Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney
Navigating the bustling roadways of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, particularly along the major interstate highways like I-476, The Delaware Expressway, I-276, or U.S. Route 1, can often be a daunting experience, especially considering the heavy truck traffic prevalent on these routes.
Truck accidents, unfortunately, are not uncommon occurrences in this bustling metropolitan area and can lead to severe injuries and significant damages. In such situations, the expertise and guidance of a seasoned Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can make a substantial difference.
Picture yourself traveling along the Delaware Expressway, making your way to the Philadelphia Airport. While passing a large truck, its front tire suddenly blows out, causing the truck to lose control and collide with your vehicle, resulting in a horrendous accident.
Similarly, imagine being on I-476, heading home from work amidst heavy traffic congestion. As you brake abruptly due to the backed-up cars ahead, an 18-wheeler following closely behind fails to stop in time, leading to a forceful rear-end collision with your vehicle.
Such scenarios can be highly distressing, leaving victims with severe or even life-threatening injuries, substantial vehicle damage, and overwhelming emotional trauma. As if all that wasn’t enough, the aftermath of such incidents can be complicated, involving legal complexities and dealing with insurance companies.
If you or your loved one was in a serious truck accident and unsure of where to turn for help, call the compassionate and committed legal team at Wilk Law. Our experienced truck accident attorneys in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, want to help you regain your best possible life while pursuing the parties whose negligence caused your injuries.
Wilk Law can offer advice regarding your next medical and legal steps and even refer you to specialized medical care, if needed. Call us today at (855) 946-3678, or contact us online, for a free truck accident consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only charge fees when we win your claim.
At Wilk Law, our attorneys proudly offer:
- Personalized solutions to victims of truck accident cases;
- A successful litigation and negotiation track record; and
- A drive to win for our clients.
Upward Trend of Truck Accidents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The trucking industry plays a significant role in Pennsylvania’s economy, serving as a vital lifeline for transporting goods, including raw materials, finished products, food, and other essentials, to businesses and consumers across the state and beyond. With Philadelphia being a major hub in Pennsylvania, the city witnesses a substantial flow of commercial trucks traversing its roadways daily.
Despite the industry’s economic importance, there has been a noticeable upward trend in truck accidents in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation crash statistics, the data from 2022 concerning heavy truck accidents reveals a concerning escalation in crash incidents compared to the previous five years.
The surge in total crashes involving heavy trucks and the highest recorded fatal injury crashes within this period raises alarms about road safety.
The statistics indicate that heavy trucks were involved in 13.3% of fatal crashes, 6.0% of injury crashes, and 6.7% of property damage-only (PDO) crashes, signifying their substantial impact on road accidents.
Why Are There So Many Truck Wrecks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, truck wrecks are a concerning phenomenon stemming from various factors which our truck accident lawyers in Philadelphia, see, with several causes contributing to their prevalence.
Traffic Congestion and High Truck Density
Philadelphia’s bustling urban environment, characterized by densely packed roads and heavy traffic, plays a pivotal role in truck accidents. The city’s critical role as a regional transportation hub, intersected by major interstate highways like I-95, I-476, I-276, and U.S. 1, witnesses a continuous flow of commercial trucks. The congestion during peak hours and erratic traffic patterns can lead to increased risks for collisions.
Driver Fatigue & Distracted Driving
Driver fatigue is a prevalent issue in the trucking industry. Long hours on the road and tight schedules often lead to drivers operating their vehicles while fatigued or exhausted, impairing their ability to react promptly.
Moreover, distractions like cell phones, navigation systems, or other factors diverting attention from the road pose significant risks. These distractions could lead to critical errors in judgment or delayed responses, contributing to accidents.
Mechanical Failures & Improper Maintenance
Our Philadelphia truck accident attorneys also note that crashes in the city are also linked to mechanical failures and inadequate maintenance. Issues like brake failures, tire blowouts, or malfunctioning systems can cause catastrophic accidents.
Neglected routine maintenance and inadequate inspections by trucking companies may exacerbate these mechanical issues, posing significant roadway hazards.
Improper Loading & Cargo Shifts
Improper loading and unsecured cargo can significantly impact a truck’s stability and maneuverability. Trucks with unbalanced or improperly secured cargo are prone to instability, potentially leading to rollovers or loss of control.
Increase in Online Commerce
The increase in online commerce and the subsequent demand for rapid deliveries has led to more trucks on the roads, further intensifying traffic congestion and the risk of accidents. As a result, Philadelphia witnesses a higher frequency of truck accidents, ranging from rear-end collisions to more severe incidents involving overturned trucks or jackknifed trailers, causing significant property damage and severe injuries to motorists.
This concerning rise in truck accidents highlights the need for comprehensive measures to address safety concerns and mitigate the risks posed by commercial trucks on Philadelphia’s roadways.
If you have been injured in a truck accident and need immediate assistance from a truck accident lawyer in Philadelphia, contact Wilk Law today.
Why Truck Accident Lawsuits in Pennsylvania Are So Complicated
The intricacies of Philadelphia truck accident lawsuits often stem from the unique characteristics of semi-truck and commercial vehicle accidents, which differ significantly from typical car collisions. These differences range from the substantial risk of severe injuries and more significant property damage due to the sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles, to the challenges of corporate liability and insurance complexities.
These stark contrasts compared to car crash lawsuits amplifies the intricacies of litigation for a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer, making truck accident cases notably more intricate and demanding than standard car crash claims.
Corporate Liability and Insurance Challenges
In truck accident scenarios, pursuing a claim often involves dealing with the corporate entity behind the commercial vehicle and its insurance carrier. This aspect significantly elevates the complexity of the claims process. Corporations notoriously have structured themselves in ways that shield them from direct responsibility for vehicle ownership and operation.
This is why, having a truck accident attorney in Philadelphia by your side is crucial, as navigating through these corporate layers becomes a legal challenge, as these entities, often backed by seasoned legal teams, work tirelessly to dispute claims and minimize their financial liability, striving to pay you out the least possible compensation.
Unique Issues Involving Commercial Vehicles
Commercial vehicle accidents introduce distinctive considerations related to the driver’s employment status and the company’s practices. Questions surrounding driver training, licensing, ongoing education, and the company’s approach to driver supervision also come into play.
Investigating these aspects becomes critical in establishing liability and ensuring adequate compensation for the injured party. Negligence in areas such as insufficient training, lack of proper licensing, inadequate vehicle maintenance, or encouraging unsafe driving practices can significantly impact the case outcome.
In some instances, corporate prioritization of profitability over safety further complicates matters, emphasizing the importance of legal expertise and comprehensive investigation in these cases.
These multifaceted factors contribute to the intricate nature of truck accident lawsuits in Pennsylvania, which is why hiring a truck accident lawyer in Philadelphia is important for securing rightful compensation for victims of commercial vehicle accidents.
How is Liability Established After a Philadelphia Truck Accident?
In truck accident claims in Philadelphia, determining fault relies on identifying negligent actions or behaviors that contributed to the accident. Negligence can include speeding, distracted driving, failure to maintain the truck, driver fatigue, inadequate training, or violating traffic laws. Pinpointing the specific party or parties at fault demands a thorough investigation and analysis of the evidence gathered.
In Pennsylvania, where modified comparative negligence rules apply, understanding and demonstrating fault is crucial to pursuing a successful claim.
Pennsylvania’s Modified Comparative Negligence Laws
Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule concerning liability allocation in Philadelphia personal injury cases. These laws, outlined in Pennsylvania General Assembly Statute §7102, offer a framework that allows an injured party to seek compensation even if they bear some responsibility for the accident.
However, this compensation is subject to the degree of fault assigned to each party involved. Under the 51 percent comparative negligence rule, individuals can pursue damages as long as their assigned fault remains below 51 percent. If an individual is found to carry more than 50 percent of the fault, they are barred from seeking compensation for damages.
Understanding these percentages is pivotal in evaluating the settlement amount. The statutes dictate that an individual’s degree of fault directly impacts the compensation they receive. For instance, if an injured party is determined to hold 20 percent of the fault, they would be entitled to only 80 percent of the settlement award, reflecting their allocated percentage of responsibility.
In conjunction with Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws, the Fair Share Act, enacted in 2011 through Senate Bill 1131, governs the liability distribution among multiple defendants in a lawsuit. This act emphasizes that defendants are only accountable for their specific share of fault. In scenarios involving multiple defendants, each defendant is responsible for the precise percentage of fault attributed to them.
For instance, if you are involved in a collision with a truck, with the truck driver being 55 percent at fault and you being 45 percent at fault, you will only be liable for 45 percent of the awarded damages, while the 55 percent at-fault truck driver will bear the remaining 55 percent.
However, an exception exists within the Fair Share Act. If a defendant is found to be 60 percent or more responsible for the accident, this legislation mandates that the defendant bears the entire amount of damages awarded. This underscores the critical role of determining fault percentages in truck accident claims in Pennsylvania, shaping the allocation of responsibility among multiple parties involved in the accident.
Negligence and Establishing Fault in a Philadelphia Truck Wreck
Establishing fault and determining negligence in truck accidents often involves a detailed assessment due to the myriad of parties potentially responsible. While the truck driver may bear some responsibility for negligence, including speeding, distraction, or impaired driving, other involved entities, such as trucking companies, contractors, insurers, and manufacturers, might also share liability.
Truck drivers can be held accountable if their actions or inactions, such as disregarding traffic laws, failing to adhere to hours-of-service regulations, or driving recklessly, directly lead to the accident.
On the other hand, trucking companies may be liable if they neglected to conduct thorough background checks on their drivers, encouraged violating safety regulations, or failed to maintain their fleet adequately.
In addition, responsibility could fall upon truck manufacturers or maintenance providers if a defective part, poor maintenance, or faulty equipment significantly contributed to the accident. Identifying and proving negligence is pivotal in determining liability and securing compensation for damages in truck accident cases.
In Pennsylvania, the legal concept of negligence is fundamental in establishing fault in truck accident lawsuits. Proving negligence requires demonstrating that the defendant breached their duty of care, directly causing the accident and resulting in damages.
In these types of cases, regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) play a crucial role in establishing liability. Truck drivers are bound by various regulations governing their conduct on the road, including adherence to hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, proper cargo securement, regular vehicle inspections, and maintaining accurate logbooks.
If a trucking company knowingly pushes its drivers to exceed HOS limits, fails to conduct required vehicle inspections, or encourages falsification of logbooks to conceal violations, the company may be found negligent. Such negligence can lead to accidents resulting from driver fatigue, improperly secured cargo, or poorly maintained vehicles.
The knowledgeable Philadelphia truck accident lawyers at Wilk Law is experienced in handling truck accident cases, understands the intricacies involved, and can effectively navigate the complexities to determine liability and pursue just compensation for victims.
What Are Some Examples of Negligence in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The federal and state governments highly regulate the movement of commercial trucks and their drivers to ensure the safety of all drivers on the road. However, commercial truck accidents still occur. Some are wholly the result of driver negligence, such as:
- Texting, eating, or other distracted driving;
- Failure to yield;
- Failure to follow traffic signals;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Driving drowsy;
- Improper backing;
- Improper turning;
- Improper passing;
- Unfamiliarity with an area; and
Who Can Be Held Responsible For a Philadelphia Truck Accident?
Putting a commercial truck on the road is a huge chore and takes several parties to accomplish. Therefore, drivers are only one potentially liable party for a truck accident. Other parties possibly at-fault include:
- The truck driver;
- The trucking company;
- Any cargo loaders;
- The truck manufacturer;
- The truck parts manufacturer;
- The truck mechanic; and
- Government or government contractors.
Important Evidence Which Will Help Your Truck Accident Lawsuit
In truck accident lawsuits, gathering compelling evidence is pivotal to establishing negligence and securing compensation for the damages. Our truck accident attorneys in Philadelphia specialize in compiling various forms of evidence, ensuring a solid foundation for proving fault in truck accident cases.
Police Report: Firstly, essential evidence often starts with the police report from the Philadelphia police department. This report provides critical insights into the accident’s causes and initial liability determinations. It serves as a foundational piece, outlining the initial findings and offering valuable details that can contribute significantly to proving negligence.
Black Box Data: Moreover, electronic data from black boxes and electronic logging devices (ELDs) installed in commercial trucks plays a pivotal role. These devices capture essential information such as the vehicle’s speed, braking patterns, and driving duration.
Dashcam Footage and Surveillance Recordings: these things, if available, offer visual evidence that can shed light on the moments leading up to the crash. These visuals may reveal critical details, such as driver distractions or failure to take necessary actions to avoid the accident, further strengthening the case for negligence.
Photographic Evidence: Additionally, photographs of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, skid marks, and road debris, provide invaluable documentation. These visual representations help reconstruct the sequence of events, enabling our attorneys and experts to craft a comprehensive narrative establishing liability and proving negligence.
Truck Repair and Inspection Records: Beyond these elements, the truck’s repair, maintenance, and inspection records can serve as vital evidence.
Expert Opinions: Expert opinions contribute an additional layer of credibility and authority to the evidence, especially when there are disputes regarding liability or shared blame for the accident.
Additional Evidence: Lastly, miscellaneous evidence, such as toll booth receipts, cellphone records, or food receipts, may also play a role in corroborating the sequence of events and strengthening the case for negligence. Our team leaves no stone unturned in gathering diverse evidence to construct a robust and compelling argument for establishing fault in truck accident cases.
Can a Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney Help Me Win?
Commercial truck accidents are complex and difficult to settle and litigate. There are large commercial trucking interests and insurance companies behind truck drivers who do not want to accept liability for your injuries and losses.
So while you may be facing financial ruin and utterly devastating personal circumstances, the insurance company will attempt to pay as little as possible for your claim or deny your claim altogether. That is their job.
Wilk Law knows this. That is why we are unafraid to take on large trucking corporations and their insurance companies. We pursue all liable parties for your accident injuries, and find every means of compensation for your injuries.
Our truck accident attorneys do the following, and more, on your behalf:
- Investigate the crash scene;
- Identify all liable parties;
- Pursue all avenues of compensation;
- Employ any needed experts;
- Calculate your current and future accident-related needs;
- Work to negotiate full and fair settlement of your claim; or
- File a lawsuit on your behalf; and
- Proceed with litigation, if necessary.
Learn your legal rights and options. Speak with a truck accident attorney at Wilk Law today. We will provide you with the tools needed to protect yourself after your truck accident.
What Is Considered a “Commercial Truck”?
Commercial trucks are not passenger trucks. Commercial trucks weigh approximately 10,000 pounds without cargo and 80,000 fully loaded. Passenger vehicles weigh around 3,000 pounds.
There are several more kinds of commercial trucks on the road today than even a decade ago. Commercial trucks may include any of the following:
- Delivery trucks and large delivery vans;
- Utility trucks;
- Box trucks;
- Flatbed trucks;
- Stake trucks;
- Garbage trucks;
- Construction vehicles; and
- Farm equipment.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, victims injured in truck accidents have access to various resources and medical facilities to address their immediate and ongoing healthcare needs. Seeking prompt medical attention after a truck accident is crucial, and several clinics and therapy centers in the area cater to individuals dealing with injuries resulting from such incidents.
Miriam Medical Clinic is a trusted medical facility that offers comprehensive care for individuals injured in truck accidents. Their team of experienced healthcare professionals specializes in treating a wide range of injuries commonly associated with accidents, providing essential medical attention and personalized treatment plans tailored to the patient’s needs.
For urgent medical care following a truck accident, AFC Urgent Care provides prompt and efficient services. Their Northern Liberties location offers immediate attention to accident-related injuries, ensuring patients receive timely and adequate medical assistance.
Additionally, for those requiring physical therapy services to aid in their recovery, Harrison Physical Therapy and Atlantic Physical Therapy are reputable centers in Philadelphia. These facilities specialize in rehabilitation and recovery programs, assisting individuals injured in truck accidents to regain mobility, strength, and functionality through tailored therapeutic interventions.
Access to these healthcare resources is vital for individuals involved in truck accidents, facilitating comprehensive medical care and rehabilitation to support their recovery journey. Seeking timely and appropriate medical attention and therapy can significantly contribute to the overall well-being and recovery of those affected by truck accidents in Philadelphia.
Experienced Philadelphia Accident and Injury Attorneys
Any parties liable for your truck accident injuries need to be held accountable. This is especially true if you lost a loved one to a truck accident. If you are seeking closure, justice, or financial compensation due to costly medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, call Wilk Law at (855) 946-3678 or contact us online today.
At Wilk Law, we hold negligent parties responsible for the preventable damages and losses they caused families. Let our truck accident attorneys answer your questions and concerns about compensation, multiple party liability, or any other pressing matter. We also serve truck accident victims in West Chester, Coatesville, Downingtown, Phoenixville, Pottstown, Berwyn, Devon, Exton, Frazer, and more.