The ability to recover damages in a truck accident when partially at fault depends on a couple of things. For instance, whether you file a claim with your insurance company or you pursue liability claim or lawsuit against the trucker or trucking company. Any degree of fault in the accident will impact your ability to recover compensation in a liability claim or lawsuit.
Impact of Auto Insurance on a Truck Accident Claim
Pennsylvania requires drivers carry medical benefits coverage, which allows drivers to file claims with their own insurance companies regardless of who was responsible for the crash. However, this only applies to personal injury. If there was property damage, the at-fault trucker or trucking company would be responsible for covering those losses.
However, truck accident victims in Bensalem need to pursue a liability claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver or his/her employer if they want to be compensated for damages such as:
- pain and suffering;
- mental anguish;
- permanent disability; or
In that case, negligence laws would impact recovery. Keep in mind that damages beyond out-of-pocket expenses are only recoverable when filing a liability claim or lawsuit. If you have limited tort coverage, you can recover out-of-pocket expenses but the ability to pursue additional damages is based on the severity of your injuries.
Only those with serious impairment of a body function or permanent disfigurement would be entitled to file a lawsuit. However, these restrictions don’t apply to someone who has full tort coverage.
Impact of Pennsylvania Negligence Laws on Recovery of Damages
In Pennsylvania, an injured person can only file a lawsuit against a negligent driver if his/her degree of fault was 50 percent or less. Once responsibility for a crash reaches 51 percent, damages are not recoverable.
Of course, even when someone qualifies for damages the amount will be reduced depending on the degree of fault. Let’s say the truck driver was assigned 60 percent responsibility and you were assigned 40 percent. If damages totaled $45,000, the amount that can be recovered is $27,000.
In some cases, establishing fault is challenging. For instance, at the intersection of Street Road and Hulmeville Road in Bensalem a truck turns left in front of the motor vehicle. But at the same time, the car proceeding through the intersection was speeding. Although most left turn accidents are the fault of the person making the turn, extenuating circumstances (such as speeding) could impact the outcome.
Another issue that could arise is whether or not someone’s negligence actually contributed to the accident. It could be that someone failed to use their turn signal when changing lanes. But that might not make a difference if a truck went through a red light.
Consulting an Attorney after a Truck Accident in Bensalem
Injuries from truck accidents are oftentimes serious. To learn about your right to pursue legal action, contact an attorney right away. The pursuit of damages could be impacted by your insurance, the extent of your injuries and your degree of fault. With the potential to suffer great financial, physical and emotional losses, it’s critical to understand your rights.
Set up a consultation with Cordisco & Saile LLC if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a truck accident.