Can I Get Compensation For Injuries Suffered In A Pennsylvania Truck Accident?

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Jared S. Zafran - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Jared S. Zafran

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Yes. If you suffered injuries in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may pursue a claim for those injuries. Truck accidents can be very serious due to the size of the vehicles involved. These accidents can cause severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries and even death. These cases are also more complex than other types of accidents because of the many parties involved. 

Types Of Negligence

When two drivers have an accident, one party usually caused the accident through some sort of negligent driving. Examples include:

  • Distracted driving (texting or talking on the phone)
  • Speeding
  • Failure to stop or yield
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Driving while tired/fatigued driving

The negligent driver’s insurance will be liable for paying the damages. They will try to pay as little as possible and may try to argue that their driver was not negligent. Liability is often clear from the type of accident, witness statements and the police report, however. Unfortunately, truck drivers face strenuous work conditions and drive for long hours, which can lead to accidents. 

Truck accidents are more complicated because commercial vehicles often have a corporate owner, but a different company or the driver may own the trailer or some other part of the truck. While the driver still may have caused the accident, they may not be the only party involved. In addition, if a manufacturing defect or equipment malfunction on the truck caused or contributed to the accident, yet another party may be involved. 

Available Damages

You may wonder what types of damages you can receive in a truck accident claim. Your first concern should be receiving medical attention for your injuries. Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, which means your own car insurance covers your medical bills, no matter who is at fault. That way, you can get the care you need right away without arguing over liability. Unfortunately, the minimum amount required for medical coverage is quite low, and your insurance may not cover the entire bill, in which case you may seek coverage from the truck driver or their company. 

Depending on the extent of your injuries, you will probably miss at least some time from work. The company’s insurance should reimburse you for your lost wages. If your injuries are so extensive that you can no longer work at your current job, pursuit of these damages becomes a much more complex process. Your other economic damages include the damage to your car. 

Finally, you deserve compensation for the pain and suffering the accident caused. These damages are more difficult to calculate, but some factors taken into consideration include:

  • The severity of your injuries and whether any are permanent
  • Whether you contributed to the crash through your own negligence
  • How long it will take you to recover

You may also consider other factors, like particularly reckless behavior such as drunk driving. 

Trucking companies will try to devalue your claim to protect their reputations. Their insurance company will try to pay you as little as possible to save money. You can be sure they will have attorneys and investigators gathering evidence at the accident scene and reviewing your medical records in detail. You also have the right to an attorney fighting for the compensation you deserve. Do not settle for the first offer the insurance company makes without speaking with your own lawyer.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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