Pennsylvania Truck Accident Attorneys
Helping the Injured in Carlisle, Hanover, Harrisburg, Lancaster & York
Being involved in an accident with a large truck is very different from a typical car crash. Commercial truck accidents cause horrific injuries that often result in permanent disabilities or death. A passenger vehicle or motorcycle cannot protect themselves against the sheer size and weight of a large truck. Therefore, victims in a truck accident often suffer severe physical, emotional, and financial damages. A truck accident attorney can help ensure that the victims receive a fair settlement in the form of compensation for property damage, medical expenses, and/or wage loss.
Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC: Excellence Since 1922
The safe transportation of goods lies in the hands of truck drivers and the laws that govern the trucking industry. Unfortunately, by enforcing strict deadlines and quotas, the industry is known for indirectly incentivizing the fast delivery of goods. To meet these expectations, many drivers compromise the safety of others by disregarding regulations and being reckless on the road. When a truck driver is negligent, it can lead to severe roadway accidents.
Hurt by a Big Truck? We Get Big Results!
At our firm, we understand the devastation that a truck accident can have on an individual and their loved ones, especially in a case that resulted in wrongful death. Since 1922, our team of attorneys has upheld the rights of the injured throughout Pennsylvania. We are passionate about pursuing a case outcome that meets our clients’ needs and secures their futures. We have won tens of millions on behalf of our clients. Call (888) 498-3023 anytime, 24/7 to learn more about your case. Spanish speaking services are available.
What Will Your Truck Accident Attorney Do For You?
Investigate the Accident
A truck accident investigation is much different from an investigation of an accident involving just passenger vehicles. For example, a truck accident attorney must act quickly to ensure the evidence on the truck's black box is not recorded over or otherwise destroyed. If the lawyer does not send notice to the truck owner, this important evidence could be lost. Conducting a thorough and comprehensive truck accident investigation is crucial for proving fault. If you cannot prove fault, you will not be entitled to damages.
Your Truck Accident Attorney Understands Federal Trucking Laws & Regulations
There are special laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry. An attorney who does not handle truck accidents may miss an important element of the case because he is not familiar with these laws. An experienced truck accident attorney understands these laws and regulations and how to use them to establish fault on the part of the driver or the truck company.
Negotiate a Settlement with the Insurance Company
Insurance companies aggressively fight truck accident claims. Truck accident attorneys understand the tactics used by these companies and the best way to combat these tactics. In some cases, it may be better for the accident victim to negotiate a settlement rather than file a lawsuit. It is vital that you have an experienced truck accident attorney who is also a skilled negotiator by your side.
File a Truck Accident Lawsuit
If the insurance company fails to negotiate, your truck accident attorney will file a lawsuit. Part of filing a lawsuit is identifying all of the potential defendants. In a truck accident lawsuit, you could have several defendants including the driver, the company, the owner of the tractor/trailer, and other parties. It is important to name all of the defendants in order to maximize your chance of recovering full compensation for your injuries. A truck accident attorney protects your best interest! Call now for more information.
Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Since large trucks—otherwise known as tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, big rigs, etc.—have become a relied-upon mode for the transportation of goods, accidents have become commonplace. Due to their large size and weight, trucks can wreak havoc on other motorists. Some truck drivers are not part of a union or are sole proprietors, which may mean that they are not held accountable to the same safety standards. Over the years, our firm has handled numerous Pennsylvania truck accident cases. We work to uphold a tradition of success in helping our clients obtain compensation for their truck accident injuries or property damage.
Causes of truck accidents often include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver error, such as speeding
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Improperly-weighted loads
- Unsecured loads
- Defective equipment manufacturing
- Inadequate driver training
- Unqualified or unlicensed truck drivers
- Insufficient vehicle maintenance
Our firm can meticulously investigate the circumstances surrounding your crash with a tractor-trailer or other large truck and press charges against the appropriate parties. In many cases, drivers may be held accountable for disregarding federal regulations and altering their log books. The sooner that you enlist the help of our experienced truck accident lawyers, the sooner that we will be able to pursue financial recovery on your behalf.
How Are Truck Accidents Different from Other Types of Car Accidents?
Truck accidents are different from other car accidents due to the federal regulations governing truck drivers, trucking companies, and the trucking industry and the fact that gathering evidence is much more extensive in a truck accident. Another difference requiring special handling is the fact that there are often several defendants in a truck accident and the injuries tend to be much more severe.
Laws Regulating the Trucking Industry
Pennsylvania has laws that pertain to operating automobiles within the state; however, the truck industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA sets standards for commercial trucks, truck drivers, trucking companies, and the trucking industry. These are designed to make the operation of commercial trucks safer and reduce the number of trucking accidents. Your attorney must understand these federal regulations and laws in order to handle your personal injury claim properly.
Truck Accident Investigations & Gathering Evidence
Insurance companies have special teams that quickly go to the crash site to begin an investigation. They are searching for evidence they can use to limit their liability. A Pennsylvania truck accident lawyer must also act quickly to identify and preserve evidence before it is destroyed or lost. For example, the truck's black box contains vital information such as the speed of the truck and if the brakes were applied prior to impact. The attorney must immediately notify the truck company to preserve the information on the black box.
The attorney must also request the logbooks, maintenance records, truck inspections, driver qualifications, and other information that is specific to a truck accident. If the attorney handles the case like any other car accident, vital information could be lost.
Another reason the attorney must conduct a thorough investigation is to identify all of the defendants. Truck cases often have more than one defendant compared to a car accident that only has the other driver as a defendant. In a truck accident case, you may have the driver, the truck company, a parts manufacturer, and the shipper as potential defendants. Identifying who was responsible for the truck accident is essential in order to obtain compensation for damages.
Federal Truck Regulations Helping Prevent Drowsy Truck Drivers
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowsy driving is a growing problem in the United States. Drowsy driving makes it more difficult to pay attention to the road; reduces the reaction time to break or swear suddenly; and, affects the driver's ability to make good decisions. Drowsy driving can be particularly dangerous for commercial truck drivers. In fatal crashes involving large trucks, 71% of the fatalities during 2013 were occupants in other vehicles. Some of the rules and regulations governing the trucking industry can help reduce the risk of truck accidents by specifically targeting the dangers of drowsy driving.
FAQs About Trucking Safety Rules
Hours-on-duty rules are designed to protect everyone on the road by limiting the number of hours a truck driver can work without rest or sleep. This decreases the risk that a truck driver is driving while drowsy or fatigued.
- 11 hours is the maximum number of hours a truck driver can drive during the course of a day (24-hour period).
- During a 24-hour period, a truck driver must have at least 10 consecutive off-duty hours.
- A driver is not permitted to be on-duty (driving or otherwise) more than 14 hours per day.
- During off-duty hours, the truck driver is not permitted to spend those hours in the truck unless the driver is in a sleeper birth.
- A 30-minute rest break is required after driving eight consecutive hours.
- A truck driver is limited to driving 60 hours during a 7-day period and 70 hours during an 8-day period. Once the driver reaches the maximum driving hours during a 7 or 8-day period, the driver must be off-duty for at least 34 consecutive hours.
- Truck drivers must keep a log of their duty status in 24-hour intervals pursuant to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). Logbooks can become critical evidence in a truck accident case. Your attorney will subpoena the duty records for the truck driver to determine if the driver violated any of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations.
Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Truck Accident Lawyer Today: (888) 498-3023
If you or a loved one have been hurt because of a truck driver or company's negligence, don’t hesitate to contact our attorney team. Whether your injury was as severe as traumatic brain damage, or property loss and bruising, you are entitled to compensation. Large trucking organizations anticipate lawsuits regarding roadway accidents and are usually well-equipped to combat legal charges. However, you have no reason to fear, because we're ready to help you.
Handler, Henning & Rosenberg is one of the largest firms in the area and can devote extensive resources to the prosecution of your case. Over the years, we have become known in the state for our tenacious representation and our commitment to excellence. We understand that emergencies don’t conveniently take place during business hours, which is why our staff is available 24/7 to take your calls. For your convenience, we also have office locations in Carlisle, Hanover, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York.
To request a free case review regarding a truck accident, contact Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC today!