We understand how it can happen in an instant. Your life is going along as usual, and then suddenly, a truck accident turns your life upside down. Regardless of whether the crash was big or small, figuring out your next steps can be overwhelming.
Berger and Green is here to help. If you have been involved in a truck accident, you can get a free, no-risk evaluation of your case. Afterward, our truck accident lawyer can manage your case for you and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Why Accidents with Large Trucks Are Different from Other Accidents
The total number of truck accident fatalities in Pennsylvania is in decline, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Nonetheless, accidents involving heavy trucks still number in the thousands, and when they occur, the damage can be catastrophic to property and human life.
In a car accident involving two cars, the drivers are typically the owners of the vehicles as well as the insurance policyholders. This is not the case with many commercial trucking accidents. When a truck accident occurs, there are many people and factors that can come into play. Some of the potential parties who could be liable in a trucking accident include:
- The driver
- The truck owner
- The cargo owner
- The truck maintainer
- The manufacturer
Multiple parties could be involved and liable in your case. A lawyer from our firm can identify each of them and then hold each to account.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accident lawyer serving Erie, call 412-661-1400
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The trucking industry is integral to the transportation of goods in the United States. A single truck driver can travel thousands of miles per year. With so much time behind the wheel, though, there is an increased likelihood of human error and negligence. Here are the common causes of trucking accidents:
- Driver fatigue: Many drivers are faced with heavy, unrealistic schedules, which can cause them to drive beyond the time the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allows without adequate rest.
- Drugs and alcohol: Driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug can slow reaction speed and impair the driver in other ways.
- Inadequate training: Training regulations are required, but unfortunately, some drivers may be moved to the road before they are ready.
- Driver error: With such heavy machinery and loads the trucker is responsible for, a mistake can happen at any time, especially if the trucker is tired or distracted.
- Defective equipment: If a part of the truck has been manufactured or installed improperly, the truck can malfunction and cause an accident.
- Improper maintenance: Maintenance is essential in keeping the truck running efficiently and accurately. Improper maintenance can lead to an accident.
- Improperly weighted or secured loads: The load a truck carries comes in all shapes and sizes. A shift in the cargo or the cargo being too heavy could cause the truck to drive abnormally.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may have a case for a legal claim or lawsuit against the liable party. Let us help you determine who is at fault.
Erie Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Types of Damages You May Recover After an Accident with a Truck
There are several damages you may be entitled to as a result of your truck accident. They include:
- Medical expenses, such as those for hospital stays, ambulance rides, medicine, surgeries, rehabilitation, and other out-of-pocket expenses
- The cost of medical equipment you need to recover from your injuries
- Damage of property
- Lost wages
- Future wages if you are unable to return to work
- Lost benefits and opportunities from time away from work
- Pain and suffering
In some cases, the court will award punitive damages if the defendant has behaved with gross negligence. This is intended as a punishment to discourage negligent behavior from the defendant and other parties in the future.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident due to someone’s negligence, dealing with a legal case can be overwhelming. However, our law firm can handle your claim and the insurance companies on your behalf.
Wrongful Death Damages After a Truck Accident
Truck accidents can be catastrophic and fatal, and a deadly accident can devastate the victim’s family. If your loved one suffered a fatal accident, your family might have damages you cannot comprehend or calculate.
An Erie truck accident attorney from our firm can help you determine these damages and then attribute monetary values to them. Your family’s damages may include the following:
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- A reduced income
- Funerals costs and related costs
- Your loss of spousal support
- Your children’s loss of parental support
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Laws That Could Impact Your Truck Accident Lawsuit
Pa. C.S.A. § 5524 imposes a statute of limitations on automobile accident lawsuits, whether a truck was involved or not. Therefore, if you do not file your lawsuit within two years of the incident, you will most likely lose the right to pursue damages.
There is an exception to this, and that is if the victim’s injuries are fatal. When an accident is fatal, two claims potentially arise—a wrongful death claim and a survival action. A wrongful death claim is a claim brought on behalf of a decedent’s family for their losses associated with the death of a loved one. A survival action is for the decedent’s damages, essentially, the suffering they went through in the accident and until their death.
Because a wrongful death claim is for expenses associated with a loved one’s death, the statute of limitations begins to run at the time of the death. For any survival action, the statute of limitations begins to run at the time of the accident as that is when the decedent’s injury began to occur.
Another law that could impact your legal action is the “Modified Comparative Fault” law. According to Pennsylvania law, if you are found to carry more than 50% of the fault for an accident you cannot recover damages associated with your injuries.
Do not leave your case up to chance. Instead, let us put our 40+ years of experience to work for your truck accident case.
What a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
Legal actions against a trucking company can be pretty complex because the insurance company has a lot to lose if they are found liable for the truck accident. There are many ways we can take the burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on the process of healing. They include:
- Investigating and gathering evidence in your case, including medical records, eyewitness statements, and police reports
- Valuating your damages for you
- Searching for insurance policies that could provide additional compensation to cover your injuries
- Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf
- Pursuing legal action at trial if we are unable to reach an agreeable settlement
- Providing you with 24/7 support from the beginning until the end
How Valuable These Legal Services Are
In addition to relieving legal and some financial burdens, our services can be valuable in other ways. For example, by gathering and corroborating evidence for your case, we will be able to bolster it, making it much more convincing to an insurer or a judge. This may help us acquire your due compensation.
Valuating your damages thoroughly and adequately will help us acquire your due compensation. In addition, it may prevent the insurer or even a judge from devaluing your damages, which would diminish your compensation.
You could attempt to gather evidence and valuate your damages on your own, but you may struggle to do so. It is difficult for clients to interview witnesses, interpret medical reports, and determine the value of their intangible damages, like their pain and suffering. You may want to leave it all to a truck accident lawyer from our firm.
About Our Truck Accident Lawyers
Our personal injury firm has over four decades of experience with truck accidents and other personal injury cases. This experience is enough to qualify us to handle your case, too. We can handle a difficult insurance company as well as any opposing lawyers. Even if your case involves the loss of a family member, we can help.
Our accident lawyers have helped tens of thousands of people over the years, and we are committed to each of our clients. This commitment means we fight hard for a fair outcome, even if it means fighting for a client in court. So you can expect your lawyer to fight hard in your case, too.
Working for You on a Contingency Basis
Our truck accident lawyers offer their services on a contingency basis, meaning they do not charge for their legal services unless they are successful with their cases. This makes hiring an attorney very affordable. We will tell you more about how the contingency arrangement works during a free consultation.
Let an Erie Truck Accident Attorney Help You with Your Next Steps
If you are ready to get to work on your case right away, contact our team at Berger and Green. After your free consultation with a member of our team, your Erie truck accident lawyer can start working on your claim.
During your consultation, we will review your case with you and advise you on how to proceed. Contact us today for your free consultation and case review.