Limitations on How Much Money You Can Get After a Truck AccidentPublished: Sep 14, 2020 in Truck Accident
Truck accident claims can be complex, but they often result in significant damages. However, there are limitations on claims that you should know about. Read below to learn more about those limitations and call our offices today to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney who can evaluate your specific situation.
Insurance Limitations on Recovery in Alabama
The federal government requires all semi trucks to have at least $750,000 worth of liability insurance coverage, and Alabama also has requirements for trucks. General freight trucks do not have to have additional coverage, but trucks that transport oil must have $1,000,000 in coverage and hazmat loads must be insured for $5,000,000.
Insurance policy limits indicate the most amount of money you can get from an insurance claim. However, it is possible to sue the trucking company or truck driver themselves for additional compensation if you need more.
Limitations on Economic Losses
You can usually recover 100% of the economic losses that you experience. Economic losses are those that can easily be quantified by actual out-of-pocket expenses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning ability
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Household services
The only challenge with recovering fully for economic damages is determining how much you might have in the future. When making a demand for money, you will want to make sure you include everything you will need to cover future medical costs, future lost wages, and other expenses you will have going forward. Sometimes you will have to work with an expert to determine what to expect so you get what you need.
Limitations on Non-Economic Losses
Non-economic losses are those that are more difficult to put a monetary value on; however, you still deserve compensation for them. They include things like:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of enjoyment of life
There is no legal limitation on how much money you can get for non-economic damages, but when making a settlement offer, many insurance companies use a formula to determine what is reasonable. For example, they may offer two times your economic losses as an amount to compensate you for your non-economic damages. This is not always a good way to quantify losses, so you need to work with personal injury lawyers who understand long-term non-economic damages and how they can impact your life overall.
Caps on Punitive Damages in Alabama
Some personal injury claims qualify for punitive damages. Punitive damages operate to punish the defendant for particularly bad behavior, or extreme negligence.
Insurance companies do not usually offer punitive damages in a settlement; however, a judge or jury might include them in a verdict.
In Alabama, punitive damages in personal injury cases are limited to (or capped at) three times compensatory damages not to exceed $1.5 million.
Get The Most Money Possible In Your Truck Accident Claim
Truck accident claims usually involve larger recoveries than other motor vehicle accidents because the insurance policies have larger limits. However, there are other limitations to consider. Call the lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. for help to obtain the most money possible in your claim. You can reach out to us at (205) 933-1500 or by using our online contact form.