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February 17, 2017

How Negligent Trucking Companies Cause Accidents

Truck Accident Lawyers in PA

While truck driver mistakes are the main cause of commercial truck collisions, there are many ways that trucking companies can be negligent and lead to a crash and serious injuries. The following are only some examples of negligence for which trucking companies may be held responsible.

Hiring Practices

Every trucking company should have a careful hiring system to ensure that they do not allow anyone who is unsafe or unqualified to operate their commercial trucks. Truck companies should always review a potential driver’s health records, driving record, criminal record, and qualifications such as a valid commercial driver’s license and any necessary endorsements for the job.

In many cases, a company may not thoroughly vet an applicant or may hire friends or family members despite negative facts. A company may be deemed negligent if they hire an unlicensed commercial driver, someone with a history of driving under the influence or other serious traffic violations, someone with a serious and untreated health issues, or any other red flags that should indicate to a company that the driver will put motorists at risk of harm.

Insufficient Supervision or Discipline

As an employer, a trucking company should always stay aware of the actions of its employees. If a truck driver violates a regulation or law, the company should know through careful supervision and should take necessary disciplinary measures to prevent further danger in the future. For example, if a driver fails a drug or alcohol test or has been driving while impaired, a company should take immediate action to suspend the employee until they are sure the employee has received proper treatment.

If a driver is found to be violating hours of service regulations set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA),1 a trucking company should keep close track of their time records to ensure that they do not continue to commit such violations. If a company failed to properly supervise or discipline drivers, it could be help liable for any accidents that result from dangerous employees.

Neglecting Trucks in the Fleet

Whether a trucking company has one truck or an entire fleet of trucks, the company has the duty to keep those trucks in safe and working condition. All trucks should be regularly inspected for any possible defects that may need to be repaired. If any defects exist, they should be fixed before the truck goes back out onto the road. In addition to repairs, regular maintenance must be performed to prevent any issues on the road.

If a truck has been poorly maintained and brake failure or a tire blowout causes a crash, many people can be seriously injured. The injured accident victims would be able to hold the trucking company liable for their losses.

Failing to Perform Required Alcohol or Drug Tests

Because driving a large commercial truck while impaired by drugs and alcohol is extraordinarily dangerous, the FMCSA strictly regulates all types of impaired commercial driving. One requirement2 is that trucking companies must regularly perform random alcohol and drug testing on drivers, either before or after their shifts. In addition, if a driver is in an accident that causes serious injury or damage, an alcohol and drug screening must be performed.

When trucking companies do not perform the necessary chemical tests, it can allow drivers with alcohol or drug issues continue to drive while impaired and go undetected. If drivers know that their employers do not test, they may even be encouraged to push the envelope and drive while intoxicated.

Pushing Drivers to Violate FMCSA Regulations

In some circumstances, trucking companies have even encouraged drivers to violate certain regulations set out by the FMCSA. One common example is requesting that drivers make deliveries faster than they can while adhering to the hours of service regulations. If drivers are pushed to do so, they can become fatigued and can crash. In addition, companies may also create false records to make it appear as if their drivers are in compliance when they truly are violating the law.

Call to Speak with an Experienced Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney

At The Levin Firm, we are committed to holding negligent trucking companies liable for the harm they cause in truck collisions. If you have been injured in a truck crash, you need an attorney who can identify all possible liable parties so you can obtain the most compensation possible. Please contact our truck accident lawyers for a free consultation at (215) 825-5183 today.



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July 8, 2016

Truck Accidents can Require Complicated Evidence

Truck Accidents can Require Complicated Evidence

If you are injured in a truck accident, it is not enough to simply claim the truck driver or trucking company was at fault. Instead, you must present enough evidence to sufficiently prove that one of these parties acted in a negligent manner. Evidence in truck accident cases can be more complicated than in a regular car accident case, and the following are some of many types of evidence that may help in your case.

The “Black Box”

After a plane crash, authorities are often focused on recovering the “black box” to help determine the cause of the accident. Commercial trucks also have black boxes and these can be very helpful following a truck accident. “Black box” refers to the event data recorder, which records data regarding speed, braking, and other operational functions of the truck. The black box can show whether a truck driver failed to brake or was speeding just before the collision. These can all be signs that the driver was acting in a careless or negligent manner that led to the crash.

Dashboard Cameras

Many–but not all–trucking companies have begun installing dashboard cameras in the trucks in their fleet. Some of these cameras face out toward the road in front of the truck and the footage can show whether a driver was tailgating, making unsafe lane changes, swerving, or slammed on the brakes, which can indicate distracted driving. Some trucks also have cameras that record the actions of the driver and, after a crash, the footage will reveal whether the driver was engaging in distracted driving, falling asleep, or even drinking alcohol behind the wheel. For these reasons, camera footage can be very useful to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver.


Truck drivers are expected to follow all traffic laws as well as numerous additional rules and regulations enacted and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).1 Some of these regulations involve:

Driving under the influence Commercial drivers have a lower legal limit of 0.04% blood alcohol content (BAC).

Handheld device ban — Regulations prohibit commercial drivers from using a handheld device2 to text, talk, or for any other purpose. There are also limits on hands-free cell phone use.

Inspections — Drivers are required to perform thorough safety inspections of the rig before every driving shift.

Hours of service3 These regulations require drivers to take rest breaks after a certain number of hours or days on the road to prevent fatigued driving.

If a driver is cited by local law enforcement or by the FMCSA for violating a law, that citation can be used as evidence of negligence in your legal claim.

Alcohol and Drug Testing

According to the FMCSA, truck drivers must be tested for alcohol and/or drugs following certain accidents. For example, if a crash resulted in a fatality, the driver must always be tested. Testing must also occur if the driver was cited for a moving violation and the crash caused injury or serious damage. Some companies have policies to test drivers after every accident. If the results of post-accident testing indicate the driver was over the legal limit or had illegal drugs in their system, you can use this important evidence to hold the driver liable.

Accidents Investigations

After serious truck accidents, the federal National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) may send investigators to determine the cause of the accident. Even if the NTSB does not involve itself in the crash, private accident reconstruction specialists can evaluate the circumstances of the accident and provide expert analysis and conclusions about what caused the accident. Finding of either the NTSB or private experts can be helpful evidence in your case.

Logbooks and Records

Both FMCSA regulations and trucking company policies require that drivers and other company employees keep careful records regarding a variety of issues. Some records that may be helpful in your truck accident case can include:

  • Logbooks showing hours and days a driver worked;
  • Delivery schedules;
  • Records from dispatchers;
  • Driving records and accident history of truck drivers;
  • Maintenance and inspection records.

Call a Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

You may not know where to begin in gathering the types of evidence you need to prove negligence in your truck accident case. At The Levin Firm, we have the resources to obtain and present complex evidence in your case so that you can recover for your losses. Please call a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer today at 215-825-5183 for help.




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January 26, 2016

Should I settle my truck accident claim?

The Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183.


Whether you should settle your truck accident claim will depend on a number of factors. Individuals involved in auto accidents tend to sustain much more serious and devastating injuries when trucks are involved in those accidents. More often than not, small passenger vehicles hardly stand a chance against large trucks and as a result, sustain more damage. If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.

What is a settlement?

There are generally two types of settlements:

  • Lump-sum settlement – A lump sum settlement is one that is paid in full, all at once.
  • Structured settlement – A structured settlement is paid in regular, recurring payments spread over a period of time.

An experienced truck accident attorney will understand your needs and be able to evaluate which settlement is right for you. Your attorney will also help you determine whether settling is the best option for your unique case.

How do I get a settlement?

A legal settlement is usually reached when the parties are able to arrive at an agreement outside of court. There are several methods that can be used by an attorney to settle your truck accident case. These methods include:

  • Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation

Often, claims for damages that arise from a trucking accident can be settled. And in the event that a settlement is reached in your case, it is important to have an understanding of the types of settlements usually available to individuals involved in truck accidents. Below are some of the pros and cons of settling your truck accident claim:


  • Settling a claim is generally less expensive than going to court.
  • Settling a claim allows the parties to confidentially present their positions without admitting fault.
  • The parties are generally able to reach an amicable settlement agreement because they are able to discuss difficult issues calmly and rationally.


  • The injured party may end up settling their claim for much less than they would have been awarded if successful in court.
  • Usually, the injured party gives up their right to pursue any other legal claim in connection with the accident.

How much will I get from my settlement?

Determining the compensation you may be entitled after a truck accident is more difficult than most people imagine. This is because you may be entitled to more damages than simply physical injuries and property damage. Being in a truck accident can be devastating enough, and when you are the injured party in a passenger vehicle, the resulting injuries can be severe, which is why it is critical that an experienced personal injury attorney helps you navigate your legal options.

Calculating damages can be challenging, and the amount of your settlement will depend on many factors such as complexity of your case, the nature and severity of your injuries, and the amount of the claim. Other factors that can help determine the amount of the pain and suffering damages you may be entitled to include:

  • Any aggravating circumstances.
  • The length of time it took you to recover from your injuries.
  • Whether you were able to recover completely from your injuries.

When trying to determine the extent of the damages you are entitled to, it is important to also think about the following:

Lost income/wages
Present and future quality of life
Whether you have suffered permanent injuries
The extent of your property damage
Emotional stress
Potential to be gainfully employed

The Philadelphia tractor trailer and truck accident lawyers at The Levin Firm understand these issues, and work with our clients, their friends, and family, as well as their doctors, psychologists, long-term care planners, and others – to assure that our clients receive not only the finest legal representation but also the finest support and medical care.

When you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or New Jersey personal injury attorney to represent you, a family member or friend who has suffered a tractor trailer accident injury, contact The Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183. We represent every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case.


1. http://www.levininjuryfirm.com/practice-areas/automobile-accidents/tractor-trailer-accidents/

2. http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-to-calculate-a-truck-accident-settlement

3. http://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/trucking-accident-settlements-what-to-expect.html

4. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/trucking-accident

5. http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-to-calculate-a-truck-accident-settlement

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December 22, 2015

Increased Danger for Truck Accidents During Winter

philadelphia trucking accident attorney

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),[1] about 95,000 individuals sustained injuries in about 342,000 crashes involving large commercial trucks in 2013 alone. While truck accidents can occur at any time, there is often an increased risk of these collisions during the winter months and holiday season. The following are only a few examples of reasons why there may be a higher number of commercial truck accidents during this time.

Winter weather conditions – Snow, ice, and sleet are, unfortunately, a huge part of the winter in and around Philadelphia. Every driver should know that these types of adverse weather can cause dangerous road conditions and that they should slow down and be more careful when they get behind the wheel. Commercial truck drivers also have a duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner in winter weather conditions. However, because their vehicles are so large and heavy, they often feel they have more control than drivers of smaller, lighter passenger vehicles. Additionally, because truck drivers drive for a living, they may believe they have greater skill to maneuver their trucks in winter weather. This may result in the failure to slow down, keep a safe following distance, pass other vehicles cautiously, and other necessary behaviors to avoid crashing in winter weather.

Increased number of trucks on the roads – Many people do their holiday shopping online or have packages shipped to friends and family across the country. In additions, retail stores know that shopping increases significantly over the holidays and, therefore, increases their inventory during this time. All of this can result in a larger amount of goods being transported from place to place, requiring a greater number of commercial semi-trucks and tractor trailers on the highways. Just the increase of trucks can naturally result in an increased risks of collisions involving these trucks.

Drivers want to get home for the holidays – Just like anyone else, commercial truck drivers often cannot wait to get off work and return home to their families for holiday celebrations, gatherings, or simply for quality time. Truck drivers often spend many consecutive days away from home, so it is no surprise that they may be in a rush to get back home during this time. The sooner they finish their deliveries, the sooner they can be finished with their trip and take a few days off. This may lead to truck drivers speeding or engaging in other unsafe behaviors. Additionally, truck drivers may violate the hours of service regulations set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) [2] in order to drive longer shifts, which may result in fatigued driving or even falling asleep behind the wheel.

More traffic on the highways – In addition to more trucks on the roads, the holidays often means more traffic in general. Many people take time off work, are out and about in their vehicles, or even take road trips to see family or friends for the holidays. Many people may be driving in unfamiliar areas or on unfamiliar highways, which can lead to potentially negligent driving behaviors. Additionally, just an increased volume of traffic can make it more difficult to maneuver a large commercial truck.

When the increased number of trucks is combined with the increased number of passenger vehicles and possibly some winter weather, it should not be a surprise that there may be a higher chance of being involved in a truck accident and suffering serious injuries. Many of these accidents are caused by the negligence of truck drivers, trucking companies, or another third party.

Discuss a possible case with a Philadelphia truck accident attorney as soon as possible


If your winter and holiday season was marred by injuries caused in a commercial truck accident, your first call should be to The Levin Firm in Philadelphia. Victims of truck accidents caused by negligence deserve to be fully compensated for all of their losses by any negligent parties, including the truck driver or the trucking company. Truck accident cases can be complex since the trucking company will work to avoid liability at all costs, which means a significant amount of evidence is often necessary especially when fault in the collision is disputed. You need to make sure you have a truck accident lawyer on your side with the skill and resources to successfully handle this type of case. Call our office today at 215-825-5183 for a free consultation.

[1] http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812150.pdf

[2] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service


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October 19, 2015

Investigating a Philadelphia truck accident claim requires significant resources




Motorists who regularly drive on Pennsylvania roads or highways have undoubtedly come across large commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks or tanker trucks driving from place to place. When these vehicles are involved in collisions with passenger vehicles, the damage and injuries that are sustained can be tremendous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports [1] that there were approximately 95,000 people injured in accidents involving large trucks during 2013, and that of this 95,000, 72 percent were the occupants of vehicles which were not large trucks.

When one considers the fact that large commercial trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times as much as smaller passenger cars, this statistic is not surprising. Thankfully for victims, people who are hurt in accidents involving commercial trucks are often legally entitled to compensation under Pennsylvania law.

Litigating a truck accident case can require significant resources, both in terms of time and money. The reality of the situation is that many truck accident victims simply do not have access to these resources and may not be able to obtain the full value of their claim as a result. Furthermore, trucking companies understand that they operate in a high-risk area, meaning that they often have legal teams at the ready to defend against accident claims. For these reasons, it is extremely important for truck accident victims to retain a law firm with the resources required to adequately represent their interests. Some of the ways in which a Philadelphia truck accident attorney can help are detailed below.

An attorney will thoroughly investigate your claim

Truck accident cases are often contested, meaning that a plaintiff must produce evidence in support of his or her assertion that an accident was the result of negligence. In many instances, obtaining this type of evidence requires significant investigation. An attorney will be able to use the discovery process in order to compel the production of this type of evidence and present in such a way that a court or jury will understand and be responsive. The kinds of evidence that may be relevant to a truck accident case include hours-of-service logbooks, police reports, witness statements, photographic evidence, and any surveillance footage that may have captured the accident taking place.

An attorney will cover any up-front costs associated with litigation

In many truck accident cases, there are significant costs associated with litigating a case. Often, the process of gathering and analyzing evidence takes a significant amount of assistance from support staff. In addition, it may be necessary to consult with trucking industry experts in order to establish to a judge or jury that negligence occurred and caused the accident in which you were involved. Often, these experts can charge hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per hour. When you retain a lawyer, he or she will pay for these costs and will not pass them through to you unless you recover compensation for your injuries.

The Levin Firm takes all of its personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis

Individuals who are hurt in truck accidents often are worried that they will not be able to retain an attorney because they cannot afford one. At the Levin Firm, we use a contingent fee [2] arrangement with all of our personal injury clients, meaning that they will not be required to pay any legal fees unless we successfully recover on their behalf. If we do recover, any fees owed for legal representation will come directly out of the recovery received, meaning that clients never have to pay out of pocket for legal services. By using this type of arrangement, we can ensure that anyone who needs legal representation is able to obtain it, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Contact a Philadelphia motor vehicle accident lawyer today to retain legal representation

The most effective way for an individual who has been hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck to ensure that they receive compensation for their injuries is to retain an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The kinds of losses that victims can recover for include medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, property damage, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. In serious cases, the recovery that truck accident victims can obtain can be well into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, so it is extremely important for victims to retain an attorney that will aggressively pursue their claim.

Since 2005, the Levin Firm has been helping people injured in truck crashes and other preventable accidents. To schedule a free consultation with Philadelphia car accident lawyer Gabriel Levin, call our office today at 877-825-8542 or send us an email through our online contact form.

[1]  http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812150.pdf

[2] http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/lawyerfees_contingent.html


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September 29, 2015

Evidence in a Commercial Truck Accident Case



Following a commercial truck accident, a negligent truck driver should be held liable for any injuries that you sustained. However, in order to recover, you must present evidence of the driver’s negligence. Evidence comes in many forms and is regulated by state rules. [1] It is important to have an experienced attorney handling your case who understands all of the relevant rules of evidence and litigation procedures. The following are only a few examples of important evidence in a truck accident case.

Logbooks and delivery records

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) [2] enforces many laws and regulations for truck drivers to follow on a regular basis. In order to ensure compliance, a commercial driver is expected to keep careful records of certain activities during work hours. For example, a truck driver should keep a log of all hours on the road and all hours spent resting to ensure they do not violate any hours of service requirements, [3] which limit the number of consecutive hours on the road to prevent overly fatigued drivers. A driver must also keep records of pre-trip inspections to make sure they have properly completed these inspections and did not identify any issues with the truck.

Unfortunately, some truck drivers engage in the dangerous practice of falsifying logbooks so that they can drive for longer hours and complete deliveries in a shorter period of time. For this reason, it is always a good idea to examine delivery receipts so that you can tell how far the driver traveled in a certain period of time, thereby revealing whether they violated FMCSA regulations.

In-truck cameras and data recorders

Other important evidence may demonstrate that a truck driver was engaging in dangerous behavior at the time of the collision. Technology in commercial trucks is very helpful to shed light on the driver’s actions in the time preceding the accident. For example, a truck’s data recorder—commonly known as a “black box”–will record the speed of the truck and whether the brakes were engaged in order to avoid the crash. This data recorder can provide helpful information to show that a driver was in violation of traffic laws when the accident occurred.

In addition to black boxes, many commercial trucking companies have begun installing cameras inside the trucks in their fleet. These cameras record both the road in front of the truck and, often, the driver’s activities in the cab of the truck. Cameras can show if a driver was tailgating, passing in a dangerous manner, or engaging in other aggressive driving. Furthermore, the camera directed at the driver can reveal whether a truck driver was drinking or doing drugs, texting or using a cell phone, engaging in other distractions, or any other negligent behaviors that led to the collision.

Witness and expert testimony

Another important type of evidence in a truck accident case is that statements of witnesses who saw the accident happen. These witnesses can give their version of events to corroborate your claims that the truck driver was acting negligently and was at fault in the crash. After an accident, if you are able to remain on the scene, it is always important to collect as much information as possible from anyone who stopped after witnessing the accident. Your attorney will then interview the witnesses to determine whether they have information that is helpful to your case and to even help identify the negligence that caused the collision and your injuries.

In addition to witnesses, certain experts may testify on your behalf, as well. A medical professional can attest to the nature and severity of your injuries, the long-term effects of your injuries, the treatment required, and the estimated cost of treatment. In addition, an accident reconstruction expert can testify to what they believed caused the crash based on their investigation and analysis.

Consult with an experienced Philadelphia truck accident attorney today

At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, skilled personal injury lawyer Gabriel Levin has the skill and resources needed to pursue a complex commercial truck accident claim. The injuries resulting from truck accidents are often catastrophic and, therefore, victims often sustain extensive losses. Because a trucking company will try to do everything possible to avoid liability in your case, you need a truck accident lawyer who will aggressively protect your rights to recovery as an accident victim. At The Levin Firm, we understand what types of evidence are needed to adequately prove your truck accident claim, so please do not hesitate to call our office at 215-825-5183 for a free consultation today.
[1] http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/225/225toc.html
[2] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/
[3] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service

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February 6, 2015

Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

Common causes of truck accidents

Semi-trucks are an integral part of the American economy, hauling everything from lumber to gasoline from place to place every day. While large trucks are involved in a lower rate of crashes[1] resulting in nonfatal injuries or property damage only per mile traveled than passenger vehicles, they nevertheless are involved in a significant number of accidents each year. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates[2] that approximately 104,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks in 2012 alone. Modern semi-trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and often travel at speeds of 70 miles per hour or more. As a result, when they are involved in accidents, they have the potential to cause extremely serious injuries and significant damage to property. 

Truck accidents can occur in a variety of ways and can be caused by a number of different parties. The modern trucking industry is extremely complicated, involving several different players, including truck drivers, trucking companies, truck manufacturers, truck equipment suppliers, and the parties that hire truckers and trucking companies to move their product from one place to another. Any one of these parties could potentially be held liable for a truck accident, depending on the reason a truck accident happened.

The information below is intended to provide readers with an introduction to the most common causes of a trucking accident. Additional information can be found by clicking the links found at the bottom of the article.

Truck Accidents can be caused by Driver Error

The vast majority of motor vehicle accidents occur because of driver error.[3] There are many ways that a truck driver could cause an accident. Some of the most common are detailed below.

Driver Fatigue – Truck drivers are often required to adhere to grueling schedules, often driving as many as 11 hours a day or more. In order to combat driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created rules that limit the number of hours that a driver can operate his or her vehicle in a given period and imposes strict penalties for drivers who violate these rules. Unfortunately, drivers are often incentivized to break these rules by trucking companies or customers, resulting in a situation where there are a significant number of fatigued drivers on the road. Fatigue can have many deleterious effects on a driver, including reduced awareness, impaired reaction time, poor judgment, and issues with concentration. As a result, fatigued truck drivers cause a significant number of accidents each year

Drug or Alcohol Use – Alcohol or drug use and driving are a dangerous combination.  When a truck driver drives while impaired, he or she is much more likely to be involved in a serious accident. While strict federal regulations prohibit truck drivers from operating their vehicles while impaired, this issue continues to be a problem, sometimes with serious consequences.

Failure to Conduct a Pre-Trip Inspection – Federal law requires that truck drivers conduct a pre-trip inspection of their vehicles to make sure that they are in a condition in which they are safe to drive. If a truck driver fails to conduct such an inspection, his or her vehicle may have serious issues that make an accident much more likely. Common issues that could be missed include under-inflated tires, faulty coupling devices, broken or malfunctioning lights, or fluid leaks.

Driver Error Resulting in Truck Rollovers – Truck rollovers[5] are among the most dangerous kinds of accidents in which a semi-truck can be involved. There are many ways that a truck driver could cause a preventable rollover accident, including speeding, taking turns too fast, improper braking, or oversteering.

Truck Accidents can be caused by Defective Vehicles

Modern semi-trucks are extremely complicated vehicles that have literally thousands of parts that have the potential to fail. Some of the more common include the following:

  • Brakes
  • Coupling devices
  • Windshield wipers
  • Headlights
  • Tail lights
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Electronic stability control systems
  • Tires
  • Axles
  • Instrument failure

Accidents that are caused by vehicle defects or vehicle equipment defects often give rise to complicated lawsuits that involve product liability law. Under general product liability principles, individuals who are injured by defective products may be able to recover for their losses by suing the designer, manufacturer, or retailer of the product. In addition, if the truck driver or trucking company knew or should have known that a particular vehicle or piece of equipment was faulty, victims may be able to recover from either of those parties as well.

Truck Accidents can be caused by Poor Weather

Tractor Trailer AccidentAs anyone who has driven in poor weather understands, rain, snow, ice, wind, and fog can have an extremely detrimental effect on a vehicle’s performance. Poor weather is no excuse for negligent driving, however, and federal regulations[6] require that truck drivers use “extreme caution”  when hazardous conditions such as “snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction.” In fact, these regulations require that a truck driver discontinue operating his or her vehicle if conditions become sufficiently dangerous. Many types of truck accidents can be the result of poor weather. Some of the most common include the following:

Read-End Accidents – Snow, ice, rain, and sleet all can adversely affect stopping distance. If a truck driver is driving too fast considering the conditions or following too closely, a rear-end accident[7] may result.

Rollover Accidents – Trucks have a much larger vertical surface area than most passenger vehicles, so high winds can significantly affect their stability. In some cases, a sufficiently strong gust of wind can cause a truck to roll onto its side.

Broadside Accidents – Also referred to as “T-bone accidents,” broadside accidents can occur when a driver’s visibility is impaired by poor weather or if he or she is unable to stop at an intersection due to poor road conditions.

Sideswipe Accidents – Because poor weather can have a significant impact on a truck driver’s visibility, it can make it more likely that he or she will attempt to change lanes while another vehicle is next to his or her truck. 

Truck Accident Victims Should Seek Medical Attention

Anyone who has been involved in a truck accident should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is true even if victims do not believe that they are injured, as many injuries take hours or even days to develop symptoms. Seeking medical attention will ensure that your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated. In addition, the medical professional that you see will generate an official record that may be useful in establishing liability should your claim become contested.

[1] http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/qanda
[2] http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811868.pdf
[3] http://www.alertdriving.com/home/fleet-alert-magazine/international/human-error-accounts-90-road-accidents
[4] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/25/us-drug-truckdrivers-idUSBRE99O0T520131025
[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256782/
[6] http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/content/39214
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rear-end_collision

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December 9, 2014

Who is Responsible for a Rollover Truck Accident?

rollover truck accidentAny type of accident involving a large commercial truck can be frightening and can cause serious damage and injury. However, rollover accidents [1] can be particularly devastating. In a rollover accident, the trailer of a semi-truck falls over onto its side, often in the path of several lanes of traffic. This can cause numerous collisions or a chain reaction collision that can cause injury to many different motorists in many different vehicles. Additionally, the cargo of a truck can often spill out onto the road, which can cause additional accidents or even explosions if the truck is hauling gasoline or other chemicals. As you can imagine, rollover truck accidents often leave devastation in their wake.

Causes of rollovers

Because so many factors and so many parties may be involved in a rollover truck accident, it is often very complicated to determine who was at fault for the accident. Some of the primary causes for rollover accidents may include the following:

  • Taking turns too quickly
  • Speeding
  • Improperly balanced cargo
  • Hitting a curb or object
  • Improper braking
  • Dangerous roads
  • High winds
  • Tire blowouts

You must first determine the initial cause of the accident before you can determine liability.

Who is liable?

Once you identified the cause of the accident, you can identify whether any party acted with negligence. [2] Such parties that may be held liable for rollover truck accidents include:

  • Trick driver if the accident occurred due to driver error
  • Manufacturer or maintenance team if a tire was defective or poorly maintained
  • Cargo loaders if the cargo was not loaded properly
  • Another motorist if they caused the truck driver to lose control
  • Municipality if the accident was caused by dangerous road hazards

As you can see, many different parties may be at fault, and determining who was liable can often require extensive investigation and accident reconstruction. [3]

Because you do not want to risk filing a legal claim against the wrong party, it is always important that you seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will have the resources to help you determine who was liable so that you may recover from the negligent party.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollover

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negligence

[3] http://www.actar.org/



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December 1, 2014

Semi-Truck Jackknife Accidents are often Actionable

jackknife truck accidentAt any given moment, there are thousands of tractor-trailers hauling goods and other materials from place to place in the United States. While these vehicles undoubtedly perform an essential function in the American economy, they are also capable of causing serious injury when they are involved in accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates [1] that over 100,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks in 2012. In many cases, people injured in truck accidents will be able to recover for their losses by bringing a personal injury claim. Consequently, anyone affected by a semi-truck wreck should talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as they can to determine what options they may have.

What is a jackknife accident?

Semi-trucks belong to a class of vehicles known as “articulated vehicles [2],” which are vehicles that are made up of various segments linked by movable joints. This construction allows these vehicles to be more maneuverable than they would be if they were made up of a single unit, but also makes them vulnerable to certain types of accidents to which non-articulated vehicles are not. Jackknife accidents are one of these types of accident that are unique to articulated vehicles and occur when the trailer of a truck swings out from behind the vehicle, resembling the action of a pocket knife. They can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • High winds
  • Improper braking
  • Taking turns too fast
  • Improperly loaded or secured cargo
  • Driver error
  • Coupling device failure
  • Over-steering

After involvement in a jackknife accident, your attorney will conduct a thorough analysis of the facts of your case to determine whether any evidence of negligence exists. This can include reviewing truck maintenance records, phone records, the truck driver’s qualifications, and the safety practices of the company responsible for the operation of the truck. These investigations are often very contentious and are best conducted by someone familiar with the relevant law, and it is highly advisable for victims to be represented by an experienced truck accident lawyer. Furthermore, victims should be aware that personal injury claims arising from truck accidents are subject to a statute of limitations [3], meaning that any delay in filing a claim could jeopardize your ability to recover.

[1] http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811868.pdf

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articulated_vehicle

[3] http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/00.055..HTM



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November 7, 2014

Winter Weather can Cause Semi-Truck Accidents

truck accidentWith October behind us and the official start of winter around the corner, many parts of the country will start seeing severe winter weather. Issues such as snow, ice, wind, and whiteout conditions can wreak havoc on drivers on their vehicles, and winter storms are known for being a significant factor in motor vehicle accidents, including those involving large commercial trucks. Poor weather conditions are no excuse for truck driver negligence, however, and federal regulations [1] require that truck drivers use extreme caution and even stop driving if conditions become sufficiently severe. As a result, many victims of truck accidents in which winter weather played a role can recover from the party responsible for their losses through a personal injury lawsuit.

Winter weather can make roads treacherous

Snow, sleet, hail, and ice are all common issues associated with winter storms. When this type of precipitation accumulates on a road surface, it can make the road extremely slippery making it difficult to keep vehicles under control. Additionally, if liquid precipitation falls and the temperature subsequently falls below freezing, nearly invisible patches of ice can form on the road surface potentially causing serious accidents. Some of the more common kinds of truck accidents that occur in winter weather conditions include:

  • Override accidents
  • Underride accidents
  • Jackknife accidents [2]
  • Rear-end accidents
  • Broadside collisions
  • Rollover accidents
  • Head-on collisions

Determining whether a semi-truck accident was caused by driver negligence or was unavoidable based on the conditions can be a complicated process and requires significant legal and technical expertise. Our attorneys will conduct a thorough analysis of your case and determine whether any evidence of negligence exists. It is important for victims to be aware that they still may be able to recover even if they were partially at fault for causing an accident with a semi-truck, depending on the laws of your jurisdiction.

Claims arising from these types of accidents are subject to a strict statute of limitations, meaning that there is a limited amount of time in which you can file a claim. Consequently, it is highly advisable for anyone who has been involve in a truck accident to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Discussing your case with an experienced truck accident lawyer is the first step in getting the compensation you deserve.

[1] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/CFR-2011-title49-vol5/CFR-2011-title49-vol5-sec392-14/content-detail.html

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackknifing




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