Pittsburgh Commercial Semi Truck Accident Lawyers: Munley Law
It is true, the vast majority of commercial semi-truck accident cases settle out of court. The main goal of the insurers representing trucking companies is to limit their liability and minimize the payout. Out-of-court settlements may be faster and easier, but at Munley Law, we take on each client operating under the premise of going to trial. Why do we do this? This is important to all legal team members because when an insurance company refuses to pay our client a fair amount for the accident claim, we do not hesitate to take the case to trial and let the people decide. If you or a member of your family has been injured in a semi-truck accident, you do not have to navigate the legal system alone. Contact us to speak with one of our qualified attorneys.
The Pittsburgh truck accident lawyers at Munley Law are nationally recognized as leaders in truck accident law. Every member of our legal team has extensive experience in heavily defended truck injury cases. We have won more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients.
Contact us for a free consultation with a semi truck accident lawyer today. There is no fee for our services unless we win your case.
Our Pittsburgh Semi Truck Accident Lawyers Take Due Diligence Seriously
Commercial trucks are called “big rigs” for a reason. The average car might weigh in at 2.5 tons, while a tractor-trailer can weigh 40 tons. Due to the disparity between the size of a car and a semi, when a collision occurs, for whatever reason, the results are often devastating. To give balance to an egregious situation, and to ensure each case is prepared properly and thoroughly from the onset, we:
- Get a comprehensive, detailed report from our client and any passengers who were in the vehicle.
- Obtain all accident reports
- Request copies of medical records to document the extent of the injuries
- Collect any pictures taken at the scene
- Interview witnesses
- Determine all potential insurance providers
- Consult with medical experts
- Investigate and document skid marks, accident debris, and oil, gas, and radiator fluid stains
Our investigations often reveal evidence not immediately available at the accident scene. Many trucks on the road today are equipped with interior and exterior cameras, Video evidence is vital information.
Commercial Semi Trucks On Pennsylvania’s Roadways
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports about 125,000 vehicle collisions in the Commonwealth in 2019. Pennsylvania ranks number 5 (behind California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia)in states with the highest number of truck accidents. Our state leads the nation in fatal under-ride crashes(a passenger vehicle slides under the back or sides of a large truck or trailer,) and I-95 is the third most fatal roadway for overall truck accidents. In the first two months of 2021, we have seen headlines on the news attesting to the ever-present dangers of sharing the roads with commercial semi-trucks:
“Tractor-Trailer Catches Fire Outside Allegheny Tunnel In Somerset Co.” January 26, 2021″
“Multiple crashes involving tractor-trailers have shut down a portion of I-80 westbound.” January 29, 2021
“Due to a tractor-trailer accident, a portion of I-79 northbound is shut down.” February 15, 2021
Why Commercial Truck Accidents Happen
There are many causes for the ever-increasing number of commercial truck accidents in Pittsburgh. As your advocates, we will first determine and prove what kinds of factors and negligent actions led to your crash. Stress and fatigue are prevalent among truckers. Violations to federal regulations about mandated rest breaks and maximum hours on the clock lead to stress and fatigue. Traveling through and around construction sites and work zones is dangerous and problematic for any driver. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA)tells us large trucks are involved in one-third of all fatal crashes occurring in work zones. Because long-distance truckers basically live in their vehicles when they are on the road, it is easy for them to multi-task or become easily distracted. Impaired driving makes a definite impact on commercial trucking accidents. According to an article published in the Commercial Carrier Journal, the CDL Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse removed 40,000 drivers in the first nine months of 2020 due to failed drug tests, predominantly from marijuana use. If the Department of Health and Human Services mandates hair follicle testing vs. urine testing, it is predicted five to ten times as many drivers will become ineligible to drive. Other causes of truck accidents include:
- Driving an overloaded vehicle
- Following too closely
- Mechanical failure
- Defective parts
- Unsecured Load
- Inclement weather
- Being unfamiliar with the roads
- Medical conditions
- Unrealistic delivery schedules
- Shortage of drivers
- Insufficient inspections
An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette written a few years ago titled, “is that big-rig roadworthy?” One particular quote caught our eye.
One out of six trucks pulled over for inspection was deemed so badly out-of-order that it was unsafe to drive.
Safety is a major consideration for all those who share the road with big rigs. Underride accidents often result in a fatality when another vehicle collides with a truck and ends up underneath. A large commercial vehicle has multiple blind spots called “no-zones,” which prevent them from seeing all surrounding vehicles. The very size of a tractor-trailer makes turning difficult. A trucker needing to turn right will often have to swing left first, placing vehicles on either side in danger. Additionally, when traveling at 65 mph, a big truck needs almost 420 feet to stop. In comparison, a standard football field is only 300 feet. The balance of height and weight in an 18-wheeler makes it particularly susceptible to rollovers even while traveling at a low speed. This can often happen when traveling up or down an incline, turning a corner, or when a tire goes off the roadway.
In an interview with Business Insider, a 20-year veteran driver stated, “Drivers are now more reckless than ever trying to make it to their destination before the clock runs out with the mandatory breaks and such.”
Trucking companies can be found negligent and held accountable when they:
- Knowingly hire a driver with a history of substance abuse
- Retain a driver with multiple moving violations
- Fail to properly maintain equipment, such as hydraulic brakes and tires
Our experienced team of litigators is widely recognized for excellence in assisting victims to recover financially from commercial truck accidents. Daniel Munley is a renowned speaker and presents cutting-edge truck accident trial techniques at legal conferences throughout the United States. Marion Munley has recovered many multimillion-dollar verdicts for her clients. She and Daniel are among the few semi truck accident lawyers who are board certified in truck accident law.
Get a Truck Accident Lawyer Who Understands Trucking Industry Regulations
Drivers of 18-wheelers are governed by special rules and regulations designed and enforced to keep our roads safe. Some of these regulations include pre-employment, post-accident, and random testing to screen for substance abuse. Trucker’s service hours are limited and restricted to prevent fatigued drivers from taking to the highway without sufficient rest. The trucks are subject to weight restrictions, and fleet owners are under obligation to inspect and maintain their trucks according to federal and state requirements.
The 117th Congress is considering a proposal to help alleviate the current driver shortages across the nations. The DRIVE-SAFE act (Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy) would permit teenage drivers the ability to drive big rigs across the country. Under present guidelines, drivers between the ages of 18-20 may not cross state lines. Although the proposal would require additional training for these young drivers, many opponents still believe training does not replace experience.
The Impact of Truck Accidents on Society
The societal impact of trucking accidents across the nation is staggering. There is no average truck accident. Each separate incident (500,000 a year) can cause millions of dollars when we factor in property damage, physical damage, and emotional damage to victims and their families and consider the financial burdens a trucking company will bear following an accident. Despite the stay-at-home mandates of COVID-19, preliminary data tells us 8,870 wrongful deaths from motor vehicle accidents happened during the second quarter of 2020. Trucking accidents throughout Pennsylvania directly impact workplace productivity, household incomes, and travel delay costs.
Although private insurers bear the majority of the costs associated with truck accidents, some financial burdens are absorbed by:
- Federal revenues and state municipalities
- The crash victims
- Health care providers
Additionally, costs of travel delay and a rise in taxes and insurance premiums all may, at least partially, stem from roadway accidents. As truck accident lawyers, we also strive to improve safety on our nation’s highways.
As Pittsburgh truck accident lawyers we are committed to improving roadway safety in our community. Some suggestions for avoiding the dangers of commercial truck accidents include:
- Allow sufficient space between vehicles
- Avoid blind spots
- Keep your focus on the roads
- Avoid road rage
- Adjust speed in inclement weather
- Use directional signals
- Do not pass on the right
- Avoid sudden stops
We Understand the Impact a Trucking Accident Has on the Family
The effects of a roadway accident are pervasive. Following any motor vehicle accident, the outcome of a client’s case is in the hands of only a very few people. Having the right Pittsburgh commercial truck lawyer can make a significant monetary difference in the potential award to the plaintiff. Munley Law is a nationally recognized leader in the field of truck accident litigation. We are among only a handful of Pennsylvania injury lawyers who have earned board certification in Truck Accident Law from the National Board of Trial Advocacy. We are also the only firm in the United States with two lawyers who have led the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. No other Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer can match our level of truck expertise. In addition to documented financial losses, such as missed wages, medical bills, and loss of personal property, it may be possible to seek monetary compensation for pain and suffering as well as:
- Loss of work benefits, including commissions, vacation time, bonuses, promotions
- Adaptive equipment
- Physical and occupational therapy costs
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Diagnostic tests
- Home health care
- Travel expenses if needed for medical treatments
- Funeral and burial costs
We Know How to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit and Win
Our attorneys are proven litigators with a confident command of courtroom procedure. We have decades of experience dealing with complex theories and conflicting witness statements. When a client is injured due to another person’s negligence, we can explain to insurance carriers, judges, and juries why substantial monetary value should be placed.
- The projected cost of long term medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Physical impairment and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
- The damages to personal and professional relationships
- Damage to credit rating
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- The debilitating emotional damage caused by anxiety, fear, and PTSD
I’m so beyond thankful for my lawyers, who have never steered me wrong and were ready to go to war for myself and my children. It has been an amazing experience working with them, and I’m so thankful for them. As no amount of money will ever change what happened, they made sure we were forever taken care of.” — Katy S., A Truck Accident Client.
If you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a commercial truck accident in Pittsburgh, and If you think you may have a personal injury case, contact Munley Law today. For the past six decades, we have represented truck crash victims and their families throughout the United States. We are recognized as industry leaders and regularly are featured speakers at trucking law events throughout the country. Our skilled litigators have consistently been named:
- Best Lawyers in America (via the legal guide Best Lawyers)
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (Pennsylvania Magazine)
- Best Law Firms (U.S. News and World Report)
We hope to give everyone who needs legal counsel access to quality high caliber representation. Munley Law charges truck accident clients on a contingency basis. We only get paid if we win monetary damages for our clients. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions. We are here to help.