Commercial semi trucks are much heavier than your average passenger car, making it even more dangerous when truckers break the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions. If a driver caused you to suffer serious injuries in a crash, a speeding truck accident lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA, may be able to help you hold their employer accountable.
The truck accident team at Berger and Green offers free case evaluations for the victims of speeding truck accidents in the Pittsburgh area. We can offer our opinion on the validity and strength of your case. If you have a valid claim, we can help you file and pursue damages. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for a complimentary case review.
Damages Available After a Pittsburgh Speeding Truck Accident
Pennsylvania operates a choice no-fault auto insurance system. This means you first turn to your own no-fault insurance to pay for medical care and other covered costs.
You can also file a claim to recover damages from the at-fault party in the accident. In this case, you may be able to recover compensation to pay for:
- Medical care expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Property damage; and
- Related out-of-pocket costs.
In some instances, you may also be able to pursue pain and suffering damages from the trucking company if a speeding trucker caused your crash. In general, there are three ways you can recover pain and suffering damages and payment for other non-economic losses in this type of incident:
- Opt for full tort auto insurance coverage, instead of limited tort;
- Suffer serious injuries; or
- Meet another exception to the state’s limited tort laws.
We can look at the details of your case to determine if you qualify for these additional damages.
Identifying Liable Parties After a Truck Accident
Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, employers are responsible for negligent acts employees commit while on the job. This includes truck drivers who speed, break other traffic laws, or make other driver errors while they are on the road. When a trucker speeds and causes an accident, the trucking company is responsible for compensating the victims for their injuries.
If you can prove the trucker caused the accident and your injuries, you can recover compensation for your damages from their employer. Even if you carry limited tort insurance coverage, you may qualify for pain and suffering damages if the trucking company registered the truck in a different state or if you suffered a serious injury. Under Pennsylvania law, a serious injury is one that causes “death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement.” There are also other limited tort exemptions, but these are the most common in trucking accident cases.
Investigating a Pittsburgh Speeding Truck Accident
When we accept a truck accident case, we start a full investigation into the crash. We will enlist the help of accident reconstructionists, medical experts, trucking industry experts, and others who can help us understand exactly what caused the collision. We identify, collect, and protect evidence to bolster our case, including surveying the crash site and interviewing any witnesses.
As a part of this investigation, we will reach out to the trucking company as soon as possible after the crash. We send a spoliation letter to protect the evidence in the company’s possession. This evidence can be especially important in this type of claim. The truck likely has onboard computers and other ways to collect data about the vehicle’s speed at the time of the crash. Other evidence may include:
- Electronic and written driver’s rest logs;
- Dash cam video;
- The driver’s drug and alcohol test results;
- Employment and driving records for the driver; and
- Truck maintenance records.
Navigating the Claims Process After a Speeding Truck Crash
Once we conclude our investigation, we will know:
- The trucker’s role in causing your accident;
- How the accident led to your injuries; and
- The damages you suffered.
Armed with the evidence to prove these facts, we can handle your insurance claims and try to recover compensation on your behalf. To do this, we first file a claim based on your Medical Benefits coverage. Then, we file a claim based on the trucking company’s liability insurance. With this claim, we will attempt to recover compensation for the financial losses your Medical Benefits policy does not cover. If you qualify for pain and suffering damages, we will also demand a fair payout from the trucking company for these losses.
In most cases, the trucking company and its insurer will negotiate with us. We can provide documentation of your damages and fight for a fair payout. Most claims end here. We reach a fair settlement, and you receive the compensation you deserve.
Rarely do we need to file a lawsuit against the trucking company and ask the courts to decide if you deserve a payout.
Time Limits on Filing a Lawsuit Against a Pittsburgh Trucking Company
The Pennsylvania statute of limitations generally gives you two years to file a lawsuit against a trucking company after a crash. We recommend you call us as soon as possible after your accident so we can identify and preserve the evidence available in your case.
Most claims never require us to file a lawsuit. However, this deadline is still an integral part of the settlement negotiation process. If the trucking company knows we can file a lawsuit, its insurers are often more willing to negotiate a fair settlement.
Talk to a Speeding Truck Accident Lawyer in Pittsburgh.
At Berger and Green, our personal injury team offers free case evaluations and consultations to truck accident victims in Pittsburgh. If a speeding truck driver caused your crash, we may be able to help you recover compensation for your damages. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for your complimentary case review. We handle these cases on contingency, so you do not pay us until we get you compensation for your losses.