When a Pittsburgh truck driver acts carelessly or negligently behind the wheel of a commercial tractor-trailer or another large truck, people in passenger vehicles often end up hurt, paying steep medical bills for life-changing injuries. Because the costs are so significant when these kinds of accidents happen, it is only natural to want to see the responsible parties pay for their actions.
A Pittsburgh, PA, personal injury lawyer with Berger and Green can help you file a claim or personal injury lawsuit against the trucking company and all those at fault and work to get you the compensation you need to cover your damages. We can meet with you, review the details of your accident, and advise you on your legal options during a free consultation.
Read on to learn more about truck accident cases and partnering with our firm.
Damages You Can Recover After a Pittsburgh Truck Accident
Before evaluating what financial recovery could look like for you, our auto accident attorneys must determine your recoverable damages. Because of Pennsylvania’s choice no-fault auto insurance system, everyone in an accident has a certain amount of coverage based on their no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for accident-related medical care. They also have the opportunity to recover certain types of damages from the liable parties.
In a truck accident, the financial compensation you can potentially recover if the trucker caused the crash includes:
- Medical bills, including emergency transportation and treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, prescription drugs, mobility aids, physical therapy, and long-term care
- Lost wages from the time you missed at work, including compensation for your lost earning capacity and future wages if you suffered an injury that alters your ability to make a living long-term
- Property damages, including vehicle repair or replacement costs and compensation for personal items, such as cell phones, laptops, or jewelry
- Other related out-of-pocket costs, including household services and medically-necessary vehicle or home modifications
Our personal injury lawyers can also help you seek compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one if your family member suffered fatal injuries. Awards may include your loved one’s funeral and burial expenses, and the loss of their support and services.
Our Truck Wreck Lawyers Can Seek Non-Economic Damages
If the trucker caused your accident, there are three ways you can qualify to file for non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and lost quality of life. You may qualify for this compensation if you:
- Carry full tort auto insurance
- Suffer injuries that meet the serious injury threshold
- Meet another exception to the limited tort laws
In order to see what you qualify for, our legal team must gather evidence about your case. Such evidence can include:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Photographs and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and vehicle damages
- Witness statements
- Video surveillance footage
- Expert witness statements
- Insurance documents
Our Pittsburgh truck accident lawyers will do their utmost to determine your full damages so we can talk with the insurance company about your true costs.
For a free legal consultation with a Truck Accident lawyer serving Pittsburgh, call 412-661-1400
Full Tort Coverage Expands Your Options for Recovering Truck Accident Losses
If you opted for full tort coverage, you can file a claim for your remaining damages in Pittsburgh, PA. If you opted for limited tort coverage, you will need to meet one of the limited tort exceptions to file a claim for pain and suffering. In truck accidents, the two most common exceptions include:
- The trucking company has the truck registered in a different state.
- You suffered an injury that meets the “serious injury threshold,” meaning you or a loved one suffered a serious bodily injury, i.e., one that results in significant impairment of bodily function, permanent disfigurement, or death.
Berger and Green’s Pittsburgh, PA, truck accident attorneys will help you determine which damages you qualify for and how much they might be. The sooner you contact us after your accident, the sooner we can get started building your case and show the trucking company is liable.
What if You Have Full Tort Insurance?
If you opted for full tort insurance or meet an exception to the limited tort law, we will also provide evidence of your pain and suffering and request these damages. Usually, the insurance company is willing to negotiate with us to settle at this point, provided the accident is the fault of their driver.
Most insurers know that if they do not offer a fair settlement, we will not hesitate to file a personal injury lawsuit against any trucking company or other responsible parties. Our truck accident attorneys in Pittsburgh are no strangers to taking a case to trial if insurers won’t pay what you deserve.
Pittsburgh Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Our Pittsburgh Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You Navigate the Legal Process
When we help a client with one of these claims, the first thing we do is discuss the crash with the victim. This consultation is free. It allows us to understand what happened during your accident, who is liable, and the strength of the case against the trucking company.
Then we can explain your options for compensation and recommend a plan to get the maximum value possible for your claim. If we accept your case, our Pennsylvania truck injury attorneys will launch a full investigation into your accident.
We Will Consult With Expert Witnesses Who Could Help Your Case
Besides identifying all evidence and interviewing witnesses, we can also work with accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, and others who can offer us insight into your crash. We also collect your medical bills, receipts, estimates, and any other documentation of your damages. You can trust your injury lawyer in Pittsburgh to gather all the evidence needed to supplement your claim.
We Will Take Care of the Details So You Can Rest and Recover
Our firm has decades of experience serving injured clients in Pittsburgh and across Pennsylvania. During our more than 40 years as a law firm, Berger and Green has secured millions of dollars for commercial vehicle accident victims just like you. Furthermore, we do everything in our power to relieve your legal burden so you can focus on what is most important – your health and your family. Our trucking attorneys can:
- Prepare and file your insurance claim or lawsuits and manage all related paperwork
- Identify all at-fault parties and build a case proving liability
- Identify all of your damages and fight for fair compensation
- Communicate with insurance agents, opposing counsel, and other involved parties on your behalf
- Answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide you with frequent and timely case updates
- Represent you at trial if necessary
- Take your case on contingency, meaning you pay no attorney fees unless and until we obtain compensation for you
Who Might Be Liable for Your Truck Accident and Resulting Injuries?
After an auto collision, a question that often comes to mind is, “Who’s at fault in this accident?” Determining who’s responsible for causing and paying for the crash depends on what happened.
If the truck driver in your accident was driving on the clock for their employer, then their employers are responsible for the actions of employees under the concept of respondeat superior or vicarious liability.
This means the trucker’s employer is financially liable for the truck accident injuries your own insurance does not cover. This doctrine applies if we can show that the truck driver’s actions were negligent and happened while the driver was carrying out their duties within the course and scope of their employment. Examples of driver error that constitutes negligence include:
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Following too closely/not leaving ample braking room
- Disobeying federal trucking regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Driving drowsy or ignoring FMCSA drive time regulations
Other Parties That May Be Liable in a Pittsburgh Truck Accident
Sometimes, a truck driver’s handling of a truck may not be their fault or something they could control. Trucking accidents happen for other reasons, too. Others that could be liable in an accident include:
- The cargo company. If the truck was carrying too much cargo or the cargo wasn’t properly loaded or distributed, the shipping company that handled the goods could also be responsible.
- The truck’s manufacturer. If our lawyers can prove that the truck itself (or your car) had operating problems or was defective in any way, the company that made the defective vehicle or the defective vehicle part may be liable for your accident.
- The truck’s maintenance company. If the trucking company has hired a maintenance company to take care of the truck’s upkeep, and the company failed to change the vehicle’s tires, brakes, vehicle lights, or other parts that caused the crash or played a role in its cause, you could pursue damages from this company as well.
- A municipality in charge of maintaining the roads, road signage, etc. Sometimes, damaged or poorly maintained roads cause or contribute to truck accidents. If a city, county, or township’s handling of road maintenance played a role in your accident, it could become a defendant in your case.
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What Happens if More Than One Party Is at Fault for Your Trucking Accident?
If multiple parties share liability for your Pittsburgh accident, Berger and Green’s attorneys will hold each party that played a role accountable. However, the more parties involved in the accident, the more complex the case for damages gets.
Trucking accidents involving 18-wheelers and commercial vehicles become complex because they involve state and federal regulations that apply to everyone —the truck’s driver, the company they drive for, and everyone involved with the truck in some way.
It is common for parties to blame one another to avoid paying damages. We will do our due diligence to find out the truth and get the financial recovery you deserve.
Can I Sue for Truck Accident Damages In Pittsburg?
Berger and Green resolve many truck accident cases through insurance settlements. That’s because we use our decades of legal experience to seek the best possible outcomes for our clients. However, insurance companies sometimes fail to follow through with their obligations. When that happens, our truck accident attorneys file lawsuits.
Litigation has many moving parts––and you don’t want to handle this process on your own. That’s why we encourage you to connect with a truck accident lawyer in Pittsburgh from our team. We can manage each aspect of your lawsuit while you focus on healing.
How Long Do You Have to Sue the Trucking Company in Pennsylvania?
The statute of limitations gives most car and truck accident victims two years from the date of the crash to sue, per Pa. C.S.A. § 5524. Because it takes time to prepare this type of case, you should reach out to us far in advance of this deadline.
You should not delay seeking prompt legal action. If you wait too long and do not have the option to file a lawsuit, the trucking company is unlikely to agree to a settlement. This is because we do not have any leverage to convince a company to do the right thing unless we can take your case to court.
What Types of Truck Accidents Do Our Pittsburgh Lawyers Represent?
When you or a loved one suffers injuries in a truck accident involving negligence, it’s important to work with Pittsburgh truck accident attorneys who have experience with your specific type of wreck and injuries.
Here are just a few of the types of crashes our lawyers represent:
- Failure to check blind spot accidents
- Tire blowout accidents
- Garbage truck accidents
- Delivery truck accidents
- Speeding accidents
- Truck driver errors
- Tow truck accidents
- Improper loading
- Employer liability
- Jackknife truck accidents
- Truck driver under the influence
- Underride truck accidents
- Trucking company liability
- Driver fatigue
Will the Trucking Company Destroy or Hide Evidence of the Truck Accident?
Early on, our auto accident lawyers in Pittsburgh can send a spoliation letter to the trucking company, demanding it preserve any evidence in its possession. This evidence can prove vital in some accidents. It may include:
- Data from the truck’s onboard computer
- Electronic and written driver logs
- Dashcam video, if available
- Post-accident drug and alcohol test results
- Employment records for the driver
- Truck maintenance records
This kind of evidence helps us see if the driver was fatigued, if the truck was improperly loaded, or if the driver was breaking traffic laws before your crash. It can be vital to proving the commercial driver or the trucking company made an error that caused your injury.
Once we have a complete understanding of the trucker’s role in causing your crash and the damages you suffered, we can file all of your insurance claims. This includes filing your medical benefits claim with your own insurance company, as well as the claim with the trucking company’s insurer.
I Got Hit by a Commercial Truck in Pittsburgh. What Should I Do Now?
If you haven’t done so, get prompt medical treatment for your injuries. It is important that you get treated for seen and unseen injuries. Not all injuries surface right away, which means you could have an injury and not know or not understand its full extent.
Prompt medical treatment also means you will have a record that you sought medical care for your injuries and ailments and have proof that your condition is directly related to the truck accident. Insurance companies have been known to reject claims by alleging parties suffered their injuries from another source and not their trucking accident.
Consider Hiring Our Pittsburgh Truck Wreck Lawyers
Keeping in mind that you have only two years to pursue a truck accident lawsuit, you will want to consider hiring legal representation for your case. Our lawyers can manage your legal matters while you focus on recovering from your accident. Keep careful records so that when you meet with our attorneys, we can review the evidence in your case together while going over the accident details.
Our truck injury attorneys know state and federal laws that pertain to truck accident cases and can take your case to trial if needed.
Avoid Speaking with an Insurance Company if Possible
Sometimes, insurance companies offer injured truck accident victims compensation to settle their case before they have a chance to consider how much their case is worth. Some victims accept these offers because they have medical bills and other expenses to pay, but this can be a mistake. In many cases, these settlement offers are too low and don’t meet the needs of victims who find they need a bigger financial recovery.
Insurance companies also call accident victims and talk with them in the hopes that they say something that could jeopardize their case and be used against them later. This is why we advise that you avoid talking with them. They are looking out for their interests, not yours.
Berger and Green can handle the insurance company for you as soon as you become our client. We will handle talks from there and help you weigh any settlement offers that may come. We will also counsel you on those offers but leave the final decision up to you. If an insurance adjuster contacts you before you have had time to consider legal representation, you can decline to speak with them.
Start with a Free Consultation with Berger and Green Today
The Pittsburgh, PA, truck accident lawyers from Berger and Green offer free consultations to injured claimants. If a truck driver caused your crash and your injuries, we can help you seek damages that allow you to put your life back together. Contact us today.
We handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis, so you pay no attorney’s fees unless we recover the compensation you deserve.