Were You Injured in a Truck Wreck? Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer at Munley Law Now for a Free Consultation.
The truck accident lawyers at Munley Law are recognized nationwide as leaders in truck accident law. No firm is more experienced, or more successful in getting truck accident victims the justice they deserve. We have won more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients.
$26 Million Truck Accident Settlement
Largest on Record in Northeastern Pennsylvania for an Individual PlaintiffView Case Details
Truck Accident/Wrongful Death
Garbage Truck Crash
Garbage Truck Accident
Tractor Trailer Crash
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Won for Truck Accident Victims
When you’ve been hit by a large truck, you need to know your case is in the best possible hands. Commercial truck and tractor trailer accidents can be far more devastating and complicated than a regular car accident. That’s why they should only be handled by a law firm with years of experience and a record of success handling this specific case type. Munley Law is unique in that our firm has developed a special focus on these complex, heavily defended cases. For more than 60 years, the truck accident lawyers at Munley Law have represented truck crash victims throughout the United States. Our nationwide truck accident attorneys are dedicated experts in aggressively pursuing the justice and compensation that our clients deserve. Each member of our firm has extensive experience in these heavily defended truck injury cases.
Table of Contents
- What to Do After a Truck Accident
- How Our Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You
- How Truck Accidents Are Different From Car Accidents
- Truck Accident Causes
- Who Is Responsible for a Commercial Truck Accident?
- What is a Truck's Black Box and Why is it Important After a Truck Accident?
- Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Nationally Recognized Leaders in Trucking Law
Our truck accident attorneys are recognized nationwide as industry experts. Our own Marion Munley was the first woman Chair of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group, and Daniel Munley served as chair from 2011-2012. Munley Law is the only firm in the country to have two of our lawyers lead the AAJ Trucking Litigation group. Both Daniel Munley and Marion Munley have also been recognized as one of the Top 10 Trucking Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Marion and Daniel Munley are both board-certified in Trucking Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In 2019, the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group renamed the “Chairman’s Award” in honor of Robert W. Munley (1930-2019), in recognition of his work as one of the first lawyers to specialize in truck cases and to treat them differently from other types of auto accidents. The award is presented annually to an attorney who has advanced the goals of the Group: to educate other lawyers on trucking law matters and to improve highway safety through legal work and advocacy. Marion Munley and Daniel Munley were the first lawyers to receive the award after it was renamed the “Robert W. Munley Award” in honor of their father and Munley Law founder.
The truck wreck attorneys at Munley Law 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), and are proud members of the Million-Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. Our truck accident lawyers are regarded as experts in the industry, and we are regularly asked to speak about trucking laws at events all over the country. Let us put our expertise to work for you.
If you are injured and can’t come to us, we can travel to meet with you wherever you are located.
Contact Munley Law for a free consultation by calling toll-free at:
(855) 866-5529 or email us today.
Maximum Results for Truck Wreck Victims
In 2018, truck accident attorneys Daniel Munley and Marion Munley achieved the highest settlement for a single plaintiff in our region – $26 million for the victim of a truck accident who suffered traumatic brain injury
If you want proof that not all personal injury firms are created equal, look no further than our track record. We won’t settle with the insurance company for less than you deserve, and we will fight in court on your behalf if necessary.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
After a truck crash, seek any necessary medical treatment first and foremost. Then, it is important that you contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Once hired, our experienced truck crash attorneys at Munley Law will preserve vital pieces of evidence, secure the scene of a tractor trailer crash, and take necessary photographs and witness statements. This is critical because evidence can be lost, misplaced or purposely destroyed by the trucking companies. The preservation of that evidence is crucial to proving liability in the collision.
How Our Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You
Tractor trailer accident litigation requires thorough investigation, the opinions of expert witnesses, and the creative use of discovery procedures after the suit is filed. Prompt investigation of the accident scene is crucial. The trucking company will quickly dispatch its own investigators; you need someone on your side who will do the same. Munley Law’s on-staff team of investigators routinely visit accident scenes and take photographs of physical evidence. They will document eyewitness accounts, skid marks, accident debris, as well as oil, gas, and radiator fluid stains at the wreck scene. We will also obtain police reports, motor carrier records, witness statements, photographs, and safety logs. The sooner you engage us to represent you, the sooner we can get to work.
Expert Witnesses for Tractor Trailer Accident Cases
Munley Law’s tractor trailer accident attorneys have long-established relationships with trucking industry experts and investigators. These expert witnesses can review the facts of your case and help us plan a winning trial strategy. Other experts including engineers, medical professionals, economists, caregivers, and accident reconstructionists will work alongside us to put your strongest case forward.
Experienced Tractor Trailer and Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck crash cases differ greatly from car crashes and other types of cases. Experience counts when an attorney is handling a personal injury case involving a tractor trailer or 18-wheeler. Truckers and transportation companies must comply with a complex set of federal and state laws and regulations governing hours of service, maintenance and inspection requirements, and other safety protocol. The tractor-trailer accident attorneys at Munley Law have in-depth knowledge of these (frequently changing) laws and regulations. We will determine whether a violation of this kind contributed to your crash, and hold the offending driver and/or company responsible.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Munley Law charges truck accident clients on a contingency basis. That means that the attorney is only paid if he or she wins money damages for you. This makes it possible for anyone to hire the best possible legal representation. It gives everyone equal access to the justice system and to representation of the same caliber that insurance companies, transportation companies, and other defendants can hire.
Nothing is more devastating than getting into a wreck with a tractor trailer. Your injuries may be life-threatening, and medical costs can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Your insurance may not cover all of your expenses, and you may have difficulties just trying to get back to your life. We are here to help. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, then don’t wait much longer.
Contact Munley Law for a free consultation by calling toll-free at (855) 866-5529 or email us today.
Truck Accident Client Testimonials
“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.”
Trucking Accident Client
“First, I want to tell you I hired another firm for my case before Marion, I did not choose carefully the first time is all I will say. Secondly, I would like to say that I do not give the highest rating to many people or companies without earning it. I can say Marion earned it!! She and everyone I came into contact with in her firm handled my case with the utmost professionalism, as well as true empathy for my situation, while not missing a detail about the facts of the case."
Trucking Accident Client
“I got into a serious wreck with a tractor-trailer two years ago, one that took me out of commission for months. The trucking company was fighting my case, saying I was the one who caused the accident. Luckily, I had Dan Munley at my side. He got me the money to help pay the medical bills and much more. He really pulled through for me and my family and I am eternally grateful to him.”
Trucking Accident Client
“Bob Munley helped me at the worst time of my life. After my crash, I thought I would never recover. But Bob Munley was with me every step of the way. Not only did he get me what I needed, but he made sure I understood what was happening with my case.”
Trucking Accident Client
Were you injured in a truck accident?
We will have a team of the country’s top lawyers review your case entirely for free, and you will never have to pay anything up front or out of pocket.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
How Truck Accidents Are Different From Car Accidents
As you can imagine, commercial truck accidents can differ from car accidents in various ways. Not only are you dealing with a larger vehicle — on average, an 18-wheeler can weigh 80,000 pounds, 20 times the weight of a passenger car — but the drivers need to follow certain regulations that the typical driver does not have to follow. They cannot drive more than 10 hours per day; however, many ignore this rule in order to meet deadlines or obtain a financial incentive.
Other ways truck accidents can differ from car crashes include:
- Who’s liable: In a typical car accident, usually only a few parties can be held responsible, such as one or both of the drivers. But in a trucking accident, there could be various parties such as the driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the vehicle, and the company that loaded the vehicle.
- Insurance policies: A truck driver’s insurance policy is much larger than your average car accident policy. This means insurance adjusters will do everything in their power to make sure fault lies on the car driver’s shoulders to prevent a huge payout.
- Serious injuries: The larger the vehicle, the more likely the accident injuries will be greater. This leads to larger medical bills, life-changing injuries, and possible death.
Truck accidents can be life-changing and devastating. This is why it’s always important to speak to a commercial truck accident lawyer with the experience, knowledge, and track record to protect your claim and stand up for your rights.
Truck Accident Questions and Answers
Q: What can I do to protect my rights after a truck accident?A: As the victim of a truck wreck, you have legal rights to compensation for your injuries. However, because trucking accidents often involve multiple responsible parties and insurance companies, obtaining that compensation can be a nightmare. Without legal representation, you're likely to be bullied out of a fair settlement. Trucking companies will typically have unlimited resources, including teams of lawyers to fight against any lawsuit you may file as a result of an accident—regardless of how injured you are. If you have been hit by a tractor trailer or large commercial vehicle, the best way to protect yourself is to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer at Munley Law who will defend your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Q: What should I do at the scene of a truck accident?A: While you are at the scene of the wreck, be sure to:
- Remain calm and remain in your vehicle, if it is safe to do so
- Turn on your hazard lights
- Call 911, even if your injuries seem minor
- Seek medical attention for yourself and your passengers
- Never leave the scene of the accident
- Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of all parties involved, and any witnesses
- Write down the names and badge numbers of any police officers at the scene
- Take photographs of your vehicle, the truck, and any injuries
- Do not admit fault
- Do not discuss the wreck with anyone except the police or your own insurance agent; you are not required to give a statement to the other driver's insurance company.
Q: What should I do if someone from the trucking company calls me before I've picked a truck accident lawyer?A: Do not agree to make a recorded statement to the trucking company or their insurance carrier. Do not sign any forms sent to you by the trucking company and their insurance carrier. Call Munley Law for a free consultation, and we will look at any paperwork they send to you.
Q: What should I do in the days following a truck accident?A: In the days after a truck accident:
- Get a copy of the police report for your crash
- Get a valuation of the property damage from your insurance company
- Keep track of all doctor's visits and treatment you receive, and keep a journal of any symptoms or pain you experience. Get copies of all test results, medication prescriptions, treatments, and any other relevant medical information
- Keep a detailed list of any out-of-pocket expenses you incur
- Record days of missed work or other activities/events
- Never accept a settlement offer from an insurance carrier unless you have consulted with a truck collision lawyer
Q: Who can be sued in a truck accident case?A: In a truck accident case, the truck driver, transportation company, or owner of the truck may be liable. In other cases, the facility responsible for loading the truck, or even the entity responsible for the contents of the trailer can be held responsible as well. Each case is unique, so the best way to determine who is at fault is by speaking with a lawyer. That is why we offer free consultations to our potential clients.
Q: How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a truck wreck?A: In most cases the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. But, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible following an accident. Important pieces of evidence regarding vehicle safety standards and driver logs can quickly be lost or destroyed. It is best if we can get to work as soon as possible.
Q: How much will it cost to hire a truck crash lawyer?A: At Munley Law, we do not collect a fee (a portion of the settlement or verdict) unless we win your case. You will owe us nothing up-front or out of your own pocket.
Tractor Trailer Accident Causes
The causes of tractor trailer accidents vary. But when a large commercial truck collides with a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian, it almost always results in serious injury or death. When it is out of control, the sheer size and weight of a large truck makes it a deadly weapon.
Unfortunately, large trucks are often involved in deadly accidents because of the driver’s negligence or recklessness. Special licenses are required to drive commercial motor vehicles. Federal and state laws regulate how commercial trucks are operated. But accident investigations show that training and regulations are too often ignored.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer, you may have a right to recover funds for your medical expenses and other losses. The team of lawyers at Munley Law has helped tractor trailer accident victims throughout the Northeast get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Reasons Why Tractor Trailers Cause Wrecks
There are many reasons why large trucks cause wrecks. Often the reason is negligence or recklessness on the part of the truck driver or trucking company, such as:
- Aggressive driving
- Speeding and ignoring reduced truck speed limits
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving (i.e. cell phone use)
- Impaired driving (i.e., alcohol and drug abuse)
- Failure to inspect tires and brakes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines a large truck as a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 10,000 pounds. The most recent statistics show that 333,000 large truck wrecks occurred in the U.S. in a one-year span. These accidents killed 3,921 people and injured another 104,000.
Determining Compensation Following a Truck Accident
Tractor trailer accidents can cause a variety of serious injuries or death. Those who are injured face a long, painful, and expensive recovery. Some financial losses a victim can experience include:
- Loss of wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Extensive medical bills and therapy
- Possible funeral costs
When determining compensation, these along with other factors are taken into account. You can then be rewarded with two types of damages — economic and non-economic.
Economic damages will cover any financial costs that accrued after the accident. This includes, but is not limited to, current and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and funeral costs.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you and your family who are struggling after the accident, such as any pain or suffering you’re experiencing, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant’s actions were fraudulent, reckless, or malicious. These type of damages are meant to punish the defendant to prevent this behavior from happening again.
Insurance rarely covers all of the losses and expenses that result from a tractor-trailer wreck. Trucking, hauling, and leasing companies often seek to minimize payments by disputing victims’ insurance claims. Trucking firms and insurance companies often use tactics that can add to the trauma and expense of being in a commercial motor vehicle crash.
When negotiations fail to achieve adequate funds for victims, the pursuit of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is the proper course of action. Our truck accident attorneys have won millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts, including many multimillion-dollar awards.
Who is Liable in a Truck Crash?
Large truck crashes are unique from other vehicle accidents; due to their size, injuries can be catastrophic. They are also more complicated because there are multiple parties who could be liable for your injuries. It’s not just the truck driver who could be at-fault. To navigate truck crash liability – from large companies to third party brokers and manufacturers – you’ll want an experienced truck crash lawyer by your side.
Identifying Parties Responsible in Truck Accidents
When deciding who to hold responsible for your truck crash, you and your lawyer will want to look at a variety of different parties and people.
Truck Driver: This one is obvious, since your truck driver may have most directly been at-fault for causing the truck crash on the road.
Trucking Company: If the driver of the vehicle was employed by a trucking company, they could be held liable. They are responsible for keeping track of drivers’ information, including background checks, limiting scheduling for rest periods, and more.
Third-party brokers: Many commercial transportation companies hire a third-party broker to connect them to drivers and trucks to transport their cargo. This means, if you have been in a truck crash with a vehicle hired by one of these brokers, your lawyer will want to know if they did their due diligence in hiring, as well as investigating how much control they had over the driver’s schedule and more.
Truck Manufacturers: If the truck crash was caused by a mechanical failure or some other issue with a part in the truck, you could also widen liability to the truck manufacturer. Beyond that, if the employer or independent truck driver did not routinely get the truck inspected and repaired, they could be held liable for a faulty part as well.
Large truck crashes can be complicated, and if one or more of the above parties can be held liable, you’ll want to know. Truck drivers, their employers, and even brokers, all carry their own insurance policies. This means you could be owed compensation from more than one source. The best way to ensure your maximizing compensation for your truck crash injuries is by hiring an experienced trucking accident lawyer at Munley Law.
Truck Crashes Due to Unlawful Hiring Practices
In order to avoid truck crashes, federal and state governments have put in place a host of laws that apply to how trucks are maintained, how truck drivers are hired, and more. If a trucking company or broker tries to cut corners and not do their due diligence, it can result in an accident on the road.
It’s important to hire an attorney who has the right experts and knows the right questions to see if your truck crash was due to negligent hiring practices or maintenance routines.
They will look for things like:
- Defective or uneven tire tread
- Broken brakes, axles and more
- Incomplete maintenance logs
- Training & employment history of the truck driver at-fault
- Criminal record/background of truck driver
Nationwide Truck Crash Statistics
If you are driving in a passenger vehicle, large truck crashes can be catastrophic. Large trucks weigh up to 30 times as much as a regular car, and their ability to brake and maintain other safety controls over their truck are limited. Here are some stats from 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Insurance Institute of Highway Safety
- In a truck crash, people in passenger vehicles more likely experienced fatal injuries.
- In 2019, 4,119 people died in large truck crashes; only 16 percent were truck occupants, while the other 67 percent were in passenger vehicles. The remaining 15 percent are pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
- Truck crashes made up 11% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2019
- Where do truck crashes occur? 52% on major roads, 32% on interstates & freeways, and 15% on smaller roads.
- 27% of fatal work zone crashes involved a large truck (FMCSA)
How Negligence is Established Following a Truck Accident
In order to prove negligence in a truck accident case, you will need evidence that shows the truck driver and other parties at fault were responsible for the accident. By using this evidence, our truck accident lawyer will show that the truck driver and other parties had breached the duty of care, leading to the accident and the injuries it had caused.
Common examples of breaching the duty of care include:
- Not properly maintaining the logbook that details how many hours are driven
- Not documenting hours of service and rest breaks taken
- Improper truck loading such as overloading the trailer
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving for longer than 10 hours without resting
This can be difficult if you don’t have the right attorneys by your side. Only an experienced truck accident lawyer knows what to look for when determining fault in a trucking accident.
Injured in a Truck Accident?Schedule A Free Consultation
You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer Who Knows How to Recover and Examine the Truck’s Black Box
What is the truck’s black box and what does it track?
The “black box” contains all kinds of information about the truck at the time of the crash, from the truck’s speed to the tire pressure to whether the brakes were applied. This kind of information about the driver’s actions and the condition of the truck at the time of the crash will be crucial to your case. All trucks are different and not all lawyers know how to obtain this data on every truck – Munley Law’s truck accident lawyers do.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) requires that all commercial trucks record and report certain information. A “black box” is a blanket term that encompasses the kinds of devices that record that information, namely Electronic Control Modules (ECM), Event Data Recorders (EDR), and Electronic Logging Devices (ELD). These devices preserve technical vehicle data and occupant information about both a truck and its operator’s behavior. When a trucking accident occurs and a victim suffers property damage, physical injury, or death, black boxes can provide crucial information about how and why the catastrophic collision occurred.
Electronic Control Modules
All modern semi trucks contain ECMs, which track, control, and monitor the basic operations that allow a truck to safely transport cargo. ECMs record information about fuel efficiency, airbag systems, engine performance, and mechanical problems. EMCs also conduct diagnostic tests and notify truck drivers of any issues by illuminating various dashboard warning lights.
Electronic Logging Devices
To combat the dangers of fatigued driving, ELDs enable commercial truck drivers to easily track their Hours of Service (HOS) in order to ensure they are in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) driving limits. All ELDs are required to display a trucker’s daily number of driving hours. They must also record and distinguish between the times when a truck is parked, idling, or in motion by automatically syncing with the truck’s engine. Finally, ELDs require that before truckers begin a driving segment, they must indicate whether their status is “on-duty,” “on-duty not driving,” or “off-duty.”
Event Data Recorders
EDRs have the added capacity to record certain information in the event that the truck crashes or has a different type of accident. An EDR’s recording function is triggered by a rapid and unnatural change in a truck’s velocity–such as when a tractor-trailer operator breaks suddenly or collides with an object that causes the truck’s airbag to deploy. EDRs preserve information about the truck and truck-driver in the seconds before, during, and after the collision. Essentially, they capture the following:
- The truck’s speed prior to and upon impact
- The vehicle’s precise GPS location
- Whether the truck’s operator was wearing a seat belt
- The steering angle
- Whether, when, and with what force the trucker used the vehicle’s breaks
- The truck’s engine RPM
- How frequently the truck was operating above the speed limit
- Whether the airbag deployed
- Whether the truck operator was using the cruise control setting
- The percent throttle
- The daily and monthly trucking activity
- The tire pressure
- Whether and the trucker contacted or communicated with the trucking company
Why commercial truck black boxes are crucial for tractor-trailer accident victims
Because black boxes provide objective information about how and why a collision occurred that cannot otherwise be obtained, they are vital tools for victims of trucking accidents. Black boxes can help to illustrate the events leading up to and following a catastrophic tractor-trailer accident. The recordings often prove crucial to a personal injury plaintiff’s ability to prove that a trucker was exhausted, overworked, or otherwise negligent.
While undoubtedly valuable, black box data can also be difficult to obtain. Trucking companies do not automatically provide accident victims with black box information. In fact, they may seek to destroy it or they may simply do nothing to preserve it, and most devices automatically delete data after thirty days.
For these reasons, it is imperative that you contact an experienced trucking accident attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one suffered a tractor-trailer accident. That attorney can preserve and obtain the relevant data by drafting a valid “spoliation” letter to the trucking company that demands that the contents of the trucker’s black box be saved and sent to you.
Your truck accident lawyer must not only know how to get the black box information; they must also know how to use it to help you win your case. This requires an understanding of very technical data about the truck mechanics and standards, as well as the regulations on the trucking industry. It may also include hiring one or more experts to consult with or testify in court about topics like trucker fatigue, FMCSA compliance, braking systems in tractor trailers, the physics of semi-truck collisions, or the functioning of black boxes themselves.
For decades, our truck litigation team at Munley Law has successfully elicited, interpreted, and utilized data from ECMs, EDRs, and ECLs in order to win big for our clients. With this technical knowledge and skill, we recently obtained a $26 million settlement for a truck accident victim. If you or a loved one is suffering from a catastrophic collision, we want to help you to do the same. Don’t wait any longer! Call Munley Law today to schedule your free consultation.
Contact Our Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer, you may have a right to recover money for your medical costs and other losses. The truck accident lawyers of Munley Law represent tractor trailer accident victims throughout the country.
Contact us now, we’ll discuss your legal options for obtaining money for the losses you have suffered in a trucking accident.
Were you injured in a truck accident?
We will have a team of the country’s top lawyers review your case entirely for free, and you will never have to pay anything up front or out of pocket.
Our offices in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown and other locations are ready to help you.