Any vehicle accident can cause substantial damage, but collisions involving large commercial vehicles are especially devastating. These vehicles outweigh most passenger cars, meaning collisions between the two can result in catastrophic if not deadly harm to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. If you or a loved one were harmed in a big rig wreck, you should consider speaking with a Delaware County truck accident lawyer.
Due to the severity of harm that often results in these types of accidents, it could be difficult for you to handle a civil case on your own. A trustworthy and compassionate attorney in the area could handle the legal aspects of the case so you can focus on your physical recovery.
Recovering Damages for a Commercial Vehicle Wreck
To win damages in a truck crash case, the plaintiff and their local attorney must show that the driver owed the injured individual duty of care. This is generally easy to prove as all motorists owe each other a duty to drive safely and follow all relevant traffic laws.
The claimant must then show that the truck driver failed to do so, whether by speeding, driving up on the sidewalk, running a red light, or anything else that put pedestrians and other drivers at risk of harm. Finally, the plaintiff and legal professional have to establish that this breach caused the accident and directly resulted in the individual’s injuries. By making the connection between the driver’s actions and the plaintiff’s injuries clear, the latter party has a good chance of winning damages.
Economic damages account for losses with specific monetary amounts, such as medical bills and lost wages. The plaintiff may also be able to recover non-economic damages, or those concerning their pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, mental anguish, and emotional trauma.
In rare cases, they can request punitive damages. These damages are designed to penalize the defendant for unwarranted, gross actions that caused the plaintiff physical, mental, and emotional harm.
How Do Big Rig Accidents Occur?
Accidents involving commercial trucks take place for a variety of reasons, most of which concern the driver’s negligence. Factors such as drowsiness, intoxication, reckless, carelessness, and distraction can result in catastrophic accidents involving multiple other cars and pedestrians.
Semi-truck accidents in particular are the most extreme, especially when the driver was hauling hazardous materials with combustive properties. If the wreck resulted in a fatality, the surviving family could potentially file a wrongful death claim. In any case, an 18-wheeler accident attorney in Delaware County should be contacted as soon as possible after the crash.
Vicarious Liability in Trucking Collisions
Pennsylvania uses a ‘vicarious liability’ rule that can result in third-party liability, even if that party did not cause the accident. For example, suppose the truck driver was encouraged to exceed federal driving limits, resulting in the truck driver being fatigued and causing an accident. In that case, their employer could be liable for promoting unsafe trucking conditions. Experienced attorneys in the area could use vicarious liability to bring charges against multiple parties and potentially win more damages for those injured in the truck crash.
Schedule a Consultation with a Delaware County Truck Accident Attorney
Do not hesitate to reach out to our law firm if you were injured in a serious truck collision. A Delaware County truck accident lawyer is ready to hear your case and let you know what you could expect from your legal claim. Call us today to get started on your potential claim.