Traffic accidents are inevitable. The reality is that there are a number of car and truck collisions on a regular basis and sometimes these accidents are unavoidable. Depending on the severity of an accident, it can lead to serious bodily injury and/or death.

In Pennsylvania, close to Carlisle in Cumberland County, there was an accident recently involving an SUV and a tractor trailer. According to reports, the SUV was traveling along on the roadway when it crossed over the median and hit a tractor trailer that was traveling in the other direction. Both drivers were declared dead at the scene of the collision. A passenger in the tractor trailer was taken to the hospital with injuries.

When a person, such as a commercial truck driver, is killed in the course and scope of their employment their surviving family members are entitled to recover worker’s compensation death benefits under Pennsylvania law. When the death is caused by the negligence of a party other than the employer, the victim’s family also has the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against that other party and recover damages.

Damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit include loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and medical and funeral expenses. Even if the negligent driver is killed in the accident, the claim can still be brought against their estate, and their insurance company will be responsible for paying any damages, up to the policy limits.

Knowing one’s rights when a traffic accident happens is of paramount importance. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise a victim’s family as to their rights and let them know if they have a valid claim for compensation.

Source: WGAL News 8, “2 Fatalities identified in I-81 crash,” April 10, 2014