When you are injured in a vehicle accident, you may suffer many different types of damages. The harm you suffer may be primarily physical, involving extensive medical treatment and care and considerable pain and suffering. Other times, though, your damages may be mostly something other than physical. In some cases, the effects of your accident may have a dramatic impact on your employment situation. When this happens, you may be entitled to a large award for lost wages, even if your physical harm and property damage were relatively low. With the help of a skilled California truck accident attorney, you can pursue everything that the law permits you to recover.
A recent trial court case (Orange County Superior Court case number 30-2016-00852025-CU-PA-CJC) showed this in practice. The plaintiff, Christie, suffered injuries that were a result of a Southern California freeway accident. Christie was heading westbound across the Riverside Freeway in Orange County when a delivery truck driver, who had been traveling in a lane adjacent to Christie’s, changed lanes. The truck driver was attempting to slide in behind Christie but clipped the right rear side of Christie’s vehicle.
In addition to property damage, the accident also caused Christie to suffer strains to her neck and her lower back. In a lot of personal injury cases, an accident that caused the injured driver to suffer low back and neck strains and that damaged a bumper and fuel tank on her car might not necessarily create a claim for a large amount of damages. If, for example, the vehicle was reparable, and the driver had to undergo a limited amount of treatment and missed only a modest amount of time at work, the total amount of damages might be moderate.
However, it is very important to remember that, when someone else is at fault for an event that injured you, they are responsible for all of the damages you incurred that reasonably related back to the fact that you were hurt as a result of that other person (or entity)’s negligence. Sometimes, this may mean an elevated amount of medical damages. Some people may be more physiologically fragile than others, and, if such a person is injured, the at-fault person is responsible for all of those damages, even if a healthy person’s damages would have been less. This relates to a legal rule that says that, when someone is negligent and harms someone else, the defendant “takes the plaintiff as he finds him.”
In Christie’s case, it wasn’t her pre-existing health that was uniquely precarious, it was her employment situation. Christie had just accepted a new position in specialty shoe sales. The employer and Christie had agreed to a salary of $150,000 per year. However, according to her lawsuit, Christie’s accident-related neck and back injuries and related physical limitations prevented her from starting the new specialty shoe sales job. Sometimes, an accident may cause an injured plaintiff to miss only a small amount of work. In that case, the damages for past and future lost wages might be low. For Christie, her injuries blocked her from starting a job that would have greatly enhanced her income.
The jury concluded that Christie had the evidence to back up her claims. The jury awarded her more than $277,000 in damages for past lost wages and another $317,000 for future lost wages. This $594,000 in lost wages damages made up the bulk of Christie’s $669,000 damages award.
Have you or a loved one been hurt in an auto accident? Make sure you have the skilled advice and representation you need for your case. The knowledgeable San Mateo truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos have been helping our clients pursue fair recoveries in their accident cases for many years. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Injured Passenger Receives $12M in Damages Award for Injuries Suffered in Southern California Drunk Driving Accident, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published Sept. 6, 2017
California Man Injured in Low-Speed Crash Wins $1M Verdict in ‘Eggshell Plaintiff’ Case, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published Dec. 20, 2016