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Any motor vehicle accident can be a traumatic experience, but crashes involving commercial vehicles have the potential to cause exponentially more harm. Following these accidents, victims can be remarkably confused as to what they should do afterward.
Ciccarelli Law Offices represents the victims of commercial truck accidents all over the greater West Chester area. This section of our website is intended to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding semi-truck collisions in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a commercial truck accident, you can receive full answers to your more specific questions when you call (610) 719-3190 or complete an online contact form for a free consultation.
The average passenger vehicle typically weighs less than 5,000 pounds, but commercial trucks are often loaded up to the federal weight limit of 80,000 pounds. This amount may be more if the truck has an oversize or overweight permit.
Additionally, semi-trucks are typically more than a dozen feet tall and 70 to 80 feet long. All of these measurements not only factor into basic safety concerns such as increased stopping distances but also lead to increased damage when a tractor-trailer is involved in a wreck.
The occupants of passenger vehicles are much more likely to sustain serious injuries in accidents involving commercial trucks than other traditional automobiles.
After any collision involving a semi-truck, the first thing you should do is seek medical care. Even if you believe that you were not harmed, many serious injuries do not display symptoms until many days or even weeks later.
After that, you should try to adhere to the following steps or have a loved one take the steps if you are unable because of medical care:
Every tractor trailer crash is different, and some accidents have multiple factors that led to the wreck. A few of the most common causes of commercial truck crashes include, but are not limited to:
Your compensation will depend on the nature of your injuries. Generally, compensation in most truck accident cases accounts for medical bills, lost income (past and future), pain and suffering, and other damages.
If your loved one was killed in a semi-truck crash, you could be entitled to compensation for loss of financial support, loss of consortium, funeral expenses, and other damages.
Under 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524, people have two years to commence a civil action to recover damages for their injuries or for the death of a loved one caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another party.
One of the biggest differences between tractor-trailer collisions and traditional passenger vehicle crashes is that accidents involving semi-trucks can have more than one liable party. One or more of the following parties could be responsible for damages in your case:
When a person is partly at fault for an accident, it is referred to as contributory negligence. Accident victims can still recover damages even if it is determined that they shared some fault for the collision.
If you are found to be substantially at fault, damages can be limited or you could possibly be barred from recovering.
The trucking industry is subject to numerous regulations imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Violations of any of the following regulations could impact an accident case:
While the initial amount that an insurance company may offer sounds adequate enough to cover your losses, many people forget about several of the additional costs that they will bear later on—costs that a trucking company will not be responsible for once a settlement has been accepted.
Many accident victims require multiple return visits to hospitals for additional therapy and rehabilitation. These visits can all require additional time away from work. Several accident victims are unable to return to work at all.
Again, you should refuse to speak to any insurance company until you have legal representation. Representatives for the insurance companies of the commercial trucks trick people into downplaying the severity of their injuries or making other statements that are used against the victims later on to reduce the amount of compensation they ultimately receive. An attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf and fight to get you the compensation you need for all of your current and future needs.
Ciccarelli Law Offices represents clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay us nothing unless our lawyers get you a financial award.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you can have our personal injury attorneys in West Chester, PA, review your case. Call (610) 719-3190 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.