Large trucks and commercial vehicles are responsible for hauling the majority of goods and services across the country. While operations generally run smoothly, accidents do happen. When you’re involved in a crash, it can completely upend your life. That’s why when negligent actions cause tractor-trailer crashes, a West Chester truck accident lawyer from Shrager & Sachs is prepared to step in and represent the victim, so they have the compensation they need to recover.
The roads in West Chester and the surrounding county can be hazardous at times because of the traffic on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and its arteries. When truck drivers are trying to make deadlines but are held back by heavy traffic, there’s potential they’ll act recklessly in an attempt to make up the time. When a large truck collides with a smaller vehicle, more often than not the occupants in the smaller vehicle sustain serious injuries. In some cases, those injuries could be catastrophic or even fatal.
At Shrager & Sachs, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll truck accident injuries can have on a person and their family. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping people file a personal injury claim to seek monetary recovery for what they were wrongly forced to endure. While the claim process can be complicated, we have the skills and experience to make it as easy as possible for you.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents in West Chester
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), there were 7,336 accidents involving heavy trucks in 2018 across the state. As a result, 118 people suffered fatal injuries. The majority of those accidents occurred on state highways and resulted from vehicle failures related to tires and wheels, brakes, power train failure, and unsecured or overloaded trailers.
While PennDOT has yet to release official data for 2019, news stories tell us just how prevalent truck accidents are in West Chester. In June 2019, two big rigs collided, spilling fuel and closing U.S. Route 1 Bypass between 796 and 842 for hours. While there were no fatalities, both truck drivers were injured. It’s fortunate that no smaller vehicles were involved – especially considering the presence of fuel. Later that year in October, the driver of an SUV was trapped in their vehicle with leg injuries after a tractor-trailer collided with the vehicle.
If you find yourself dealing with the consequences of a truck wreck in West Chester, our attorneys can help you seek compensation for your injuries. To do so, we’ll need to start by figuring out how and why the crash happened.
Identifying the Types of Truck Crashes
Part of building a case means determining the type of accident you were in. Different types of accidents have different causes, so once we determine the type we can begin forming a negligence theory.
- Jackknife Accidents. A jackknife accident happens when a truck’s drive axle brakes lock up. As a result, the trailer skids out past the cab until it forms a 90-degree angle with the tractor. When this happens, the driver has no control over the vehicle. If this happens on a busy highway, a number of vehicles could be involved in a crash.
- Rollovers. A number of situations can result in a truck rolling over. Among the most common are speed, steep inclines or declines, hitting another object on the road, or taking a curve too fast. Rollovers also happen when cargo is improperly loaded or weighs too much.
- Override Collisions. The larger and heavier a truck is, the more time and space it needs to stop. If traffic is bumper-to-bumper and a trucker isn’t paying attention, they could drive overtop the smaller car in front of them. Override collisions commonly result in fatalities.
- Underride Accidents. Underride accidents also regularly cause fatal injuries. This happens when the vehicle behind a tractor-trailer collides with the back of the truck.
- Blind Spot Crashes. Because of their size, big rigs have considerably larger blind spots than the average vehicle. If a truck is trying to change lanes or merge and doesn’t check their blind spots properly, they risk striking a vehicle nearby.
- Wide Turn Wrecks. Turning accidents most often happen when a truck is trying to make a right-hand turn. If the driver swings too far left, they right crushing a car into the curb.
The damage to your vehicle and the injuries you sustain will be the biggest indicators as to what type of crash you were in. If necessary, we can bring in a specialist who reconstructs accidents to determine what happened from beginning to end.
Potential Injuries After a Semi Wreck
Semi collisions tend to result in more serious injuries than when two cars get into an accident. That’s why it’s imperative to seek medical attention after a crash. While some injuries come with visible signs, others may not present symptoms until much later. Having an official diagnosis and treatment plan will not only benefit your health, but it will support your claim when it comes times to prove what losses you sustained.
Back and neck injuries are among the most common after a truck crash. The small bones and ligaments can easily be injured from the impact. For example, whiplash happens when a person’s head snaps forward and backward quickly because of the force of a collision. That is an injury that may not be noticeable right away without proper testing.
Burns, broken bones, and internal injuries are also common. If a smaller vehicle had been involved in the June 2019 crash discussed above, serious burn injuries could have happened if the fuel had ignited. Burn injuries are among the most painful to recover from. The force of any crash can break a bone. While some can be set with a cast, others require surgery. Like whiplash, it can be hard to know the extent of internal injuries without proper testing. Situations can be serious if there’s internal bleeding or organ damage.
Some injuries result in catastrophic or fatal consequences. If a crash victim is diagnosed with a catastrophic injury, like extensive spinal cord damage, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to return to their previous way of life. If severe enough, traumatic brain injuries can be fatal.
The more extensive the injuries and necessary treatment, the more medical bills a person is going to incur. Filing a truck accident claim can secure a person’s future and take care of those payments. While the process may seem challenging while you’re recovering physically, a West Chester lawyer will be with you every step of the way.
Representing West Chester’s Injured
Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Insurance companies may try to bully you out of full and fair compensation. When you work with a West Chester truck accident lawyer, you won’t have to worry about that. Our firm is dedicated to helping personal injury victims recover financially from the accident they were in. Once financial burden is relieved, real healing can begin.
To learn more about filing a truck accident claim or for information on how we can help you get through this difficult time, schedule a free case review with our attorneys today. We’ll start by reviewing what you’ve been through and give you an idea of what filing a claim would look like based on your situation.