Pennsylvania roads and highways are full of both passenger cars and tractor-trailer trucks, traveling side by side from place to place. When these two types of vehicles collide, catastrophic injuries and even death can occur in an instant, changing the lives of everyone involved. Trucking accident claims are very different from accidents that only involve passenger vehicles for many reasons, including the severity of the crash, the potential liability or legal responsibility of multiple parties, the applicability of hundreds of federal regulations, high limits insurance policies, and aggressive and well coordinate defense by trucking companies. Complex 18-wheeler accidents require the attention and experience of seasoned trial lawyers to help those involved recover maximum financial compensation for their injuries, damages, and other losses.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of injury. This time limit applies to truck accidents; but even though you would have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, these complex claims require a thorough investigation, so we recommend speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible to preserve evidence and review the facts while memories remain fresh.
Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer Crashes
Tractor-trailers go by many names, such as big rigs, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, flatbeds, and more. They are relied upon now more than ever before for the transportation of goods across the country and to both drivers and passengers, we have gotten used to seeing them on the roads and highways with us while we drive. Despite our growing familiarity with them, the dangers of big rigs are unmistakable. They are huge in both size and weight compared to most any other vehicle on the road, which means when they collide with something it happens with great force that can cause life-altering impacts. While you might think highways are the most dangerous place to run into a big rig, deaths in large truck crashes are most likely to occur on major roads followed by interstates and highways.
While many different things can cause 18-wheeler accidents, some of the more common causes include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Truck driver driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Inadequate truck driver training
- Truck driver negligence, including speeding, distracted driving, and more
- Unlicensed or otherwise unqualified truck drivers
- Transportation companies having bad hiring practices
- Trucking company negligence
- Unsecured cargo or loads
- Improperly weighted, overloaded, or unbalanced cargo
- Insufficient or improper truck maintenance and service
- Improper inspection
- Defective truck parts
- Mechanical failure, such as brake problems
- Roadway problems
- Inclement weather
Responsible Parties in a Truck Accident Case
While truck accidents only make up 6.8% of all motor vehicle accidents, they cause approximately 4,000 deaths every year. A huge 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle crashes involve a large truck. ruck accidents pose a danger, especially to other drivers and the occupants of passenger vehicles. In Pennsylvania, victims of all types of accidents are entitled to seek compensation from the individuals or companies who caused their injuries. Responsible parties in truck accident cases can include but are not limited to:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking company
- Truck owner
- Parent company or companies of the trucking company
- Maintenance companies
- Service companies
- Third-party drivers/drivers of other vehicles involved in the crash
- Employers of negligent parties
- Insurance companies
- Manufacturers of defective truck parts
- Parts supplier
- Cargo loading companies
- Government transit authorities or agencies
You deserve to know who caused your injuries and to hold them legally accountable. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers thoroughly investigate every aspect of your claim to find out exactly what happened and every single party that can potentially be held responsible.
SMT Legal Pittsburgh Complex 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one were injured in a complex 18-wheeler accident, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced and award-winning trial lawyers of SMT Legal. The injury victim and their loved ones are entitled to a variety of types of financial compensation. Large trucking companies and other defendants in these cases know their trucks will eventually injure and kill others and so they anticipate lawsuits for crashes and are ready to go to war against the injured or the surviving family members of those who have been wrongfully killed.
Our law firm handles these cases on what is called a contingent fee basis. A contingent fee protects people like you from taking on any financial risk associated with your potential case. You will not pay us any money upfront or out of your pocket. We pay all of the costs and expenses and if we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing. If you would like to speak with a lawyer confidentially and free of charge to learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us today.