A truck accident can be extremely terrifying. Because of the size and weight of heavy trucks, the accidents that result when these vehicles collide with smaller passenger cars are often devastating. Permanent injuries, fatalities and even environmental damage are common with commercial truck accidents.
Truck Accident Lawyers
If you have suffered an injury in a collision with a commercial truck, contact a personal injury lawyer at McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C. Our team knows the incredible suffering that can result from a truck accident and understands what it takes to pursue justice.
In fact, Larry A. Weisberg, a partner at our law firm, worked in the insurance industry on behalf of trucking companies for 15 years. He knows the kinds of tricks that trucking companies use when trying to avoid liability, and he can use this information when pursuing your case to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Because of the size and weight of heavy trucks, the accidents that result when these vehicles collide with smaller passenger cars often lead to devastating results.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT
The first thing you need to do if you’ve been involved with an 18-wheeler, of course, is to make sure anyone who needs medical attention gets it as quickly as possible. Truck accident injuries can be extremely serious, requiring immediate help.
You will need to speak with a doctor yourself even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt. There are some injuries, such as whiplash, that can take days or even weeks to manifest after an accident. If you don’t see a doctor and you develop symptoms, you could be at risk of suffering permanent damage. In addition, it will be extremely difficult to prove your injuries were the result of the accident itself.
Once you are certain medical help is on its way, your next call should be to the police or highway patrol. They will send someone to secure the accident scene and protect others who may be on the road. They will also make a report of the accident, taking statements from you and anyone else who may have either been involved or witnessed it.
Your next call should be to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help gather the facts, organize materials, and make a case on your behalf.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
When you work with a lawyer who has expertise in cases involving tractor trailers they will gather evidence and will try to determine who caused the accident.
In Pennsylvania, the legal principle of comparative negligence is used when deciding whether you can sue the truck driver. If the truck driver is more than half at fault, you can seek compensation. If you are found partly to blame for the accident, your damages will be reduced by the percentage you are at fault.
As a result of the comparative negligence, truck accidents often turn into finger-pointing. The trucking company and truck driver involved may try to blame you for the collision, and the truck manufacturer may blame the truck driver. In general, there may be multiple liable parties in your trucking accident, and they can include:
- The truck driver: One of the more common truck accident causes is human error on the part of the truck driver. There are a lot of reasons this can occur. For example, the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel because he or she was trying to meet a deadline. He or she might have been under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or even a prescription medication. The driver may have been distracted due to talking or texting on a phone. Whatever the reason, if the driver is found to bear more than half of the responsibility for the accident, they could be held partly liable.
- The trucking company: Unfortunately, the trucking industry is an extremely competitive, high-pressure business. As a result, companies often cut corners or place unfair burdens on drivers in order to get a load to its destination as quickly as possible. It is the responsibility of trucking companies to make sure their vehicles are in proper working order, and also ensure their drivers get sufficient rest. When considering the liability of trucking companies, your attorney will perform a thorough investigation into the cause of any accident and do whatever it takes to help make sure the company responsible for your suffering is held accountable for any negligent acts it may have committed.
- Truck manufacturers: Another leading cause of tractor-trailer accidents in PA is faulty equipment, such as an engine component that fails or a structural component that malfunctions. If an investigation shows the truck involved in your accident was improperly built, the manufacturer may face liability. The manufacturer of a part that malfunctioned, such as brakes or a tire, may also be held liable.
- Other drivers on the road: In some instances, other drivers are at fault. For example, a driver in front of the truck may have swerved suddenly or braked suddenly, causing the truck to swerve and strike your vehicle. In cases where a third driver caused the accident, that driver may be held liable.
- Other liable parties: In some cases, third parties are responsible. For example, a municipality may be responsible if poor road conditions or incomplete road signs led to your traffic collision. Roadwork crews may be held partly liable if they created an unsafe area for drivers.
Determining fault often means extensive investigation, interviews and expertise.
Our law firm represents victims in accidents on any road or major highway in Pennsylvania. Busy highways like I-83, I-81, and I-80 are often the scenes of truck accidents.
We offer you a free consultation to anyone caught in a truck accident, or the loved one of an accident victim. We will go over all the details of your accident, including the injuries that were suffered and the steps you can take to recover compensation.
Give us a call or contact us online to speak with one of our attorneys.