Philadelphia Tractor Trailer Accidents Lawyer
When a tractor-trailer collides with a smaller vehicle, the results can be catastrophic and deadly. In many cases, truck accidents result from reckless and careless driving on the part of truckers on many of the multi-lane, high-speed superhighways and other roadways in the greater Philadelphia area — including in New Jersey.
At The Levin Firm, our injury attorneys understand that representing tractor–trailer and other heavy truck accident victims requires particular skills and knowledge. Our attorneys fight to recover the many types of damages and compensation our clients are entitled to, including medical expenses, hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost earnings, future wage losses, lost earning capacity, physical disabilities, scars, loss of limbs, brain and head injuries, emotional distress, depression, anxiety, grief, and pain and suffering.
The Philadelphia tractor-trailer and truck accident lawyers at The Levin Firm have extensive experience helping people like you seek the compensation they’re owed when they’ve been hurt. Don’t let a negligent truck driver or the company that employs them get away with causing you severe physical harm and financial distress. Instead, call us to schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help you.
What Is Truck Driver Negligence?
Trucks and tractor–trailers are large, heavy vehicles that must be operated with care and caution. If a truck driver is negligent in any way, they are putting themselves and others in harm’s way.
Truck driver negligence can take one or more of the following forms, among others:
- Careless or reckless driving
- Exceeding the posted speed limit for trucks
- Distracted driving, including texting and cell phone use behind the wheel
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI or DUID)
- Failure to yield right-of-way
- Cutting curves too sharply
- Driving while fatigued
- Failing to use turn signals, especially on busy roadways
- Poor vehicle maintenance, including poorly maintained brakes, warning lights, and trailer lights
- Changing lanes too quickly
- Driving too fast for existing weather conditions
- Failure to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations regarding truck and trailer load sizes, weight limits, overhang, warning signs, and escort vehicles
Truck driver carelessness and negligence can produce serious consequences, such as chain reaction collisions (especially in wet weather), multi-vehicle pileups, trailer overturns, and hazardous waste spills. A serious truck accident can also cause a trailer’s cargo to dislodge onto the roadway, resulting in a massive accident or pile-up.
Making a Claim Against a Trucking Company in Philadelphia
In addition to filing a claim or lawsuit against a truck driver, an injured motorist may also have a claim against the driver’s employer, which is often a trucking company.
In other words, the trucking company may share responsibility for the truck driver’s negligence, if the driver was acting in the scope of employment at the time of the accident. If the trucking company is also at fault for the accident, it can share in the responsibility for all of the accident victim’s injuries and damages.
If the negligent truck driver is a repeat offender and has a bad track record for causing accidents or receiving citations, the trucking company may face liability for negligently hiring, retaining, or supervising the at-fault driver.
In some cases, a trucking company will allege that it had no control over the negligent truck driver, meaning that the negligent truck driver was an independent contractor, not an employee. Because employers are typically liable only for the negligent conduct of employees, a trucking company that successfully categorizes a truck driver as an independent contractor can avoid liability for an accident. However, it may be possible to show that the driver was actually an employee despite being labeled an independent contractor.
An experienced truck accident lawyers will investigate the crash, obtain vital evidence, and will build the strongest, most persuasive case possible on your behalf.
Proving Damages in Serious Truck Accident Cases
Proving catastrophic injuries and damages in a truck or tractor-trailer accident case can be an uphill battle. The trucking company’s insurer is likely to downplay the significance of your injuries by claiming that your injuries were either not serious or predated the truck accident. When that happens, you may need to introduce the testimony of a medical expert.
A medical provider must connect all of your injuries to the truck accident. If you had previous injuries to the same body parts or preexisting medical conditions (such as arthritis or other degenerative disorders), an expert may testify that the truck or tractor-trailer accident made them worse. For example, if you suffered from back pain before your accident, and your back pain significantly worsened after the accident, a medical expert may testify that the truck accident aggravated your condition.
Depending on the circumstances, an expert may testify that you suffered a permanent or debilitating injury as a result of the accident. The expert may offer insights about the limitations in your work or personal life that the truck accident caused.
An expert may offer a prognosis as to future medical care and treatments, including the potential likelihood and cost of future medical procedures, such as surgeries. The skilled truck and tractor-trailer accident lawyers at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia can assist you with proving these damages in your case.
What to Do If You Are Hurt in a Truck Accident in Philadelphia
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you will want to take the following steps:
- Call the police. It is critical that you file an accident report with law enforcement, even if you think the damage is minimal. Filing a police report is required by law, and it could provide important information when it comes time to file a claim.
- Seek medical attention. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, your top priority should be your health and safety. Seek medical attention immediately. Even if you feel fine at first, some injuries don’t show symptoms right away. It’s important to see a doctor because you could be suffering from serious injuries that could be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated. Keep records of all your medical expenses and doctor’s appointments.
- Report the crash to your insurance company. Don’t sign anything or give a statement regarding the accident without first seeking advice from an attorney. It’s best to simply give the basic information listed on the police report. If they ask for more information, tell them you will have your lawyer get in touch with them.
- Don’t provide a statement to the other party’s insurance company. This step is very important because anything you say could later be used against you and could hurt your case. Insurance adjusters may contact you or show up at the scene of the accident to try and gather information from you. Do not sign anything or discuss the accident with anyone without your lawyer present.
- Take photos of the scene. Document the accident scene, your injuries, and damage to the vehicle. Take plenty of photos from different angles and distances. Photos are effective when supporting your case, as are witness testimonies. Write down or record on your smartphone your account of what happened as soon as you can.
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer. The skilled attorneys of The Levin Firm have the knowledge and skills needed to understand the circumstances of your unique truck accident claim and can assist you with all aspects of your case.
How a Lawyer Can Help With Your Truck Accident Claim
The experienced team of truck accident attorneys at The Levin Firm are committed to completing a thorough investigation into the true cause of the accident and helping prove that the negligent actions or inactions of others caused the crash.
Your lawyer can help with an array of important tasks, including:
- Reviewing accident reports
- Interviewing witnesses
- Investigating the scene of the accident
- Determining whether traffic laws were obeyed
- Seeking out all sources of insurance coverage
State and federal trucking laws and regulations can be difficult to understand without the assistance of an attorney. The truck accident lawyers at The Levin Firm have in-depth knowledge of these laws and the resources to properly investigate the crash.
It’s typically more difficult and complicated to prove liability in a truck accident case than a car accident case. With truck accidents, there are often multiple liable parties, including the following:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck owner
- Cargo loaders
- Parts manufacturers
Our lawyers are experienced in identifying the at-fault parties, and they will help you build a rock-solid case against those responsible for your injuries. Don’t try to handle your truck accident lawsuit alone. With the help of a skilled attorney, you have a much better chance to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Catastrophic Truck Accident Injuries in Philadelphia
Since truck accidents most often occur on busy highways — and at highway speeds — the severe injuries they cause can even kill people. Many truck accidents involve rear-end, side-impact, or head-on collisions.
Common examples of catastrophic injuries sustained in Pennsylvania and New Jersey truck accidents include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)—such as concussions, long-term memory loss, and comas—along with fractures, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, permanent facial scarring, and even death.
Catastrophic injuries sustained in Pennsylvania and New Jersey truck and tractor-trailer crashes can often result in:
- Long hospital stays
- Extensive periods of medical treatment or physical therapy
- Future medical procedures and surgeries
- Long-term care and treatments at a nursing home or assisted living facility
The Levin Firm provides skillful representation to people who suffer catastrophic injuries in truck accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey because of someone else’s negligence.
Damages in a Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawsuit
In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, truck accident victims are entitled to recover compensation for their losses. At The Levin Firm, our experienced truck accident attorneys know how to hold the negligent parties accountable in these cases.
We can help you recover full and fair compensation for a variety of damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Emergency room costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death
When you bring your case to The Levin Firm, our truck accident attorneys will work tirelessly toward helping you recover the maximum compensation that you deserve.
How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of the truck accident to file a lawsuit. If you wait longer than two years, you will not be able to file a lawsuit unless a very narrow exception exists.
Time is of the essence if you have been injured in a truck accident. After you have been treated for your injuries, it is critical that you contact an attorney as soon as possible so you can begin the legal process.
Tractor-Trailer Accident Statistics
Every day, companies across the United States rely on tractor-trailers to get their products where they need to go. However, these large, heavy trucks have the potential to cause serious injuries in accidents on Pennsylvania and New Jersey roadways.
Someone involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer is twice as likely to die compared to someone in a crash between passenger vehicles. The large size and heavy weight of tractor-trailers make accidents involving them especially severe — and they often include life-threatening injuries and death.
According to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a single recent year, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9% increase from the previous year.
Contact a Pennsylvania or New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Tractor-trailer accident victims require a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers to devote their maximum time and effort to their cases. At The Levin Firm, our Pennsylvania and New Jersey personal injury attorneys investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and pursue the best possible results for them.
When you need a personal injury attorney to represent you after sufferin an injury in a tractor-trailer accident in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey, call The Levin Firm or contact us online.