Your Advocates After an Accident With an 18 Wheeler
When you or a loved one has been hurt in an 18 wheeler truck accident in Philadelphia, you might be facing an uphill battle to recover the just compensation you deserve. Eighteen wheelers, also known as tractor trailers or semi trucks, are heavy commercial trucks that can weigh over 80,000 pounds and are 25 times the size of an average passenger vehicle.
$32 Million Wrongful Death
$26 Million Truck Accident
$17.5 Million Car Accident
$12 Million Product Liability
$9 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$7.5 Million Auto Accident
$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident
$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
$5 Million Medical Malpractice
$5 Million Bus Accidents
Truck accidents are far more serious than most passenger vehicle crashes. Commercial truck accidents involving 18 wheelers can cause far more serious injuries than car accidents. If you have been involved in a truck accident in Philadelphia, you need an experienced Philadelphia 18 wheeler accident lawyer on your side.
The Philadelphia truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have over 60 years of experience handling truck accident claims throughout Pennsylvania. We understand the pain you and your family is currently going through. That’s why we offer a free consultation to all 18 wheeler accident victims learn the specifics of your case and to help you get compensation for your injuries. Call today to schedule a free consultation.
Truck Accident Liability Can Involve Multiple Parties
Philly has a lot of busy highways and roads experiencing a lot of out-of-state drivers driving in high-pressure, high-volume traffic conditions.
According to a study by Safe Roads USA, “It may come as a shock to learn that compared to the other major cities, Philly has the worst rate of traffic-related deaths per 100,000 residents. Specifically, there are 6 deaths per 100,000 in Philadelphia, compared to only 2.87 in New York City. Los Angeles is closer at 5.74 deaths, and Boston has the lowest rate at 1.93 … more than one-quarter of the most dangerous road segments in the state of Pennsylvania are in Philadelphia” with I-95 (Delaware Expressway) being one of the most dangerous.
When there is an 18 wheeler accident on Philadelphia roads, it can cause more serious injuries, including fatal injuries, and they can be far more complex legally.
If you have been in a truck accident you need to know that responsibility might fall on not only the driver but other “behind the scenes” parties as well.
Liable parties can include the truck driver, the truck owner, the trucking company, the large commercial truck manufacturer and more. To complicate matters, many trucking companies deny fault regardless of the circumstances of your Philadelphia truck accident. To discover who is responsible for your accident, you will need the help of an experienced 18 wheeler accident attorney to investigate the accident and determine who is at fault.
Who Can be Held Responsible for My Philadelphia Truck Accident?
Although there are many ways truck driver negligence can be to blame, there are many other potential defendants in truck accident cases.
Commercial truck drivers are under constant pressure to meet deadlines. One of the most common causes of trucking accidents is driver fatigue.
For example, after a truck accident on I-95, it was discovered the truck driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. The driver admitted that they had been on the road for 20 hours straight to meet a pressing deadline.
There are federally mandated rest and sleep breaks for truck drivers for a good reason. Driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence.
If it’s determined that the truck company had forced the driver to ignore federally mandated breaks, the trucking company can be held responsible for the truck accident.
Potential at-fault parties in a Philadelphia truck accident include:
- The truck driver
- Owner of the truck or tractor-trailer
- Person or company that leased the semi-truck or trailer from the owner
- Manufacturer of the vehicle, tires, or other parts that may have contributed to the cause or severity of the accident, and;
- Shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo (in cases involving improper loading).
Proving these cases can be difficult because trucking, hauling, and leasing companies will deny responsibility. In Philadelphia truck accidents, they will try to deny fault to avoid paying compensation to the victim.
To help you navigate how to build your personal injury case, you’ll need an experienced Philadelphia 18 wheeler accident attorney fighting for you.
What Damages Can I Receive in a Philly Truck Accident Case?
Accidents involving large vehicles can be challenging because each situation is different. There are a variety of damages you might be entitled to based on the circumstances, just as there are numerous parties who may be at blame in truck accidents in Philadelphia.
Our experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyers will fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Typical compensation due to truck accident victims can include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income, both present and future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lessened quality of life
- Funeral costs for family and loved ones
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are meant to punish the other party for reckless or negligent behavior.
What Are the Common Types of 18 Wheeler Accidents?
There are several different types of accidents you can get into with an 18 wheeler in Philadelphia. Some of the most common types of trucking accidents include:
- Jackknife accidents. Semi-truck vehicles fall under the articulated category called “articulated vehicle ” that are cars made from different segments connected by movable joints. A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer swings around and causes the truck to fold in on itself at a 90 degree angle
- Truck rollovers. One of the most devastating collisions, truck rollovers can occur because the center of gravity of 18 wheelers and other large commercial trucks is significantly higher than that of regular passenger cars. Truck drivers must exercise extreme caution when making sharp bends or unexpected swerves.The trailer may flip and roll the entire vehicle over onto one side if drivers make too many sharp turns or drive too quickly for the road conditions, creating a hazardous and perhaps fatal situation for the truck driver and other motorists.Rollover collisions can be the result of a negligent truck driver’s recklessness such as speeding, distracted or fatigued driving, or driving while intoxicated.
- T-Bone collisions. The majority of T-bone collisions, also known as side-impact or broadside collisions, take place at intersections. Sometimes, tractor-trailers and other large trucks will disregard stop signs, run red lights, or otherwise fail to yield the right-of-way, resulting in “T”-shaped collisions with the sides of other vehicles.Drivers or passengers who are seated on the side of the car that receives the brunt of the force in a T-bone collision frequently suffer the most severe injuries in these collisions. T-bone collisions can be legally caused by truck drivers who are speeding, inattentive, tired, or drunk running through junctions. Another scenario that can result in a T-bone collision is when a truck driver improperly turns across one or more lanes of traffic, slamming into the side of another vehicle.
- Rear-end collisions. Due to the sheer size and weight disparity between large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, truck drivers require a lot more space and time to slow down, avoid obstacles in the road, or come to a safe stop behind other vehicles. Devastating rear-end collisions with other vehicles can occur when truck drivers are inattentive, speeding, or tailgating. Rear-end collisions can as frequently be caused by intoxicated driving and driver fatigue. Inexperienced or hurried truck drivers who disregard the guidelines for following distances set by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also put other people in danger by failing to give themselves enough room to slow down.
- Head-on collisions. Any driver can drift out of their lane and directly into the path of oncoming traffic when they are careless, reckless, or simply lose control of their cars. When cars disregard the proper right-of-way at stop signs, red lights, or other junctions, head-on crashes between any two vehicles can occur.However when a big, heavy commercial truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the results can be devastating. The truck driver may be drowsy from working long hours to satisfy strict quotas causing them to wander into opposing lanes of traffic. Drivers may be impaired by alcohol or illicit drugs while they are on the road causing them to lose control and steer into the direction of approaching traffic. Tire blowouts, which frequently result in rollover collisions, may also cause a truck to lose control and veer into opposing traffic.
How Do Trucking Companies Deny Liability for 18 Wheeler Accidents?
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Philadelphia 18 wheeler truck accident, you want to make sure that everyone who was at fault is held accountable. It’s common for truck drivers and their insurance companies to contest responsibility in ALL truck accident cases, regardless of fault.
Even if the truck driver was obviously at fault, you should never assume that dealing directly with truckers and their insurance companies will be in your best interest.
It is not the purpose of trucking firms or insurance companies to give compensation to truck accident victims. They are there to make money and keep the money they make.
They will try everything in their toolkit to settle truck accident claims for as little as possible. The truck drivers, the trucking company and their insurance companies will attempt to minimize or completely reject your claim.
Here are some of the ways trucking companies avoid paying just compensation to victims of 18 wheeler crashes:
- They will deny liability outright. The simplest strategy is to simply deny responsibility. Almost all trucking companies instruct their drivers to deny fault after an accident. Many truck drivers are trained to admit nothing and never apologize (which can be construed as a passive admission of guilt) to accident victims. 18 wheeler commercial truck companies and their insurance company know that accepting liability means paying out. Denying liability is their best defense to avoid paying a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim.
- They will get their lawyers involved. Why do you need a good Philadelphia personal injury attorney in your corner after a trucking accident? Because the trucking company will have theirs working overtime almost immediately. A truck driver’s or trucking company’s lawyers will launch into their own investigation right away and then twist the evidence to weaken your truck accident case. They will hide damning evidence and work tirelessly to save the trucking company money.
- They will delay compensation payments. Following an 18 wheeler crash, the truck company, driver and insurance company all know that the victim is facing seemingly insurmountable medical bills, possible lost wages and possible unexpected funeral costs. In addition to all of the emotional stress and anxiety victims experience after a truck crash, they are also under a lot of financial pressure. The companies know that victims can start to feel more and more desperate the longer it takes for their claim to be approved. They know that victims who are forced to wait for just compensation will be more willing to accept any settlement that comes their way.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Philadelphia 18 Wheeler Accidents?
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or loss due to a truck accident, you are not alone. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2020, there were nearly 146,000 reported accidents involving large trucks in the United States.
The common causes of truck accidents include driver negligence or recklessness, faulty truck tires or brakes, and irresponsible behavior on the part of the trucking companies. You or your loved one’s large truck accident may have been caused by one or a number of these factors. If so, you deserve compensation for your injuries and property damage.
Trucks move America. There is no disputing that. But with consumers ordering more and more online products and demand for those products to be delivered within days, trucking companies can make unreasonable demands on large commercial truck drivers. Bad weather, traffic, road construction and mechanical issues can put drivers under pressure to drive over the speed limit and ignore some traffic regulations.
Speeding greatly reduces the ability of large trucks to brake safely which can cause accidents and severe injuries to other motorists.
Driver fatigue is probably one of the most familiar hazards of the trucking industry. Long hours, long runs and strict timetables might force some drivers to skip breaks and required sleep. Exhaustion is one of the most common causes of all 18 wheeler accidents.
Distracted driving has become a huge problem for all motorists and the cause of many 18 wheeler truck accidents. Distracted Driving falls into three main categories:
When a truck driver is distracted, the resulting accident could be catastrophic. Texting while driving a truck, checking social media or replying to social media messages or eating while driving, looking at paperwork, or taking attention off the road for any reason while driving a truck can cause a fatal truck accident.
Driver Negligence or Recklessness
A truck driver’s failure to act in a way that shows a reasonable duty of care to other drivers on the road can demonstrate the driver’s part in causing the accident. Both driver negligence and recklessness may be factors in your accident.
Negligence is one of the main factors we consider in analyzing the truck driver’s part in causing the accident. All drivers are expected to act in a way that shows reasonable care towards others. However, when drivers inadvertently fail to demonstrate their expected standard of care, they may cause accidents.
For example, a truck driver may be considered negligent for failing to take proper rest breaks. This can easily lead to driving while drowsy. Tired driving can be extremely dangerous, especially while operating large machinery such as a tractor-trailer. Even though this may be done inadvertently, the driver is negligent nonetheless.
Sometimes drivers may act in an intentional way – knowing that their actions endanger the lives of those around them. This is known as recklessness. Some examples of recklessness include driving while texting, driving while impaired by alcohol, and speeding.
Failure to Adjust to Weather Conditions
Philadelphia sees a lot of shifting weather patterns throughout the year which can affect road conditions. We see low visibility due to rain, fog and snow, icy sleet and frozen, icy roads, and sometimes heavy winds. Bad weather can lead to bad accidents, especially when an 18 wheeler is involved.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about 21 percent (more than 1.2 million) vehicle accidents each year are related to bad weather.
Failure to Properly Inspect Tires and Brakes
Large semi-trucks usually have 18 wheels and a total of 10 air compression brakes. If any of these are not functioning properly, they may cause the truck to lose control or be unable to shop. Maintenance and inspection of large trucks is essential, especially given the amount of mileage put on these large vehicles.
It is the trucking company’s responsibility to make sure that their vehicles are road safe. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers should check their vehicles at the end of every workday and make a report. Furthermore, a full inspection must be completed every 12 months. If a company fails to make these inspections or keep proper records, it may be held liable for an ensuing accident caused by vehicle malfunction.
Pressure to Meet Deadlines
Long-distance 18 wheeler deliveries fuel the online shopping economy and have become even more prevalent and essential. Consequently, trucking and retail companies may be under extreme pressure to fulfill deliveries in shorter times. The companies often place strict deadlines on their truck drivers.
These deadlines may cause the driver to be unable to take a needed rest break, causing them to drive while fatigued. When deadlines become impossible to meet, drivers may exceed the speed limit in order to achieve them. The pressure that a trucking company places on its drivers to meet their quotas can have a direct impact on tractor-trailer accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions About 18 Wheeler Accidents in Philadelphia
Q: How Much Can I Receive for My Truck Accident Case?
A. It can be difficult to give an exact figure of how much you may receive following a Philadelphia truck accident. All truck crashes are different so what one injury victim receives is not the same for another. During your first consultation, our Philadelphia truck accident attorney will sit down with you and go through all the expenses you have following the accident.
We can then come up with an educated estimate of how much your truck accident claim is worth.
Q: How Much Will a Philadelphia 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney Cost?
A. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys charges truck accident clients on a contingency basis. That means that our attorney is only paid if your personal injury lawsuit reaches a settlement or favorable verdict. This makes it possible for anyone to hire the best possible legal representation.
It gives you equal access to the justice system and representation of the same caliber that insurance companies, transportation companies, and other defendants can hire. Once your truck accident case is settled or reaches a verdict, we will take a percentage of your settlement to pay for our services.
Call us today for your free case evaluation.
Q: What is the “Black Box?” Is it Important to My Case?
A. Most people might not be aware that many large trucks, like airplanes, have an information-recording “black box” on board. These “black boxes” may provide vital details regarding how and why an accident took place. They keep track of the truck’s speed, GPS position, seatbelt use, steering angle, braking duration and force, airbag deployment, cruise control settings, tire pressure, and much more.
Black boxes capture factual data regarding collisions, and the information can be used as critical evidence in a lawsuit for personal injuries brought against a truck driver or company. However, obtaining this information can be challenging because most devices destroy records automatically after 30 days, and a trucking company might be reluctant to release the information.
The truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are highly knowledgeable when it comes to commercial truck technology and data. We have obtained and analyzed black box data on dozens of trucks and used that information to win a settlement or at trial. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys knows how important this information can be in determining the cause of a trucking accident. We also know how to legally oblige the trucking company to hand on information to us which we can use to strengthen your case.
Trucking accidents are difficult to navigate on your own. Multiple parties may be held responsible for your injuries and the insurance company will try to prevent you from receiving a fair settlement. If you were involved in a truck accident in the Philadelphia region, an experienced Philadelphia truck accident attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is here to help.
Q: Are 18 Wheeler Accidents More Dangerous Than Car Accidents?
A. Absolutely. After a tractor trailer accident you might be suffering from serious injuries. Spinal cord injuries, head injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), internal injuries and even serious injury leading to the loss of a loved one are far more common in semi truck accidents. If you or a loved on has been injured or a loved one has been killed you want to seek maximum compensation for your losses.
Your injuries may be far more serious. You need a serious lawyer on your side. A Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can determine why the accident occurred, whether it was due to driver error, mechanical failure, trucking company negligence and more.
If You Were Injured in a 18 Wheeler Accident in Philadelphia Don’t Wait. Call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
Trucking accidents are incredibly stressful and they can be devastating for victims. Getting into an accident with an 18 wheeler can cause serious injuries. You might be facing a long recover, mounting medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages due to missing work for your injuries or doctor visits. If you have lost a loved one to a truck accident, you are now burdened not only with medical bills, lost wages from a partner’s income but also funeral expenses.
Whether you are considering a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, you are going to need help. Our experienced truck accident attorneys in Philadelphia will fight for you so you can focus on healing and moving forward.
A Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer will handle communications with the trucking company, negotiate with insurance company and insurance adjusters, collect data from the accident scene and launch a full accident investigation to determine liability. If necessary we will take your truck accident case to court. We will fight until you receive your maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Philadelphia Practice Areas
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
1617 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19103