The only good news in rear-end truck accident cases is that the person at fault is almost always the driver who struck your car or truck. Plain and simple, the driver behind you should have slowed down. The bad news is that being struck in the rear can cause a lot of damage – to you and to your vehicle.
How much your claim is worth will depend entirely on the circumstances of your case. There’s no set amount of money for an injury verdict or settlement, but the general rule is the more severe the damage, the greater the recovery.
Damage to your vehicle
When a car hits a truck, such as a semi-trailer or a pickup, the physical damage is generally small – however, the damages can be large. The cost to repair trucks is normally as much or more than to repair a car. If the cargo in the truck is damaged, damages could include the value of the cargo.
If a truck strikes a car in the rear, the car is likely to suffer significant damage because a truck is so much bigger and heavier than a car. Just a small tap can result in thousands of dollars in damage. A big jolt can destroy the rear of your car, the fuels lines, the structural integrity of the whole car, and cause other damage.
In any type of rear-end crash, the owners of the vehicles will be entitled to the cost to repair the vehicle. Normally a repair company will be asked to provide an estimate for the repairs. If the contents are damaged, then an appraiser will be asked to estimate the fair market value of the damaged contents.
If a vehicle is damaged beyond repair, then the vehicle will be labeled a total loss. The responsible parties/insurance companies should pay the fair market value of the car/truck as of the date of the accident. This is often much less than it would cost to replace the vehicle.
Compensation for injuries to you
The most common type of injury in a read-end collision is whiplash or muscle damage to your neck. When the vehicle that hits you is a truck, the injuries can be much more severe. Drivers may also develop chronic problems with their backs and spines. Damage to your spinal cord can lead to paralysis. It’s possible your head may strike the dashboard or window, causing a traumatic brain injury.
Rear-end victims should seek medical treatment immediately, even if they’re not in pain. In whiplash injuries, the aches and hurt may not appear until the next day or a few days after. Even minor injuries can take weeks or months to heal. More serious injuries can leave the driver or car occupant with a lifetime of pain and medical treatment.
In rear-end cases, the responsible party will be required to pay the following damages:
- Your medical expenses. These are the bills submitted by the hospitals, doctors, and therapists that treat you. Medical bills also include prescription costs and the cost to buy medical devices.
- Your lost wages. This includes the income you lose because your inability to work while you were getting medical care. It also includes any future lost income due to any disability – if you don’t heal completely. Your employers will be asked by your lawyer to document your lost income. If you have a business, then your tax returns and profit and loss statements will be used to determine your financial losses.
- Your pain and suffering. This is the compensation for your daily aches and pains. This includes the loss of quality of life. It includes functional losses such as an inability to eat, drink, sleep, or walk. It includes your stress, worry, and depression about your life, whether you’ll heal, and worry about getting into a car again.
Skilled Memphis truck accident lawyers also demand compensation for any scarring or disfigurement.
Paying for the costs associated with a rear-end truck collision
The responsible party’s insurance company should pay these damages once liability for the accident is established. The insurance company for the responsible owner or driver will only pay up to the policy limits. If your damages have a value higher than the policy limits, then we seek payment from your uninsured, underinsured (UM/UIM) policy.
Often, the insurance companies and car/truck repair companies work out the repair costs. The mechanic essentially agrees to accept an agreed to price for the repairs. Lawyers are necessary to arrange these agreements and especially when agreements can’t be reached or when the vehicle is a total loss.
Skilled lawyers help you document the medical expenses and lost wages. The difficult part is determining future medical expenses and future lost wages. Determining the amount of the pain and suffering award and any scarring/disfigurement award is an art the requires experience. We tell the story how the injuries have changed your life in every way.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we have the experience and resources to help you get the full compensation you deserve when rear-end accidents happen. For help now, call us at 901-475-7434 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We have locations in Memphis and Jackson, and fight for accident victims and truck and car owners throughout West Tennessee.