Injured in a big rig accident in Scranton? Contact one of the nation’s top truck accident lawyers for a free case review.
Scranton and Pennsylvania as a whole witness thousands of big rig accidents every year. In 2015 alone, the state reported 7,465 big truck crashes. 130 of those accidents turned out to be fatal.
Due to the nature of these trucks, they usually pose more significant risks on the road than other vehicles. Crashes involving big rig accidents also often come with additional legal headaches- multiple different defendants, specialized truck rules, federal regulations, and other complexities that make a big rig accident different from a regular car crash.
But there’s still hope. With the right attorney, any victim can break through the barriers and get fair compensation for the injuries sustained. This article will help you understand big rig accidents in Scranton and why you should trust Munley Law with your big rig accident case.
This family of lawyers has been earning top credentials. Since 1993, they’ve been appearing in The Best Lawyers in America’s lists. Their peers have awarded them top ratings for helping to create many laws that continue to protect innocent citizens in Scranton.
Have you or your family member been involved in an accident involving a big rig? Contact Munley Law for a free consultation now. Are you worried about money for the case? Let’s take that worry away from you- you’ll not pay anything unless we win.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Scranton
Accidents caused by trucks and big rigs can make your life a mess. In some cases, the aftermath of such accidents is so bad that they can’t be reversed. If you sustain an injury from an accident involving a big rig, rest assured we shall determine the cause. That way, you get the compensation you deserve.
While determining the root cause of an accident can be an easy task, it can prove to be sometimes challenging. Here are the main reasons that lead to such crashes:
- High Speeds: Some big rig and truck drivers ignore the posted speed limits, causing accidents to other road users.
- Distracted driving: this is among the most notorious causes of truck accidents. Things like using phones, eating, tuning the radio, and reaching for items while driving are distracting. This issue is so stubborn that federal governments have implemented specific steps to encourage drivers to remain alert when on the steering wheel.
- Equipment Failure: Poorly-maintained trucks and big rigs have a high chance of malfunctioning. Such equipment usually puts nearby drivers, pedestrians, passengers, and other people at high risk of fatalities and injuries if an accident happens.
- Defective Tires: A lousy tire can blow out, get detached from the truck, or cause the vehicle to lose control, posing a hazard to other people.
- Reckless driving: most drivers hurry to beat the set deadlines, leading to over-speeding and skirting around traffic rules.
- Improper load securement: some truck companies fail to secure loads on their trucks securely. Such loads can shift and come off or lead to accidents.
- Fatigued driver: the pressure to cover huge distances often leads to some drivers going without sleep. Other causes of fatigue include environmental conditions, medical issues, and driving on familiar roads.
- Not Adhering to Traffic Regulations: Some truck companies ignore federal and state traffic rules.
Mistakes to Avoid and What You Should Do After a Big Rig Accident in Scranton
It would be best if you got the compensation that you deserve. Therefore, ensure your case has a rock-solid foundation. In most cases, injured victims unknowingly fail to take the right actions immediately after an accident. So they end up hurting their chances of obtaining a just and fair recovery.
Unfortunately, defense lawyers and insurance providers often take advantage of these mistakes and use them to escape from their responsibility. Every driver needs to understand the steps they need to take if they get involved in an accident with a big rig.
Here are the mistakes to avoid and what to do instead:
Failure to Call the Police
Call the police and medical assistance at the crash scene immediately if you have been hit by a big rig. Let the law enforcement officers know that you were involved in an accident and you think you got injured.
It’s worth noting that the police force will not dispatch their officer unless they receive a report of injuries. When investigating the crash, the police officer will interview witnesses and collect evidence.
Accepting Settlement Offers
Call your insurance and record a brief statement of the crash. Note that the insurance agent will record any conversation between you and them. Refuse to take any settlement offer.
The big rig driver, insurance company, and the defending lawyer may twist seemingly harmless words into an admission of guilt. So don’t be tempted to show sympathy or compassion by saying words like “sorry.” They can use such small gestures against you or misinterpret these conversations as an admission of fault. Don’t say that you’re okay, especially before medical personnel confirm. And avoid talking about the crash on social media.
Underestimating the accident-related Injuries
According to medical researchers, adrenaline can mask the pain from an injury until after some time. Additionally, this hormone can make a severe injury appear less serious. So you need to call medical personnel to ascertain the depth of your injuries, especially if you become unconscious or hit your head.
Speaking to Insurance Companies without Speaking with Your Scranton Big Rig Accident Lawyer
It’s not wise to speak to any insurance company, including yours. In most cases, insurance adjusters try to solicit information that will help them lower the compensation or avoid bearing the responsibility altogether. So first, contact a reputable lawyer to represent you in any communication with the insurance companies.
The lawyer will ensure every information passing to these companies is accurate so that you get fair compensation. Did an insurance adjuster call you? Don’t rush to give a statement before speaking with your lawyer. Also, don’t sign any other document apart from the police report.
Failing to Collect Evidence
Be sure to gather more information about all the drivers and vehicles involved in the accident (including the big rig) as much as possible. The information to collect includes names, contact details, insurance cards, registration cards, licenses, and the cars’ makeup and model.
Be sure to use your smartphone’s camera to take photos of the accident scene, cards, licenses, and number plates. And let the drivers have your information too. Were there independent witnesses at the scene? Gather their contact details too.
Did other road conditions play a part in the big rig accident? Make notes of them- they include obstructions to your view, obstacles on the road, poor weather conditions, and ongoing road construction.
Note or take photos of any injuries that you and your passengers sustained. Also, make a note of your lost wages, lost commissions, lost time from work, and other expenses that you accrued due to the accident.
The damage that your car got from the crash is crucial evidence, so don’t take it to the garage until you’ve spoken with your attorney.
A Scranton truck accident lawyer at Munley Law will collect the most crucial evidence on your behalf — we will obtain the truck’s black box, the truck driver’s log book, and more.
Scranton big rig accident lawyers who understand the severity of a truck case
Yes, every accident can pose severe risks to the driver and other road users. But accidents involving trucks and big rigs tend to carry more danger. Why?
While most cars weigh around 5,000 pounds, trucks and semi-trucks usually weigh 80,000 pounds or above. So such a vehicle can cause more significant damage to the smaller one when they crash. Furthermore, most truck owners overload their vehicles with cargo, heightening the probability of these trucks losing control. Any wrong turn is enough to topple the whole weight, posing a risk to other vehicles and road users.
More Challenging to Handle in Hazardous conditions
Drivers usually find it hard to control their vehicles when there’s rain, snow, hail, fog, and other adverse conditions. For the big rig drivers, the situation can become even more dangerous. Controlling the big rig on an iced or wet road is much more complex, heightening the chance and impact of a crash. While an average commuter can wait for things to improve before continuing with their journey, the big rigs don’t have that option in most cases.
Why Handling a Big Rig Accident Case Can be Challenging
While any collision can be deadly, a crash with a truck can be more challenging to solve. The case tends to be dynamic because many different parties can be involved as defendants.
Assuming you’re driving down on I-81 and a big rig collides with you. Its driver will most likely be the first party to look at for liability. Remember, the tractor (the cab) and the trailer are two different parts.
The next party to consider is the driver’s employer. Are they an independent contractor transporting the load for pay by mileage, freight, and location? Or are they an employee working in a larger trucking company?
The third person to look at is the load owner. Did the driver pick it carefully? Who did the loading? Was the truck overloaded? What are they hauling (logs, hogs, grains, boxes)? Are they transporting an intermodal container from a ship?
And if the crash occurred due to equipment failure, you’ll want to look at the person who does the maintenance on the trailer or tractor. The trailer’s owner may also turn out to be someone else.
Truck accidents are complicated by nature. That’s why you need a highly skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer who knows exactly what steps to take to win you the maximum compensation and hold the trucking company responsible.
Munley Law, the Best Truck Accident Lawyers in Scranton
Are you a victim of a big rig accident in Scranton? You need a lawyer that will help you navigate through all the above hurdles, help you win the case, and get full recovery from damages and injuries. And the best the icing on the cake is that you’ll not pay us anything unless the case goes through successfully. So money is no longer an obstacle on your way to justice.
Since its inception in 1959, the firm has continued to deliver success in personal injury law cases. More than five decades have seen clients enjoying unmatched services from a team of professional and experienced lawyers. To this team, no claim is too difficult or too easy to solve. And no two cases will ever be the same. So they provide unique services to every client that walks through their doors.
Every year (since 1993), Munley Law has made the list of the Best Lawyers in America. Each edition has been listing Attorney Robert W. Munley ever since they began publications. Reputable lawyers across the US take part in peer-reviewing the publication.
The Munley Law attorneys are leaders in the American Association for Justice and Pennsylvania Association for Justice. They’ve also received peer recognition for their professionalism and achievements. Attorneys Robert W. Munley, John Mulcahey, Marion Munley, Daniel W. Munley, Robert W. Munley III, and Christopher Munley have received awards of Super Lawyers designation. Only 5% of lawyers in Pennsylvania manage to scoop this award.
Which Truck Crashes Cases Do Munley Law Scranton Big Rig Accident Lawyers Handle?
As discussed above, a truck crash case differs from other vehicles’ accident cases. The attorney of your choice needs to prove that they have rock-solid experience in handling cases involving 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers. They should also have in-depth knowledge of the ever-changing state and federal laws specific to these vehicles.
Have you or your family member been involved in a big rig accident? Take action now. Contact Munley Law for a free consultation.