Pennsylvania Truck Accident Lawyers
Our website contains hundreds of pages about trucking accidents. Here are some of the pages that our users find the most valuable:
- Truck Accident Faqs
- Truck Driver Fatigue
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- Sharing the Road with Giants
- Types of trucks on the Road
- Distracted Driving
- Truck Accident Insurance Issues
- Dangerous Driving FAQ’s
General Information about Truck Accident
Commercial trucks transport goods on our nation’s highways. They serve a vital commercial purpose. But when these heavy trucks get into accidents, the wreckage they cause can be devastating.
When a tractor-trailer collides with a passenger car, the car gets the worst of the wreck. In Pennsylvania in 2010, there were 5,846 crashes involving heavy trucks, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Of these, 145 crashes ended in fatalities. Only two percent of those deaths involved the occupants of the truck.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a heavy commercial truck, you may have a right to recover money for your medical expenses and other losses. The PA truck accident lawyers of Munley Law, P.C., have more than 40 years of experience successfully representing tractor-trailer accident victims throughout the Northeast. Contact us today at 877-918-1195 or through our online contact form for a free consultation about your legal options.
Types of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
PennDOT refers to commercial trucks as “heavy trucks.” A heavy truck is defined as “single vehicle or tractor-trailer combination designed for carrying a heavy load of property on or in the vehicle.” These include single unit trucks (e.g., dump trucks), tractor-trailers and motor homes.
The FMCSA regulates “commercial motor vehicles” or CMVs. This includes tractor-trailers, semi-trailers, tank vehicles (commercial motor vehicles designed to transport any liquid or gaseous materials within a tank or tanks) and school buses.
A CMV, according to FMCSA regulations, has a gross combination weight of 10,000 pounds or more, or a gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more when including its trailer(s).
Any of these large, heavy commercial vehicles can get into a wreck that causes personal injury and death as well as destruction of property, such as the other drivers’ vehicles.
Why Commercial Trucks Get Into Wrecks
Large commercial trucks get into wrecks for many reasons. FMCSA data shows that negligence or recklessness on the part of the truck driver or trucking companies are among the major reasons. This includes:
- Aggressive driving / tailgating
- Speeding and ignoring reduced truck speed limits
- Fatigued / sleepy driving
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving and other cell phone use
- Impaired driving (i.e., drunk driving and drugged driving)
- Long work shifts / unrealistic travel schedules
- Failure to inspect tires, brakes and lights
- Failure to install blind-spot mirrors.
PennDOT maintains annual statistics of heavy (commercial) truck crashes involving vehicle failures. For 2010, PennDOT lists the following vehicle defects found in fatal truck crashes, in order of prevalence:
- Tire / wheel-related
- Unsecure trailer / overloaded
- Power train failure
- Total steering system failure
- Trailer hitch / improper towing
- Exhaust system failure
- Vehicle lighting-related.
Truck Accident Injuries
It’s easy to see how commercial truck wrecks result in serious injuries and deaths.
Safety standards for cars are designed for collisions with vehicles of similar size – not 26,000-pound tractor-trailers. The impact of a collision with an 18-wheeler traveling at 70 miles per hour can actually be twice the impact of a collision with a passenger car going 50 mph. Also, tractor-trailers lack rear and side bumpers to absorb the impact, and their high front bumpers tend to penetrate the passenger compartments of passenger cars in crashes.
Individuals involved in commercial truck accidents can suffer a variety of catastrophic injuries that may result in sudden or eventual death. Recovery for those who are injured is often a long, painful and expensive process. In addition to lacerations and contusions (cuts and bruises), injuries likely to result from a collision with a commercial truck include:
- Head injuries –This includes concussion and more severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBI can cause a wide range of functional short- or long-term changes affecting thinking, sensation, language ability, or emotions.
- Spinal cord injuries – This includes damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column or to the spinal cord itself. Spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis or other loss of function in limbs or larger portions of the body. Even mild spinal cord injuries can cause chronic pain that significantly reduces the quality of life.
- Orthopedic injuries – This includes broken bones and damage to any part of the musculoskeletal system such as muscles, joints (dislocations of shoulders, elbow, hips, etc.), tendons, ligaments and surrounding soft tissue. Orthopedic injuries may require rest followed by rehabilitative exercise for mild injuries or dislocations, casts for broken bones or surgery to repair torn tendons or ligaments.
- Dental or facial injuries – This can range from chipped or lost teeth to a broken jaw, fractures to the eye sockets, and eye injuries that lead to permanent vision loss or blindness.
Broken limbs might leave a truck accident victim unable to work for several weeks. Injuries such as paralysis or TBI can result in a lifetime of medical bills and therapy. Some people involved in truck accidents never recover. Families of catastrophic injury victims suffer as well. Their lifestyle may be completely altered.
Insurance seldom provides full coverage of the expenses that result from injuries in a tractor-trailer crash. Trucking, hauling and leasing companies often work to minimize payments their insurers make by disputing whose insurance should compensate victims after accidents.
Our Experience with Truck Accident Cases
The PA truck accident lawyers of Munley Law have more than 40 years of experience dealing with trucking companies and their insurance companies on behalf of accident victims across Pennsylvania and the Northeast. One of our partners, Daniel W. Munley, has served as chair of the American Association for Justice’s Trucking Litigation Group. Another firm partner, Marion K. Munley, is invited to speak at trucking litigation programs across the U.S.
Our staff includes lawyers, paralegals and other professionals who are specially trained to assist in the investigation, development, negotiation and trials of truck accident cases. Our truck accident lawyers have won millions of dollars in settlements and trial verdicts, including numerous multimillion-dollar cases.
Contact a Pennsylvania Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a large truck (tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, semi-truck or big rig), you have a right to seek compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. The PA truck accident lawyers of Munley Law, P.C., represent tractor-trailer accident victims throughout Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Our dedicated, experienced PA tractor-trailer accident attorneys have more than 40 years of experience representing victims of major truck accident cases in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. We understand the complexities of these catastrophic wrecks.
Contact Munley Law today at 877-918-1195 or through our online contact form for a free initial consultation about your legal options for obtaining compensation for the losses you or a loved one has suffered in a commercial truck accident.
Watch our Truck Accident Video
Verdicts & Settlements
- $6.9 Million: Settlement when a garbage truck rammed a car
- $6.5 Million: Settlement to a man brain injured by a garbage truck
- $2.8 Million: Settlement for a boy killed by a truck
- $1.8 Million: Settlement for tractor trailer accident that caused a woman's death
- $1.5 Million: Settlement For Woman Injured By Fatigued Truck Driver
- $1.3 Million: Jury verdict for Clarks Summit woman in tractor-trailer accident
- $1 Million: Settlement when a 69 year old man was killed by a tractor trailer.
Truck Accident FAQs
- How do I handle trucking companies or their insurance carriers after a truck accident?
- What is the statute of limitation in Pennsylvania for filing a personal injury claim because of a tractor-trailer accident?
- Why should a lawyer be hired as soon as possible?
- Who can be sued in an accident involving commercial trucks?
- Is the investigation of a truck accident important?
- Are expert witnesses necessary to prove fault in a truck accident case?
- What are the qualifications of Munley Law, PC?
- Where will my case be filed?
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At Munley Law, our goal is to provide exceptional legal services to our clients. We strive to achieve the highest standard of excellence for the protection of individual rights through team work and the use of our considerable resources and experience. For a free consultation regarding your legal concerns, contact us today for a free consultation or call us toll free at 877-421-9173.