Accidents involving large trucks are among the most serious and most deadly in the United States and in Berks County. These accidents often result in severe damage to your vehicle, leaving you without transportation and to deal with the headache that often comes with working with an insurance company. However, while a car can generally be replaced, nothing can replace a loved one who is lost in an accident involving a tractor-trailer.
In addition, when you are involved in an accident involving a large truck, commercial trucking companies’ rapid response teams will be called at a moment’s notice to appear at the accident scene and obtain every piece of information needed for the defense. Prompt investigation of the accident scene is crucial. There are multiple parties who could be responsible for causing the accident, and anyone or all could have acted in violation of state and federal guidelines.
If you or a family member was injured in a truck accident in Berks County, you should consult with an experienced Berks County truck accident attorney as soon as possible. The legal team at the Reiff Law Firm possesses decades of combined legal experience, and we would like to use our knowledge to fight for you in your truck accident case. To schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940. You could also contact the firm online to schedule your free case review.
Truck Accidents in Berks County
Tractor-trailer accidents are often fatal occurrences. Take, for example, the recent accident. On July 10, 2016, a tractor-trailer that was traveling on Route 222 located in Berks County, Pennsylvania, struck and sadly killed a pedestrian who was walking across the street. While this was a tragic accident, it is not something that is out of the ordinary, at least as it pertains to accidents. A few weeks before this sad, unfortunate accident, there was another accident involving a tractor-trailer. On June 27, 2016, another tractor-trailer tied up traffic on Route 22 for approximately two hours when the tractor-trailer tipped over. While there were no other vehicles involved in this accident as there were in other accidents, the driver was still taken to the hospital for examination and treatment.
Berks County is part of the Reading Metropolitan statistical area, which is also in close proximity to Philadelphia and New Jersey. Berks County is also adjacent to some of the more densely populated counties in Pennsylvania, including Schuylkill County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Lancaster County, and Lebanon County. With an estimated population of over 415,271 people who call this county home, there is a great deal of people who are on the roads every day. Like the rest of Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, there are problems with roads, and many roads need to be repaired. Road conditions are a significant factor in truck accidents and can happen on any of the many major highways, which cut through Berks County, including:
- Interstate 76 – which is also known as the Pennsylvania Turnpike
- Interstate 78
- Interstate 176
- US 22
- US 222
- US 422
- PA 12
- PA 61
- PA 272
- PA 501
In addition to these major highways, there are several notable intersections which are particularly prone to accidents, including:
- The Penn Avenue interchanges in West Reading
- The West Shore Bypass between Penn and Lancaster avenues
- Routes 222 and 73
- River Bridge Road and Route 422 in Douglassville
There are many reasons why there might be tractor-trailer accidents, from the roads to the amount of traffic to the truck driver. However, one of the features of a tractor-trailer accident is that when they happen, they often result in severe accidents.
If you wish to know more about the common causes of truck accidents, you should continue reading and work with an experienced Berks County truck accident attorney today.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Berks County, PA
Truck accidents may happen for a number of reasons. However, some causes of truck accidents are more prevalent than others. The following is a list of common causes of truck accidents that could lead to a personal injury lawsuit.
Truck drivers often have to drive hundreds of miles per week in order to deliver materials and items to customers and companies throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. To ensure that all materials are delivered on time, some truck drivers may exceed the speed limit, which could increase the risk of the driver losing control.
Truck accidents that occur at high speeds are especially dangerous because the sheer weight and size of a commercial truck could easily crush a passenger vehicle. Speeding in adverse weather is also hazardous as a truck driver may be unable to react to other vehicles on the road at high speeds in snow or heavy rain.
The hours a truck driver is permitted to operate are regulated to ensure that a driver does not operate their vehicle while exhausted. However, if a truck driver or their employer ignores the limit on working hours, this could lead to a truck driver working while severely tired. As a result, the truck driver could veer out of their lane or fall asleep while driving, which could cause a severe accident.
When loading the trailer of a truck, it is important that you do not exceed the maximum weight the truck could carry. However, there are some cases where a company may negligently overload a truck. Driving a truck with an overloaded trailer could cause a tire blowout or may make it difficult for a truck driver to maneuver properly.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Whether a person is operating a truck or a passenger vehicle, it is dangerous to consume alcohol while driving. A driver that has consumed alcohol or drugs could act unpredictably behind the wheel and could injure motorists in their vicinity.
There are many other causes of truck accidents that are not listed above. Our experienced Berks County truck accident attorneys are here to help you get started on your truck accident case.
When to File Your Truck Accident Lawsuit in Berks County
A victim of a truck accident should be aware that they could file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible. However, when pursuing a lawsuit against a truck driver, you should be aware that you only have a limited amount of time to file your case because of the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations places a time limit on how long a potential plaintiff has to file a civil case with a court of law. Note, however, that the statute of limitations is subject to change depending on a number of factors. For example, if a victim of a truck accident was under the age of 18, the statute of limitations would not begin to run until they reach the age of majority.
It would be wise to avoid making any assumptions about the statute of limitations deadline. If you are incorrect about your filing deadline, you will be unable to file your case at all. Truck accident victims that are unsure about their filing date should speak with an experienced attorney soon after the accident.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for a truck accident lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury. Alternatively, if the victim did not discover their injuries until a later date, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until they knew or should have known about their injuries.
There are several reasons to pursue your truck accident lawsuit as soon as possible. For example, evidence you may need to prove your lawsuit could go missing if you do not promptly pursue your claim. Additionally, if you are relying on witness testimony to prove your lawsuit, the memories of your witnesses could become questionable.
Truck Accident Types in Berks County
Tractor-trailers are complex pieces of machinery that require regular care, maintenance, and inspection. When there is a tractor-trailer accident, they often can be linked to certain problems with the tires, wheels, or brakes. Some of the most common truck accidents that have been noted in the past:
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of motor vehicle accidents. However, while many of these accidents have come to be known as fender benders and do not cause a lot of injuries when there is a rear-end accident involving a truck, the injuries and damages can be severe.
Head-on accidents happen most often when one car crosses the center lane and strikes a vehicle that is driving in the opposite direction. These types of accidents often result in fatalities and serious injuries. However, there are many different reasons why a tractor-trailer may cause a head-on accident; one of the most noted and documented reasons is when the driver is too fatigued.
Tractor-trailers and other large trucks sometimes do not remain upright and, for a variety of reasons, can effectively rollover. These accidents most often affect traffic; however, when a trailer rolls over, it can crush or damage other cars in the area.
During an accident, it is not uncommon for the trailer part of the tractor to swing around at a sharp angle. In these accidents, the trailer swings sharply to form, in most cases, a 90-degree angle. Often in these accidents, cars that are anywhere in the radius of the trailer can get swept by the swinging trailer resulting in severe accidents.
There is a reason why most tractor-trailers are known as 18-wheelers. That is because they have 18 wheels. However, when one of these tires fails for any reason, it can render the entire vehicle useless and can cause accidents. When tires blow out on large trucks, the consequences can be devastating. Large trucks and tractor-trailers that experience tire blowouts often become impossible to drive, resulting in large trucks veering out of control into cars.
Injured in a Truck Wreck? Contact Our Skilled Berks County Truck Accident Attorneys Today
If you or a family member were injured in a serious truck accident, you should work with an experienced Berks County truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Our dedicated truck accident attorneys understand how a catastrophic crash may alter your life, and we are here to help you get back on track. The truck accident injury lawyers of Reiff Law Firm are ready to fight for you. If you wish to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your potential lawsuit, call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940. You may also contact the firm online to schedule your free consultation.