When you have been involved in a car accident you suddenly find yourself under a lot of pressure and stress. However, when you have been involved in an accident that involves a tractor-trailer your stress and anxiety are probably amplified. That is because when there is an accident on the road that involves a tractor-trailer there is a much higher percentage of people who are injured and who sustain substantial property damage.
If a truck accident has caused you or a family member serious injury — or resulted in a tragic, unexpected death — our attorneys and professional support team are here to help. You more than likely have many questions about how to proceed. At The Reiff Law Firm, we are a team of compassionate and experienced Bucks County truck accident attorneys who will help you get through this difficult time. Our attorneys are aggressive in representing victims throughout the nation and have been successful in making sure our clients are taken care of and compensated for all of their losses. These frequently asked questions are here to give you a place to start. Don’t feel alone, our lawyers are here to protect your rights and ensure that you obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. Please contact us now at The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000.
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen in Bucks County?
Tractor-trailer accidents can happen for any variety of reasons. Just recently this past June there was an accident involving a tractor-trailer in Bristol Township in Bucks County. Shortly after 10 am between the Delaware Valley exit and the Delaware River Bridge on the Pennsylvania Turnpike there was an accident involving three cars. Views from above showed that there were two sedans and a tractor-trailer. Not surprisingly there was extensive damage to both of the smaller cars, and there appeared to be very minimal damage to the tractor-trailer. The occupant of one of the cars sustained injuries, which thankfully, in this case, were not life-threatening. This accident caused the road to be blocked from the eastbound direction for over two and a half hours. While there was no mention of what caused the accident, there are many different reasons why there may be a truck accident in Bucks County.
Because Bucks County is located immediately northeast of Philadelphia and also forms part of the Pennsylvania border many people commute in and out of the county each day. In fact, Bucks County is one of the most populated counties in the entire state. According to the 2010 census, there were approximately 625,249 people who called Bucks County home. In addition to its geographic location, there are numerous major highways that cut through the county which are all good means for trucks and tractor-trailers to use. Notably, the following major highways are all found in Bucks County:
- Interstate 95
- Interstate 276
- The Pennsylvania Turnpike
- Interstate 476
- The Pennsylvania Turnpike North-East extension
- US 1
- US 13
- US 202
- PA 32
Not only are there major highways there are several airports, which encourages more traffic and more routes for commercial drivers to use to deliver their cargo.
In 2010‚ Bucks County was fourth highest amongst all Pennsylvania counties in traffic-related deaths‚ according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In total‚ 3.4 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state for 2010 occurred within the county’s borders. All of these statistics and facts point to continuing trends in accidents on Bucks County Roadways. When you have been involved in an accident, particularly one where there has been a tractor-trailer involved then you should contact an experienced attorney.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured in a Bucks County Truck Accident
- Take pictures of everything at the scene of the accident.
- Get the truck driver’s information (driver’s license number, license plate number and insurance information) as well as a description of the truck.
- If your injuries were serious enough that you were transported directly to the hospital, keep all hospital records to show to your truck accident attorney.
- Make sure a police report is filed.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Meet with a skilled truck accident lawyer who will guide you through the difficult process ahead.
- Have an appointment with a medical doctor concerning your injuries and keep records.
- Do not talk to the trucking company’s claims adjuster or sign anything.
- Do not admit fault.
Common Tractor-Trailer Accident Types
Any accident involving a tractor-trailer in Bucks County carries the potential that there is going to be severe injuries and damage to both the people involved and their vehicles. While there are thousands of different accident types and the factors that lead up to an accident are often very different. The following accident types have been noted as some of the most prevalent types of truck accidents.
Head-on – This type of tractor-trailer accident is often the most severe and the most likely to cause catastrophic injuries. Often these accidents stem from one or more of the drivers crossing the centerlines and crashing into oncoming traffic.
Rear-end – You are probably familiar with this type of accident merely because of how common they are. However, when the vehicle behind your car is several times taller than your vehicle and weighs tens of thousands of pounds more than your vehicle there is a greater likelihood that a rear-end accident involving a tractor-trailer is going to be severe.
Tire blowout – A tire blowout is devastating in any vehicle, however, when there is a tractor-trailer involved there is a greater potential that one, there will be a tire blowout, and two that if there is one that the driver will not be able to maintain control over their vehicle.
Rollover – Tractor-trailers are prone to rolling over when they are on the road. There are many different factors that can lead to a tractor-trailer rolling over including the driver driving too fast, making a rapid turn, or even correcting their direction without a sufficient amount of time. When a tractor rolls over, there is the potential that a car or cars will become trapped and crushed under the side of the trailers.
Jackknife – In addition to rolling over, tractor-trailers are also prone to an accident type known as a jackknife accident. In these accidents the trailer that is behind the cab swings rapidly and uncontrollably in an arching motion until it forms a 90-degree angle with the cab. When a trailer does this it often sweeps vehicles in its path either under the trailer, crushing the car, or it pushes the cars out of the way which also results in injuries and damage.
Compensation You May Be Able to Recover for Trucking Collision Injuries
Each case is unique as there are many types of truck accidents and many laws, both federal and state, that the driver and the trucking company have to follow. Our experts will investigate each case individually. Depending on who is at fault and the degree of fault (even if you are partially at-fault you will still recover a percentage of your losses), you will be able to recover losses for:
- Medical expenses;
- Loss of income (present and future);
- Emotional and physical pain and suffering;
- Loss of quality of life;
- Loss of companionship; and
- Funeral expenses (in the case of a death).
When to Hire a Bucks County, PA Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with a commercial truck, you need an attorney. Auto accident laws are very complex and trucking companies have insurance companies who hire adjusters that want to “settle” or deny your claim so that they pay as little as possible without fully investigating your losses. The injuries that you may have are often not immediately apparent. Our team of compassionate attorneys will make sure that you receive proper medical care, not only now, but in the future if necessary.
Our experienced truck crash lawyers will investigate your accident and preserve evidence before the trucking company has a chance to alter or destroy it. You will not be put at a disadvantage by a large corporation; you will have your own team of investigators. All details of the accident will be analyzed and evaluated to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable for your losses.
Our Attorneys Can Help with Your Trucking Accident Injury Case
Applying decades of experience in catastrophic personal injury cases, our experienced Bucks County trucking accident lawyers and investigators go the extra distance to uncover key factors in trucking accident and other auto crash cases, such as negligence in:
- Securing loads to prevent breakaways and falling debris
- Screening and background-checking of drivers for substance abuse, sleep apnea, prior driving violations and other problems
- Properly maintaining vehicles — including critical components such as brakes and lights — and securing legitimate, required inspection certificates
The probable severity of injuries and other consequences of a trucking accident, together with the extensive resources of corporate defendants and insurers, can make it critical for you to find proven, respected legal representation. Our attorneys bring strategic knowledge gained in their collective experience handling thousands of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases to bear on your case — substantially turning the odds of success with your valid claim in your favor.
Contact a Bucks County, PA Truck Accident Attorney Today for Help With Your Injury Case
If you have been involved in a serious commercial truck accident with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, you may be entitled to damages. A commercial truck’s large size and significant weight often mean that the injuries inflicted are significantly worse than those typically suffered in other accidents. Our Bucks County truck accident injury lawyers may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call (215) 246-9000 or contact us online today.