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Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney

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.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash caused by a tractor trailer in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you should understand your legal options. Take advantage of a free consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer to learn the steps you should take. The Colleran Firm is a highly regarded law firm based in Philadelphia. Our truck accident attorneys work as a team and have more than a century of collective legal experience. Our law firm has helped accident victims and their families recover full compensation for injuries sustained in 18 wheeler crashes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Take a look at some of the numerous multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements we have obtained. The Colleran Firm will pay the up-front costs of pursuing a truck accident lawsuit and receive a share of any settlement or jury verdict only if we obtain compensation for you. If you do not receive compensation, you do not owe us any legal fee.

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.

What Makes a Truck Accident Different Than Other Accidents?

Crashes involving semis are more likely to cause serious injuries to the occupants of smaller vehicles.

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.

Large trucks were involved in 5 percent of all crashes and 12 per cent of all fatal accidents in Pennsylvania in 2014

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.

Parties Involved In a Truck Crash

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.

Mechanical Failures

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.

colleran-truck-02 Because of the significant differences, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling truck accident cases. We understand the kind of evidence to look for to build a strong claim for compensation.

Routes Commonly Used by Truck Drivers in PA and NJ

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.

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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.

Common Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is responsible for my injuries if I'm hit by a truck?

Each accident involving an 18 wheeler requires a detailed investigation because there are a number of parties potentially responsible for the accident and your injuries. The driver of the car or truck involved in the accident may be responsible if his or her driving error caused the accident. The trucking company that owns the semi and employs the driver may be responsible if the company failed to perform routine maintenance on the truck and that led to a crash. The owner of the trailer being transported may be liable if a mechanical issue with the trailer caused the accident. The company that loaded the trailer may be liable if the cargo was improperly loaded and shifted during transit, causing the truck to overturn or crash. If faulty brakes, tires or another part cause the accident, the manufacturer of the defective component may be held responsible for your injuries.

If I am a truck driver involved in a crash, how can I get compensation for my injuries?

If you are a commercial truck driver employed by a trucking company and are injured on the job, you should be eligible for paid medical care and replacement of lost income through your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s compensation covers on-the-job injuries regardless of fault. If an automobile driver caused the accident that led to your injuries, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver seeking compensation in addition to receiving worker’s compensation from your employer. If someone other than your employer was responsible for your injuries, you may have a legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit. A knowledgeable semi truck accident lawyer can review the specific facts of the accident and explain your legal options.

Can I sue a trucking company after an accident caused by a semi truck?

You may have a right to hold a trucking company responsible after an accident. Trucking companies, which also are known as commercial carriers, are responsible for the drivers they hire and the condition of the tractor trailers they keep on the road. If the trucking company kept a driver with a bad driving record on the highway or failed to perform adequate maintenance on its fleet of vehicles, the company may be liable for any injuries caused in an accident. If a trucking company pressured a driver to violate the hours of service limits and spend too many hours behind the wheel to make a delivery, the company may be liable. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney will review all contributing factors to the accident and identify the potentially liable parties to hold accountable for your injuries.

What legal recourse do I have if my insurance is limited?

Pennsylvania has a no fault insurance system to deal with claims for minor injuries. Your insurance company pays for your injuries up to the limits of your personal injury protection coverage. If your injuries are significant and exceed the limits of your insurance coverage, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault party if you carry full tort auto insurance. Full tort insurance has somewhat higher premiums but gives you the option to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver after a serious accident.

The attorneys at The Colleran Firm handle serious injury cases caused by health care provider negligence and medical malpractice in Pennsylvania & New Jersey.

Connect With Us:

The Colleran Firm

2005 Market Street | Suite 1940
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-972-8000