What Can I Sue for After a Truck Accident?

Damaged cars after a car accident crash involving a big rig semi truck with semi trailer at a city street crossroad intersection in wilkes-barreA truck accident can happen at any time. When you are in a passenger vehicle, on a bike or motorcycle, you are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries. Trucks are heavy vehicles with a lot of force and the potential to cause serious damage just by their sheer size and weight.

Pennsylvania has many interstates, routes and highways which see a lot of truck traffic. If you have ever been traveling on route 81 for instance, you know how intimidating and scary it can swiftly become to be surrounded by large trucks going at a high rate of speed.

After a truck accident you might be facing a lot of frustrating and confusing hardships. You can have minor or very serious injuries, you might have lost your vehicle which was your primary transportation to work, you might be angry and scared looking forward to a future with physical therapy, recovery, vehicle repairs or replacement. It can be overwhelming.

After an accident with a semi truck you might be wondering if you are entitled to any compensation for you injuries and losses such as lost wages and medical expenses.

A truck accident can have long-term effects on its victims. If you or a loved one is living through the aftereffects of a truck accident, you want an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side. At Munley Law, we have more than 60 years of experience handling personal injury and accident law. We can help you put the pieces back together.

A consultation with a truck accident lawyer at Munley law is always free. If you have questions about what you might be entitled to after your truck accident, you can call us any time for a free case review.

How Dangerous are Truck Accidents?

Every year, over 500,000 truck-related crashes happen in the United States. There are more than 5,000 fatalities per year associated with semi truck accidents. Truck crashes with the highest number of deaths include semi truck accidents with passenger vehicles.
The size and weight of flatbed vehicles, tanker trucks, and semi-trucks may lead to catastrophic damage when a large commercial vehicle isn’t adequately operated or maintained.

Size is not the only consideration. Truck drivers cannot see smaller vehicles who are potentially in a “blind spot” on the truck. These are usually passenger vehicles that are close to the semi truck. Trucks also require a much longer time to brake– it takes a lot of force to stop a vehicle that heavy. The combination of these two hazards mean that a driver can see you at the last minute but still not have time to brake before crashing.

In addition, truck accidents have very complex liability issues, federal and state regulations, potentially more than one liable party and other complications. Truck accident cases can be very different than other car accidents to handle legally.

An experienced truck accident lawyer with decades in working with the trucking industry and litigating truck accident cases is essential in helping you.

Why Work with Munley Law?

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 18 wheeler accident victims the justice they deserve. We have achieved more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients.

Munley Law is unique in that our firm has developed a special focus on these complex, heavily defended cases. For more than 60 years, our nationwide trucking accident attorneys have gone head to head with large trucking companies to get the maximum amount of compensation for those injured by the companies’ negligent actions. We are dedicated experts in aggressively pursuing justice for our clients; each member of our firm has extensive experience in truck accident injury cases.

What is the Number One Cause of Truck Accidents?

According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, causes of semi truck related accidents include mechanical defects, fatigue, driving under the influence of alcohol, distracted driving, poor driver training and maintenance, speeding, and new driving routes, and use of prescription, over the counter and illegal drugs.

However, the most common one of all is fatigue. In our internet-retail driven economy, truck drivers are under constant pressure to deliver goods to consumers and to retail locations all over the country while under strict deadlines. Drivers may skip required breaks, driver for longer continuous periods of time and take fewer rests all on inadequate sleep.

Now consider the size and mass of a large truck. Even before they are loaded with cargo, a commercial semi truck weighs many times more than an average passenger vehicle. When a car or other passenger vehicle is involved in an accident with a large truck, the truck driver usually emerges unscathed, while the driver in the other vehicle may suffered injuries that are far more serious, even deadly.

What Are the Other Most Common Truck Accident Causes?

Overspeeding/ Overtaking

Marion Munley standing by window in office looking at folderTrucks are essential to the American economy. There is no disputing that. But with consumers ordering more and more online products and demand for those products to be delivered within days, trucking companies can make unreasonable demands on large commercial truck drivers. Bad weather, traffic, road construction and mechanical issues can put drivers under pressure to drive over the speed limit and ignore some traffic regulations.

Driver Fatigue

As mentioned above, driver fatigue is probably one of the most familiar hazards of the trucking industry. Long hours, long runs and strict timetables might force some drivers to skip breaks and required sleep.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become a huge problem in this country and the cause of many commercial truck accidents.

When a truck driver is distracted, the resulting accident could be catastrophic. Texting while driving a truck, checking social media or replying to social media messages or eating while driving, looking at paperwork, or taking attention off the road for any reason while driving a truck can cause a fatal truck accident.

Driver negligence or recklessness

A truck driver’s actions can cause a collision. Both driver negligence and recklessness may be factors in your accident. Consider some examples.

Negligence is one of the main factors we consider in analyzing the truck driver’s part in causing the accident. All drivers are expected to act in a way that shows reasonable care towards others. However, when drivers inadvertently fail to demonstrate their expected standard of care, they may cause accidents.

For example, a truck driver may be considered negligent for failing to take proper rest breaks. This can easily lead to driving while drowsy. Tired driving can be extremely dangerous, especially while operating large machinery such as a tractor-trailer. Even though this may be done inadvertently, the driver is negligent nonetheless.

Yet, sometimes drivers may act in an intentional way – knowing that their actions endanger the lives of those around them. This is known as recklessness. Some examples of recklessness include driving while texting, driving while impaired by alcohol, and speeding.

Truck drivers that demonstrate negligence or recklessness and later cause an accident may be held responsible for the damage they inflicted. In order to fully understand the role of the driver in your truck accident case, it’s important to speak with a qualified truck accident lawyer.

Failure to adjust to weather conditions

Pennsylvania enjoys four beautiful distinct seasons during the year. Shifting weather patterns can affect road conditions. We see low visibility due to rain, fog and snow, icy sleet and frozen, icy roads and sometimes heavy winds. Bad weather can lead to bad accidents, especially when a tractor trailer is involved.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about 21 percent (more than 1.2 million) vehicle accidents each year are related to bad weather.

Failure to Make Timely Inspections and Repairs

Large semi-trucks usually have 18 wheels and a total of 10 air compression brakes. If any of these are not functioning properly, they may cause the truck to lose control or be unable to shop. Maintenance and inspection of large trucks is essential, especially given the amount of mileage put on these large vehicles.

It is the trucking company’s responsibility to make sure that their vehicles are road safe. If a trucking company fails to make required annual inspections or keep proper records, it may be held liable for an ensuing accident caused by vehicle malfunction.

At Munley Law, our experienced truck accident attorneys know how to analyze trucking company records and flush out every important detail for your case.

If you have been injured in any truck accident, you need a truck accident lawyer who knows truck accident cases inside and out. There can be any number of responsible parties who failed to do their due diligence leading to a truck accident. Did the trucking company fail to do proper maintenance? Did truck driver error lead to your crash? Munley lawyers know truck accident law. We can help you seek compensation for your injuries and win a fair settlement for your lost wages, medical expenses and property damage. A free consultation with our truck accident lawyers will help you seek out the liable party and help you recover damages to get your life back.

What Can You Sue for in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Property Damage

Attorney Caroline MunleyProperty damage includes the necessary repairs to get your damaged vehicle back on the road so you can get back to your life. You might even have to replace your car if it was irreparably damaged in the truck accident. You can also sue for damage to other property such as personal items that were in the vehicle at the time the accident happened.

Medical Expenses

If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, you can sue to recover medical expenses. An ambulance ride, a visit to the emergency room, physical therapy and other medical costs can add up quickly. You may have expensive medications and medical imaging expenses. If the other driver or trucking company is found liable, they may be responsible for past and future medical costs.

Lost Work and Future Lost Wages

Your injury may keep you our of work for days. It might keep you out of work for months. This time is incredibly stressful for the victim and lost earnings can make life incredibly difficult. If the truck driver or trucking company was liable for your accident, your settlement should include all of your lost past and potentially lost future wages.

Quality of Life and Emotional Damages

Serious injuries, mounting medical bills, lost wages and caring for a loved one with debilitating injuries can seriously damage your emotional wellbeing.

The courts can and will compensate victims for loss of enjoyment of life and emotional damage.

Who Can You Sue for Your Injuries?

The Truck Driver

The truck driver is the public face of your accident and most people look first to put fault on the driver. If the truck driver acted in a reckless or neglectful manner they should be held liable. However, other parties might be responsible for your truck accident.

The Trucking Company

A trucking company is responsible for all of the trucks it puts on the road. Carriers are required to conduct regular inspections and keep up to date with repairs and maintenance. If a mechanical problem led to your truck accident, then the company may be held responsible. Further, if an inexperienced truck driver led to your crash, the company might be liable for failing to complete legally required training and safety protocols.

A Truck Parts Manufacturer

If a brakes, tires and wheels or engine failure led to your accident, then the truck or parts manufacturer may be negligent. Only an experienced truck accident lawyer knows how to find those company records, police reports and more to determine liability.

At Munley Law, we have the decades of experience navigating these difficult cases. We know how to handle the insurance companies, (the driver’s insurance company and the trucking company’s insurance company), find the data and reports necessary to determine liability and more. We can summon phone records, log books, “black box” data, police reports, medical records and everything else you need to win or settle a successful truck accident case.

The Driver and Trucking Company has lawyers working on their side. You need an experienced attorney on yours.

Contact Munley Law by phone, through our chat or through our website to schedule your free consultation.

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