I was hanging onto to the passenger side door of a truck when the driver proceeded to drive down the road at 25 mph. I fell off and sustained a head injury. I’d like to get compensation for my injuries, but because I got onto the truck, am I negligent as well?
I know it’s a tricky situation. Any information you can give would be appreciated.
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
From the facts you present it’s difficult to tell if you were inside the truck hanging on to the passenger door, or outside doing the same.
If you were outside the truck and were aware the driver might pull away and you failed to jump off before the truck proceeded away, you would certainly be “contributorily negligent”.
If, on the other hand you were hanging on to the passenger door from the inside and had no idea the driver was about to pull away, and as he did you fell off at 25 miles per hour, the driver would most probably be solely liable for your injuries and the resulting medical costs, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and possibly some pain and suffering compensation as well.
If you were on the inside of the truck when it pulled away and you failed to secure the passenger door thereby causing you to fall out at 25 miles per hour you might also suffer some contributory negligence, especially if you failed to latch your seatbelt.
Either way, ask the driver for the name and phone number of his insurance company. Contact the company and file a claim. A Claims Adjuster will investigate the circumstances and decide whether to pay your claim or not. She will quite probably contact you for a recorded statement. It is standard procedure in personal injury cases. The Adjuster will probably take the statement of the driver as well.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by filing a claim. You were injured and therefore have a real claim. The question will be whether or not the insurance company will agree with you and pay the claim. If not you can always consider legal action.
Learn more here: Liability in Injury Claims & Lawsuits
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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