|What Makes a Truck Accident Different?||Routes Commonly Used by Truck Drivers in PA and NJ|
|Parties Involved In a Truck Accident||Common Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents|
|Mechanical Failures||Frequently Asked Questions|
As you travel the highways and interstates of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you will likely share the road with many large trucks such as tractor trailers, flatbeds, coal trucks and tanker trucks. Large trucks have wide blind spots on all sides into which smaller vehicles can disappear. A mistake by an automobile driver or commercial truck driver can lead to a serious multi-vehicle accident, particularly when vehicles are travelling at interstate speeds.
Let us review the specific facts of the accident at no charge and provide an honest opinion about your legal options. That will allow you and your family to make an informed decision about how to proceed.
Accidents involving large commercial trucks and cars are different in a number of ways from collisions involving two automobiles or a car and a pickup truck.
Crashes involving semis are more likely to cause serious injuries to the occupants of smaller vehicles because of the disparity in size and weight between tractor trailers and passenger cars. Large trucks were involved in 5 percent of all crashes and 12 percent of fatal accidents in Pennsylvania in 2014, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Because of the potential damage 18 wheelers can cause, commercial truck drivers and trucking companies are required to carry higher amounts of liability insurance than automobiles. That raises the financial stakes after a serious accident. Higher amounts of compensation are available to people injured in truck accidents as a result of negligence.
Truck accidents are often complicated. Multiple parties including a truck driver, trucking company, trailer owner, cargo shipper and truck manufacturer may be jointly liable for an accident. Your lawyer will have to spend some time determining who is potentially liable and who should be named in a lawsuit. That means multiple insurances companies are likely to be involved. That makes it more essential that you have a seasoned truck accident attorney advocating for your legal rights. The trucking company and insurers will have lawyers looking out for their interests. You should have a legal advocate, too. Otherwise, you may receive a fraction of the fair value of your injury claim.
Trucks may cause serious accidents as a result of mechanical failures. The majority of Pennsylvania truck accidents related to mechanical failures involve tires and wheels, brakes, and unsecured or overloaded trailers, according to the PennDOT. Identifying a mechanical failure may require an independent investigation by truck industry experts. Trucking companies are required to keep maintenance records, driver files and logs for a period of time. These can provide evidence of negligence. Therefore, having a knowledgeable lawyer get to work on the case as soon as possible after an accident is critical to the outcome of the case.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey both have high volumes of tractor trailers and cargo tankers transporting goods to and from cities in the northeast. Interstates 70, 76, 78, 80, 81 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike are routes with heavy commercial truck traffic.
About 24 percent of accidents involving large trucks in Pennsylvania occur on interstates and 58 percent of crashes occur on state highways
In New Jersey, the corridors heavily used by large trucks include Interstate 76, 80, 95, the Atlantic City Expressway, the New Jersey Turnpike, and Routes 42, 81, 130, 322 and 440.
When trucks are travelling at interstate speeds, they take much longer to stop than automobiles. If the driver loses control and hits another vehicle, the injuries are likely to be more severe. The impact of a high-speed collision can leave the occupants of cars or pickup trucks with massive head injuries and multiple fractures.
Trucks are higher off the road than cars. Most semi trailers are required to have steel bars on the back of the trailer, known as underride guards. These are designed to prevent cars from sliding under the back of the trailer in a rear end collision. But federal regulators have said the minimum dimensions and strength of some underride guards make them more likely to fail in collisions.
When a car slides under the back of an 18 wheeler, the passenger compartment of the car is more likely to be crushed and the occupants may experience life-threatening head, neck and spinal injuries or fatal injuries.