If someone in your life has been involved in a fatal truck accident, an Allentown fatal truck accident lawyer is here to help. Our experienced team will work around the clock, fighting on your behalf and making sure you never feel alone throughout the process. Let us do the heavy lifting here so you can focus on the rest of your life.
Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today.
When a fatal truck crash occurs, everyone involved is affected, but no one more so than the victim and their family and loved ones. This is, without a doubt, an unbearably painful experience for anyone to endure. We cannot do anything to change this course of events, though we wish we could, but what we can offer is support and legal guidance as you seek justice. You may wish to file a truck accident lawsuit; that is something we can explore together. When you work with an experienced truck accident lawyer, you set yourself and your family up for success in achieving the justice and compensation, you so very much deserve.
Causes of Fatal Crashes
What exactly causes a fatal truck crash? Are there things drivers can do to lower the odds of something like this occurring?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2020, there were more than 4,000 fatal truck crashes involving large trucks across the US. While some of these were caused by things like collisions with fixed objects or rollovers, the vast majority of these accidents and ensuring fatalities occurred with a truck collided with another moving vehicle. In fact, of the 4,444 fatal crashes that occurred in 2020, 3,183 of them (71.6%) were caused by a collision with a vehicle in transport.
The reality is, there is no singular answer. A truck accident can be caused by a wide variety of things. However, there are some factors that are present in a great deal of truck accidents and can increase the odds of a fatal accident taking place. These include:
- Distracted driving. The CDC defines distracted driving as “Anything that takes your attention away from driving,” including “Sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, using a navigation system, and eating.” There are three main kinds of distraction: Visual (your eyes are not on the road), cognitive (your mind is not thinking about driving) and manual (your hands are not on the wheel). Driving while distracted in any of these ways greatly increases your chances of causing a collision.
- Brake failure. Many studies estimate that brake failure plays a large role in causing accidents, particularly truck accidents and accidents involving a tractor trailer. A fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh something like 80,000 pounds, and the system that keeps the brakes working in a vehicle this size is extremely complex and involves a compressor that feeds air pressure into tanks. But if a tractor trailer overuses the brakes in a short period of time, air is drained from the compressor faster than it can be replenished, and the brakes will fail to engage. Tractor trailers are at particular risk of brake failure when driving downhill.
- Aggressive driving. Aggressive driving can mean many different things: speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, unsafe passing, tailgating, and more. Generally, it includes any combination of moving offenses that endanger the truck driver and others on the road.
- Driving under the influence. It surely comes as no surprise that driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is extremely dangerous, and very much increases the risk of an accident. What’s more, it’s illegal. In Allentown, passenger vehicle drivers cannot drive with a BAC of more than .08 percent, while commercial drivers may not drive with a BAC of more than .04%.
- Fatigue. Truck drivers often work extremely long shifts, driving great distances alone and without a break. This can lead to fatigue, which is very dangerous. In fact, The NSC says that “Driving while drowsy is similar to driving under influence of alcohol.”
If a loved one has endured a fatal accident due to a truck wreck of any kind, we are here to help. We believe that all truck accident victims deserve for their voice to be heard, and we are prepared to make that happen. Contact us today to speak to a Munley truck accident attorney.
Types of Trucks Involved in Fatal Crashes
When we talk about “trucks” and “truck accidents” in this context, we’re referring to a wide variety of vehicles and types of collisions. They can include:
- Semi trucks and semi truck accidents
- Tractor trailers and tractor trailer accidents
- Big rigs and big rig accidents
- And more
A collision that involves any of these vehicles is a truck accident, and it’s in your best interest to work with a personal injury firm that has experience with these kinds of cases. The trucking industry is immensely complex, and dealing with trucking companies in this regard requires a specific skillset.
Why Should I File a Lawsuit After a Fatal Truck Accident?
When a loved one loses their life in a truck crash, all you most likely want is to bring them back. We wish we could do that for you. But while we cannot bring your loved one back to you, we can help to fight for justice on their behalf and hold the responsible party accountable. One way to do this is to file a truck accident lawsuit.
Filing a lawsuit does several things. For one, it holds negligent parties responsible, forcing them to reckon with the consequences. Second, it can provide you and your family with compensation that can help you move forward.
What is a Wrongful Death Suit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a suit that asserts that someone lost their life due to another party’s negligence, recklessness, or unlawful actions. Its intention is to supply damages that compensate for both the grief and financial losses of the victim’s family, loved ones, and beneficiaries. If you have a loved one who lost their life in a semi truck accident, and you can establish that someone (whether that’s the truck driver, the trucking company, or another party) was at fault, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit.
Not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the victim. In Allentown, and Pennsylvania as a whole, the primary party who would be eligible to file is the victim’s personal representative or executor. This is a person the victim would have chosen and named in their will. However, if the personal representative does not file a claim within 6 months, any of the deceased party’s beneficiaries can file.
The total time to file is two years from the date of the accident, given Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations. However, it’s best not to wait that long to take action on your trucking accident case. The quicker you act, the more likely it is that your personal injury lawyers can access crucial evidence and build you a solid case.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive in a Wrongful Death Suit?
Oftentimes, losing a loved one leaves does not only cause huge emotional distress but also pushes you into a place of financial strain that you do not deserve. Perhaps the victim was the primary provider in the home, and you’ve now lost that essential income. Perhaps they incurred hefty medical bills before they passed away. Perhaps you’re struggling to pay for their funeral.
All of this, and more, can be accounted for when you seek damages in your truck accident case. When you recover compensation, it can cover:
- Lost financial support
- Medical bills and the cost of medical treatment
- Funeral expenses
- The cost of pain and suffering
- The loss of love, companionship, and more
- Other kinds of out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage
When you bring your case to an Allentown truck accident lawyer at Munley, you can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to secure you maximum compensation. We will never undervalue your case or accept less than you deserve. You have every right to recover compensation that may assist in your healing.
What Role Does Insurance Play In This Kind of Truck Accident?
In most auto accidents, your first course of action after leaving the scene is to alert your insurance company. But do the same rules apply when you’re dealing with a commercial truck?
One element of this conversation that’s important to note is that Pennsylvania differs from many states in terms of automobile insurance. Most states require either fault-based insurance (the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays) or no-fault insurance (all drivers are covered by their own insurance company). In Pennsylvania, however, drivers have the option to purchase either of these forms of insurance. This impacts how damages are recovered after an accident.
For example, if your loved one was in a semi truck accident and had no-fault insurance, their own insurance company should offer coverage. In cases like this, it can be challenging to recover damages outside of insurance. If your loved one carried at-fault insurance, you can more easily turn to the truck driver’s or trucking company’s insurance providers to recover all damages.
Who Is At Fault?
When an accident of this nature occurs, one of the foremost questions for those involved is: whose fault is this? When an accident involves a vehicle like a semi truck, or a tractor trailer, the question of fault becomes slightly more complex. Not only are there at least two individual drivers (or more) involved but there’s also the chance that the trucking company itself exhibited some kind of negligence. Some of the parties who could potentially be at fault in semi truck and other accidents involving a truck include:
- The truck driver: Of course, it’s entirely possible the fault lies with the truck driver. This is particularly clear if the truck driver was breaking a law at the time of the accident, such as driving under the influence or speeding.
- Another driver: Another driver may be at fault. Perhaps a drunk driver swerves into the truck’s lane, causing the truck to swerve and collide with another car. In a case like this, the drunk driver would most likely bear some degree of fault.
- The trucking company: The trucking company is responsible for ensuring the safety of both its drivers and all other inhabitants of the road. If it becomes clear that the company failed to properly train its drivers, or put an unfit driver on the road, for instance, they could certainly be found liable.
- The truck manufacturer: The truck manufacturer could be found liable if the accident was caused by a mechanical error, and this error was due to a design or manufacturing flaw.
- The company or individual that loaded the truck: There are federal trucking regulations in place that dictate how a truck must be loaded; failure to comply with these rules is both illegal and dangerous. However, despite being heavily regulated, these rules are sometimes broken. If the truck was improperly loaded (ie, if it surpasses the weight limit, or if items are not securely tied down, for example) the entity responsible may be at fault.
With so many parties in play, determining fault can seem tricky. But that’s exactly what an experienced personal injury attorney, like those at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys firm, is trained to do. Your lawyer will review your Allentown truck accident case in great detail, ensuring that all negligent parties are brought to justice and held responsible.
What Do I Do After a Fatal Truck Accident in Allentown?
In a perfect world, no one would have to worry about knowing the answer to this question. But the reality is that truck accidents occur, and it’s in your best interest to be prepared.
- Seek medical attention. Your first and most important responsibility after an accident is to make sure you’re safe. This includes securing medical care if needed. Get yourself taken care of before worrying about anything else. It’s also important to remember that some injuries may be masked by adrenaline, so keep an eye out for injuries you don’t notice immediately.
- Call the police. Calling police officers to the scene is always a wise choice, but this is especially true if the accident involves a company truck. Calling the police to the scene guarantees there will be an official account of the accident. The police will write up a police report that includes all the details of the accident, and may even include their estimation of who was at fault. This is a piece of documentation that can be very helpful as you build a case later on.
- Exchange information. You should exchange information with any and all other parties involved particularly the truck driver, before leaving the scene. This information should include contact information, insurance information, insurance policy number, driver’s license number, and employee number if the driver has one. You should also get an address and phone number for the trucking company itself. You can also exchange information with any witnesses at the scene, as they may be able to provide helpful insight into what caused the collision. They are not obligated to give you their information, but you may ask for it.
- Document the scene. Even if the police are documenting the scene as well, it’s recommended that you secure some of your own documentation as well. You can take pictures of all the vehicles involved, their license plates, the surrounding area, and any visible injuries on your own body. You can speak to witnesses for their perspective. You can also photograph skid marks, debris, and any other elements that seem relevant to the accident.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. You should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. This is true for any auto accident.
- Call a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys truck accident lawyer. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as you can after the accident. You will likely start receiving calls from insurance adjusters as soon as the day after the accident, and they may try to pressure you into admitting fault or agreeing to a statement. You’ll want all of this communication to go through your lawyer, so it’s best to get someone on board as soon as you’re able.
What’s more, some of the evidence you’ll want your attorney to procure is time sensitive. For instance, the black box in many trucks that will record crucial information about an accident usually tapes over itself in a matter of days or hours, so you’ll want a lawyer that can secure this information as soon as possible. Remember: your words can be misconstrued, particularly by those who are trying to make it look like you’re at fault. Make sure all contact with other parties involved in negotiations happens through your attorney.
Don’t hesitate to contact one of the Allentown truck accident lawyers here at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. We’re ready to fight on your behalf.
How Can I Pay For Your Truck Accident Services?
Many people are worried about working with truck accident attorneys for the simple reason that they’re concerned about the cost. It’s a valid concern — losing a loved one is not only emotionally devastating but can also drastically change a family’s economic status. It’s understandable for folks to hesitate about adding a pricey lawyer into the mix.
But here’s the good news: when you work with Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, you don’t pay a penny unless we win for you. In the event that we do win, our contingency fee will be awarded as a percentage of the damages we secure you. In other words, there’s no scenario in which you have to worry about out-of-pocket expenses. You can rest assured knowing we’re fighting tirelessly on your behalf, and we don’t get anything unless you get what you deserve.
What’s more, you don’t have to commit to working with us unless you’re absolutely sure it’s the right fit. You can contact us any time for a free consultation, where we can discuss your case and you can ask any questions you may have.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation, and learn how we can secure you a fair settlement.
Why Choose a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Fatal Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you have lost someone in a truck accident, you know that it is a traumatic and overwhelming experience. Here at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, it is our goal to bear a bit of that struggle for you by providing you with the best counsel and most experienced truck accident lawyers you will find in Allentown.
Our legal team is experienced in all things personal injury, with a particular focus on truck accident cases. We have an extremely successful track record of securing wins for our clients, and we treat the attorney-client relationship with the utmost care and respect. When you work with us, you will be made aware of all of your legal rights, and you will feel as though you’re navigating the legal process alone. We have decades of experience going up against powerful adversaries, and we have the skills and resources to make sure trucking companies are held accountable for their actions.
Our team of ten excellent, highly experienced lawyers and dozens of excellent legal support staff will work tirelessly for you so that you can focus your efforts on the things that really matter. We will fight hard to secure you a fair settlement, and if it becomes necessary to go to court, we can protect you there as well.
Contact Munley Law, a premiere personal injury law firm, today, to be connected with an Allentown truck accident attorney, and to learn how we can protect the interests of both you and your loved ones.