If You Lost a Loved One in a Truck Accident in Pittsburgh, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is Here For Your Family.
Accidents are a devastating reality of the road. But when a truck is involved in an accident, the likelihood of fatalities and severe consequences is substantially higher. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, our Pittsburgh fatal truck accident lawyers are deeply and immeasurably sorry for your loss. We know you must be experiencing unfathomable pain, and that you want to achieve justice for this terrible wrong.
$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
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our goal is to take on the legal challenges that come with fighting for justice, so that you and your family can focus on emotional recovery. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys’s truck accident lawyers in Pittsburgh who have been recognized as the best in the country in truck accident litigation. We have the experience, skills, and passion to go head-to-head with large trucking companies to ensure you get what you deserve. Allow us to take on some of your burdens and fight for the compensation your family will need to move on following a fatal truck accident. Contact our Pittsburgh fatal truck accident lawyers today for a free initial consultation.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer After a Fatal Truck Accident in Pittsburgh?
Truck accidents are inherently extremely complicated cases, no matter how much or how little damage occurs. Unlike a fatal car accident, many, many parties may be found liable for the truck accident. Trucking companies have plenty of resources and legal power at their disposal, making them a formidable enemy for anyone trying to seek compensation after the death of a loved one.
If you are the next of kin of the victim of a fatal truck crash, you will most likely be contacted by insurance adjusters shortly after the accident. They may even take advantage of your vulnerable state and try to pressure you into verbally accepting a settlement offer that’s far lower than what you deserve.
What’s more, some of the evidence that could help you win your case may not be accessible without the help of an experienced truck accident attorney. For example, the truck’s electronic recording device, better known as the “black box,” contains valuable information about what the truck driver was doing before and during the accident. Soon after the accident, the truck company may try to destroy that evidence before anyone has a chance to review it.
Our expert truck accident lawyers will know exactly where to look, whether that’s CCTV footage to see how the accident occurred, the log book which details how long the truck driver had been on the road, or phone records to see if the driver was texting at the time of the accident. We can obtain vehicle inspection records, driver histories, and more, all of which can be crucial in establishing negligence and liability. Allow us to take on the heavy lifting so that you can grieve your loved one in peace.
What Kind of Compensation and Damages Can You Receive from a Fatal Truck Accident Case?
In personal injury cases, damages are determined by the specifics of the case such as medical treatment, property damage, and lost time from work. In the case of a fatal truck accident, these damages are intended to support the spouse, children, or other next of kin of the deceased party. Some compensation you and your family are entitled to include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Hospital and medical expenses
- Lost wages. These are calculated based on the person’s life expectancy had the accident not occurred and how much they anticipated making in that time.
- Lost benefits, such as the costs of healthcare, housing, and food
- Estate administration
- The loss of the deceased party’s companionship, love, comfort, and guidance
- Pain and suffering
Your family may also receive punitive damages for the fatal accident. Punitive damages are meant to punish the behavior of those responsible for the accident.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death is a legal term that describes a death that is “caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” This can include acts of negligence (such as a car accident), as well as intentional crimes and instances of medical malpractice. The beneficiaries can bring a wrongful death claim against the party that is responsible. The plaintiff is seeking financial compensation, not jail time for the defendant (although it is possible for the defendant to face criminal charges as well for the same act).
In Pennsylvania, the deceased party’s personal representative (or the executor of their will) must be the one to file the wrongful death suit. However, if they do not do so within six months of the date of death, any of the deceased party’s beneficiaries can file the suit.
In criminal cases, the defendant’s guilt must be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In personal injury and wrongful death cases, however, it must be proved only by a “preponderance of evidence.” This means, essentially, that the defendant can be found liable as long as there is at least 50 percent certainty that their actions caused or contributed to the death in question.
What are the Major Causes of Fatal Truck Accidents in Pittsburgh?
As with all motor vehicle accidents in Pittsburgh, there is a wide range of potential causes of fatal truck accidents. However, there are some factors and causes that are present in a large number of accidents. These include:
- Driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is a prevalent issue in the trucking community, due to the long hours and lack of comfortable sleeping conditions. A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration showed that fatigue was present in a large number of truck accidents.
- Driver intoxication. Some studies have indicated that more than 50% of truck drivers have admitted to drinking and driving. Drunk driving is, of course, both illegal and extremely dangerous for anyone behind the wheel, and even more so when the vehicle in question is 30,000 pounds.
- Speeding. Speeding is always dangerous, but even more so with as large a vehicle as a commercial truck. It’s, unfortunately, an all too common occurrence; in fact, the FMCSA reported that in a single year, 67,487 citations were given to truck drivers going six to ten miles over the speed limit.
- Distracted driving. The NHTSA defined distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.” Recent figures have shown that distracted driving claimed more than 3,000 lives in the US, and is an issue that greatly contributes to truck accidents.
- Vehicle failure or malfunction. Human error usually plays a major role in accidents, but sometimes the root cause is a malfunction or failure of the vehicle itself. One of the most common forms of mechanical failure leading to an accident is brake failure.
- Prescription and over-the-counter drug use. Unfortunately, drug use (both prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs) is fairly common in the trucker community. Some studies revealed that, of the truck drivers interviewed, up to 82.5 percent have used amphetamines while driving, and up to 8% have used cocaine. It’s important to remember that even a drug prescribed by a doctor can be abused, and can potentially impact someone’s ability to safely operate a vehicle.
All of these factors play a role in the cause of truck accidents in Pittsburgh, and often, it’s a combination of a few of them together that proves the most problematic. The FMCSA notes that, in particular, the combination of alcohol, fatigue, and speeding greatly increases the chance that an accident will occur.
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident in Pittsburgh, do not hesitate to reach out to a Pittsburgh truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. We will thoroughly examine your case to determine the probable cause and the liable party. Contact our fatal truck accident lawyer today for a free initial consultation.
How is Fault Determined in a Pittsburgh Fatal Truck Accident?
In an accident between passenger vehicles, most likely one or both of the drivers involved will be found liable. In a truck accident, however, many parties are responsible for ensuring that both the vehicle and driver are able to safely navigate the road. Therefore, there’s a far longer list of potentially liable parties. These can include:
- The driver. Of course, it’s entirely possible that the majority of fault lies with the truck driver. This is fairly clear cut if the driver was drinking, using drugs, texting, speeding, or otherwise breaking the law and exhibiting negligence at the time of the accident. All drivers have a duty of care to other drivers on the road and are responsible for acting reasonably and safely. Performing any of the behaviors mentioned above is a breach of this duty of care.
- The trucking company. The trucking company is responsible for the proper operation of its trucks while on the road. When an accident occurs, it’s possible they may be found liable. For example, if the truck driver is not properly trained to handle the tractor trailer and causes the accident, the trucking company could be held responsible for not training the driver.
- The truck owner. This is often a different entity from the trucking company, and it’s possible they may be found liable depending on the specifics of the case. A common example is the truck owner does have the vehicle maintained on a regular basis, which causes the brakes to fail while on the Fort Pitt Bridge.
- Truck manufacturer or auto parts retailer. If the accident was due to mechanical failure, that may potentially be the fault of the manufacturer (if it was a design issue) or the retailer that carried the part (if the part was damaged while in their care, or if they knowingly sold a faulty part).
Why Choose a Pittsburgh Truck Accident Lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys?
If a loved one lost their life in a truck accident in Pittsburgh, we at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are here to help. We are so sorry for your loss, and we know that while nothing can undo the pain of losing a friend or family member, there is still justice to be found. It is our goal and our honor to fight on behalf of you and your loved one for the compensation you deserve.
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we treat the attorney-client relationship with the utmost respect, and we do not get paid unless you win. We treat every case with the passion and sensitivity that it deserves. And while we will fight tirelessly in order to win you a satisfactory settlement, we are also prepared to go to court if necessary. Many Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers are experienced only with settlements and mediation and have no actual trial experience. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, however, our lawyers have hands-on courtroom experience, and can confidently defend you in a trial should the need arise.
We believe that all truck accident and wrongful death victims deserve justice. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to discuss your case and learn how we can be of service. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fatal Truck Accidents in Pittsburgh
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Case?
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death case is two years. However, it’s best not to wait nearly that long, as you may lose important evidence and be left with a mountain of bills in the meantime. It’s always best to hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after a fatal truck accident so that we can begin the fight to seek justice. Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free initial consultation.
How Often Do Truck Accidents Occur in Pittsburgh?
According to the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Allegheny County is one of the top counties in Pennsylvania for truck crashes, second only to Philadelphia County. Large trucks were involved in over 450 accidents in the county. As you can imagine, many of these trucking accidents were deadly. In 2019, approximately 11 percent of the fatal accidents in Pennsylvania involved a commercial truck.
How Can Our Pittsburgh Fatal Truck Accident Attorneys Help Your Case?
Once you hire our Pittsburgh truck accident lawyer, we will start by securing the evidence from the accident. This includes the data from the black box, getting the police report, speaking with witnesses, and examining the tractor trailer. With this information, we will be able to determine who was responsible for your accident. We will also go over with you all the damages you and your family have following the accident and give you an estimation of how much your truck accident claim is worth.
We will reach out to the insurance company to discuss the case and try to reach a settlement for the maximum amount of compensation available. If a settlement cannot be reached, we will represent you and your family in court.
We work on a contingency basis — meaning that you do not have to pay us for our services if we do not get compensation for your loved one’s accident. If we are successful, then we will take a percentage of the settlement.
How Long Will My Fatal Truck Accident Claim Take?
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say how long a fatal truck accident claim can take. That’s because each case is unique. Some truck accident injury cases can take a few months to resolve. However, fatal truck accident cases are difficult since someone lost their life in the incident. It can take years to reach a resolution in your wrongful death case.
Let Our Pittsburgh Truck Accident Attorneys Fight For Your Loved One
We understand and sympathize with you and your family during this hard time. Losing a loved one is never easy and we know that you and your family are dealing with not only the grief of their passing but the financial debt that was left behind. Let us help.
For over 60 years, the Pittsburgh truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have been helping truck accident victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania. We have dealt with trucking companies and their insurance companies. We will fight for your rights and make sure your family is taken care of. Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation.
Pittsburgh Practice Areas
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
510 Third Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219