If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by the actions of a trucking company or truck driver, you should be able to recover various types of compensation for your losses. This includes coverage of your medical bills, lost income, and property damage expenses. However, truck crash victims should also be able to recover compensation for their pain and suffering losses. Here, we want to discuss what “pain and suffering” mean for a truck crash victim in Philadelphia as well as how much compensation may be available in these circumstances.
Accidents With Large Trucks Can Be Devastating
Data available from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation shows that there were 6,344 total accidents involving large commercial trucks across the Commonwealth during the latest reporting year. This number was below previous years, likely due to various COVID-19 lockdowns that reduced traffic on the roadways for some time frames. Unfortunately, these incidents led to thousands of injuries and 110 fatalities. Those who do survive accidents with large commercial trucks often sustain severe injuries that can lead to immense pain and suffering.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages After a Truck Accident?
The term “pain and suffering” can be confusing and difficult to understand in the aftermath of a major vehicle accident. Most people think of crash victims being able to recover compensation for things like medical bills, property damage, general household out-of-pocket expenses, and lost income. However, there are more immeasurable losses that a person sustains after a severe accident that are harder to calculate but are just as real. These are referred to as non-economic damages.
Some of the most common types of non-economic damages a person will likely be able to recover compensation for following a commercial truck accident in Pennsylvania include the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Prolonged feelings of anxiety, fear, or depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Properly calculating non-economic damages in the aftermath of a truck accident can be more challenging, mainly because there are no direct bills or receipts that can be added up. Attorneys will typically use one of two methods to determine how much compensation a person should receive in these situations.
The first method is called the “multiplier method.” This is when an attorney will add up all of the economic damages that are calculable and then multiply that by a set number (usually a number ranging from 1.5 to 5). So, if a truck crash victim has a total of $20,000 in economic damages, an attorney may use a multiplier of three to reach total non-economic damages of $60,000. Overall, the attorney would ask for $80,000 in total compensation for their client.
A second method in these situations is called the “per diem method.” Using this method, an attorney will assign a dollar value to every day that a truck crash victim is expected to endure pain and suffering as a result of the incident. For example, if a $200 daily value is assigned and a person is expected to take a year to recover, this would be $200 multiplied by 365 days to equal $73,000 in non-economic damages.
In these cases, it is crucial to work with a skilled truck accident lawyer in Pennsylvania who can enlist the assistance of trusted medical and economic experts to help properly calculate total losses.