If you have been in a truck accident and are looking for a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania trucking accident lawyer, reach out to the law firm of McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt today. Large trucks and 18-wheelers are a frequent sight on America’s roadways. Because of their sheer size, there are specific rules any driver must follow when driving around them. Despite this, sometimes truck drivers aren’t as cognizant as they should be around smaller vehicles. If you have been a victim of a trucking accident, you should reach out to a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania trucking accident lawyer for more help. Below is more information about what you should know when it comes to filing a suit and protecting your rights.
Who is at fault when it comes to trucking accidents?
The police officer at the scene of the accident will be the one to assign fault. They are trained to look for clues in determining this including eyewitness testimonials, investigation of the accident scene, and damage of the vehicles.
How common are trucking accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, truck and car accidents are quite common, with large trucks taking responsibility for 8% of all fatal accidents on the road per year. To give perspective, that is the equivalent of 29 truck accidents for every 100,000 cars on the road. If you are the victim in one of these accidents, contact a Philadelphia trucking accident lawyer.
Why are trucks more likely to cause significant damage than a regular sized vehicle?
This comes down to their sheer size. A normal sized car weighs about 3,000 pounds whereas a big rig truck full of cargo can tip the scale at 70,000 pounds. With these numbers in mind, it is highly likely that a truck accident can cause severe injury and damage to you when out driving.
Who can I hold responsible, the driver or the trucking company?
In some cases, you may be able to hold both driver and truck company responsible for your accident. There are specific rules that go into when a trucking company is liable for their employee, making it all that more important to work with a Philadelphia, PA trucking accident lawyer who can navigate these legal loopholes for you.
How does filing a truck accident lawsuit work?
Before the case is brought to court, your attorney will do some research. They will request the driver’s Driver Qualification File (DQF) from the driver’s employer. The DQF is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and it will detail more information about the driver’s driving record, medical test results, and history.
Your attorney will then also look over the police report, investigate damages to your car and the truck, talk to doctors about your personal injuries, and interview eyewitnesses. Once they have everything compiled and enough evidence, they will bring your lawsuit to court.
What is the difference between civil and criminal court?
Criminal court is where punitive charges are brought against the truck driver. These punitive damages can range from fines to jail time, depending on the severity of the case and if it is a repeat offense. Civil court is where the victim of the accident will file a personal injury claim, suing for damages and compensation for what they suffered in the accident.
If you have been a victim of a truck accident, do not face the impending legal road alone. Our Philadelphia, PA trucking accident lawyer from the law firm of McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can help you with your case.
Why Is It Difficult to Get Compensation After a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are much more serious than a car accident, making a settlement even more important to someone who has been injured in a truck accident. But getting those damages can be even more difficult than when you’re in a car accident. How do the trucking company and federal regulations make it harder to obtain compensation after a truck accident? A Philadelphia, PA trucking accident lawyer can answer all these questions for you.
Trucking Laws Are Complex
Trucking companies don’t always own the trucks they use. They may hire owner-operators or contract out their work. Determining liability isn’t always as easy as looking toward the driver. If equipment failure is to blame, the person who owns the truck might be liable. Lawyers who work for the trucking company are trying to minimize the cost for their clients after an accident because the consequences are much greater than increased premiums. Because of the complexities of these cases, it is best to have a Philadelphia, PA trucking accident lawyer advocating for you.
Truck Drivers Face Serious Consequences
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has rules and regulations that govern commercial drivers. When drivers and trucking companies violate these rules, it not only makes them liable for an accident, but it can also affect their license and business. Lawyers for truckers and their companies want to fight to avoid these violations. When a truck driver faces an accident, he could lose his career.
Beyond drivers and the companies that hire them are cargo companies and truck manufacturers. A truck manufacturer might be liable if the brakes malfunctioned. If the accident was caused by improperly secured cargo, the cargo company that loaded the truck may be liable. The insurance companies for all these businesses will try to point the finger at someone else, making it difficult to get anyone to accept responsibility. When you have a Philadelphia, PA trucking accident lawyer working for you, he or she will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine which party or parties are liable.
Who would be at fault?
- The Trucking Company: The company who hired the truck driver may be at least partially responsible for the accident. But, proving this can be difficult without Philadelphia Trucking Accident Lawyers on your side. The trucking company may have not performed a mandatory inspection, hired an inexperienced driver, or done something else to cut corners when it comes to safety. Your lawyer may be able to uncover evidence that the trucking company is at-fault during the investigation process.
- The Driver of the Truck: The truck driver may have been violating the rules of the road in the seconds before the crash ensued. Perhaps the driver had fallen asleep, was speeding, cutting around corners too quickly, or followed too closely behind another vehicle and couldn’t stop in time. The driver could have been under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs, or had alcohol in his or her system. Truck driver fatigue is a common reason that truck accidents occur, as drivers are under pressure to get to their destination as soon as possible. Inform our Trucking Accident Lawyers in Philadelphia if you suspect the driver could have been fatigued behind the wheel. Despite regulations that oversee trucking companies, not every driver abides by these rules. For instance, a driver may want to get ahead of schedule by skipping out on meal and rest breaks. But by doing so, insufficient sleep and nutrition can cause sluggish response times, poor decision making, and even aggression while driving. We may request to see the trucker’s log book to identify whether any regulations were broken.
- Third Party Manufacturer: The manufacturer for truck parts may hold some percentage of liability, if a defect had contributed to the accident. For example, a poorly manufactured tire could have led to a blowout, faulty brakes, or other mechanical failure. Your Lawyers for Trucking Accidents in PA may recommend also suing a third party such as the manufacturer, if there is evidence that a truck part had failed to work as it was intended. If you or someone you care about was the victim in a truck accident, please know that you do not have to battle this alone. In fact, we advise against handling it without an experienced lawyer. Your first consultation with our PA Lawyers for Trucking Accidents at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt is entirely free, so there’s no risk is finding out whether you have a strong case for a lawsuit.
The deeper the pockets of the person being sued, the truck driver, manufacturer, or trucking company, the more the lawyers will fight to avoid paying anything. A quick settlement is often lower than needed to pay for all your injuries and losses. Most individuals injured in an accident don’t have the experience of the law, nor the money to really fight a claim. That’s why many Philadelphia, PA trucking accident lawyers offer a free consultation and take cases on a contingency basis.
You Need a Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Contact a trucking accident lawyer Philadelphia, PA clients recommend from McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck injury. You need the experience of a truck accident attorney to investigate your accident to prove liability and show that the truck company and driver should compensate you.