The United States Census noted that 3.5 million Americans work as truck drivers who operate large tractor-trailers or delivery trucks. Many of those drivers are overworked and in need of rest. With so many truck drivers on the roads daily, it only takes one overworked driver to change your life instantly.
If you are injured and in pain or have lost someone you love because of a truck accident, know that you are not alone. The team at Berger and Green has over 40 years of experience. We have handled numerous personal injury cases and are proud of our results. To get started on your case right away or to take advantage of our free, no-obligation consultation, contact us at (412) 661-1400.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Johnstown, PA
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over 100,000 people are injured in accidents involving trucks each year. The most common causes are:
Most truck drivers operate for long distances forgoing rest to deliver their goods quickly. They are under pressure from tight deadlines and simply do not get enough sleep. This fatigue results in lost concentration, loss of coordination, and occasionally, falling asleep behind the wheel.
Poor Training or Truck Maintenance
Though truck drivers are required to put in a certain number of hours for their commercial driver’s license (CDL), it is not uncommon for them to be on the road with insufficient training. It is also not uncommon for companies, or the drivers themselves, to fail to maintain their trucks properly.
Alcohol and Drug Use
Many drivers have been found guilty of using non-medicinal drugs and alcohol while on the job. Even prescription drugs can impair coordination and judgment, leading to accidents.
In order to reach destinations as quickly as possible and make tight deadlines, truck drivers sometimes push beyond safe speeds. Because high speeds reduce the time to react if traffic suddenly slows or stops–especially in poor weather conditions–these trucks are more likely to get into accidents.
With many hours behind the wheel, drivers sometimes look for ways to occupy their time. Just like the drivers in cars, truck drivers are often guilty of looking at their phones and responding to text messages while behind the wheel.
If you or a member of your family has been hurt because of the negligence of a truck driver, you may be entitled to damages. Contact Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Types of Injuries Resulting From Truck Accidents
Trucking accidents can cause a wide variety of severe or even life-threatening injuries. Some of the more common truck accident injuries are:
- Broken bones: because of the immense force applied during a truck accident, bones are more likely to be broken than in accidents involving just cars.
- Back and neck injuries: these injuries could include minor neck pain or serious injuries such as herniated discs in the spine. These injuries commonly prevent the victims from returning to work right away, causing them to miss out on wages and possibly opportunities for advancement.
- Head injuries: head injuries or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) as defined by the Mayo Clinic carry with them a variety of symptoms, from confusion and nausea to vision problems. These injuries are common in trucking accidents and can result in a loss of cognitive or motor functions.
- Internal bleeding: powerful trauma from truck accidents can result in potentially life-threatening internal bleeding of major organs.
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis: damage to the spinal cord during a trucking accident can be devastating and cause the victim to suffer paralysis.
- Lacerations: though less serious, cuts and lacerations can be extremely painful, require time to heal, and can leave victims with lifelong scarring.
- Rib injuries: because of the sudden powerful impact in a truck accident, damage to the rib cage and torso can often be severe.
Damages You May Recover After a Truck Accident
If you have been involved in a truck accident, the injuries you sustained can be devastating. If the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence–whether it is the driver, trucking company, or maintenance company–you have the right to hold them responsible.
Some of the damages that you may be entitled to include:
- Medical costs, such as ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgeries, doctors’ examinations, medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Future wages if you cannot return to work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If your family member did not survive because of the severity of his or her injuries, you may be entitled to specific damages related to wrongful death. They include:
- Medical costs
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of benefits and wages provided by the deceased
- Loss of support and protection
- Loss of companionship
How the Statute of Limitations Impacts Your Claim
According to Pennsylvania Statute § 5524, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit pursuing damages related to your truck accident. If your family member did not survive the accident or passed away as a result of injuries at a later time, you have two years from the date that she died to file a claim.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer in Johnstown, PA, Can Help Your Claim
A truck accident lawyer in Johnstown, PA, at Berger and Green can take the burden off of you, pursuing damages for your injuries while you focus on healing. Some of the specific ways we can help include:
- Gathering records for your claim, such as medical records, medical bills, and insurance policy information
- Investigating your claim in detail to ensure we have all the necessary evidence to establish negligence and liability
- Negotiating compensation with the defense outside of the courtroom for your injuries
- Going to trial to present your case if an agreeable settlement cannot be reached
If you are ready for us to get to work or if you would like a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Johnstown, PA, to evaluate your case, contact Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400 today.