Injuries sustained during a commercial truck vs. passenger vehicle accident are severe and can potentially cause hospitalization. During a patient’s recovery time, they may start to incur expensive medical costs while they’re also missing work. Victims from serious accidents of this nature deserve answers and reliable personal injury attorneys to defend their rights.
If you’re in this situation, you’ll want a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer from Shrager & Sachs at your side. We’ll help you with your claim and fight for you to get the compensation you deserve. We’ll hold the negligent party responsible for their actions, so you won’t have to worry about financial stress during your recovery.
Philadelphia Truck Accident Statistics
2017 Pennsylvania Crash Facts & Statistics reported the following statistics about truck accidents in Pennsylvania. The main factor that unites these numbers is that nearly all of them were preventable. Whether the negligence was caused by the truck driver, the trucking company, a truck part manufacturer, or another irresponsible party, these numbers wouldn’t be this high had those individuals and groups acted competently.
The following statistics were true in 2017 in Pennsylvania:
- There were 7,367 heavy trucks involved in accidents and 27 occupant fatalities.
- Heavy trucks made up 27.9 percent of turnpike work zone crashes.
- 48 drivers of big rigs were drunk when they caused an accident.
- 4 percent of truck crashes were fatal.
- 9 percent of truck crashes caused injuries.
Truck accident claims can get complicated. The law firm of Shrager & Sachs understands how difficult they can be and will diligently investigate your case to find what caused the accident and determine what the accident has cost you. We’ll do everything possible for your case, so you can recover the damages from the crash.
Unique Dangers of Commercial Trucks
Handling a truck is much different from a car. Drivers need to be comfortable in an 18-wheeler that can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. With its size and weight, drivers have to be aware of the dangers a truck poses when it’s not being driven properly.
Big rigs take longer to fully stop and turn. The driver can’t expect to safely maneuver the truck if they don’t plan ahead and give the vehicle time and space to slow down.
Truck drivers also need to be aware of the following:
- Blind Spots. Commercial trucks have more blind spots than smaller vehicles when they’re on the road. The driver will have trouble seeing a car within the first 20 feet of the front of the truck. The driver has a one lane blind spot to the left and a two-lane blind spot to the right, making it dangerous for cars when the truck is making a turn. The truck driver also has a blind spot of up to 30 feet in the back of the truck. Truck drivers need to always check their mirrors and signal turns early so cars have time to get out of the way.
- Rolling Over. The height and weight of a truck can cause the trailer to roll over if the driver is speeding or oversteering. When the trailer rolls over, the driver loses control of the vehicle. The trailer can crush other cars that are in its path.
- Jackknifing. When an 18-wheeler skids on the road from hitting ice or the driver slams on the brakes, the trailer’s wheels may still continue to move and swing out beside the truck and form a 90-degree angle. These accidents can catch cars underneath the trailer or collide with others in the truck’s path.
Truckers need to have proper training and education about these dangers and what to do to prevent them from causing accidents. Trucking companies that don’t have an in-depth hiring process may be bringing in drivers who aren’t prepared to do the job.
What Are the Leading Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents?
If you were not at fault for your accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean the truck driver was automatically responsible for the action. They can act negligently, but sometimes there are other accident causes beyond the driver’s control.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver Error. An inexperienced trucker could potentially put others at risk. They may not know how to navigate a big rig or drive aggressively. Speeding and tailgating are more dangerous in a truck because they can’t stop or turn quickly.
- Distracted Driving. Trying to use a cell phone, looking at a navigation system, or eating and drinking all make the driver have less control of the vehicle.
- Cargo Weight. About 24 crashes occurred in 2017 because the trailer wasn’t secure, or it was overloaded. The truck can’t safely haul cargo when it’s over its carrying capacity.
- Cargo Distribution. The cargo also has to be distributed evenly so one part of the trailer isn’t carrying more weight than the other. This can cause the trailer to shift or put too much stress on the support and risks breaking parts of the trailer.
- Defective Truck Issues. Crashes can occur when the parts of the truck aren’t made well, or the truck company doesn’t check their vehicles to make sure they’re running properly. There were 102 crashes in 2017 due to tire or wheel-related issues and 70 were brake-related. The manufacturing company or the trucking company could be liable for negligence in this type of situation.
- Inclement Weather. Ice, snow, and heavy rain in and around Philadelphia can make the roads slippery and have lower visibility, making it difficult for truck drivers to stay in control of their vehicles.
Trucking companies need to make sure their vehicles meet federal regulations. These regulations are meant to keep drivers and trucks safe and to help them prevent accidents. Failing to adhere to these regulations is a serious offense and extremely dangerous. Our commercial truck accident lawyers are well aware of trucking regulations and will discover if your collision was caused by a breach of these regulations.
Common Injuries Resulting from Truck Crashes
The dangerous injuries from a truck accident have the potential to be catastrophic and cause permanent damage.
A truck collision may cause:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Neck Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Loss of Limbs
- Broken Bones
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Sometimes, these collisions can result in more than injury. When a loved one is lost unexpectedly in a truck accident and you believe negligence was a cause of the crash, the grief can be unbearable. But you can seek justice for your loved one with a wrongful death claim. Shrager & Sachs will make sure your loved one’s rights are represented.
How a Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Our truck accident lawyers are experienced in getting successful results for our clients. We recently settled a claim for $5.44 million for a passenger who was involved in an accident with an overloaded water tank truck. We’re prepared to go above and beyond to get you the compensation you deserve.
Let us help you. Call us today for a free consultation of your case. You can rest assured that passionate, skilled personal injury attorneys will be in your corner and focused on protecting your rights.