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Trucks rumbling through the city streets are more than just a nuisance. Commercial vehicles pose real hazards to pedestrians and the occupants of smaller vehicles. They are just as dangerous when speeding along interstate highways.
When people suffer injuries in truck crashes, the trucking company and other negligent parties could be liable to pay damages. The compensation could include reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, and additional costs. Reimbursement could also provide payments to acknowledge an injured person’s pain and suffering.
Contact a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer immediately if you suffered harm in a commercial vehicle crash. Trucking companies have a lot of power, and bringing a claim against one could be complicated. You might not get the compensation you deserve without a dedicated personal injury attorney fighting for your rights.
Proving Negligence in a Truck Crash
The state follows the traditional rule that an at-fault driver pays the damages of anyone who suffered losses in an accident. In most cases, the law will find a negligent driver at fault. Negligence is not using the degree of caution a reasonable person would have used in similar circumstances.
However, trucks are common carriers under the law because they carry goods for a fee. Common carriers must meet a higher standard and operate with the utmost care. A crash lawyer in Philadelphia could investigate whether the trucker and trucking company met that high standard. If not, they could be responsible for paying an injured person’s damages.
Other parties are also sometimes liable for truck collisions. Depending on the circumstances, other motorists, a manufacturer, a truck maintenance company, or the company that loaded the vehicle could bear some responsibility. If road maintenance or poor traffic control had a role in the crash, the city or another local government might be responsible. If an injured claimant was negligent, Pennsylvania Statute §7102 allows them to collect reduced damages.
Compiling Evidence of Carelessness in a Truck Wreck
Trucking companies and their insurance companies often begin investigating a truck crash immediately. They will look for evidence of their negligence but also seek to limit their liability with evidence of other parties’ recklessness.
An injured person should also have a representative investigating the crash. An attorney in Philadelphia could review the truck wreck police report and witness statements and speak with the victim to get a sense of what happened. They could also subpoena information that might shed light on the cause, including the following:
- Trucker’s logs
- In-cab camera footage
- Surveillance video
- Data recording device
- Trucker’s cell phone records
- Truck’s maintenance schedule
- Trucker’s driving record
- Trucker’s employment file
This information could point a legal professional toward incidents of carelessness. The trucking company might be liable for negligent hiring if the driver has a poor record. The in-cab camera or cell phone records might reveal the driver was distracted when the collision occurred. Maintenance records might point toward a mechanical problem, and the manufacturer might have responsibility. Bringing multiple potentially responsible parties in the suit enhances an injured person’s chances of securing a reasonable settlement.
Process for Seeking Compensation After a Commercial Vehicle Collision
After submitting a claim to their PIP insurer, an injured person could bring a lawsuit against the trucking company and any other potentially responsible parties. They could seek their out-of-pocket costs, future injury-related expenses and losses, and in most cases, pain and suffering damages.
Trucking companies have commercial insurance with high coverage limits. They often offer an accident victim a settlement soon after the incident to avoid a lawsuit, but these offers rarely reflect a person’s true losses. Consulting a knowledgeable truck crash lawyer in Philadelphia before agreeing to a settlement is critical.
Seek Help from a Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney
A truck collision is a terrifying ordeal that could lead to months of recovery and rehabilitation. In some cases, commercial vehicle wreck injuries could permanently impact your life and activities.