Commercial trucks and tractor trailers are extremely large and heavy vehicles, and if they are involved in an accident with a smaller vehicle, they can cause serious damage to the vehicle and serious injuries to the driver and passengers of the vehicle. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to determine who is responsible for the accident, and filing a claim may be complicated and involve many steps. That is why it is important to contact an experienced Philadelphia truck accident attorney right away if you have been injured in a truck accident.
Accidents involving large trucks are unfortunately quite common, with over 400,000 truck accidents reported each year. A commercial truck or tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds (or 40 tons), compared to even a larger vehicle like a SUV or pickup truck, which only weighs up to around 7,000 pounds (or 3.5 tons). Given the incredible weight of these trucks, they can cause incredible damage to smaller vehicles on the road, especially if they are involved in high speed accidents on the highway or on a busy roadway. In fact, in 2014, there were over 3,000 truck accidents that resulted in fatalities and 82,000 truck accidents that resulted in at least one nonfatal injury. These numbers show how dangerous truck accidents can be.
It is hardly surprising that the injuries caused by truck or tractor trailer accidents can be very severe. Our attorneys know that these kinds of accidents often result in injuries like broken bones, whiplash, concussions, and cuts and bruises. In particularly serious cases, these injuries might result in loss of limbs or trauma to the head, neck or spine which can cause disabilities or death. These injuries could require extensive medical care that will result in expensive hospital and other medical bills. You may also experience emotional trauma like pain and suffering, and you may be unable to return to work which could result in lost wages. Your Philadelphia truck accident lawyer will help you pursue compensation for these expenses and other damages you suffered as a result of the accident.
Although truck drivers are required to obtain a specific license and to undergo a certain amount of training, they unfortunately can make mistakes that cause serious accidents. In fact, truck driver error is the primary reason that trucks are involved in accidents with other vehicles on the road. A truck driver may make mistakes behind the wheel if they are driving negligently or recklessly, due to various reasons. These reasons may include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Driving fatigued or driving for longer periods of time than they are allowed to under federal regulation;
- Driving with a medical condition in violation of their license;
- Driving while distracted by music, food, drink, or other distractions;
- Failing to check blind spots before changing lanes or turning;
- Driving without a proper commercial truck license or without the proper training; or
- Committing traffic violations like speeding, improper passing, or following too closely.
It is especially dangerous when truck drivers do not drive safely and carefully because of the serious damage that their large trucks can do to smaller vehicles on the road.
In cases where the truck drivers behavior caused the accident, the truck driver himself is responsible for any injuries caused by the accident. However, most drivers will not admit that they were at fault in an accident, and the insurance company responsible for the truck company and its drivers will be reluctant to pay compensation unless it is clear that the truck driver caused the accident. In these cases, an experienced truck accident attorney will help represent you and ensure that you recover for your injuries and property damage to your vehicle. Your lawyer may also pursue a claim against the truck driving company itself if the company negligently or purposefully hired an unqualified driver.
Another reason that truck accidents may occur is if there are issues with the truck itself. These can occur if the manufacturer of the truck made a mistake when building or the truck, or if the truck company fails to perform the necessary inspection and maintenance on the truck. If a trucks brakes fail, for example, or if the trailer is not appropriately secured, the truck could seriously damage other vehicles.
If the accident was caused by an issue with the truck, accident victims may be able to recover from the truck company for their failure to properly maintain the truck and ensure that it was safe to be driven. There may also be the possibility of pursuing a claim against the truck manufacturer if there was an issue with the truck when it was originally built.
Finally, in addition to the driver, truck company, or truck manufacturer, a truck accident victim may be able to pursue claims against other parties whose behavior was in part or entirely responsible for the accident. For example, if the roadway or highway was poorly maintained which caused the truck to collide with your vehicle, you may be able to recover from the government entity responsible for the safety of the roadway. Additionally, if there were issues with the way the trucks cargo was loaded which caused the accident, a lawyer can assist you with your claim against the independent company responsible for loading the trucks cargo bay.
After you have sought medical attention for your injuries after your accident, contact our office right away so that we can send an experienced truck accident attorney to your hospital or home for your free initial consultation. Your attorney will help you gather evidence for your claim and will help determine the proper party to pursue a claim against. We understand how confusing and stressful this process can be, so we will work closely with you every step of the way to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages after your truck accident.