Can Multiple Parties Be Responsible for a Trucking Accident?
Truck accidents involving passenger vehicles are complex, especially when it comes to determining who is responsible for the truck crash. Truck accidents require a thorough investigation to discover who is at fault. Unlike a normal car accident, there could be multiple parties responsible, such as the truck driver, trucking company, the shipping company, or the manufacturer of the vehicle.
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident caused by the negligent actions of a truck driver or the trucking company, know that you likely can recover compensation for any losses. An experienced truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can investigate the crash and identify all defendants. Learn more about how a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can help you recover losses for your truck accident injuries.
How is Liability Determined in Philadelphia Truck Accident Cases?
According to the latest figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of trucking accidents in the Commonwealth. In 2021, of the 10,458 motor vehicle accidents in the Philadelphia area, 505 involved a heavy truck.
Though truck accidents are not at all uncommon, determining liability in truck accident cases continues to be a complex issue. Truck accident cases can have multiple defendants. There can also be disputes about who caused the crash. A Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can help you navigate these issues and get the compensation you need. We work with investigators, experts, and advanced technology to determine liability in your truck accident case.
While a passenger vehicle driver can be liable for a truck accident due to negligence, not following highway rules, intoxication, etc., liability often is with the truck driver, the trucking companies, or another party.
When the Truck Driver is at Fault
Whenever truck drivers get behind the wheel of the semi truck, they have an immense responsibility to drive carefully. If a truck driver is negligent or fails to drive with reasonable care, they can be held liable for a truck accident.
Though truck driver negligence is one of the leading cause of truck accidents, some of the most common causes of truck accidents where truck drivers may be found liable include:
- Fatigued driving: Drivers are only permitted to drive for so many hours under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This includes taking breaks after eight hours of consecutive driving, obtaining so many hours of sleep, etc. When drivers do not take the breaks required under these federal regulations, it can result in fatigued driving and lead to major truck accidents.
- Driver error: Though truck drivers must undergo extensive training, error can still occur. Be it ineffectively maneuvering a large truck around back roads, inability to stop, blind spots, etc. these can cause accidents.
- Driving under the influence: There are laws and regulations within the trucking industry that drivers are not to operate their big rigs after the consumption of alcohol, drugs, etc. However, when a driver drinks and drives, fatal crashes can occur.
- Distracted driving: Whenever a truck driver takes his or her eyes away from the road, they are considered distracted. From simple acts of taking a phone call, to adjusting controls on the dashboard, a few seconds of distraction can lead to serious injuries.
When The Trucking Company is at Fault
As much as the driver of other vehicles can be held liable, so too can the trucking company they drive for. When a trucker is employed by a trucking company, the company can be held liable for negligent actions of their employees. Additionally, the trucking company can be held liable for their own negligent hiring, training, or safety practices that contributed to your truck accident.
Reasons trucking companies may be found liable in a truck accident include:
- Commercial truck was not properly maintained by the company: Unless the truck driver owns the semi, the trucking company is required to maintain the vehicle. However, when they allow vehicle defects to go untreated, tractor trailers can become dangerous to operate, leading to collisions.
- Commercial drivers were not adequately trained: Transportation companies can be found negligent if they fail to adequately vet and train their drivers. Truck drivers have to undergo rigorous training in order to operate these large commercial vehicles. However, given the size and weight of these large trucks, if the driver is not well equipped to drive these long haul in various terrain, the truck companies can be held at fault in the event of a truck accident.
- Truck drivers were made to adhere to strict deadlines and unrealistic demands: Many truck drivers will tell you that driving a big rig is a stressful job. When you add that stress to deadlines and unrealistic assignments that these drivers must meet, drivers may not be able to control the schedule they are placed on, putting themselves and other drivers at risk.
When Other Parties Are At Fault
While the trucking companies or the truck driver are two of the most common negligent parties in a trucking accident, other parties may also be at fault or share in the fault of a truck accident.
Those who can be held liable in a truck accident include:
- Loading company: When a truck accident occurs because the rigs load was not properly loaded, the loading company or the owner of the freight being transported can be held liable for the victims injuries.
- Truck manufacturer: If an accident occurred as a result of a faulty part inside of the truck, the vehicle manufacturer can be held liable. However, know that only roughly 5 percent of truck accidents are actually caused by equipment failure, most commonly those being brake or tire failure.
- Mechanic or inspector: A badly maintained truck can malfunction on the road and cause a truck accident. When a large truck undergoes inspection or have routine maintenance, we hope that the mechanic or inspector has done their due diligence to carefully review the truck. However, defective trucks or unsafe rigs continue to be a problem in truck accidents.
Other third parties can be held liable in a trucking accident including other passenger vehicles, the government agency in charge of the care of roadways, etc. An experienced truck accident attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can identify all sources of recovery so that you get the full amount of compensation you deserve.
What Injuries Can I Sustain After a Trucking Accident?
Truck accident victims likely have many concerns, many of which are how will they move forward as they recover from their injuries both emotionally, physically and financially. Injuries in a truck accident can have long-term effects and even change your life forever.
Common serious injuries that occur in these truck accidents include injuries to the:
- Back and neck
- Spinal cord
- Head and brain
Other injuries as a result of a truck accident include:
- Permanent disfigurement
- Amputation of one or more limbs
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
In some cases, these injuries can be fatal, so having a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer by your side to help with your truck accident claim can be critical.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Truck Accident in Philadelphia?
In many truck accidents, more than one party may be held liable for your injuries and the damages you have accumulated as a result of the collision. Some of the most common damages you can recover as an accident victim include:
- Damage to your vehicle
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages, both current and future
- Diminished quality of life
- Funeral and burial costs in the case of wrongful death
The insurance companies are not going to want to pay out your full claim immediately. Instead, it will take careful negotiation and in some cases, court action. A Philadelphia truck accident attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, and prepare to bring your case to trial if necessary.
Do not take on the insurance companies, truck drivers, or trucking company alone. A Philadelphia truck accident attorney will be able to help.
What a Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney Can Do For You
Truck accidents can upend your life, but you don’t need to go through it alone. Get the help you need from a nationally ranked Philadelphia truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. Your personal injury lawyer can help gather information for truck accident cases including:
- Negotiating with the insurance company of the truck driver, truck company, and your own
- Gather evidence of the accident including if the driver has previous truck crashes on their record
- Prove liability and negligence
- Review any other liable parties
- Help establish a wrongful death lawsuit if needed
Any accident involving commercial trucks is more complex than the typical motor vehicle accident. Trucking accident victims need to know that they are not alone. Philadelphia truck accident lawyers are readily available to handle fatal truck accidents and to build a truck accident lawsuit when truck accidents occur.
Be it serious injury or wrongful death claim, a Philadelphia personal injury attorney can help you recover from your losses while you rebuild your life.
Accidents happen. To speak with an experienced truck accident attorney in Philadelphia about your truck accident claim or personal injury claim, please call or contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys online. You can reach us 24/7. We offer a free initial consultation and operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay our Philadelphia truck accident lawyer until we win your case.