Can I Sue a Truck Driver for Causing an Accident in Pennsylvania?
Motor vehicle accidents are dangerous and traumatic experiences. Victims often suffer serious injuries after an accident. Further, accidents involving large trucks are especially devastating. Commercial trucks and tractor trailers can cause severe damages in accidents because of their large size and weight. Those who were injured in truck accidents often wonder if they can file a lawsuit against the at-fault truck driver directly.
In Pennsylvania, victims can file suit against an at-fault truck driver under certain circumstances. In other cases, injured parties must file a claim with their own insurance company. In either scenario, truck accident lawyers can help recover the financial compensation available to you.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a truck driver, seek assistance from our experienced Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers by calling the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.
When You Can File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
Victims of truck accidents will have different legal options available to them depending on what form of liability insurance they purchased and what injuries were suffered. Those who purchased limited tort insurance coverage in Pennsylvania must file a claim with their own insurance company for damages related to a truck accident. In such cases, our Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers can help sue your own insurance company for wrongfully denying your claim.
Injured parties who purchased full tort insurance coverage will be permitted to sue an at-fault truck driver directly in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, those with limited tort insurance coverage who suffered serious injuries may also bring a claim against a negligent truck driver directly. You will likely face disputes from the truck driver’s insurance company. Our Allentown truck accident lawyers can help fight insurance companies and offer guidance regarding your case.
Trucking Accident Statistics in Pennsylvania
Accidents involving commercial trucks and tractor trailers are especially dangerous because of the vehicles’ size and weight. In Pennsylvania, commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., opposed to standard cars which weigh around 4,000 lbs. Accordingly, in accidents caused by negligent truckers, it is usually the other motorist or pedestrian who suffers more severe injuries. Injured parties can contact our Bucks County truck accident lawyers for guidance on their road to recovery.
Furthermore, many truck accidents can be fatal. A report from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation states that there were 122 heavy-truck-related fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2020. Families of victims who passed away because of trucking accidents will face difficult times and may never be made whole again. However, families may recover damages to help ease their distress.
Reasons You Can Sue a Driver or Trucking Company for a Truck Accident in Pennsylvania
Truck drivers and trucking companies can be liable for damages when their negligent actions cause a trucking accident. Victims who purchased full tort insurance coverage and those who suffered serious injuries may sue negligent drivers directly.
There are various forms of conduct that may be considered negligent on behalf of truck drivers. Our Chester, PA truck accident lawyers can help establish negligence on behalf of truck drivers who have committed the following careless or reckless acts:
Distracted driving is one of the leasing causes of accidents in the U.S. today. There are cases where a truck driver may cause an accident by driving distracted. Distracted driving involves any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. The three main types of distracted driving involve visual distraction, manual distraction, and cognitive distraction. Visual distraction occurs when a driver takes their eyes off the road while manual distraction refers to situations where a driver takes their hands off the wheel. Cognitive distraction occurs when a driver takes their mind off the task of driving. The following are common examples of distracted driving committed by truck drivers in Pennsylvania:
- Texting and driving
- Using a GPS
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to people on the phone
- Adjusting music or controls
Some types of distracted driving involve multiple types of distraction. For instance, a truck driver who is texting and driving will be visually, manually, and cognitively distracted from the task at hand. Our Philadelphia truck accident lawyers may help file a lawsuit if you were injured because of a distracted truck driver.
Driving errors occur when motorists fail to follow the rules of the road. Truck drivers who cause an accident because they committed a driving error may be liable for damages stemming from the accident. The following are examples of driving errors that frequently cause trucking accidents:
- Braking too late
- Running red lights
- Failing to signal a lane change
- Driving recklessly
Failing to follow the rules of the road can have severe consequences. You may sue for injuries suffered in an accident caused by a truck driver’s error.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is another dangerous activity that can cause trucking accidents. Truck drivers, like all drivers, are expected not to drive impaired. Unfortunately, driving under the influence still causes trucking accidents in Pennsylvania. If you were injured in an accident because a truck driver was driving drunk or under the influence of other drugs, you may be entitled to financial compensation in a truck accident lawsuit.
Truck drivers are under immense pressure to deliver their cargo on time. Truck drivers may stay awake for excessive periods of time so that they complete their route on time. Accordingly, there are accidents that occur because a truck driver was driving fatigued. Truck drivers can cause serious accidents if they are not properly rested.
Another common cause of trucking accidents in Pennsylvania is truck defects. There are occasions were accidents occur because of a problem with a truck. Trucking companies and drivers are expected to maintain their trucks in working order. Hazards such as worn tires and brakes can cause serious accidents. Furthermore, manufacturers who produced defective trucking equipment may also be liable for causing an accident.
Determining liability in an accident caused by a truck defect can be difficult. In such cases, our Delaware County truck accident lawyers can help gather evidence and determine whom to sue.
Failing to Notice Pedestrians
Truck drivers have a more difficult time seeing pedestrians and cyclists because their vehicles sit so high above the ground. Still, truck drivers have to pay attention to the road and be aware of pedestrians. Truck drivers who negligently crash into a pedestrian or cyclist may also be liable for the severe injuries they cause in truck accident lawsuits.
In some instances, trucking companies can be liable for negligently hiring a driver. An employer can be liable for harm caused by their employee if they knew or should have known their employee posed a risk of causing such harm. For example, if a trucking company knowingly hires a driver with a poor driving record, they may be liable for damages in accidents caused by that poor driver. If you were injured in a trucking accident, you may contact our Norristown truck accident lawyers for help determining if you can file a lawsuit against a trucking company for negligent hiring practices.
If You Were Injured in an Accident Caused by a Truck Driver, Our Lawyers Can Help
If you were injured because of a negligent truck driver, get help recovering the monetary damages available to you. Contact our experienced West Chester truck accident lawyers by calling the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.