Our Fatal Truck Accident Attorneys in Stroudsburg Will Help With Your Claim
A fatal truck accident is a devastating event with catastrophic consequences for the victim’s family and loved ones. If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Stroudsburg truck accident lawyer who can help you traverse the legal process and secure the compensation you’re entitled to.
For more than 60 years, Munley Law Personal Injury Lawyers have been handling fatal truck accidents across Stroudsburg and the Poconos. We understand the complexities of these cases can be and work hard to help you after such a tragic event. Let us help you with your truck accident claim. Call or contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
$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
What Causes Fatal Truck Accidents?
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), in 2021 there were 156 heavy truck-related fatalities in Pennsylvania. (Heavy trucks are defined as single-vehicle or tractor-trailer combination designed for carrying a heavy load of property on or in the vehicle. Includes: single-unit trucks, tractor-trailers, motor homes, etc.) This number is an 8.9 percent increase from the year before.
In 2021, heavy trucks were responsible for 12.5 percent of all fatal crashes in Pennsylvania. More than 97 percent of the victims who die in a crash with a heavy truck are occupants of a smaller vehicle. Simply put, the disparity in weight between trucks and cars makes accidents between them especially dangerous and often catastrophic for the drivers and passengers involved.
It’s important to explore and understand the trends in fatal truck accidents as a preventative measure. Some of the most common causes of fatal truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue: Long hours on the road without sufficient rest can cause truck drivers to become fatigued, increasing the risk of accidents. Truck drivers often drive for extended periods of time, which can lead to exhaustion and impaired driving ability. Fatigue can affect a driver’s ability to react to changes in road conditions, impair their judgment and decision-making abilities, and greatly increase the likelihood of accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has Hours-of-Service Regulations implemented to try to decrease the number of accidents and fatalities caused by driver fatigue. However, due to tight shipping and delivery deadlines, truck drivers often feel the pressure to keep going despite their fatigue.
- Speeding: Truck drivers who exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for road conditions can lose control of their vehicle often causing accidents. Speeding can lead to reduced vehicle control, longer stopping distances, and a decreased ability to react to unexpected hazards on the road. To prevent fatal truck accidents caused by speeding, it’s essential for drivers to follow posted speed limits and to adjust their speed based on road conditions, weather, and other factors that may affect their ability to safely operate their vehicles.
- Distracted driving: Safely operating any type of motor vehicle is a great responsibility. It takes alertness, good judgment, and focus. Safely operating a truck that is 72 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, 13.5 feet tall, and up to 80,000 pounds takes extensive training and commitment to safety. Truck drivers are on the road for hours and hours, navigating traffic and bad weather, keeping alert and aware, all while trying to meet deadlines. Naturally, truck drivers may be inclined to multitask given that they spend so much time on the road.
- Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major cause of fatal truck accidents. Due to their size, commercial trucks are likely to cause catastrophic accidents if they are not operated properly. It’s important for truck drivers to understand that they have a responsibility to ensure that they are fit to drive and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Commercial truck drivers are mandated to properly maintain their trucks. This can include vehicle pre-trip inspections, post-trip inspections, detailed recordkeeping, repairing any and all defects as they’re identified, and following a routine maintenance schedule. If there is an accident and a truck driver cannot prove and produce their inspection process, the driver will almost certainly be on the hook.
- Overloading: Overloading a truck can affect its stability, making it more difficult to maneuver and increasing the risk of accidents. Overloaded trucks are often responsible for steering difficulties, braking issues, mechanical failure, jackknifing, and tire blowouts. All events often lead to fatal accidents. Truck overloading is entirely preventable. Title 23 § 658.17 of the Code of Federal Regulations outlines specific formulas and calculations regulating the weight of commercial trucks. As professional drivers, truckers are expected to abide by these guidelines, follow protocol, and honor their duty.
- Poor weather conditions: Poor weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or fog, can reduce visibility and make it more difficult for truck drivers to control their vehicles. Trucks are especially vulnerable in inclement weather because of their size. Because trucks are more difficult to turn, slow down, speed up, and stop than the average-sized car, overloading cargo only amplifies the difficulty of these maneuvers, often leading to deadly accidents.
Who Can Sue for Damages in a Stroudsburg Fatal Truck Accident Case?
The surviving family members of the person who died in the truck accident may have the right to sue for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed by the personal representative of the victim’s estate. This is determined by the deceased’s will or by the court.
However, if the personal representative does not file the wrongful death claim within six months of the date of death, any of the deceased person’s beneficiaries may file the claim on behalf of all beneficiaries.
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of the beneficiaries of the victim’s estate:
- Parents of the deceased
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in connection with a fatal truck accident in Pennsylvania is generally two years from the date of the victim’s death, according to Pennsylvania law. In other words, the personal representative of a victim’s estate can usually file a wrongful death suit within two years of the date of the victim’s death.
There are some exceptions to the statute which are best discussed with an experienced fatal truck accident lawyer.
Who are the Defendants in a Fatal Truck Accident Case?
Aside from the driver of the truck, a claim may actually be filed against multiple parties. The commercial truck industry involves a crew of people who may be liable for a fatal accident. For example:
- Truck driver;
- Owner of the truck;
- Owner of the trucking company;
- Truck cargo loader;
- Truck mechanic;
- Company that employs the truck mechanic;
- Designer of a faulty truck part;
- Manufacturer of a faulty truck part;
- Company that sold the truck or its parts.
Depending on the particular details of a case, any of the parties above may be held liable for a fatal truck accident.
What Type of Compensation Can Be Recovered in a Fatal Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The compensation that can be obtained for a fatal truck accident in Stroudsburg is determined by individual circumstances. Under Pennsylvania law, it is possible to recover medical expenses, lost earnings, and other expenses, as well as non-economic losses. To determine the exact amount of compensation you may be entitled to, it is recommended that you enlist the help and expertise of a fatal truck accident lawyer to assess your current and future losses.
Non-economic damages are usually more difficult to quantify in comparison to economic damages. It’s nearly impossible to put a monetary value on the effects of a fatal truck accident, and it can vary widely depending on the individual circumstances of the case.
Some examples of non-economic damages are:
- The suffering or “pain and suffering” that the deceased person endured from the time of the accident until their passing. This can include physical pain, discomfort, and emotional distress experienced by the victim.
- The loss of love, companionship, and support that the spouse or immediate family members have been deprived of, also referred to as “loss of consortium” or “loss of emotional support.”
- The absence of guidance and instruction that the deceased could have given to any surviving children.
Economic damages refer to monetary losses that can be quantified. Economic damages are typically easier to quantify than non-economic damages, as they can be calculated based on actual expenses incurred or projected future losses. These damages are usually related to financial losses that result from the incident.
Some examples of non-economic damages are:
- The cost of medical treatment, hospitalization, surgery, medication, and any other medical-related expenses incurred due to the fatal injury.
- The lost wages and financial support that the deceased person would have provided to their family members. This includes the income that the victim would have earned if they had not been fatally injured. It may include the wages lost during hospitalization and recovery period, as well as future lost wages.
- The inheritance that surviving family members have lost, which would have been the amount that the deceased person saved and intended to leave to them.
- Funeral expenses including the cost of the deceased person’s funeral, burial, and related expenses.
How Can a Stroudsburg Fatal Truck Accident Attorney Help if You’ve Lost a Loved One?
A fatal truck accident case commonly involves some of the following elements:
- Investigation: The first step in a fatal truck accident case is to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. This may involve gathering evidence from the scene of the accident, including eyewitness testimony, police reports, and accident reconstruction reports.
- Liability Determination: Once the cause of the accident has been established, the next step is to determine who is liable for the accident. In a truck accident case, depending on the cause of the accident, liability may be shared among the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, and the truck maintenance company.
- Damages Assessment: After liability has been determined, the next step is to assess the damages suffered by the victim’s family. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses.
- Negotiations: In many cases, the victim’s family may be able to negotiate a settlement with the liable parties or their insurance companies. This can be a complex process, and it is important to have an experienced attorney who can advocate on behalf of the victim’s family and ensure they receive fair compensation.
- Litigation: If negotiations are unsuccessful, the victim’s family may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This will involve presenting evidence in court and arguing the case in front of a judge or jury.
Ultimately, a fatal truck accident case can be a complex and emotional process. It is essential to have an experienced attorney who can guide the victim’s family through the process and ensure that they receive the compensation and peace they deserve.
If a loved one has been killed in a truck accident, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in handling such cases. A fatal truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, investigate the accident, gather evidence, and pursue compensation for your loss.
This is a devastating time when you are likely immersed in shock and grief. Making phone calls, filing paperwork, researching, and managing deadlines are tasks that you don’t need to be doing in your state of sorrow. It would serve you well to allow a skilled attorney to help you with the burden you are carrying.
We only receive payment from you if you receive a favorable outcome in your case. Our fee is contingent on the success of the case; we will receive a percentage of your settlement or award. We do not get paid unless you get paid.
Munley Law Will Advocate for You
The Stroudsburg fatal truck accident attorneys at Munley Law are here to share their knowledge, experience, dedication, and history of excellent results on your behalf. Munley Law attorneys have specialized knowledge of federal and state regulations, industry standards, and the most common causes of fatal truck accidents.
Contact Munley Law today for a free no obligation consultation.
Stroudsburg Practice Areas
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
27 N 6th St,
Stroudsburg, PA 18360