Truck Accident in Pennsylvania: Suing the Driver vs. Trucking Company
After a truck accident in Scranton or other parts of Pennsylvania, injured victims may wonder whether they should sue the trucker or the trucking company that owns or operates the vehicle involved in the crash. In many cases, the right decision would be to bring a personal injury claim against both.
It is advised to consult with a Scranton truck accident lawyer to determine whether you should recover damages from the truck driver or the trucking company that employs the trucker.
Suing the Truck Driver After Your Accident in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, those who were involved in a car accident have different options depending on what type of insurance they have. Generally, insurance policies are broken down into two types:
- Limited tort insurance
- Full tort insurance
If you opted for limited tort insurance, most types of injuries are covered by your insurance company, and you have no right to sue the at-fault party for your injury unless your injury is severe enough or you fall into an exception to Limited Tort Coverage.
Those who have full tort insurance, on the other hand, are allowed to sue the other party involved for their injury. Regardless of whether you have limited or full tort insurance in Pennsylvania, should you sue the truck driver or their trucking company following the crash?
Typically, the person who was operating a vehicle that was involved in a motor vehicle collision is the primary defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. However, the truck driver may not have sufficient insurance coverage or personal assets to pay for your medical bills, loss of income, and other damages.
Often, suing the trucking company is the only way to seek maximum compensation for your truck accident injury in Pennsylvania.
Suing the Trucking Company After Your Accident in Pennsylvania
Truck drivers can be classified as either independent contractors or employees who work for a trucking company. If the trucker involved in your accident is classified as an independent contractor, you may not be able to sue their trucking company.
However, if the driver works for a trucking company and is classified as an employee, you may be able to file a lawsuit against both the driver and the company. In Pennsylvania, employers are responsible for their drivers’ negligence under the “vicarious liability” doctrine.
Under the doctrine, you can hold the at-fault truck driver’s employer responsible for the accident because the company had some degree of control over what the trucker does. However, in order to sue a trucking company for a truck accident caused by their driver, you must prove negligence on the part of the trucker.
Also, you will have to prove that the truck driver’s actions were within the scope of their employment when the collision occurred.
Typically, however, when a truck driver is classified as an employee, the injured party can sue both the driver and their trucking company. It is advised to consult with a knowledgeable Scranton truck accident attorney to establish fault in your particular case and obtain maximum compensation from the at-fault party or parties. Contact Needle Law Firm to schedule a case evaluation. Call at 570-344-1266.