What Percentage of Truck Accidents are Caused by Cars?
What Happens When a Car Driver is Responsible for a Truck Accident?
Truck drivers are the heart of America’s infrastructure. In 2020,10.23 billion tons of freight was transported by trucks in the United States. Food, construction materials, raw materials for U.S. manufacturers, and every vital retail goods sold and shipped in the U.S. relies on big rigs. More than 72 percent of transported items in this country are moved by trucks. The U.S. economy is driven by large trucks. But what happens if you are a truck driver involved in a large truck crash and you are not at fault?
At Munley Law, we know picking up the pieces after a truck accident can feel like an insurmountable task. If you or a loved one becomes a victim of a truck accident caused by a passenger vehicle or other motorist, our highly experienced and dedicated truck accident attorneys are ready to help you. Call us today or use our online form to schedule your free consultation.
How Many Truck Accidents Are There in the United States?
You might have sustained minor injuries in your accident but what about other truck drivers and occupants who aren’t lucky to survive such accidents? Or, those who sustain life-altering and life-threatening long-term injuries and can’t work or provide for their families anymore? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that Pennsylvania has the highest average fatal truck accidents in the tri-state area.
According to the most recent data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were over 7,200 accidents involving large commercial trucks. The report further shows that cars caused 53 percent of all vehicular accidents in the Commonwealth and 43.7 percent of all vehicular fatalities. To be more precise, 1,172 truck accidents were directly caused by passenger cars colliding or striking trucks. On top of that, 37 percent of all vehicular fatalities involved occupants of passenger cars.
Often, little is said regarding the truck occupants’ fatalities and injuries. Instead, more emphasis is laid on the passenger cars’ occupants. But, just like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates, truck driver fatalities represent 2.4 percent of all vehicular traffic fatalities. Some good news is, truck drivers are 23 percent less at risk to sustain life-threatening injuries. Nonetheless, this fact didn’t prevent the 22 truck driver fatalities, according to a PennDOT report.
Truck drivers receive unique and specialized training to enhance their driving and competence skills on the road. Unfortunately, passenger vehicle drivers receive standard driving training and lack competence when driving in a truck-filled environment.
If you are a semi-truck driver whose accident was caused by a passenger vehicle or another motorist, you may want to pursue compensation for your lost wages, injuries and suffering, medical bills, and more. Call Munley Law for a free consultation for your truck accident claim. We can help you recover the financial damages you may be owed.
What Are Some Contributing Factors to Truck Accidents With Passenger Vehicles?
Negligence and breaking laws are the main factors that lead to truck accidents caused by passenger vehicle drivers. Regardless of where trucks are moving, passenger vehicle drivers should exercise caution and observe all set rules and laws. If not, then they will be held accountable and at fault for the accident.
Truck crashes caused by cars are a result of:
- Substance use and abuse
- A distracted and tired passenger car driver behind the wheel
- A driver tailgating a large truck, which can cause an underride crash if the semi truck brakes unexpectedly
- Mechanical issues on either vehicle due to poor maintenance, wear and tear, and faulty car design
- Aggressive and careless driving, such as weaving in and out of lanes, speeding to pass the truck on the highway, running red lights to get in front of the truck, and road rage
- Driving in a truck’s blind spots. A large truck has larger and more blind spots compared to passenger vehicles. At least a single entire passenger vehicle can easily be hidden by a single blind spot on semi trucks. It is the duty of the passenger vehicle driver to be aware of these dangerous spots and stay out of them.
- Left-hand turns in front of a semi truck. Making a left-hand turn in front of large commercial vehicles, especially when ignoring traffic signals can cause serious large truck accidents. Cutting off a large commercial truck is dangerous especially due to their sheer size and longer braking times.
- Improper merging. Trying to merge into traffic unsafely is when many accidents happen.
What Should Truck Drivers Do After an Accident With Passenger Vehicles?
When you get injured while dispensing your duties as a truck driver, Munley Law truck accident attorneys will help you file for a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance company. Workers’ compensation will help pay for any lost wages and medical bills you received because of the trucking accident. Additionally, the “no-fault” rule ensures your workers’ comp claim will get paid regardless of who is at fault for the truck accident.
You may also have a third party claim against the driver of the other vehicle, depending on whether the passenger vehicle driver is at fault for the accident. Every accident is unique, and so are the case and the settlement amounts. Under PA law, the final value of your truck accident claim will depend on:
- Laws governing fault and negligence
- Establishment of the cause of the accident under the circumstances as determined by the investigation
- The nature and scope of your injuries
- Any other damages you suffered as a result of the accident
Munley Law truck accident attorneys have the expertise and vast experience to fight for maximum compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Driver Accidents
Q: Do Truck Drivers Need an Attorney After a Truck Accident?
A: Accidents are traumatizing. Recovering from one can be challenging Regaining your life without any help or compensation can be overwhelming and depressing. There are many legalities involved after a truck accident, and you don’t have the know-how to maneuver through them. So, yes, you need a Munley Law truck accident lawyer to help you with all legal issues while you recuperate and focus on rebuilding your life.
Q. Do I Need to File a Crash or Accident Report?
A. After the accident, the matter is handled by the authorities. However, the law requires you to file a report within five days of the crash when:
- The police fail to investigate the accident
- Death, injury, or property damage occurred as a result of the accident
After you’ve gathered the necessary information – from both parties – you can go ahead and file the report with PennDOT. To make sure you do it right and the process goes smoothly, review the crash report with truck accident attorneys from Munley Law.
Q. What Do I Do After a Truck Accident in PA?
A. After recovering from the shock, what you do and the steps you take immediately after the accident can go a long way in contributing to your case, compensation, and insurance. Understandably, the accident is traumatic, but you must focus and take these steps:
- Contact first responders and medical personnel
- Gather as much evidence as you can of the accident scene. Evidence includes photos, any CCTV footage in the area, and eye-witness contacts and accounts
- Contact Munley Law truck accident attorneys
While these steps are essential, your health and safety come first. If your condition doesn’t allow you to gather any evidence, don’t worry, your accident attorney will engage the services of a professional investigator and the authorities for evidence gathering.
Q: Who and How is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident?
A: After a truck accident, it’s procedural to determine which party is at fault. Often, people are quick to assume and lay blame on the truck driver. On the contrary, both parties can contribute to the accident. The only way out of this dilemma is to determine fault.
The evidence collected or handed over to the parties’ insurance companies goes a long way in determining fault. It’s up to your Munley Law truck accident lawyer to determine whether the passenger car is at fault. The attorney will prove the driver either acted negligently or violated rules and laws.
Q: What is the “Modified Comparative Fault” Rule?
Pennsylvania law applies a modified comparative fault rule when ruling who’s at fault and to what magnitude. The law states the plaintiff is only allowed to recover damages if it’s determined they aren’t at fault beyond a certain percentage.
For instance, if the court or jury finds 20 percent at fault, you can recover damages up to 80 percent. However, this rule doesn’t allow the plaintiff to recover damages if it’s found they are 50 percent and above at fault.
Q: What Damages Can I Recover After a Truck Accident in PA?
If it’s determined you are not at fault, you have the right to recover damages and subsequent compensation. Munley Law truck accident attorneys will protect and fight for your rights to compensation and recover damages, including:
Economic damages – tangible losses that can be calculated with ease, such as:
- All current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capabilities
- Other damages such as loss of use
Non-economic damages – represents intangible losses that are harder to calculate, especially in the absence of an accident attorney. They include:
- Pain and suffering such as complex injuries, disfigurement, bone fractures, to mention a few.
- The mental trauma that has physical exhibitions such as PTSD, insomnia, anxiety.
- Loss of consortium – damages recovered after losing companionship or close relationship with your loved one due to the accident.
- Punitive damages – damages recovered to punish the responder for causing the accident maliciously or recklessly and serve as an example to other semi-truck drivers.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Scranton Personal Injury Lawyer?
The answer is simple: We don’t get paid unless you do. At Munley Law, we do not charge or collect a fee for our services unless we win your case. When we achieve a satisfactory settlement or verdict for you, we simply take a percentage of it to cover our costs. You don’t pay a cent upfront or out of your own pocket.
Are You A Victim Of A Truck Accident Caused By A Car?
Truck accidents leave a long trail of destruction and broken pieces. Without any money or resources, the aftermath of the accident can be equally harrowing and painstaking. With legal representation from Munley Law truck accident attorneys, you can rest assured that we’ll fight, protect your rights and ensure you get justice and maximum compensation.
Remember, Pennsylvania law states that you have two years to file a lawsuit after an injury, accidental death, or property damage. So the sooner you contact our law firm, the sooner we can start on your claim.
At Munley Law, we understand life after a truck accident is difficult, especially if you have no means or the proper legal representation. Picking up the pieces to rebuild our life is an uphill task and struggle. Our vast experience and expertise – backed by these impressive results – make us the nation’s best truck accident attorneys. Unfortunately, if you or a loved one becomes a victim of a truck accident caused by a car or other motorists, our highly experienced and dedicated truck crash attorneys are ready to help you. Talk to us; call us toll-free, email us or live chat any time; our personal injury attorneys are ready to listen to you.
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