A group of firefighters recently pulled a man from a mangled pile of rubble after his pickup truck was smashed and driven into a concrete structure by a massive tractor trailer. However, the victim died in a Pennsylvania hospital just hours after the truck accident. The tractor trailer had reportedly gone through a red light and broadsided him on Route 22 in the western part of the state near the intersection with Route 66.
The man came in and out of consciousness as the rescue workers tried to extricate him from the pickup by cutting off its roof. At least five other cars had been drawn into the collision by the time the 18-wheeler stopped pushing the pickup to its final destination. If the initial picture of the facts is correct, the estate of the pickup driver will have a substantial claim for wrongful death damages against the tractor trailer driver and the company that owns the big rig.
Recoveries tend to be larger in accidents involving the negligence of a semi driver. If the unit was being driven for an owner of a fleet of vehicles in the transport business, there is almost always substantial liability insurance, including excess coverage. This is due to the great amount of potential damage and the hefty capital investment in the vehicles and the company.
Details on the pickup driver were not immediately available. If he was employed or the owner of his own business, the estate can recover lost earnings and lost earning capacity. That would include the average earnings that the man could have earned for the rest of his estimated life expectancy, with certain cost-of-living additions and with deductions that include reducing the amount to present value. Further, in this case the damages for pain and suffering could be substantial under Pennsylvania law due to the fact that the man was reportedly coming in and out of consciousness and lived for hours more after the truck accident.
This blog entry was posted on behalf of Hof & Reid LLC, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.
Source: triblive.com, “Truck driver dies after collision with tractor-trailer on Route 22 near Delmont“, Renatta Signorini, June 14, 2016