Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer
If you are injured in a truck accident, make sure to protect yourself and your claim. Trucking companies have investigators, insurance companies, and lawyers who will defend their interests.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, please contact our experienced accident attorneys in Philadelphia.
Do not take settlements without consulting a personal injury lawyer first. The insurance company and/or the trucking company will try and settle your claim for as little as possible.
Keep medical notes, incident photographs, and written reports handy and contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Experienced accident attorneys will give you a free evaluation of your truck accident claim.
Table of Page Content
- Why a truck accident lawyer near you?
- What is a commercial vehicle and why does it matter?
- Truck accident liability
- Recoverable damages after an accident
- Causes of truck accidents in Philadelphia
- Types of Accidents
- State and Federal Trucking Laws
- Wrongful Death Laws in Pennsylvania
- Contact a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer
- What if a pedestrian causes an accident?
Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer Near You
Victims of truck accidents often suffer serious and catastrophic injuries that limit their ability to travel. By hiring an experienced truck accident attorney near you our legal team can visit you as necessary. Focusing on your recovery while our team focuses on your truck accident claim is the best way to secure a positive outcome.
What Qualifies As A Commercial Vehicle In A Truck Accident?
The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code defines “truck” as “a motor vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of property.”
There are different laws that apply to trucks depending on their size and weight. But generally, when people talk about a truck accident, they are talking about any crash involving a large commercial vehicle. Here are the common trucks involved in commercial vehicle accident claims.
- Delivery truck
- Big rig
- Dump truck
- Tow truck
- Box truck
- Tanker Truck
Liability in Pennsylvania Truck Wrecks
In a Philadelphia truck accident, your attorney could be looking at multiple parties for negligence that lead to the crash, including:
- The truck driver behind the wheel
- Owner of the truck or tractor-trailer
- Company or person that leased the truck
- The manufacturer of the truck, tires or other parts of the accident was due to a mechanical or production issue
- Shipper or loader of the truck if the accident was caused by how the truck was loaded
- Brokers if they did not properly check safety metrics and other details in their trucking company contracts
Often these parties will fight among themselves about who is truly liable, so it’s important you have an experienced truck accident attorney on your side. It could be one or many of these parties at fault.
Other potentially liable parties might include a vehicle repair shop technician or a contractor who was unable to perform the repair job properly.
Damages Are Available After a Truck Accident in Philadelphia
Medical expenses: Truck accident injuries often come with many medical expenses. Medical costs that can be claimed include doctor visits, hospitalizations, emergency room charges, chiropractic care, massage therapy, physical therapy, and medical equipment.
Future medical costs: The Serious or catastrophic nature of truck accident injuries often require the victim to undergo medical treatment that may continue well beyond the settlement date. Your attorney can typically recover these future costs.
Mental anguish: Injuries can also cause mental and emotional strain. As well as property damage and financial loss that may be a result of the collision, these factors can all cause pain.
Pain and suffering: The victim’s suffering from the accident, as well as any associated trauma, might be compensated. The payment is determined by the degree of pain the victim is experiencing and how long they will be in discomfort.
Loss of wages: The car accident may leave the victim unable to continue working. The amount of income that was lost and the amount that will be lost in the future may be compensated for.
Property damage: Damages to any property that were caused in the car accident can be compensated for.
What causes truck accidents in Pennsylvania?
The FMCSA investigated the actions that lead to truck accidents and found that they could generally be broken down as follows:
- Non-performance: The driver fell asleep, had a heart attack or seizure, or was physically impaired for another reason.
- Recognition: The driver was not paying attention and was not aware of their surroundings.
- Decision: The driver was driving too fast for the conditions, misjudged the speed of other vehicles, or followed other vehicles too closely. This caused a car accident.
- Performance: The driver panicked, overcompensated, or failed to properly control the truck’s direction.
- Vehicle: Vehicle failures, improper cargo loading, brake problems and more.
- Environment: Fog, heavy rain, bad weather or roadway problems.
National Crash Statistics
- In 2019, there were 7,000 more large truck crashes than the previous year
- In 2020, there were 110 fewer large truck deaths than in 2019
- Tire defects are responsible for almost a third of all truck-related crashes
- Every year, sleep deprivation causes 100,000 truck crashes
- Over 55% of fatal truck-related accidents took place in rural areas in 2019
- In the US, Texas had the highest number of truck accidents fatalities (658) in 2019
- Based on some preliminary estimates for 2020, there were 4,895 large truck fatalities
- In 2019, large trucks accounted for 9.8% of all vehicles involved in fatal accidents
Types of Truck Accidents in Philadelphia
Semi-trucks are categorized as “articulated vehicles” – vehicles consisting of various sections connected by moving joints. These constructions enable these vehicles to become more maneuverable compared to the ones that are a single unit but also make them vulnerable to accidents which are not caused by articular vehicles. A Jackknife accident is another type of accident which is unique to vehicles with articulated surfaces and occurs if a vehicle’s trailer sways back from underneath, resembling a pocket knife. They may arise from numerous reasons.
Truck drivers are responsible for keeping a lookout for traffic. They should have a good idea of how many cars are on the road with them and when a car may slip into a blind spot.
- Lane change and merging truck accidents: Truckers who do not keep track of nearby traffic and check their blind spots may try to change lanes into another vehicle. This can lead to sideswipe accidents.
- Runoff-the-road truck accidents: Trucks that merge into a lane where one or more vehicles are present may force those vehicles off the road.
- Head-on collisions: Trucks that merge left into other cars may send those vehicles into lanes of oncoming traffic and cause head-on accidents.
- Override/Underride truck accidents: A truck driver who cannot see a vehicle may run over a small car. This is known as an override accident. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, a smaller car may slide under the trailer, which is known as an underride accident.
Where are the Blindspots?
- Approximately 20 ft in front of the semi
- Approximately 30 ft behind the semi’s trailer
- From the driver’s door toward the back of the truck in the lane left of the truck
- From the right side of the semi cab across the two lanes to the right of the truck
Citation: FMCSA Blindspot Video
A recent report from the NHTSA shows that 29% of truck accident accidents involve brake failure. Federal Regulations require drivers to perform a detailed inspection of the truck brake systems before leaving. Truck owners should maintain their brake systems regularly and maintain a record of maintenance. Citation: Safety Check
The driver must compensate both for speed and for stopping distance by overloading tractors. An overloaded truck also poses a significant risk of a possible tire breakout. A chain-reaction collision can occur when an incoming truck blocks lane access or creates unpredictable driving conditions.
Truck Driver Negligence
- Distracted Driving
- Impaired Driving
Federal and State Laws to reduce Accidents
Most commercial truck companies and drivers in Pennsylvania are required to follow regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The laws regulating commercial truck driving in Pennsylvania are very similar to the rules and regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The only drivers that are not required to follow FMCSA regulations are those who do not travel out of state. This is a rare occurrence.
Hours of Service (HOS)
“Hours of service” refers to the maximum amount of time drivers are permitted to be on duty including driving time, and specifies the number and length of rest periods, to help ensure that drivers stay awake and alert.
Citation: FMCSA HOS
Philadelphia truck accident lawyers
Tractors-trailers have been observed frequently on Pennsylvania and NJ highways. Trucking is an industry that provides the most competitive transportation service in the country. Unfortunately, these competitions sometimes cause companies to pressure drivers to impose unrealistic schedules for delivery. Many drivers operate their trucks under extremely dangerous conditions, causing them to pose a serious risk to other motorists.
In Pennsylvania, you can sue someone for wrongful death. This happens when someone dies because of the carelessness or violence of another person. However, you can’t sue if the person who died already got compensated for their injuries while they were alive.
Statute(s)Pennsylvania Statutes, Title 42 Pa.C.S.A.:
- Part VI, Chapter 55, Subchapter B, Section 5524 (Two Year Limitation)
- Part VII, Chapter 83, Subchapter A, Section 8301 (Death Action)
Statute of Limitations: A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years.
Right of Action: The right of action for a wrongful death claim only exists for the children, spouse, or parents of the deceased. If, however, no such person exists, a personal representative of the deceased may bring an action to recover for reasonable medical, funeral, and estate administration expenses that have been necessitated by reason of injuries causing death.
Contact A Philadephia Truck Accident Lawyer Today
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to navigate your truck accident case to get the most compensation for you. While many truck drivers are negligent in the crash it can go beyond just the driver to include the trucking company and other parties. You need a truck accident investigation team to identify all the negligent parties.
Trucking companies and insurance companies have teams of lawyers to limit their legal liability in a truck accident. Often times truck accident clients have traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries that require a lifetime of medical treatment. The lost income on top of medical bills can make a terrible situation even worse.
Contact experienced truck accident attorneys today for a free consultation
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