Hire a Top-Rated Truck Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia with Trial Experience
Truck accident cases are not the same as car accident cases. A truck accident might occur on one of Pennsylvania’s many state highways, like the Turnpike, or on a smaller back road. Truck drivers in Philadelphia have to adhere to certain specific safety laws; if they do not, they put other drivers at risk. There can be many more defendants in a truck accident case than in a car accident case. The truck driver might be at fault, but so might the company he works for, the people who packed the truck, the manufacturer of the truck’s parts, or a number of other parties. Most of the time, this type of case is confusing and complicated; therefore, it’s important to seek help from an attorney with experience and dedication to helping you obtain full compensation for your damages.
How the At-Fault Driver is Determined in a Truck Accident
Determining who the at-fault driver is in a heavy truck accident in Pennsylvania is not always the easiest endeavor. However, officials often determine the cause of these accidents based on the trucks pre-crash speed. These speeds are typically determined by studying the skid marks on the road.
How Much Can a Skid Mark Say?
A slew of information can be ascertained by analyzing the skid marks on the road. Here’s what a crash site specialist will do:
- Examine the different sets of skid marks and determine which car is responsible for which set of marks.
- Determine whether or not the truck was using an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
- Determine how the weight of the truck was distributed and whether or not the weight distribution changed during the accident.
- Determine the brake drag coefficients. Brake Dragging is what occurs when brakes fail to release after a truck driver has taken his foot from the pedal.
- Determine the time it took for the back tire air brakes to react to the brake pedal having been pushed.
- Following this analysis, the specialist will further determine if all brakes on the truck were working properly.
Are Truck Accident Lawsuits Different Than Car Accident Lawsuits?
Yes, truck accident lawsuits are different than car accident lawsuits for several reasons. The government regulates the trucking industry in a variety of ways. For example, the FMVSR, or Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations, require a minimum purchase of $750,000 in liability insurance. More insurance coverage may be necessary depending on whether or not the driver is working independently or an employee of the company hauling merchandise.
Carpey Law handles trucking accident cases every day. We know the process required for handling these types of cases. First and foremost, evidence must be preserved. To do this, a lawsuit has to be filed first. In order to make sure evidence is preserved, we utilize “preservation letters” for any potential individual who may have important case evidence. A particular federal law, 49 C.F.R. § 395.8 requires potential evidence in a case to be kept for six months—preservation letters ensure that evidence is kept until the end of the potential civil trial. Should evidence disappear, preservation letters help provide notice in the event of a spoliation claim.
We remind clients that all evidence in a potential truck accident case is extremely important for two reasons. First, it can be used to identify all potential case defendants. Second, it can be used to establish liability. In certain cases, it may be necessary to secure the truck. Because trucks can be moved, evidence can be lost. In certain cases, we immediately try to find the truck to ensure no one makes any changes to it, or destroys any evidence. Keep in mind trucking company lawyers and their insurance carriers may be doing the same. For that reason, it’s important for any personal injury lawyer involved in a trucking case investigate the vehicles and check for evidence on board that may be pertinent to your case. The truck’s “black box” may contain records of speed, the last time the breaks were applied, etc. Moving the truck may erase this evidence and replace it with new data. Even though police at the scene file an accident report, it’s still crucial to your case for an inspection to be carried out. If the trucking company uses a service such as Qualcomm, we may be able to find out where the truck has most recently been. We’re able to compare that to driver log books to check the accuracy of records and determine if the driver has been driving too much.
We may find it necessary to hire an expert to inspect the damage to the vehicles and check for onboard evidence as well.
We’re able to delve into case specifics, check drug and alcohol use records, verify driver’s license qualifications, review insurance requirements, and rules related to schedules, inspections, fatigue, and how many hours a truck was in service. Additionally, truck inspections, repair, and maintenance requirements are also relevant, as well as whether or not hazardous materials were present. We’re able to verify weather conditions at the time of the accident, a history of accidents occurring at the site, and other items pertinent to recreating the scene.
For a truck accident case, we’ll check:
- Telephone records
- Faxes regarding truck route
- Accident reports
- Internal accident reports (from the trucking company)
- Driver logs
- Dispatch records
- Trip summary
- Credit card receipts of the driver
- Weigh tickets
- State entry and departure records
- Drug test results
- Annual reviews
- Driver medical records
- Employment records
- Vehicle history
- Expense sheets
- Inspection records
- Maintenance records
- Trucking company policy and procedure documents
What You Should Do if You’ve Been Involved in A Truck Accident
Evidence at the scene of a truck accident is often quickly removed, so it’s essential that the victim or another individual on his or her behalf take photos of the accident scene to preserve evidence. This includes taking photos of all vehicles involved in the accident, injuries, and the circumstances surrounding the accident, as well as the physical location of the occurrence.
We caution anyone involved in a trucking accident not to discuss the accident with insurance representatives, sign any documents, or provide a statement without first consulting a qualified personal injury lawyer familiar with trucking cases. The insurance company may seem sympathetic, but in reality, their representatives are trying to get you to provide information that may limit your claim. By first speaking with a qualified personal injury lawyer, you can ensure you won’t harm your case.
Do not discard any evidence, such as clothing, cell phones, or any items remotely related to the accident as these may be valuable case evidence.
If you are involved in a truck accident, we advise you to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer quickly to avoid potential downfalls. Not every personal injury lawyer understands how to use the available evidence to prove liability in a trucking accident case.
We understand how the trucking companies and their insurance companies operate. For example, on a case-by-case basis, there may be other potential liable defendants to proceed against who are not at first apparent. It is our job to obtain the best compensation possible for our clients. We’re happy to inform motorists in Pennsylvania of their rights. Should you wish to learn more about trucking accident cases in the state of Pennsylvania, contact a representative from Carpey Law.
How Can Carpey Law Help When You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Stuart Carpey is one of the highest-rated truck accident lawyers in Philadelphia. He has experience dealing with all types of accident cases and will follow your case through from start to finish to ensure that all of your needs are being met. The following are some examples of what Stuart Carpey can do for your case:
- He can collect all the evidence to compile a concrete case against the party at fault
- He can prove that you are not responsible for your injuries and other damages, including lost wages and emotional distress
- He can guard you from attempts by the other party or one of the insurance companies to persuade you to settle for less than you deserve
- He can ensure that you are fully reimbursed for all of the damages and losses you have suffered because of your truck accident
- Click here for more details about how a lawyer should properly handle a truck accident case.
Request Free Books Written by Attorney Stuart A. Carpey
Contact a Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
Our reputation for success and unmatched attention to the needs of our clients has made Stuart Carpey one of the most trusted personal injury lawyers in the greater Philadelphia area. If you’re in need of one of the best personal injury lawyer in the Philadelphia area, we recommend that you pursue your claim as soon after your incident as possible. Contact Stuart Carpey today for a complimentary consultation in which he will examine your case in detail and advise you on how to proceed and ultimately recover the compensation you deserve!