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My wife was hit by a small truck in downtown Philadelphia. The truck driver ran a red light and hit my wife’s car head on. Is the business that owns the truck liable for the accident?

 

A:

Truck accidents often result in devastating injuries such as head injuries, spinal injuries and fractured bones. At high speeds, truck accidents are often deadly. Truck accident victims in Philadelphia often want to know if they have legal rights to financial compensation. Below is a recent question about legal rights after a truck accident in Philadelphia.

Question: My wife was hit by a small truck in downtown Philadelphia. The truck driver ran a red light and hit my wife’s car head on. Is the business that owns the truck liable for the accident?

Answer: In all likelihood, your wife would have a valid claim against the employer—the business which owns the truck and employs the truck driver. Under Pennsylvania law, an employer is usually liable for the acts of an employee that result in an accident or injury. The key is whether the employee (truck driver) was acting in the course and scope of the employment. Based on the facts as presented in the question, I assume that the truck driver was in fact working at the time of the accident. Get more info about trucking accidents and liability.

In a subsequent truck accident lawsuit, your wife would be able to make a claim for medical bills (that exceed PIP), lost wages and pain and suffering. However, pain and suffering claims in auto cases may be affected by the type of auto insurance policy you/your wife have. If you elected “limited tort,” your wife’s ability to obtain financial compensation for pain and suffering may be severely affected.

Under PA auto insurance laws, limited tort auto policies act as filters and limit your ability to get damages for pain and suffering against an at-fault driver unless the accident or injuries fall within certain statutory exceptions, i.e., serious/permanent injury.

In this instance, if your wife’s injuries qualify as serious and permanent, she may be able to obtain financial compensation, even if you have a limited tort policy. Other exceptions might apply, such as if the truck was licensed in another state.

More: Pennsylvania Limited Tort Does Not Apply To A Bicyclist Hit By A Car

It’s crucial to note that auto insurance cases are very complex. You should speak to a qualified auto injury lawyer immediately to preserve your rights and get legal advice about your specific situation. The answer above is for general information only.

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