Pittsburgh Truck Accident Attorney

We have successfully handled numerous claims for clients who have been injured in truck crashes. Truck drivers only have one goal in mind, deliver the product on time. There are many truck accidents that are caused by:

  • Fatigue. Truck drivers are legally required to take a 10-hour rest after 14 hours of consecutive driving. When drivers become sleep-deprived, they can make mistakes or engage in risky driving behaviors.
  • Distracted driving. Though texting and driving receives a lot of attention, truck drivers may also be distracted by two-way radios and GPS systems
  • Chemical enhancements. The legal BAC limit in Pennsylvania is 0.04 percent for any driver with a CDL, which is the equivalent of about one bottle of beer per hour. Many drivers use non-FDA-approved energy drinks or pills to help keep them alert on the road. It’s possible that these enhancements could have a negative effect on drivers.
  • Unsafe conditions and vehicles. Not all truck accidents are caused by the driver; defective equipment, overloaded beds and blown tires also contribute to truck accidents.

Are there any limitations for filing an injury claim due to a truck accident?

Statutes of limitation differ for each state, but in Pennsylvania, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you do not file within this time period, you are barred from pursuing your claim. In Pennsylvania, minors have until their 20th birthday to file a personal injury suit.

How Common Are Truck Accidents?

In 2017 there were 6,807 recorded accidents. Of those accidents, 145 were fatal injury crashes. Passenger vehicles almost always suffer injury and not the truck driver. Last, rural roads have a higher rate of truck accidents than other roadways. Truck accidents are trending upwards which means the likelihood for a truck accident is increasing. If you are hit by a truck, an injury is very likely.

Can I sue the truck driver’s trucking company for my injuries?

Yes. Truck companies invest heavily in insurance policies for the company and its drivers. If you are injured due to a truck accident, you may have the option to sue both the driver and the company. The driver and the company may be held responsible for the negligent behavior resulting in your injury. Because insurance companies are involved between driver and company, our professional attorneys will actively negotiate to make sure you get the coverage you need for your recovery.

Why is a truck accident more likely to cause injury than one involving passenger cars?

Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. and can be up to 53 ft. in length. A regular 4-door sedan is around 20 feet in length and can weigh up to 4,000 lbs. Trucks can cause more damage to property and personal injury because the impact is stronger; the length of the trailer can hit multiple vehicles at a time; because of the height of the truck, cars can get stuck under the trailer, and trailers can topple over onto cars—crushing the cars and people inside them.

Across Pennsylvania, there are a total of more than 300 reportable motor vehicle collisions every single day, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Although motor vehicle accidents involving heavy trucks are less common than car crashes involving passenger vehicles, truck accidents are more likely to cause severe injuries and fatalities.

According to the same PennDOT’s report, heavy trucks are involved in approximately 140 fatal crashes, 2,900 accidents involving injuries, and more than 6,700 total collisions. Since truck accidents tend to be more devastating, destructive, and fatal in their nature, damages and losses caused by a typical truck accident can total $500,000 or millions of dollars.

Whether or not you can obtain that amount of compensation as a victim of a truck crash depends on whether you are represented by a Pittsburgh truck accident attorney.

How to Prove Fault in a Truck Accident?

Here at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman, our skilled lawyers can help you pursue a personal injury claim by proving that the truck driver and his or her trucking company violated federal trucking regulations.

Proving the other party’s fault in a truck crash has a lot to do with whether you have evidence that the trucker and/or their trucking company failed to adhere to federal truck regulations imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Our experienced truck accident lawyer in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania can help you collect sufficient evidence proving that the other party violated the following federal trucking regulations to establish fault:

  • Licensing regulations for commercial drivers
  • Background checks and screening
  • Training for truck drivers
  • Insurance requirements
  • Hours of service regulations
  • Size and weight of cargo
  • Securing the cargo
  • Total vehicle weight
  • Vehicle inspection and maintenance requirements
  • Appropriate and safe driving maneuvers and behaviors by truck drivers

That is not the full list of trucking regulations imposed by the FMCSA. To delve into the topic of truckers and trucking companies violating FMCSA regulations, schedule a free consultation with a Pittsburgh truck accident attorney from Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman. If your lawyer can find evidence of a violation, you will be able to use it in out-of-court negotiations or court trial to prove the other party’s liability.

Can You Be Held Partially Liable for Your Truck Accident?

The other question that bothers many of our clients is whether they can be held partially at fault for their truck accident. After all, recovering damages in a truck accident is different from the process of recovering damages in an ordinary auto accident involving passenger cars, largely because you are up against a trucking company that has money and other valuable resources at its disposal.

What can a trucking company do to prevent you from obtaining compensation for your losses and damages? “For instance, a trucking company can hold you partially liable for the truck accident to limit your compensation or deny it altogether,” explains our Pittsburgh truck accident lawyer.

Under Pennsylvania law, your percentage of fault in a truck accident will not bar your recovery as long as that fault is not greater than that of the other party involved. In other words, your negligence must remain at or below 50 percent in order to make you eligible to receive compensation in a personal injury case. Also, your total compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault in a truck crash.

How Much is Your Truck Accident Case Worth?

Do not look for some magic formula that allows you to calculate your compensation in a truck accident case. You will not find it because it just does not exist.

That’s because your compensation in a truck crash case – or any other personal injury case for that matter – hinges on a variety of factors. All of the following factors must be considered by an experienced truck accident attorney in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania in order to determine how much your case is worth:

  • The severity of your injury
  • The severity of damage done to your vehicle
  • Whether there was any other property damage
  • The number of parties involved
  • The insurance coverage available
  • How much money you have spent on medical expenses so far
  • How much money you are expected to spend in the future
  • How much money you have not earned in terms of lost wages
  • How much money you are expected to not earn in lost wages
  • Whether pain and suffering was involved

These and many other factors will affect the value of your truck accident case. No two truck accidents are the same in terms of the total amount of money the victim is eligible to recover.

For example, in one truck accident, the injured victim might require amputation due to the severity of the injury, while in another accident, the injured party might only end up with a damaged vehicle. In the first scenario, the victim might be entitled to more than $1 million in compensation for the medical bills and loss of income alone, while the victim in the second scenario may only get $10,000.

Schedule a free consultation with our truck accident lawyers at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman to determine how much your particular case is worth. Call our offices at 1-888-98-89467 to discuss your case right now.

S
Sue Culyba via Google+
Date published: 2018-12-27
5 out of 5

I decided to seek out this firm’s assistance after my claim was denied. During my initial consult, I was given realistic expectations on every aspect of my case. I felt like I was able to make informed decision throughout the duration of the case as everything was explained clearly to me. Everyone I dealt with at the firm seemed to truly know their job – especially Craig Fishman. I’m so glad they had my back!