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How Much Will a Trucking Company Owe an Accident Victim After a Collision?

— March 30, 2022

A victim can ask for various losses that they can prove through documentation.

Minneapolis, MNTrucking companies in Minneapolis are routinely sued when their drivers cause accidents. This is because the employer is liable for the actions of each employee driver under legal principles related to agency. The business also needs to carry special high risk insurance to anticipate this possibility. When the victim brings a lawsuit, there are a number of different factors that will affect the types of compensation they can ask for and the specific amounts of damages. 

Filing the complaint

The lawyer for the victim will need to draft and file an initial complaint in the local court, which begins the lawsuit. These documents are also referred to as pleadings in civil procedure. The complaint will detail facts about the time and place of the truck accident, arguments about why the defendant driver and their employer are at fault, and list the damages sustained by the victim. The section related to damages is essentially a summary of everything that the victim believes that the defendant must pay. This is normally divided into economic or compensatory damages, non-economic damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages if applicable. 

Compensatory damages

A victim can ask for various losses that they can prove through documentation. This will include medical treatment costs, hospitalization, lost wages and time away from work, property repairs, and any other costs that the plaintiff can show through their paperwork related to costs and other evidence. These damages tend to correlate directly to the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries, meaning more serious truck accidents almost always have a higher value than lawsuits for mild or moderate injuries.

X-ray of hip fracture; image by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz, via
X-ray of hip fracture; image by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz, via

Pain and suffering

Non-economic damages for pain and suffering tend to be related to less tangible losses. This often includes physical pain, quality of life issues related to a disability or the recovery period after a serious injury, trauma and psychological problems caused by the accident, and other emotional issues. An attorney has more latitude to argue for non-economic damages for a client, because they are not bound by any specific amount that can be shown directly through the plaintiff’s costs.

Punitive damages

Although uncommon, it is possible that a trucking company will be forced to pay out punitive damages as a form of punishment. This requires some kind of reckless or malicious behavior by the defendant, such as a driver intentionally causing an accident or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

More information about a truck collision is a website that lists law firms and lawyers through the country. Anyone who needs help after an accident in Minnesota or another state can use the listings to find a local legal professional. 

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