No one likes driving near large trucks on the road. Tractor-trailers are difficult to see around, and many drivers experience heart-stopping near misses each day because of drivers who dangerously change lanes or lose control at highway speeds. If things were even worse and you were involved in a collision with a dangerous truck driver, contact the Reading truck accident lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm today.
Our attorneys fight for truck accident victims and their families to get them the compensation they need after a serious or deadly accident. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, or if a family member was killed in a truck crash, contact our attorneys today for a free legal consultation. Our number is (215) 246-9000.
Claiming Compensation for Truck Accidents
Trucking companies are often large, multimillion-dollar companies with huge legal teams that work to keep their reputation clean and shut down claims after truck accidents. These teams may offer you confidential settlements to end lawsuits early or may try to convince you that you must file your claim through car insurance. If you were injured in a truck accident, remember that the trucking company’s legal team does not represent you or your best interests. Contact a lawyer to help you understand the claims you can make for financial compensation.
In many cases, auto insurance may be able to handle the claim. In some cases, you may be required to file through auto insurance if you have limited tort auto insurance. Limited tort options for your PA auto insurance may limit your right to sue, but these limitations typically do not apply to serious or permanent injuries, so talk to an attorney about filing a lawsuit for your case instead.
When you make a claim through insurance, you may be able to receive only limited damages. Your insurance may cover some first party benefits if you were seriously injured, but these payments may be subject to deductibles and payment limits. Similarly, payouts from the truck driver’s insurance may still only pay limited amounts instead of full damages for medical bills and lost wages. Insurance also typically refuses to cover pain and suffering damages at all.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to claim full damages for medical expenses and lost wages, plus you can claim pain and suffering damages and, potentially, punitive damages. Pain and suffering is often one of the highest portions of your damages from an injury lawsuit. Although they are rare, you may even be able to get punitive damages for your case if the trucking company has a history of violating rules or committed serious errors that lead to your injuries.
The majority of these damages would not be paid through a settlement. Trucking companies and their legal teams fight to keep settlements low, giving you just enough to satisfy you. In most cases, these will not amount to the full damages you can claim, and they will often never include punitive damages.
Trucking Regulations in Pennsylvania
Many trucking regulations are in place to protect innocent drivers who have to share the road with 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers. These rules can be used to prove what a truck driver or a trucking company did wrong leading up to an accident, and they can also be used to argue that the trucking company’s violations were serious negligence worthy of punitive damages. The following are all regulations our attorneys point to when fighting for the rights of truck accident victims.
Hours of service regulations limit the amount of time a truck driver can spend on duty in a single day or a workweek as well as how long a driver can stay behind the wheel in a day or in a single run. These limitations work to keep drivers alert and avoid over-tired drivers remaining behind the wheel. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving, affecting your judgment, reaction times, and other necessary driving skills. If a driver or a trucking company repeatedly and systematically broke these rules, they could be found at fault for the accident.
Truck drivers must meet certain health and safety qualifications, and a trucking company that hires an unqualified driver could be in serious trouble for their errors. Trucking regulations require drivers to be free of health problems that affect their vision, hearing, limb control, and ability to remain conscious. Problems with low blood sugar or seizures might keep them off the road, as could poor eyesight. Safety issues, such as a history of DUI, reckless driving, or serious car accidents could also keep them off the road.
There are additional regulations that govern vehicle safety. Inspections, weight limitations, loading requirements, lighting requirements, tire pressure and quality rules, and other regulations help ensure trucks are safe for the highway. If drivers or trucking companies fail to inspect their vehicles, these rules can help hold them at fault for accidents that their dangerous equipment causes.
Call Our Reading Truck Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, call our Reading truck accident lawyers today. The lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm work to get compensation for our clients to right the wrongs they faced in accidents with large trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers. To schedule a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (215) 246-9000.