Commercial Vehicle Accidents Lawyer Pittsburgh, PA
PA Personal Injury Attorneys Help Victims of Commercial Truck Accidents in Allegheny County, Erie County, and Across Western Pennsylvania
Auto accidents — like other personal injury scenarios — can vary quite substantially, depending on the circumstances. As such, the outcome of auto accident litigation in Pennsylvania may appear (to those unfamiliar with injury lawsuits) to be rather unexpected or even arbitrary. For example, it may not be clear to first-time litigants how they might be better covered by insurance in situations where a commercial vehicle is involved (due to potential employer liability). In reality, there are expansive rules governing employer liability in situations where a commercial vehicle is involved.
Here at Berger & Lagnese, LLC, an experienced Pittsburgh commercial vehicle accidents lawyer can assist you with bringing an action against both the driver and their employer. We represent commercial vehicle accident victims throughout Allegheny County, Butler County, Westmoreland County, and everywhere else in Western PA, including Pittsburgh, Cranberry Township, Butler, Greensburg, Indiana, Washington, and New Castle. Contact our firm today for a free consultation and an evaluation of your commercial vehicle accident claims.
Vicarious Liability of an Employer Under Pennsylvania Law
In Pennsylvania, as in other states, employers may be held liable for the negligence of their employees pursuant to the doctrine of vicarious liability. In other words, an employer may be held responsible for the damages you suffer, even if they did not act negligently or wrongfully themselves. Importantly, however, Pennsylvania law only allows for the imposition of vicarious liability where the defendant-driver was acting within the course and scope of their employment (which depends on the circumstances).
For example, if the defendant-driver was commuting home from work, that may not be considered “within the course and scope” of their employment. On the other hand, if the defendant-driver was delivering a package by request of management, then that may be considered “within the course and scope” of their employment.
There are, of course, many reasons as to why an injured plaintiff (such as yourself) would want to impose liability on an employer. Prime amongst these reasons is access to more adequate insurance coverage. Whereas an individual employee may have limited insurance coverage, a business is much more likely to be covered by a substantial insurance policy, which can lead to greater compensation for the victim.
Negligent Hiring, Supervision, and Retention in Erie, PA
Whereas vicarious liability holds the employer responsible for the negligence of their employees, a negligent hiring, supervision, and retention claim holds the employer responsible for their own unique contribution of negligence. In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, a negligent hiring, supervision, and retention claim may apply in addition to vicarious liability — the two claims are not mutually exclusive and do not necessarily interfere with one another.
Let’s clarify with an example. Suppose that you are injured by a defendant-driver in a collision on a road in Pittsburgh, PA. With the assistance of a qualified Pennsylvania truck accident attorney, you investigate the situation more thoroughly and discover that the driver’s employer hired them despite knowing that they were unlicensed (and therefore incompetent to operate a commercial vehicle). Not only is the driver negligent, but the employer could potentially be held liable for negligent hiring because the employer knew or should have known that the driver was unlicensed and therefore unqualified to operate the vehicle.
Contact an Experienced Pittsburgh Personal Injury Attorney for Further Guidance in Your PA Commercial Vehicle Accident Case
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle (where the defendant was negligent or acted recklessly or intentionally), then Pennsylvania law may give you a right of action against the driver and their employer, depending on the particular circumstances of your case. Litigation can be complicated by a number of factors — some quite unexpected — so it’s important that you work with a team of attorneys who have a long and consistent track record of success in handling such claims.
Here at Berger & Lagnese, LLC in Pittsburgh, our experienced Western PA personal injury lawyers have decades of experience representing injured clients in a range of lawsuits, including those that involve commercial vehicle accidents. We understand the contours of litigation and what strategies should be employed to secure maximum compensation on behalf of clients.
Interested in learning more about your Pennsylvania commercial vehicle accident claims and potentially moving forward with the process of litigation? Call (412) 471-4300 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation today. We look forward to helping you with your claims.