Anytime you are driving on the road, there is the chance that you will be involved in an accident. There are many trucks and commercial vehicles that use Pennsylvania highways and roads, so it is not surprising that accidents are an inevitable problem when driving. However, not every accident is the same, and the injuries from an accident can be severe and life-threatening, particularly when there is a tractor-trailer involved.
Interstate 70 is an interstate highway that runs from east to west across the southwest part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Recently, parts of the Pennsylvania turnpike include Interstate 70, have proposed increasing the speed limit to 70 miles per hour. Therefore, it is easy to imagine that if you are involved in an accident involving a tractor-trailer traveling at high speed that you will likely experience severe injuries.
If you were injured in a truck accident on Interstate 70 in Pennsylvania, you should work with an experienced Pennsylvania truck accident today. The Reiff Law Firm has worked on a variety of truck accident cases, and we would be pleased to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss the details of your case, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940. You may also contact us online to schedule your free case review.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents on I-70 Pennsylvania
Tractor-trailers and commercial vehicles are not the same as the common passenger vehicle. Trucks are much larger, are less maneuverable, and require a greater stopping distance. Additionally, commercial vehicles often have greater blind spots, which can make it hard for even the most experienced driver to see you before merging into or out of a lane. As you know, there are many factors that can lead to a car accident, and driving on the highway can be dangerous. The following is a list of common causes of truck accidents on I-70 that could lead to a truck accident lawsuit.
Due to the pressure and demand for truck drivers to deliver their cargo as quickly as possible, some truck drivers will exceed the speed limit in order to ensure that packages are timely delivered. However, there are many dangers to operating a commercial truck at high speeds. For example, if a truck driver loses control when speeding, they could cause a fatal accident if they collide with a passenger vehicle or another truck. Speeding could also make it more difficult to react to vehicles that are switching lanes or traveling in the driver’s blind spot.
Truck drivers can often spend long hours on the road, which can lead to them driving less carefully, which ultimately leads to injuries. While the hours of truck drivers are heavily regulated, some companies may permit drivers to exceed their hours, which is dangerous for the driver and others. A drowsy truck driver is more prone to make mistakes or possibly even fall asleep while operating the vehicle.
A tire blowout happens when a tire’s tread or sidewall detaches from the frame of the tire, which would make it difficult for the driver to maneuver. If a tire blowout happens at high speeds, it could even cause a truck to jackknife and flip over, which could cause an accident with multiple other vehicles.
A tire blowout may happen for a number of reasons. For example, if a company performs poor maintenance on their fleet of trucks, a driver could be operating a vehicle with tires that should have been replaced months ago. Additionally, a tire blowout could also occur because the trailer of a truck was overloaded. An overloaded trailer would place greater strain on the tires, which would increase the risk of a tire blowout.
There are other common causes of truck accidents that are not discussed above. While most commercial vehicle drivers are highly trained, this does not mean that all truck drivers are incapable of behaving negligently while driving. If you wish to learn more about common truck accident injuries that you could request damages for, you should continue reading and work with an experienced I-70 Pennsylvania truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Although it may seem those truck accident injuries are similar to car accident injuries, the fact is that the sheer size difference between trucks and other motor vehicles means that truck accident injuries are typically more severe and are more likely to result in death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you are most likely able to file a claim against the truck driver or their driving company in order to get compensation for your truck accident injuries or loss. The following is a list of common truck accident injuries and what you can do about them.
- Broken Bones – Broken bones are one of the most common injuries stemming from an automobile accident. Due to the amount of force from the airbag’s impact, bones in the arm, nose, collarbone, and even ribs can easily be broken. However, when there is a tractor-trailer involved, the damage can be even more severe, and major bones, including the femur, hip, and spine, may be broken and require expensive surgery and a lengthy recovery time.
- Internal Injuries – On the scene of an accident, emergency workers and passerby’s are often looking for trauma to the outside of the body, such as a broken bone or a bleeding wound. However, blunt force trauma can cause internal bleeding and damage that can be just as severe if not more severe than an external injury. Internal organs such as the bladder, spleen, liver, kidneys, and lungs can all be severely damaged from internal injuries.
- Concussions and Brain Injuries– Head and brain injuries are one of those symptoms that devastating and hard to understand injuries. While modern medicine largely understands how to repair a bone or heal a cut, the brain is incredibly complex. Brain injuries can vary greatly from minor concussions to traumatic brain injuries or (TBI). Whenever there is a large vehicle like a tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle involved, there is a greater chance of a concussion or TBI.
- Paralysis and Spinal Cord Injuries – these injuries are similar to neck and back injuries and are usually the result of internal injuries to the bones, muscles, or nerves running down the spinal cord. Because of the delicate nature of these bones and nerves, if they are damaged, you may experience partial or complete paralysis to different areas of the body. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may have to undergo expensive surgeries, lengthy physical rehabilitation, or even make extreme life changes.
- Whiplash – Whiplash is a serious injury that occurs when a person’s head and neck swing forward and quickly snap back into place. Many victims of truck accidents experience whiplash due to the strength of the impact of a commercial truck. As a result, a victim may experience symptoms like severe pain, loss of range of motion in the neck, stiffness, headaches, and many other issues.
- Wrongful Death – Unfortunately, truck accidents can lead to the death of a loved one, the drivers, or the passengers of the car. If you have lost a loved one as a result of a vehicle accident, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim.
No matter the circumstances, whenever you are involved in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, you are likely to experience severe injuries. You may require expensive surgery, lengthy hospital stays, difficult and painful rehabilitation, and may even have to dramatically change your life. Fortunately, the law has been designed to help compensate those who have incurred an injury as a result of an accident.
What Can I Be Reimbursed for If I Am Injured in a Truck Accident?
If you were a victim of a truck accident, you could be awarded compensation for your injuries if you prevail in a personal injury lawsuit. In order to be successful in a truck accident lawsuit, you will have to prove how the defendant’s negligence caused your accident.
There are many types of evidence that could be used to prove your claim. For example, if a witness observed the truck driver swerving just prior to the accident, this could be valuable evidence that could be used to prove your case. Our firm could help you build evidence that could increase your chances of winning your truck accident lawsuit and receiving damages for your injuries.
There are also elements of negligence that a plaintiff must show to prove their case. The following four elements must be proven by the plaintiff to be awarded damages:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached the duty of care to the plaintiff (e.g., the truck driver was speeding)
- The defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries
- The plaintiff could file suit in a court of law for their injuries and losses
Once these four elements are proven, the plaintiff could be awarded compensatory damages. Compensatory damages would include the following types of damages:
- Economic Damages – Economic damages are monetary damages and are generally paid to cover or reimburse present and future medical costs and lost and future loss of wages. Thus, under the law, you may be entitled to receive economic coverage for medical expenses that you paid before filing the lawsuit. Additionally, if you will require future medical care because of your accident, you may be able to recover compensation for future medical expenses. Economic damages can also be awarded for lost time at work. If you are involved in a serious accident, it is very likely that you will miss time from work due to your injuries. There is no cap on how much can be awarded in damages for economic damage reimbursement. The family of a person killed in a truck accident may receive payment for a loss of consortium or services of his or her spouse. Furthermore, funeral expenses may be paid in the event of a death due to a truck accident.
- Non-economic Damages– Being in an accident can be a traumatic event that can greatly affect your life. Under the law, you may be entitled to receive non-economic damages for any pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment in life, which you have suffered because of your truck accident injuries.
- Punitive Damages – If you were involved in an accident involving a tractor-trailer driver who was drinking, driving recklessly, or who engaged in aggressive driving behavior with the intent of injuring you, you may be able to receive punitive damages.
It is important to note that the truck driver is not the only party that could be held liable in a truck accident lawsuit. In some cases, the employer of the truck driver could be named as a defendant in the lawsuit. This is possible under the doctrine of respondeat superior, which allows a plaintiff to hold an employer vicariously liable for the actions of an employee. Specifically, if a truck driver caused a serious accident while delivering items for their employer, the negligent actions of the employee could be attributed to the employer. This would be helpful as a truck driver’s employer would be in a better financial position to pay a victim damages after an accident.
Contact an I-70 Pennsylvania Truck Accident Attorney to Fight for You
If you have suffered severe injuries, incurred medical expenses, or lost a loved one as a result of an accident involving a tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle, you should consult with an experienced I-70 Pennsylvania truck accident attorney. The skilled legal team at the Reiff Law Firm possess decades of combined legal experience litigating truck accident cases, and we are here to help you determine your options for compensation after a truck accident. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation, call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940. You could also contact the firm online to schedule your free consultation.