While assessing one’s damages after an Aurora truck accident may seem like a stressful situation, know that you do not have to face it alone. A professional Aurora collision attorney can assist you in determining what damages you could be entitled to receiving compensation for.
Life-changing injuries from truck accidents could include broken bones, internal injuries, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. There are currently about 500,000 individuals in the state of Colorado suffering or surviving a traumatic brain injury. While not all of those are from truck accidents, they remain very common injury as a result.
Read on to learn more about how your damages after an Aurora truck accident could affect your potential compensation package, as well as the ways a dedicated Aurora truck accident lawyer can make a difference in your case.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
Economic damages include all the out-of-pocket expenses resulting from an accident that one can prove to a jury on paper. These could include medical expenses, wage losses, property damage, and future care plans. Know that there is no cap on economic losses in Colorado.
Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and inconvenience. These damages are unique to the individual who has been injured and possess a cap in Colorado. When the statute was enacted, $250,000 was the maximum amount that any plaintiff could recover for non-economic damages. Because that number changes with inflation, the cap is currently around $468,000.
Examples of Recoverable Damages After an Aurora Truck Accident
Recoverable damages after an Aurora truck accident include economic damages, non-economic damages, disfigurement and impairment, and punitive damages. Medical expenses, wage loss, and out-of-pocket expenses all fall under economic losses. Non-economic losses include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and inconvenience. Disfigurement and impairment are involved if there was any permanent injury such as any scarring or burns. This is a completely separate category of damages.
Punitive damages come into play only if there is willful and wanton misconduct on part of the driver, as in driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, texting and driving, and distracted driving. However, the driver may not have any assets. So when one makes a claim for punitive damages, know there is also the risk that one is going to lose the ability to recover from the trucking company itself, because the driver may have been acting outside the course and scope of their employment.
Damages Covered by Auto Insurance
Damages covered by an individual’s auto insurance will depend on their policy. Colorado is not a personal injury protection state, it is an at-fault state. So if a plaintiff has medical payment coverage on their policy (note that all policies automatically have that coverage unless it is waived by the plaintiff in writing), it is usually $5,000. This amount can be used for emergency room expenses, co-pays, and out-of-pocket expenses. This number will be greater if the individual also has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Regarding a phantom vehicle accident, if a trucking company puts blame on the vehicle that cut off the driver and then caused the accident, then the plaintiff can make a claim for uninsured motorist coverage because this phantom vehicle was the cause of the accident and, technically, they are uninsured.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If an individual is rear-ended in a trucking accident, the trucking company is going to be underinsured. Usually, they all have at least a million-dollar commercial policy. But if their injuries exceed this then, again, they can tap into their uninsured motorist coverage which is usually equal to that of their bodily injury policy. In Colorado, the minimum policy on bodily injury is $25,000, so the minimum underinsured motorist policy is usually $25,000 or greater.
Responsibility for Paying Property Damages
The party at fault will pay property damages following an Aurora truck accident. Initially, it may start with an individual’s own insurance company depending on their coverage plan but, ultimately, if the truck is the party at fault, then the trucking company’s insurance would be responsible for paying property damages.
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, reach out to an experienced injury attorney today to learn more about how you could be eligible for compensation from damages after an Aurora truck accident.