Anyone who has ever seen the damages caused when commercial trucks collide with passenger vehicles is probably aware of how expensive these collisions can be. The smaller vehicles often suffer catastrophic damage that makes them unsafe to drive. The people inside could potentially incur severe injuries that lead to major medical expenses or lasting reductions in earning potential.
Meanwhile, the driver of the commercial vehicle is likely to walk away with minimal injuries because their larger vehicle provides more protection. Frequently, the commercial truck operator and/or their employer is the vehicle to blame for the collision. What losses could the people in a smaller vehicle recover after a collision caused by an 18-wheeler?
Property damage losses
The smaller vehicle involved in a commercial crash may require massive repairs. The vehicle might be in the shop for weeks, meaning that people require a rental vehicle to transport themselves and their family members in the interim. Other times, the vehicle may never be safe to drive again because of damage to the frame or other crucial systems. People may need tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a replacement vehicle. Any tools or electronics in the vehicle might also suffer damage and require a replacement. People can potentially recover those costs in an insurance claim.
The treatment required after severe traumatic injuries in a semi-truck collision could include surgery and a long-term stay in a medical facility. The cost of that care could quickly reach a point where standard car insurance would be insufficient. Thankfully, the coverage required for commercial trucks is far higher. Most commercial trucks have at least $750,000 in liability coverage. That can help more fully reimburse those with massive medical expenses because of severe injuries.
Lost wages and lost earning potential
Someone who needs to stay at a rehabilitation facility for three weeks after a surgery could miss a month or more of work. Their lost wages could add up to thousands of dollars. Typically, those who have missed a set amount of work can request compensation for the wages they did not earn due to their injuries.
If an injured person is unlikely to fully recover from their injuries, they may have forever diminished earning potential. They may never be able to earn the same wages they did prior to their injury. They may not be able to return to work at all in some cases. Workers can claim lost earning potential, including lost future employment benefits as part of a broader compensation claim after a semi-truck collision.
There may be other recoverable losses as well after a semi-truck wreck. Establishing the true financial impact of a commercial truck crash is a key step toward seeking proper compensation for the incident.