Because of a legal concept known as vicarious liability—or respondeat superior—the at-fault trucker is not the only liable party after a truck accident in Pennsylvania. The trucking company or other employer is also liable. In addition, a company may be liable due to its own negligence. This can occur, for example, if a trucking company hired a driver who does not have the necessary qualifications or it kept a driver on the payroll despite repeated drug test failures. In rare cases, the employer may even be financially responsible for the truck driver’s injuries.
If you suffered injuries and property damage in a crash, get help from an employer liability lawyer in a truck accident in Pittsburgh, PA. At Berger and Green, our truck accident lawyers may be able to help you hold the trucking company liable for any losses and expenses not covered by your no-fault insurance coverage, workers’ compensation, or other benefits. Call Berger and Green today at 412-661-1400 for a free case review.
What Damages Can I Recover in This Type of Truck Accident Claim?
Pennsylvania has a choice no-fault auto insurance system, meaning all drivers must carry a limited amount of Medical Benefits coverage. If you suffer injuries when a truck collides with your vehicle, this policy allows you to see a doctor, go to the emergency room, and pay for minor to moderate injuries no matter who is liable for the crash.
If you can show the trucking company or other corporation is liable, you can also file for financial damages to cover your remaining medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If you carry full tort auto insurance, suffer serious injuries, or meet another exception to the limited tort laws, you may also be eligible for pain and suffering damages through a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
When the injured party is the truck driver, however, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act often limits them from filing this type of action and recovering any damages above and beyond workers’ compensation benefits.
How Can an Attorney Help Me Hold the Trucking Company Liable for My Damages?
We can help you understand your legal options for compensation after a truck accident, and guide you through the process of filing any necessary claims. During your free initial consultation, we will learn as much as we can about the circumstances of the accident to help us understand the complexities of your case.
We can determine exactly how the trucking company is liable, and the strength of your case. At the end of this conversation, we should be able to explain your options for trying to get the money you deserve. We will help you formulate a plan to hold the trucking company accountable for your full range of damages, when possible.
If we believe you have a strong case and you agree to enlist our help, we will begin our investigation into your crash. This process can include:
- Identifying all evidence;
- Using a survey team to document the scene of the accident;
- Partnering with accident reconstruction specialists and industry experts to learn more about what happened before, during, and after the crash; and
- Collecting documentation of your damages.
A particularly important part of this process, especially when we need to show the trucking company acted negligently, is the spoliation letter. This letter instructs the trucking company to protect any evidence in this case from destruction or damage. This evidence could be the key to winning your case. Among the wealth of proof usually held by the trucking company, there is:
- Electronic data from the truck’s computer and other devices;
- The driver’s rest logs;
- Dash cam video, in some cases;
- Post-accident drug and alcohol testing information;
- Employment records for the driver;
- Truck maintenance records;
- The truck and trailer, in their post-accident condition; and
- Company memos and other documentation of negligent behavior.
Once our investigation concludes and we fully understand your case, we can take action to try to recover the money you deserve. This may include:
- Filing your Medical Benefits claim with your insurance company;
- Filing for workers’ compensation coverage, if you drove the truck;
- Filing a third-party liability insurance claim against the trucking company for financial damages; or
- Filing a third-party liability insurance claim against the trucking company for non-economic damages, if you qualify.
We settle most truck accident claims without ever going to court. The trucking company’s insurer is usually willing to negotiate with us, and we can reach a fair settlement or get our clients the compensation they deserve. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate, we will not hesitate to take the case to court and demand the payment our clients deserve.
Are There Time Limits on When I Can File a Lawsuit Against the Trucking Company?
In general, the statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. We recommend you contacting us as soon as possible after a crash, because these complex cases take time to prepare.
Since most claims against trucking companies do not go to court, the deadline is a technicality. However, it does play an important role in filing an insurance claim. If we let this time limit expire without taking legal action, the trucking company will have little motivation to offer a fair settlement when we do file a claim. If we cannot file a lawsuit, the company has little to lose by offering us only a fraction of the compensation you deserve.
Workers’ compensation claims may have their own deadlines, depending on the policy. If you need to file for workers’ compensation or otherwise have a case against your employer, you should schedule a free case review as soon as possible after a crash to avoid missing any deadlines.
Talk to the Legal Team at Berger and Green About Your Case.
At Berger and Green, we offer complimentary consultations and case reviews to truck accident victims in Pittsburgh. If you have questions about trying to get the money you deserve after a crash, call us at 412-661-1400.