How Truck Accident Claim Values are Determined
Truck accidents involve immense claims due to the severe injuries and damages they involve. Truck accident claim values are best determined by an experienced truck accident attorney, but it can be good to know what to expect ahead of time. Note that Arizona’s statute of limitations is two years for truck accidents. After that time, your claim’s value will plummet to a flat zero, as you’ll be unable to file it in the first place.
Evaluation of Damages in an Accident
The core of any accident claim is the exact damages sustained in the crash—a fender-bender will involve minimal compensation, whereas a high-velocity impact will carry exponentially more weight in the claims process. Understanding some of the most common damages can help when considering the factors for calculating a claim’s value:
- Auto repair bills and personal property damage. Trucks usually sustain very little damage relative to the vehicles they strike, due to the discrepancy in size and mass between them, but in rare cases where a truck needs to be replaced altogether, a claim’s value can skyrocket.
- Medical treatment expenses, which can include physical therapy, prescriptions, surgery, hospital bills, ambulance fees, and everything in between. These are oftentimes the largest factor in determining specific damages, depending on the severity of the injuries sustained.
- Lost wages and compensation for an inability to work can vary widely. At times, these damages are minor and easy to calculate—missing a week’s worth of wages due to a hospital stay is readily proven; however, cases of lasting disability and reduced ability to work can involve significant compensation with plenty of grey area.
- Pain and suffering damages are intangible and have no precise dollar amount associated with them, yet are just as important, and oftentimes constitute the majority of a settlement. Rather than adding a flat monetary quantity, a multiplier or per diem method is usually used, both of which scale in relation to the intensity of your suffering and anguish (whether mental or physical).
At times, other damages and compensation might be included; usually in the form of punitive damages or interest. Punitive damages are additional monetary damages added with the intent to punish an especially criminal, reckless, or negligent party in order to disincentivize them from breaking the law again. Interest is exactly what it sounds, and provides a small amount of additional compensation based on how long a case pends for.
Proving Fault in Arizona Trucking Accidents
Very few truck accidents are caused by mechanical failure, which becomes extremely significant when considering the other aspect of a claim’s value: fault. Under Arizona’s pure comparative fault system, your damages will be reduced in direct proportion to your level of contributory negligence (otherwise known as liability); if your total settlement is valued at, say, $10,000, but you were 50% at fault, you could only recover $5,000.
Our experienced truck accident attorneys can help you calculate the value of your claim as well as shift fault in your favor, maximizing your settlement to get you the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation with an Arizona personal injury lawyer who can handle the complexities of the claims process on your behalf.