However, you want to beware of this offer. If you accept a rental car from the insurance company, you cannot seek additional compensation for loss of use.
Insurance companies will want to get you to accept their terms of a settlement. Before you take any offers, you want to speak to a truck accident attorney.
Diminution in Value
Another type of personal property damage is known as diminution in value. With this, you can claim the difference in the vehicle’s value before the crash and the value after the repairs. When you try to sell your vehicle at a later date, that accident will diminish its value. Plus, many people don’t want to purchase a car that has been involved in an accident. For that reason, you can claim diminished value. The insurance company will have to pay you for the significant financial loss that you will take as a result of the accident.
Your Personal Property
Your personal property is more than just the vehicle. When you file a personal property claim, you can request compensation for all those extra items in your vehicle at the time of the truck collision. You can claim damages to your smartphone, laptop, eyeglasses, clothing, and merchandise purchases. The total value of these lost or damaged items can be part of your personal property claim. When your attorney seeks damages, they will request the replacement value of these items. In many situations, the insurance company will try to pay for the lower current value. Experienced trucking accident lawyers understand how to negotiate and will fight for the full value of your property.
A Total Loss
Finally, a vehicle can be so damaged that the insurance company will consider it a “total loss.” Total losses are a more common occurrence when a vehicle is involved in an accident with a big rig. A totaled vehicle happens when the cost to fix the damage exceeds the total value of your car. The insurance company will often try to negotiate a significantly lower price than the fair market value of your vehicle. In this circumstance, it’s a good idea to get an attorney to work on your behalf. Without help, the insurance adjuster will try to get you to agree to a lowball offer.
Other Types of Damages
Along with personal property, you can claim other types of damages. If you lost any wages because of the accident, the insurance company should reimburse you for those missed paychecks. Lost wages do not just cover the amount of your paycheck but other missed opportunities at your place of employment. Your attorney can figure out those wages to compensate for present and future lost income.
When you are involved in a truck accident, there are bound to be medical expenses. If you think that you have been hurt or injured, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. However, make sure that you keep all the documentation for treatments. Without that, the insurance company is less likely to pay for your medical bills. Most medical treatments occur over a long period of time, and those bills can become a hefty expense for several years.
Emotional Pain and Suffering
A truck accident is an extremely traumatic experience. After the accident, you might experience some emotional anguish. You could be terrified to get behind the wheel and drive. You could experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Pain and suffering can be challenging to calculate, but these emotional scars can lead to financial burdens in the future. You can seek compensation to treat this type of damage.
Your Personal Property Claim
Property damage claims are easier to negotiate with an insurance company than those personal injury claims. With the help of an attorney, your claims could be resolved in a couple of weeks. Personal injury claims involve many steps, which can take some time to settle with the insurance company. Plus, insurance companies will often fight you so that they don’t have to pay for the damages. However, personal property claims are more straightforward, and they are usually not a hassle to resolve.
Hire a Trucking Accident Lawyer
When you have been injured in a trucking accident, you want to seek help from an attorney. At Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo, we have the skills and experience to take on the insurance companies, and we understand the complexities of trucking accidents. If you want to schedule a time to talk about your case, give us a call at our New Brunswick or Somerville offices at (732) 394-1549. You can also visit our website to connect with us today.