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Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer

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Truck accidents can be catastrophic and devastating due to the size and weight of the vehicles involved. This can result in severe injuries or fatalities and can cause significant damage to vehicles and other property.

Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers regularly play a critical role in helping truck accident victims receive full compensation for their losses. These Philadelphia attorneys have broad knowledge about the extent and types of losses  that can result from truck accidents, allowing them to tailor their approach to each victim’s unique circumstances. 

When people suffer injuries in a truck accident, filing a personal injury claim can offer a way to recover their damages and losses. Consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable Philadelphia truck accident attorney can assist you in your  claim and help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve. 

While you’re on the road to recovery, these Philadelphia lawyers will assist in gathering evidence from the scene of the accident, negotiating with your insurance companies on the settlement you’re entitled to, and litigating in court on your behalf. Our lawyers are prepared to go to trial, if necessary, to fight for your case and help you get compensated.

Our lawyers at our Philadelphia law firm are ready to answer the phone and assist you with a precise legal strategy. We offer free consultations to our clients that you can request at your earliest convenience to talk with one of our attorneys!

What To Do After A Truck Accident?

Truck accidents can cause debilitating injuries, and the consequences that follow can also be life-changing. After an accident, it could be important to take certain steps. Among these steps may include.

  • First, report the accident to the Philadelphia police.
  • Calling an ambulance or seeking medical attention and treatment if you or a passenger are injured, especially if it  involves a brain injury, spinal cord injuries, or other serious injuries.
  • Remaining at the scene of the accident until law enforcement or emergency medical services arrive.
  • Taking pictures and videos of the accident site, if possible, including people who were injured,name of witnesses, damage to your vehicle, and others involved in your crash, as well as other surroundings.This will help your lawyer in the case to fight lawsuits against trucking and insurance companies.
  • Documenting your recollection of how the accident occurred in writing or a video, if possible. This can help you remember important details that can be needed by your lawyer for any of your injury claims and truck accident claims.
  • Speaking carefully and avoiding posting details of the accident on social media. You  also want to avoid offering statements to the other multiple parties involved in the accident, including their insurance company lawyers representing them.

These actions will help your personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia to build a stronger case to present before opposing counsel or a judge. Personal injury attorneys make it a point to investigate the scene of the accident to make sure they have all the facts on the case verified and legitimate. These attorneys could start the investigation by interviewing eye-witnesses and crash experts, as well as examine police reports to gain a clearer understanding of your case.

Most states have a statute of limitations for filing an accident claim, which is a specific timeframe for when you can open a case for a personal injury lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, this statute of limitations is only two years. If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a truck, you would want to contact experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyers to discuss your options as soon as possible. 

How To Hire An Experienced Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer

In the aftermath of a truck accident in Philadelphia, it is essential to find a lawyer who has experience with personal injury law who can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Here are some tips on how to find a reliable truck accident lawyer in Philadelphia:
Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer

  • Look for lawyers with years of experience in this field of truck accident cases: Start by checking Philadelphia local listings and searching for a Philadelphia truck accident law firms that has experience litigating cases involving truck accidents and who has handled cases similar to yours in the past.
  • Check their track record: Checking Philadelphia public court records can be one way to see how a lawyer has handled previous truck accident cases.
  • Check their reviews: Read online reviews and testimonials from previous Philadelphia clients to get an idea of the reputation of the lawyers and how they work with clients.
  • Schedule a consultation: Schedule a consultation with the Philadelphia lawyers to discuss your case. Ask questions about their experience, fees, and how they plan to handle your case. Many truck accident lawyers offer no-obligation consultations and assessments.

It is also important to hire a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer whom you feel comfortable speaking to and potentially sharing potentially painful memories with, especially if you were involved in a serious accident.

Common Causes Of Truck Accidents

There are multiple causes that can come into play when determining the cause of a truck accident, such as driver fatigue, improperly handled equipment, and other negligence-related mistakes. Some other causes may include:

  • Weather Conditions: Hazardous driving conditions that can lead to truck accidents can include rain, hail, fog, and sleet. These potential dangers are enhanced when someone is driving a large commercial truck that’s carrying a heavy load. Poor road maintenance can also lead to potholes and cracks in the road that pose a threat to drivers of all vehicles during snowy or inclement weather.
  • Equipment Malfunction: Most states require drivers to maintain their vehicles, and commercial vehicles including trucks are held to even stricter safety standards. However, when certain issues are neglected or go unnoticed, the chances of accidents caused by faulty equipment can increase.
  • Overloading Truck Accident: If the driver overloads a tractor-trailer or a truck, they must manage both the speed and the stopping distance. One of the dangers associated with overloaded trucks is the risk of potential tire blowout, which can cause the driver to lose control of the truck. If the truck driver does not maintain a sufficient distance, the chances of large truck accidents occurring may increase. This is because the truck may not be able to stop in time and  collide with a passenger vehicle or another truck.
  • Driver’s error: Motorists, including truck drivers, are often required to adjust their driving according to road and weather conditions, which could lead to errant driving such as failing to pay attention to road conditions, lack of focus or violating other traffic laws.
  • Driver fatigue: Truck drivers are also subject to long hours and shifts without frequent breaks, which could result in shorter sleeping hours and, and in some cases can be considered labor abuse and exploitation. These truck drivers are often asked to perform under immense pressure and requirements, however these expectations can often lead to fatigue and. subsequently, errant driving.
  • Lack of training– Truck drivers are typically required to complete training courses and receive certain certifications. Despite these rules, some drivers  operate a truck without proper training and adequate experience leading them to potentially commit a mistake while out on the road. This is inherently dangerous and can lead to serious truck accidents.
  • Excessive speeding: Excessive speeding is one of the fundamental causes of truck accidents. When the truck is traveling at a higher speed, the force of collision increases significantly. For example, if you are driving at 25 mph and the truck driver increases the speed to 35 mph, the force of collision will double. Moreover, if you double the speed from 25 mph to 50 mph, the crash will occur with four times the force. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain an appropriate speed to avoid a truck accident.
  • Driving under the influence: Truck drivers may drive when under the influence of drugs or alcohol to stay awake or alleviate boredom during long-distance journeys. This behavior can result in slower reaction times when judging the distance from other vehicles and managing speed, ultimately leading to an increased and unnecessary risk of collisions and accidents.
  • Blind Spot Accidents: A commercial truck could have four blind spots, popularly known as “no-zones”. These are the areas directly in front of the truck, just behind the truck, just side of the passenger’s side cabin, and the small area adjacent to the driver’s side of the truck. Blind spot accidents are the most common truck accident that can result in severe injuries to the occupants of the passenger vehicle that has collided with the truck, rather than to the truck driver.

In other situations, truck drivers and trucking companies may look to maximize profits at the expense of protecting the safety of other drivers on the road. For example, a long-haul trucker can flout certain rules and regulations that limit the number of hours and distance a commercial driver may complete in a certain time. This can be especially dangerous if it leads to inattentive or careless driving.

Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries 

Some of the most common injuries caused by truck accidents in Philadelphia are as follows:

  • Head injuries: Head injuries range from mild to severe. Sometimes, severe head injuries can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) or also lead to permanent, cognitive or physical impairments.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Truck accidents can cause damage to the spinal cord leading to catastrophic injuries. In several injury cases, it could cause paralysis, loss of mobility, and loss of control of bodily functions. 
  • Whiplash: One of the most common injuries in motor vehicle accidents is whiplash which is caused by soft tissue damage to the neck. It occurs when a victim’s neck is whipped back and forth frequently. It can lead to tremendous pain, and these kinds of injuries take a long time to heal.
  • Broken bones: The impact of a truck collision and accidents causes severe bone fractures. Bones can also be broken when a victim is being hit by an object. These injuries take time to heal, and the treatment may include surgery.  
  • Back injuries: Some of the back injuries that frequently occur after a semi-truck accident are herniated discs and vertebral fractures. Back injury can take time ranging from a few weeks to years to heal completely. 
  • Internal injuries: These types of injuries are not immediately visible but may cause severe pain and can be life-threatening if left unchanged or untreated.
  • Disfigurement and burn injuries: The victim can sustain permanent scars resulting from the accident if they are hit by a sharp object or when they come into contact with the surface of the road. Sometimes, fires also result from severe truck wrecks, leading to disfigurement.
  • Emotional distress: In the tragic event of a fatal truck accident, victims may suffer from psychological conditions such as dealing with depression, anxiety, terror, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Wrongful death: In some of the most deadly truck accident cases, victims sustained severe injuries that may cause death. In such cases, your family members can file wrongful death lawsuits to seek fair compensation. 

It is essential that the victim seeks medical help following a truck accident. Injuries can be life-threatening experiences, and sometimes symptoms can take up to 72 hours to surface. Your health should always be your top priority. If you sustained any of the following injuries in Philadelphia, be sure to contact us at the law offices of Samuel Fishman in Philadelphia for your free consultation and case evaluation with one of our lawyers. Your well-being matters, and our team of lawyers are here to provide you with the support and validation you need during this challenging time.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney?

The cost factor can fluctuate based on your lawyer. Our experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyers, however, work on a contingency fee basis. That means:

  • No upfront fees
  • No fees until you win
  • They will take a percentage of your settlement, verdict, or award.

In addition, free consultations can help you decide whether you want to hire a Philly truck accident lawyer. Some truck accident lawyers also charge hourly or flat fees in some cases. Therefore, it’s important to decide in those cases if the lawyer’s fees are within your budget before making a decision.

Commercial Truck Accidents Can Cause Significant Damage

A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is generally defined as a vehicle used for commercial or business purposes. These vehicles also meet certain size or weight criteria.

The specific weight threshold for a CMV varies depending on the type of vehicle and the regulations that apply. According to federal regulations (Title 49) and the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle code (Title 75), a CMV is defined as a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more, or that is designed or used to transport more than eight occupants for compensation, or more than 15 occupants for non-compensation purposes.

Commercial truck accidents may bring to mind big rigs, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, cargo trucks and tractor-trailers. Some of the other commercial trucks that cause accidents in Pennsylvania state include delivery trucks, garbage trucks, delivery trucks, tanker trucks, and flatbed trucks, such as moving trucks.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), nearly 7,000 heavy truck crashes led to some 140 fatalities in 2017. If you are an accident victim and you were injured in a collision with a CMV, you may want to discuss your legal options with a commercial philadelphia truck accident attorney.


Large trucks and 18-wheelers can be extremely dangerous in crashes, as they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Moreover, these big rigs require more time and distance to stop compared to any other vehicle.

Accidents can still happen even when commercial truck drivers strive to operate their vehicles as safely as possible. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) report suggests that fundamental causes of fatal accidents with 18-wheelers include failure to obey traffic laws, obstructions on the road, inexperienced operators, and poor road conditions.

Garbage trucks

Garbage trucks, which may also be managed by a municipality, carry garbage and other refuse. Because of this, there are potential risks for drivers who share the road with these trucks. Garbage trucks make frequent stops in residential areas, which can sometimes make it difficult for pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists. The drivers of garbage trucks may also violate traffic laws or be operated by inattentive drivers. Additionally, overloaded garbage trucks can negatively impact how the truck handles, which can increase the chance of accidents occurring.

Tractor trailers

Commercial tractor-trailer accidents are the most dangerous of all truck accidents. Thus, they can pose great risks to other drivers on the road. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the weight of tractor-trailers is nearly 20 times more than the average passenger vehicle.

Sadly, no matter how carefully you drive, you cannot control how other people drive. That’s why, if you are ever seriously been injured in a truck accident, it’s important to know how to protect your rights and file a truck accident claim.
Truck Accident Attorney

FedEx Trucks

FedEx Trucks frequently use 18-wheelers to carry goods or cargo which are called semis or big-rigs. According to a report by NBC10 Philadelphia, a recent FedEx truck accident in Northeast Philadelphia occurred on January 25th, 2024, and caused fatal injuries to the driver. Due to the accident, I-95 lanes were blocked for hours resulting in a major traffic event. 

Some of the fundamental causes of such accidents are speeding, loss of balance due to the vehicles massive size, vehicle breakdown, and improperly loaded shipments. Other factors may contribute to the occurrence of a  FedEx collision such as fatigue, the lack of experience of the driver, drunk driving, and not not abiding by traffic rules.

What Are Jackknife Accidents?

A jackknife can be a potentially serious truck accident that can happen when a truck’s trailer skids out of control and swings around to the side of the truck’s cab. This can sometimes form a V-shape that resembles a folding pocket knife.

A jackknife is often caused by a loss of traction in the truck’s wheels, which can happen if a driver applies the brakes heavily or suddenly. Wet or snow-covered roads can increase the chances of the wheels losing traction, potentially leading to harm. When this happens, the wheels lock up and skid, which can lead to the trailer swinging around.

Dangerous Truck Accident Statistics in Philadelphia

Over the past two decades, there has been a notable rise in the popularity of pickup trucks, minivans, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). In the year 2022, accidents involving these vehicle types saw a 3.2% increase compared to the previous year, 2021. 

However, it’s worth mentioning that fatal crashes involving these vehicle categories decreased slightly by 0.5% when comparing 2022 to 2021. These statistics reflect the changing landscape of vehicle preferences and the associated trends in road safety.

Heavy Truck Crashes Five-Year Trend

Heavy Truck Crashes Five-Year Trend

Light Truck Crashes Five-Year Trend

Light Truck Crashes

In the context of heavy truck vehicle failure crashes, the leading causes are predominantly linked to issues with tires and wheels, problems related to brakes, and instances of trailers being unsecured or overloaded. These factors emerge as the primary contributors to such accidents, highlighting the importance of maintaining and addressing these essential components for safer heavy truck operations.

How Can You Prove Negligence In A Semi-Truck Accident Case?

Before diving into the case, it is important to understand what elements of the case need to be proven in order to prove liability. When you determine fault in an accident involving a truck accident case, you will likely need to prove the following elements:

  • A duty of care was owed by the negligent party
  • The at-fault party breached the standard duty of care
  • The negligent act of the party led to a severe accident
  • You faced damages due to the accident

When you are driving a truck, you are required to follow a duty of care, which means you have a legal obligation to act responsibly. If you are involved in a truck accident, it may be important to gather evidence showing that another party’s driving errors caused the accident. In such cases, you or your Philadelphia truck accident attorney may be able to hold the negligent parties liable for the losses.

Which Parties Are Liable For A Trucking Collision?

Accidents involving a commercial truck can sometimes be tricky because other parties beyond the operator may be held liable for  losses caused by a truck accident. Some potentially liable parties may include:

  • The Trucking Company: They may be liable for ensuring drivers are trained and adhere to rules and regulations. They may also be responsible for the upkeep and safety of vehicles.
  • Those responsible for maintaining the vehicle: This may include the company or the driver if they are an independent contractor.
  • Other motor vehicle drivers:  It may be possible that another driver’s negligence, such as distracted driving, reckless driving, excessive braking or accelerating, or ignoring signage and laws, caused the truck accident.
  • Manufacturing company: If parts for a truck are defective or malfunction and lead to a crash, then the manufacturer may be potentially at risk for product liability.

Analyzing and evaluating all these details after a truck wreck can be essential to building a thorough case. A Philadelphia truck accident attorney may help you determine the liable parties in a truck wreck and can offer guidance through the process on how you may want to proceed with filing a truck accident lawsuit.

How Do Trucking Companies Avoid Liability?

After a severe truck wreck in Philadelphia, trucking and insurance companies may try certain tactics to avoid liability when someone threatens to sue. One common argument the trucking companies may use to avoid any responsibility is by disputing evidence, claiming no responsibility if a driver is a contractor, or blaming the victim for the crash. It’s important to note that these trucking company tactics are not always successful.

That is why hiring an experienced Philadelphia truck accident attorney can help with some of these scenarios. Let’s take a closer look at some of these tactics companies may use when disputing responsibility.

  • Denying the scope of employment: Sometimes, trucking companies or insurers will argue that a driver was not acting within the scope of their employment at the time of an accident. For example, if a truck driver caused an accident while running a personal errand, the trucking company may argue that the driver was not acting within the scope of their employment and therefore the company should not be held responsible.
  • Independent contractor: A trucking company or insurance policy company may claim that they are not liable for the truck accident because the driver was an independent contractor rather than an employee. The trucking company may also argue that since the driver is an independent contractor, they are not directly responsible for the driver’s actions.
  • Switching the blame: Truck companies may even try to find ways and directions to blame you for causing the collision and the accidents. They may argue that you violated certain traffic laws, ignored construction hazards, or were driving carelessly.

However, as per Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence laws, you can still receive compensation if your fault was less than 51%. The percentage may be reduced by some level if your Philadelphia attorney is able to prove the truck driver’s negligence caused your accident.

18-wheeler accident lawyer philadelphia

Why Are Truck Accidents More Dangerous?

Truck accidents can potentially cause severe and fatal injuries when they strike passenger vehicles. Along with simply being larger than commuter vehicles, some of the realities that lead to crashes with commercial trucks can include:

  • Stopping distance: When a truck is loaded, it takes more time for a driver to stop than when it is unloaded. Therefore, drivers are taught and required to maintain safe distances from other vehicles. This distance it takes for a commercial truck to stop also increases with their speed and if the roads are wet or covered with snow.
  • Wide turns: As trucks are larger and sometimes carry a trailer, they need much more space than other motorists when taking turns. Wider turns can increase the risk of an accident if a truck driver requires additional space in an adjacent lane.
  • High center of gravity: Commercial trucks often have a higher center of gravity, which makes them more prone to roll over than a regular vehicle.

For these reasons, a truck accident could be significantly more dangerous or fatal than a car or bicycle accident. A victim of a truck accident can file a Philadelphia personal injury claim if they suffered a serious injury in an accident caused by someone else or a wrongful death claim when the victim has died.

Damages Can You Recover After A Truck Accident

It is every victim’s right to seek the maximum compensation they deserve for the injuries caused to them on account of another party’s negligence. An experienced Philadelphia auto accident lawyer can help you or a loved one properly file a claim for total  losses. Generally, there are two types of damages that you may seek to recoup: economic and non-economic. 

Economic damages are the one in which costs can be estimated easily. This can include past and future medical bills and expenses, past and future lost wages, bills lost, household services, vocational rehabilitation, and property damages.

Non-economic damages can be tricky to put a dollar amount to. That’s because these  can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, or despair. Trucking accidents can cause psychological trauma, and can have a lasting and often permanent impact on the victim and their families.

In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded if a judge or jury deems that a person’s actions were so egregious or malicious that they warrant additional payment as punishment. Though punitive damages may not be available in every case, they exist to prevent such behavior or actions from happening in the future.

At Samuel Fishman, we know how difficult these times can be for families, and promise to help alleviate the pain and suffering of our clients and their families moving forward. Your Philadelphia attorney can calculate how much money your losses may be worth using previous case precedents and help you secure the compensation you’re owed.

Contact Philadelphia Big Rig Accident Lawyers For Legal Help

If you have been involved in a truck accident in Philadelphia, it may be challenging to negotiate with insurance adjusters and navigate the complexities of a personal injury case on your own. 

At The Law Offices Of Samuel Fishman, we work hard and pursue each case with diligence and personalize our approaches to adapt to each case. This way, we ensure the best and most favorable outcomes for our clients. Our Philadelphia lawyers will work for you on a contingency fee basis, meaning you’ll only pay if we win your case.

With the right legal team, you can be assured that the trucking and insurance companies don’t take advantage of you, and that you are rightfully compensated for your injuries. A skilled personal injury attorney will always provide you with the information and resources you need to protect your rights in Philadelphia.

The legal path to recovering your losses following a truck accident is complex. That’s why you can schedule a free case evaluation and quickly hire one of our trusted Philadelphia truck accident attorneys. Contact our Philadelphia attorneys at (267) 744-4689 today and feel free to discuss your truck accident case with our lawyer. 

FAQs on Truck Accidents 

What if The Government Owns the Truck?

If the truck accident is caused by the government entities who own the truck for municipal purposes, pick-up garbage, or maintenance in parks or other public places, the filing of truck crash claims will be different. The lawsuit must be filed within the statute of limitations which is 6 months from the date when the accident happened.

Should I Accept a Settlement From an Insurance Company?

Insurance companies will often reach out to the accident victims and try to offer settlements that are far less than the actual damages cost. It is important that you do not talk to a third-party insurance adjuster or representative, prior to speaking with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Anything you tell an adjuster in writing or through a recorded call may be able to be used as evidence. You should always have an attorney negotiate with the insurance company, as the attorney can understand certain factors that will determine the value of your case and knows the insurance companies’ tactics.

What if I Am Partly At Fault for the truck accident?

Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state. This means a party in an accident who is found guilty of contributory negligence, may nevertheless recover damages, provided their negligence is greater than the causal negligence of the defendant. However, a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence imputed to the plaintiff. 

Can You Sue a Trucking Company for Wrongful Death?

Yes, you can sue a trucking company for wrongful death. The accident victim has two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable trucking company. In some situations when the family member is unable to file a claim during the first three months after the death, the estate administrator can act on their behalf.

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