In a typical year, there are more than 125,000 crashes involving trucks reported in Pennsylvania. More than 75,000 people are injured and more than 1,000 others are killed. It is no surprise that negligence in the operation of a vehicle weighing up to 40 tons usually has tragic consequences.
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, or if a loved one has been incapacitated or killed, you may be able to recover compensation for things such as medical and funeral expenses and lost income. Although no amount of money will compensate you for what you have suffered, all negligent parties should be held accountable.
At Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC, we represent injured clients and their families in York, Pennsylvania, Lancaster, Harrisburg, and Camp Hill. We fight for justice when lives are irrevocably altered on Pennsylvania roadways.
The operation of semi-trucks is subject to strict federal and state laws designed to maintain safety while on the road. Their sheer size and weight make them infinitely more dangerous than passenger vehicles. The operations, inspections, safety requirements, compliance reviews and audits, driver training and qualifications, and minimum requirements for liability insurance coverage are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims and wrongful death claims resulting from truck accidents in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the crash or the date of death. You must either settle a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company or file a lawsuit in the appropriate court within that time. The date of death may be later than the date of the crash if death from crash injuries occurs later.
Liability or “fault” for an 18-wheeler accident can lie with more than one individual or entity. Under the law, you can file a claim or lawsuit against any party whose negligence contributed to the crash, including:
The truck driver who failed to inspect the semi-truck properly, logged excessive hours on the road and was fatigued, operated the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or simply failed to pay attention.
The trucking company that failed to adequately train or supervise the driver, placed profit over safety, or put a driver with a poor safety record back on the road.
The manufacturer of the semi-truck or trailer, or of parts used on them, which provided faulty parts, like defective brakes, or a compromised coupling mechanism, which led to the crash.
Maintenance personnel who failed to inspect, repair, and maintain the vehicle.
The person who improperly loaded cargo if shifting or falling cargo contributed to the crash.
There are other factors considered when determining liability for a crash, including potential negligence or pure comparative fault on the part of the drivers of passenger vehicles involved, as well as road and weather conditions at the time of the crash.
Trucking companies are required to carry substantial limits on liability insurance policies, which puts substantial money at stake in a personal injury or wrongful death claim. That is why trucking companies and their insurers retain aggressive attorneys to defend claims, and so should you.
The investigation of an 18-wheeler accident is critical to documenting evidence of negligence against any party who might have contributed to the crash. You need an experienced truck accident attorney who knows how to preserve evidence, investigate the circumstances of the crash, interview witnesses, research the history of the truck driver, and retain crash engineers, medical, and other experts if necessary. You should hire a personal injury attorney who can negotiate aggressively with the insurer, and if the claim cannot be settled, litigate the case in court.
If a loved one has been incapacitated or killed in a truck-related crash, you should talk to an attorney right away to ensure the preservation of critical evidence.
Trucking company insurance adjusters and their attorneys are motivated to pay victims as little as possible. That is why you need an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney to represent you. Your attorney needs to know how to investigate a crash and gather evidence, understand the regulations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act and Pennsylvania law, and have the tenacity to fight insurers and their attorneys in and out of the courtroom.
Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC, fights for injured clients and their families in York, Pennsylvania, Lancaster, Harrisburg, and Camp Hill. Our goal is to hold those responsible for your damages accountable, no matter who they are. Preservation of evidence is critical, and the two-year statute of limitations expires quickly, so call or reach out to our office today to schedule a free case consultation!