Delivery truck drivers must undergo special training and licensing before they can drive large commercial vehicles. Driving such a large vehicle requires them to take on additional responsibilities and follow strict federal and state safety protocols that do not apply to other drivers. Violating one of these regulations—or breaking any traffic laws—can lead to a truck accident. That means serious injuries for nearby motorists.
If a delivery truck driver error caused your accident and resulting injuries, you may be eligible to hold their employer or another party responsible for your damages. In some cases, you may even be able to collect pain and suffering damages after this type of crash. A delivery truck accident lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA, can help you pursue these damages.
The truck accident lawyers at Berger and Green know how to help you fight for compensation after a collision with a delivery truck. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for a free consultation and complimentary case review.
Recoverable Damages After a Pittsburgh Delivery Truck Accident
When a delivery truck driver causes an accident in Pennsylvania, there are several insurance policies that will come into play. This is because of the state’s choice no-fault auto insurance system.
Your Medical Benefits Coverage Claim
Your no-fault coverage, known as Medical Benefits, is typically the first claim filed. Your insurance provider will pay up to the policy limit to cover your damages. Usually, this is enough for a minor injury, but it may not cover serious injuries that require surgery, extended hospitalization, or inpatient rehabilitation.
Economic Damages From the Liable Party
If your Medical Benefits coverage does not pay for all of your damages, we can help you file a second claim. This claim holds the liable party accountable for the truck driver’s actions. In general, this claim will cover the economic damages you suffered. These may include:
- Medical bills not covered by your no-fault policy;
- Lost wages;
- The cost to repair or replace your vehicle; and
- Other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-Economic Damages From the Liable Party
In some cases, the claim filed against the liable party will also include non-economic damages, such as emotional distress and pain and suffering. There are generally three ways you can qualify for these damages:
- You carry full tort auto insurance;
- You suffered injuries that meet the serious injury threshold, defined under Pennsylvania law as “death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement;” or
- The trucking company registered the vehicle in a different state.
We can help you understand if you are eligible for non-economic damages during your initial consultation.
Liability for a Delivery Truck Accidents in Pittsburgh
If the driver was out making deliveries at the time of the accident, their employer is most likely the liable party. This is because of a legal doctrine called respondeat superior. In general, employers must be accountable for the actions employees take while they are working. This rule can apply to delivery drivers in several ways.
Some delivery drivers work for multiple companies and corporations. The liable party in this case would depend on which company the driver was working for at the time of your crash. If the company classifies the driver as an independent contractor instead of an employee, the driver may be the liable party.
As a part of our investigation into your accident, we will identify any and all liable parties in your case. We will explain your options for holding them accountable, and do everything we can to try to recover a fair payout for you.
Winning Compensation in a Delivery Truck Accident Claim
We fully investigate every case we handle. This process includes:
- Collecting and preserving evidence;
- Interviewing witnesses;
- Working with accident reconstruction specialists;
- Surveying the scene of the accident;
- Discussing the situation with trucking industry experts;
- Talking with medical experts about your future care needs; and
- Documenting your damages by collecting bills, receipts, and other information.
One of the first things we will do after we accept your case is to contact the driver’s employer and demand the company to preserve all potential evidence in this case. This requires sending a spoliation letter and notifying the company of our intent to look into this incident. This will help us preserve the wealth of evidence usually available in a truck crash case, such as:
- The truck’s onboard computer and related data;
- The driver’s rest logs;
- Dash cam or other video footage;
- Mandatory drug and alcohol test results, taken post-accident; and
- Truck maintenance records.
Once we analyze this evidence and understand how the driver caused your accident, we will approach the liable party about a settlement. We can also file your Medical Benefits claim for you if you have not already filed this claim with your own insurer.
Usually, we notify the at-fault party of our insurance claim by sending a demand letter. In this letter, we outline our case against the driver, and the discuss the damages you suffered. This letter usually triggers settlement negotiations, and we can generally reach a fair agreement without going to court. However, we are not afraid to take on any corporation in court if that is what to takes to try to recover the compensation our clients need and deserve.
Talk to a Delivery Truck Accident Lawyer in Pittsburgh.
If you believe you have a valid case against a delivery truck driver or their employer for causing your Pittsburgh accident, you need to act quickly. Under the statute of limitations, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit and litigate your case. This is not usually necessary, but it is important to have the option available as leverage during settlement negotiations.
At Berger and Green, our truck accident team will review your case for free. We can help you understand your options for compensation. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for your complimentary case evaluation.