In 2017,6,807 heavy truck accidents occurred in Pennsylvania. Heavy trucks include tractor-trailer trucks designed for carrying a heavy load of property on or in the vehicle. Heavy trucks, especially tractor-trailers are essential in the trucking industry, but they are also very dangerous when they are involved in accidents.
Dangerous characteristics and safe driving
Tractor-trailers are 20 – 30 times heavier than passenger vehicles and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This makes their stop time at least twice as long as a regular passenger vehicle. In wet or icy road conditions, tack on even more stop time for tractor-trailers. When tractor-trailers are forced to brake suddenly, they can lose control and rollover or jackknife meaning their trailer swings out to the side and the truck ends up taking out everything in its path until it finally comes to a stop.
How we can help you
Our tractor-trailer accident lawyers at SMT Legal are truck accident experts who have secured financial recoveries for many of our truck accident victim clients. We will help you secure a full and fair settlement as follows:
- Truck drivers’ conduct that can cause or contribute to accidents include things like following other vehicles too closely, speeding, and operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We will interview witnesses to find out what they observed and review police reports including suspected drug or alcohol use and whether or not a Breathalyzer or blood test was conducted.
- Employers can be responsible for drivers’ conduct, especially if thorough background checks weren’t conducted and safety training was not provided. We will look into employers’ hiring practices and safety training, and we will also conduct our own criminal and driving history background checks on the driver to determine if the employer was negligent in hiring its driver.
- We conduct investigations into compliance with federal and state truck regulations. We will look into things such as driving logs and maintenance reports to determine if the driver, his or her employer, and the truck owner complied with regulations.
- We will interview the driver and if necessary, hire experts to determine if a vehicle defect may have caused or contributed to the accident and in that case, the manufacturer may have some liability.
- We will search for accident footage that may have been captured by cameras belonging to local businesses, residences, the tractor-trailer involved, or other vehicles in the accident vicinity.