Truck accidents notoriously result in major injuries. Given the speed and size of trucks compared to the size of passenger cars, even rear-end truck accidents can lead to serious, permanent injuries.
In the initial aftermath of a serious truck accident, an injured driver or passenger usually focuses on medical treatment and recovering from injuries. However, as the days progress, it may become clear that the injured individual cannot return to work immediately. So naturally, those injured in truck accidents in PA often want to know how to recover their lost pay or lost wages.
PIP Claims & PA Truck Accidents – Lost Pay
Many Pennsylvania residents who are injured in car and truck accidents are often surprised to learn that they may be able to recover lost pay by making a claim for PIP (personal injury protection) benefits under their own car insurance policies.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. This means that PIP benefits in Pennsylvania are payable without regard to fault. If you have PIP benefits and you were injured in a car accident caused by another person, you are eligible for PIP under your own auto policy. Likewise, if you have PIP benefits and you cause a car accident, you are eligible for PIP under your own auto policy.
Under Pennsylvania auto insurance and accident law, auto insurance companies are required to offer “income loss” benefits. 75 Pa. C.S. Section 1712, Subsection (2) details exactly what an auto insurance company is required to offer:
Income loss benefit.–Includes the following:
(i) Eighty percent of actual loss of gross income.
(ii) Reasonable expenses actually incurred for hiring a substitute to perform self-employment services thereby mitigating loss of gross income or for hiring special help thereby enabling a person to work and mitigate loss of gross income.
Income loss does not include loss of expected income for any period following the death individual or expenses incurred for services performed following the death of an individual. Income loss shall not commence until five working days have been lost after the date of the accident.
Analysis of PA PIP law relating to lost pay: This law makes it clear that auto insurance companies must offer income loss benefits up to 80 percent of the gross income. In addition, certain reasonable expenses may be covered, such as hiring a substitute. The major limitation of Pennsylvania’s PIP law relating to lost pay is that income loss claims resulting from a fatal car or truck accident are not allowed. Finally, there is a 5 day waiting period which begins after the date of the accident.
It is important to note that income loss coverage is not mandatory; insurance companies are only required to offer this type of coverage. However, many Pennsylvania residents purchase income loss (i.e., lost pay/wages) coverage on their car insurance policies.
What is the Maximum Amount of Lost Pay Recoverable under PIP?
Pennsylvania’s auto insurance and accident law sets the maximum coverage amounts. Under Section 1715, the income loss benefits cannot exceed $2500 per month, up to a maximum of $50,000 total.
Pennsylvania residents often purchase different coverage amounts. For instance, a $1000 per month policy is common. Some individuals purchase car insurance policies with the statutory maximum of $2500 per month. Therefore, it is crucial to know and understand what type of car insurance coverage you have.
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For more information, contact our Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers. Our attorneys serve car and truck accident victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.
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