You might be able to bring a lawsuit against someone personally after the truck accident, such as the truck driver or the owner of the trucking company. However, this will depend on the laws in your state and the circumstances in your case. A truck accident attorney can advise you as you walk you through your options for filing an injury claim.
When to Sue Someone Personally After a Truck Crash
In most truck accident claims, a settlement will come from the insurance company that represents the truck driver who hit you. Although you technically are bringing a claim against that person, the insurer would pay the award.
However, there are times when you might bring a lawsuit against the person who caused the accident directly. In a case like this, rather than having the insurance company pay the settlement amount, you and your attorney would be seeking payment from the negligent party’s personal finances.
A Truck Driver with no Insurance Coverage
If the truck driver was operating the commercial vehicle with no insurance coverage when they hit you, you might need to file a lawsuit directly against the truck driver’s personal finances to try to recover reimbursement for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.
If the trucking company failed to provide insurance for its driver, you and your attorney may need to file a lawsuit directly against the company’s finances.
Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage Amount is Too Low
New York drivers must carry uninsured motorist coverage, according to the New York Department of Financial Services. The New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance and the Pennsylvania Insurance Department oversee the same types of uninsured motorist insurance rules in their states.
This coverage is a section of your policy that pays you when a motorist without insurance hits you, such as a truck driver. However, these policies have limitations on what they will pay.
If your policy’s limitations do not cover your expenses fully from the accident, you may want to bring a lawsuit against the party that caused the accident. This lawsuit would come against the driver’s or the company’s own finances.
A Third Party Caused the Crash
Sometimes, a third driver caused the crash, rather than the truck driver. This may occur if another car swerved or turned in front of the truck, causing the truck driver to make a sudden movement to avoid hitting the third driver. Instead, the truck driver may hit you.
If the police track down that other driver whose actions led to the crash, you have the right to bring a personal injury claim against that driver. You may start by bringing a claim against that driver’s insurance company. However, if that driver has no insurance or does not have enough coverage, you may need to sue that driver’s personal assets.
The Cargo Loader is Responsible
Although it can be challenging to prove, sometimes the negligent parties in your accident with a truck are the people who loaded the cargo onto the trailer. They may have overloaded the trailer or failed to secure the cargo properly, causing a sudden shift that caused the accident and your injuries.
If the people loading the cargo are not professionals, it is possible they may not have insurance specifically to cover their work. In a case like this, all the insurance companies involved may deny your claim. They all may also try to blame someone else. You may have no option other than to bring a personal lawsuit against the cargo loaders.
Going Through Insurance First is Almost Always the Best Option
Rather than jumping directly into a lawsuit against the company’s or the driver’s personal finances, it is nearly always best to try to file an insurance claim first. Insurance companies deal with these situations all the time.
You and your personal injury attorney can negotiate with an insurance company to seek the judgment that you believe you should have. Should the insurance company refuse to pay because of the case’s circumstances, or should the insurer only be willing to pay a lower amount than you are owed, filing a lawsuit may be your best option.
Our Team Can Help You Understand Your Options for Filing a Personal Injury Claim
The team at Morelli Law Firm has experience helping victims of all kinds of accidents in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. We will help you understand your options for bringing a claim after the truck accident and advise you on whether you can sue someone personally after a truck accident.
Truck accidents are often complex matters. Hiring an attorney to help weigh your options can make it easier to navigate the legal process. We are ready to begin working for you. Contact us at (212) 751-9800 as soon as possible for a free case review.