If you were involved in a box truck accident, you have the right to compensation.
As devastating as passenger vehicle accidents can be, accidents involving box trucks can be even more damaging. From physical injuries to emotional stress, you have too much to deal with to worry about how to pay all your expenses. A box truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help ensure box truck drivers, box truck companies, box truck manufacturers, and others are held responsible as you focus on recovering from the accident.
$32 Million Wrongful Death
$26 Million Truck Accident
$17.5 Million Car Accident
$12 Million Product Liability
$9 Million Truck Accident
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$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
Were you or a loved one injured in a box truck accident? If the answer is yes, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys expresses its deepest condolences. We are aware that motor vehicle accidents of any kind are difficult events to navigate. Trucking accidents, in particular, can be traumatic experiences for all that are involved.
In the aftermath of a box truck accident, you likely will feel overwhelmed. Managing your medical care and your case can be a full plate on its own. In order to get the outcome you deserve, recruiting an experienced box truck accident attorney can make a huge difference in winning you the benefits you are entitled to by law.
Please reach out to our truck accident lawyers today for your free consultation. We have won multi-million dollar settlements for many of our truck accident victims. We understand how a box truck accident claim works and will get you the compensation needed to recover from your injuries. We look forward to putting our 60 years of experience to work for you.
What are Box Trucks?
Box trucks are one of the most common types of cargo trucks on the road today. If you’ve done a decent amount of highway driving, you have probably seen one at one point or another. Box trucks are recognizable by their boxy shape. They are also known as box vans, cube trucks, or even bob trucks. Technically speaking, they are chassis cab trucks with an enclosed cargo area, which typically is shaped like a box. In many models, the back door rolls up, similar to a garage door.
The bed of these box trucks can range from 10 to 27 feet in length. At their heaviest, box trucks can weigh up to 33,000 pounds, or 17.5 tons. Given their vast size, they are most frequently used for commercial usage. Many companies will use these delivery trucks to transport goods like furniture or home appliances. They are, however, available for personal use and are frequently used as moving vans.
Due to their large size, box trucks are federally regulated, just like many other large truck types. Box trucks are grouped into weight classes, which can range from class three to class seven. These class divisions are based on their gross weight vehicle rating. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, all vehicles, including load and bumpers, must be smaller than 40 feet in length.
What Are the Dangers Associated With Box Trucks?
Box trucks are dangerous for a few reasons. They are large, heavy, and often have blind spots. Moreover, because they are one of the most common types of trucks, the sheer number of box trucks out on the roads adds to their danger. In fact, just recently, a box truck was involved in a multi-car crash on Route 33 in the Lehigh Valley. The accident resulted in the deaths of three members of a family.
Unfortunately, this accident is not an isolated event. It’s often the case that traffic fatalities involve a commercial vehicle, like a box truck. Indeed, according to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 85 percent of truck accident fatalities occurred in collisions involving large vehicles, including box truck accidents.
How Do I Prove Fault in a Box Truck Accident Case?
<pThere are two legal concepts that will be important to proving your case: negligence and liability. In this section, we will give you an overview of each, and describe how these two pieces will help support your claim.
Legally, negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable care to prevent injury or disaster. On the road, this could mean any number of things. For example, a truck driver could fail to perform the necessary safety checks before driving their vehicle. The main reason proving negligence is important to trucking accident litigation is because it helps determine fault. When someone behaves negligently and their actions result in damages for others, victims are able to hold them legally accountable.
In most states, whichever driver is at fault will be liable to cover the other motorist’s damages. However, Pennsylvania is a “no-fault” state, and in the case of truck accidents, fault is assessed in a more nuanced way. In “no-fault” states like Pennsylvania, drivers must file their damage and injury claims to their respective insurance providers in the event of a crash. Your insurance policy may not cover all of your damages, in which case you are still looking at leftover debt. It is then that you may be able to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company.
To prove fault, the following will need to be shown:
- The at-fault party had a responsibility to protect the injured victim from harm. This is considered duty of care.
- The at-fault party had breached that duty of care. In the case of a box truck accident, the fault could lie with the driver, the trucking or delivery company, or the manufacturer of the vehicle.
- The breach of duty of care had caused an injury and resulted in damages. Damages include medical bills, lost income, mental distress, and pain and suffering.
In addition, Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, which means that parties may take on corresponding degrees of fault for an accident. Therefore, you may be considered partially at fault for the box truck accident. In order for you to pursue legal action for your case, though, you must be determined to be less than 50 percent responsible for the box truck accident.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved in a Box Truck Accident?
The most important thing to do right away is to seek medical attention. Box truck accidents can result in severe injuries. It is not uncommon to experience bone breaks, whiplash, concussions, and internal trauma. Even if you feel your injuries are minor, we urge you to seek medical attention. As a result of the box truck crash, you may be experiencing shock and you may not be able to feel the full extent of your injuries.
After you have taken care of yourself and others involved in the accident, get in touch with a trucking accident attorney as soon as possible. It is imperative that you seek legal representation promptly because the evidence will need to be preserved as soon as possible. Gathering the necessary evidence is crucial to proving liability in trucking accident litigation.
When our Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys team arrives, we will make sure no detail is missed. Some elements of our own scene work include taking photographs and recording eyewitness testimonies. Calling us quickly can also help prevent foul play. Trucking companies have been known to destroy evidence. Contacting an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible can ensure that an accurate representation of the incident is captured in the record.
Who Is Responsible for the Box Truck Crash?
Because the majority of box trucks out on the road are driven by professional truck drivers, your case will likely be commercial in nature. If you decide to sue, your claim will not be against the truck driver personally, but against the truck driver’s employer, the shipper, or at times, the manufacturer. More specifically, your claim will be against the responsible party’s insurance providers.
Trucking companies take on what is called vicarious liability, meaning that, as an employer, they are held legally responsible for their employee’s actions. As long as the crash was on the clock, and the employee was behaving within the boundaries of rational behavior, the trucking company will be responsible for covering the damages related to the crash. There are some obvious limitations to this coverage; for example, if the truck driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or pursuing a personal vengeance.
In non-commercial crashes, things work a little differently. One example of a non-commercial box truck crash is an individual who rents a box truck and gets in an accident with another individual. In the case of a non-commercial crash, each motorist will file their personal injury claim with their own insurance provider. This happens regardless of fault or liability because of Pennsylvania’s no-fault laws.
Pennsylvania law requires that motorists carry the minimum liability insurance before getting behind the wheel. Liability insurance covers medical expenses, lost wages, and any other damages that occur from vehicle-related injuries. More specifically, Pennsylvania requires drivers to carry:
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death per person in a single accident
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death in total for a single accident
- $5,000 for property damage per accident
While this may seem like a lot of coverage, liability insurance often does not extend to the entirety of your expenses. Many insurance policies will only cover the basics– chiefly your lost wages and your medical care. Even then, there are likely to be many procedures that your insurance provider will require for you to pay out of pocket.
Other damages from the crash, like emotional damage, specific losses, and even death, for instance, will not be covered under your liability insurance. To seek compensation for any of these things, you will likely have to file a personal injury claim against the other motorist. Working with an expert in truck accident litigation can be extremely helpful for you in this scenario.
Frequently Asked Questions About Box Truck Accidents
Q: I Am a Commercial Box Truck Driver and Was Involved in an Accident. Am I Entitled to Workers’ Compensation?
A: If you are an employee of a trucking company and were not at fault for a trucking accident, then yes, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation will cover any wages you lose as a result of recovering from your injury and your medical care. Your workers’ compensation payout will depend on the severity of your injury.
If you are at fault for an accident, things get a little bit more complicated. Thankfully, workers’ compensation will pay for medical care and any lost income you have because of the accident.
One thing that might prevent you from seeking workers’ compensation, though, is the classification of your employment. Many trucking companies misclassify truck drivers as contractors, both by accident and for more sinister reasons. If you are classified as a contractor, getting an experienced truck accident lawyer will help you navigate the claims process.
Similarly, you would be barred from receiving workers’ compensation for the crash if the crash was an act with malicious intent, the result of a personal altercation with the other driver (for example road rage), an act of self-harm, or committed under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Q: What Compensation Could I Receive in a Box Truck Accident?
A: If your personal injury lawsuit is successful, you may receive the following compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
Q: Why Should I Pick Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys’s Box Truck Accident Attorney to Represent Me?
A: Our team of lawyers is nationally recognized as the leaders in truck accident law. Don’t believe us? Our results speak for themselves. We have won more than $1 billion in settlements for truck accident victims. We achieved a $26 million settlement for one of our trucking accident victims, one of the largest settlements in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Similarly, two of our lawyers, Marion and Daniel Munley have been recognized as being in the Top 10 for Trucking Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Both are board-certified in trucking law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Notably, Marion Munley broke ground as the first woman to chair the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group, an organization which Daniel served as chair for in 2011.
What’s more, in 2019, the AAJ Trucking Litigation Group renamed the “Chairman’s Award” after the founder of our group, Robert W. Munley (1930-2019). This award honors his service to the field of trucking litigation, as he was one of the first lawyers to specialize in truck cases and treat them as unique from generic automobile accidents. Each year, the Robert W. Munley Award is given to one outstanding attorney who makes advances in the field of trucking litigation. 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 Personal Injury Attorneys founder.
Our box truck accident lawyers are the best in the business. Working with us will give you the best possible chance at an outcome that you deserve. We welcome the opportunity to review your case. Let us put our expertise to work for you. You won’t pay us a dime until we win your case. Please reach out to us for your free consultation.