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What Causes Most Truck Accidents in Pennsylvania? 

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How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help With My Trucking Accident Case?

attorney robert munley standing with arms crossed The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a major trucking route hub, seeing thousands of trucks on its roads per year. With an increase in truck traffic comes an increased risk of truck accidents. If you get into a truck accident, it’s important to understand what caused the crash. You’ll need the help of an experienced Pennsylvania truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.

Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury firm with a unique focus on truck accidents nationwide. Daniel and Marion Munley, two of the firm’s partners, have received accolades from their peers and legal organizations for their truck accident verdicts and settlements — for example, our truck accident lawyers have secured one of the largest settlements for an individual plaintiff in Northeastern Pennsylvania for a truck accident case. The Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have extensive knowledge of both state and national laws and have dealt with truck insurance companies for decades.

The lawyers also profoundly understand what you and your family are going through following a truck accident. In an instant, your entire life was uprooted. The truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will work hard to secure the highest amount of compensation possible in the least amount of time. They understand that you don’t want to be their client one second longer than you have to be, so they will work to relieve you of the sudden financial burden after a truck accident so you can focus on a full recovery and getting back to normal as soon as possible.

What Causes Truck Accidents in Pennsylvania to Occur?

There are several different reasons that truck accidents occur in Pennsylvania. Bad weather in Pennsylvania, road hazards, blind spot accidents, and nighttime driving can all play a role in a truck wreck. However, the leading causes of truck accidents are:

Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is a huge problem among truck drivers in Pennsylvania and across the United States. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces strict regulations regarding the number of consecutive hours a trucker can drive without a break. However, many trucking companies pressure their drivers to forego those rules in order to speed up delivery times. Therefore, Pennsylvania roadways are often packed with extremely fatigued truck drivers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compares drowsy driving to drunk driving, stating that a driver who has been awake for at least 18 hours has the same reaction time as a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. The CDC further found that if a driver has been awake for at least 24 hours, it is equal to driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.10%, which is over the legal limit.

Drowsy driving lowers reaction times, makes the drivers less attentive to the road, affects their ability to make quick decisions, and can make them fully fall asleep at the wheel. If you are tired behind the wheel, the best thing to do is find a safe spot to pull over and rest.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is, unfortunately, becoming the norm with many drivers. Distracted driving is anything that takes your focus and eyes off the road. In order to combat the increasing number of distracted drivers, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation implemented a strict law that prohibits texting while a driver is behind the wheel. There is no text message, email, or phone call that is worth the risk of getting into a truck crash. Drivers should put their phones down and focus solely on the road.

Other forms of distracted driving are:

  • Eating, drinking, or smoking
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Talking, texting, or emailing on your phone
  • Interacting with other passengers
  • Searching for anything in your vehicle while driving
  • Reading or writing
  • Grooming (putting on makeup, doing your hair, etc.)

Mechanical Defects

Faulty brakes or tires are a major cause of truck accidents. Although faulty brakes or tires can result from a poor manufacturing design, most faulty equipment is from a lack of maintenance. The trucking company or vehicle owner is responsible for keeping their trucks in pristine condition before sending them on the road. If you were involved in a truck accident due to mechanical failure, contact the Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys truck accident lawyers as soon as possible. They will determine which parties were at fault for the accident and ensure each party is held accountable.

Improperly Loaded Cargo

A cargo loader’s job is to ensure the truck’s cargo is evenly spread out so the truck’s trailer doesn’t tip over. Many Pennsylvania truck accidents are due to the unbalanced trailer tipping over, creating road hazards for other drivers. In some of the worst cases, the trailer of a truck can roll over onto another vehicle. Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate the manufacturer, cargo loaders, trucking company, and truck driver to ensure your compensation comes from every party responsible for the accident.

Improper Training

Driving a vehicle weighing up to 80,000 pounds with cargo is a huge responsibility. It is up to the truck companies to make sure their drivers are fully and adequately trained before they make solo trips. Truck driving training has to include how to brake properly and drive defensively, including learning to anticipate road hazards and avoid collisions with other vehicles. When a new truck driver isn’t adequately trained, they are a hazard to everyone else on the road.

Speeding and Aggressive Driving

Excessive speeding, weaving between lanes, tailgating, and disregarding traffic signals are all aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is dangerous regardless of the vehicle or driver. However, it is especially risky when a trucker drives recklessly. Because of the weight of a commercial truck, it can take several seconds for the truck to come to a complete stop. If a truck driver is tailgating or speeding and has to stop suddenly, they run the risk of being unable to slow down in time and crashing into another vehicle from behind.

What Happens If I Am At Fault for the Truck Accident?

Caroline Munley speaking with paralegal in her officeThere are times when multiple parties can be held responsible for a truck crash. The truck driver, trucking company, and shipping carrier may all bear some responsibility for the accident. And sometimes, the injury victim could be found partially at fault. If that happens, can you still collect compensation?

Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. This means that after any type of motor vehicle accident, the victim must file a claim with their insurance company to pay for medical expenses and out-of-pocket costs. If the other driver is found at fault for the accident and you do not have enough insurance to cover your costs, you may be able to file a claim against the other driver.

But if you are found partially at fault for the accident, the comparative negligence law will come into play. Comparative negligence is when both parties involved in the accident are at fault. In these cases, if the judge finds that the plaintiff (the truck accident victim making the claim) is at least 50% responsible for the accident, the claim is thrown out. However, if the defendant (in this case, the truck driver or trucking company who caused the accident) is found to be at least 51% responsible, then the claim can proceed to a resolution.

If the claim is found in favor of the plaintiff, then they will receive less compensation depending on how much at fault they were found for the accident. For example, if the injury victim were found 20 percent at fault for the accident and was rewarded $100,000 for their injuries, they would receive $80,000.

Comparative negligence is one of the many reasons it is beneficial to have an experienced Pennsylvania semi truck accident lawyer by your side. Your lawyer will navigate you through the complexity of your Pennsylvania truck accident. They will investigate the accident scene, use expert witness testimony, and determine all the parties at fault for the accident to prove complete negligence on their part.

What Kind of Injuries Can I Sustain From a Tractor Trailer Accident in PA?

Injuries sustained from truck accidents are often catastrophic and can take years for the injury victim to recover from. Some common injuries include but are not limited to:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Broken bones
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Disfigurement or amputation
  • Emotional injuries, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome

When these injuries occur, it is not just the victim that suffers. Families can be devastated when their loved one is involved in a semi truck crash. For survivors of truck accidents, their lives are often never the same. Loved ones are left to become full-time caregivers, which adds enormous financial stress to the family. If you are a truck accident victim and can no longer work, your family must learn to live on one less income. Victims of traumatic brain injuries suffer personality and behavioral changes that their family members have to navigate through. In the worst cases, the family suffers the loss of a loved one and will be grieving while going through the claims process.

The truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys deeply understand the consequences of truck accidents. They have worked with countless clients who have gone through similar situations. Call the truck accident lawyers today to speak with a compassionate attorney who will gently guide you through the claims process.

Hire a Top Truck Accident Lawyer Today

The statute of limitations to file a claim for a truck accident is two years. Though this may seem like a long time, medical expenses pile up quickly. So the sooner you contact a truck accident attorney from Munely Law, the easier it will be to discover the causes of truck crash and get you the compensation needed to recover from such a horrible accident.

If you’ve been in an accident with a truck, it’s important you have a lawyer by your side to help you navigate your case. The sooner you hire a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys tractor trailer accident lawyer, the sooner you can receive proper compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Call Munley today for a free consultation with one of the top truck accident attorneys in the United States.

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