Truck Accident Lawyer Philadelphia PA
A Philadelphia truck accident lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm can help if you were seriously injured in a collision. Tragically, the number of commercial trucking accidents is on the rise in the United States. There is no question the risk presented by commercial vehicles such as freight carriers and eighteen-wheelers is great and often deadly. A big rig truck’s massive size and weight creates an unacceptable danger to other vehicles on the road when not properly operated or maintained.
Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer
- Causes of Commercial Trucking Crashes
- DUI / Drugs / Alcohol
- Truck Driver Fatigue
- Truck Tire Blowouts / Tread Burn
- Poor Truck Maintenance
- Speeding Trucks
- Aggressive Driving
- Overloaded Trucks or Trailers
- Inadequate Reflective Tape
- Improperly Loaded Trucks / Loads that Shift Weight
- Faulty Brakes
- Federal Truck Loading Laws
- Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer Statistics
- Wieand Law Firm Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident and need a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer, the Wieand Law Firm can help. We can help determine the factual cause of trucking accidents based on a thorough examination of the evidence and witness interviews. To prove your case we work with trucking experts who will sort through all the details of the crash and uncover any violations and negligence on the part of the truck driver and trucking company.
Causes of Commercial Trucking Crashes
DUI / Drugs / Alcohol
Its common knowledge that driving while impaired due to alcohol and drugs can alter perception, cognitive behavior, coordination, and attention that is needed for safe driving. A semi or large commercial truck speeding down a road with an impaired truck driver behind the wheel is a frightening accident waiting to happen. If a commercial truck driver injures or kills a person while they have alcohol or drugs in their system, a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can help you seek punitive damages for the gross negligence and recklessness.
Truck Driver Fatigue
According to the Department, truck driver fatigue is a leading factor in the roughly 4,000 fatal large truck accidents that occur each year. Driver fatigue can be caused by any number of reasons, including lack of sleep, driving too many hours without adequate time off, driving too many consecutive hours, and pressure to deliver loads.
In response to the epidemic of truck drivers working while tired and fatigued, in December of 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a new rule to stop fatigued driving. The rule was generally comprised of two new requirements. One, drivers must take a 30-minute rest break within the first 8 hours of their shift so they can stay alert on the road; and drivers are required “restart” once every seven days.
Under the 34-hour restart rule, a driver is required to have at least two periods of rest between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. The purpose of these changes was to reduce the average maximum week a driver could work from 82 hours to 70 hours. A truck accident lawyer in Philadelphia can investigate whether a truck crashed because the driver was overworked and fatigued.
Truck Tire Blowouts / Tread Burn
A truck accident lawyer can help you determine if an accident was caused by worn or defective tires. Tire blowouts are a common cause of truck accidents. Many times tire failure on a semi, big rig, or 18-wheeler truck results from the trucker driver’s negligent failure to do a careful inspection and make needed repairs. A truck’s tires are a critical part of its equipment. Before a truck driver starts a job, whether it will be a long-distance haul or a short trip, the tires should be inspected. Some of the most common tire issues experienced by truck drivers include burnt treads (tread burn), tread separation, tire blowouts, under-inflated tires, bent rims, and overheated tires.
Poor Truck Maintenance
Truck accidents caused by inadequate truck maintenance are usually preventable. It is the responsibility of commercial truck drivers and trucking businesses to ensure that their commercial trucks. All commercial truck drivers must follow the regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations mandate that trucks must undergo a series of inspections to ensure vehicle safety before a driver starts a job. It is negligent for trucking carriers that knowingly fail to maintain their vehicles properly.
When a huge truck is barreling down the road at a high speed it is a terrifying accident waiting to happen as large trucks cannot turn or stop as quickly as smaller vehicles on the road. The US Department of Labor data shows that large trucks exceeding the speed limit was a factor in 22 percent of the fatal crashes. A trucking accident attorney can help you hold reckless drivers accountable for their actions
Aggressive driving has become a serious problem on highways and Philadelphia roads. Contact a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer immediately if you were injured by an aggressive driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” This includes driving behaviors such as following too closely, unsafe lane changes, and speeding which can be hazardous to truck drivers and other vehicles using the road.
Overloaded Trucks or Trailers
A truck has a maximum design weight which is known as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The GVWR rating can never be more than the combined ratings of all of the truck’s axles, usually, the GVWR is less. A number of factors, including allowances for various load placements, frame rating, powertrain rating, suspension component ratings, and the foundation brake rating, can impact the GVWR of a truck. If a truck is overloaded with cargo it may cause danger for other vehicles on the road as the items could fall off the truck.
Inadequate Reflective Tape
Improperly Loaded Trucks / Loads that Shift Weight
An overloaded or improperly loaded truck can cause a catastrophic accident on the road. Overloaded trucks, or trucks that are not loaded according to federal regulations, can cause a serious semi-truck accident in a number of ways. For example, the load could add extra weight to an already oversized truck causing top-heaviness and increasing the risk of jackknifing or overturning around curves. The cargo in overloaded or improperly loaded trucks is more likely to shift while in motion. When trucks are improperly loaded, cargo is more likely to fall off, leaving debris to rest in the roadway, or even falling directly onto another vehicle.
This is rare, as trucks have two separate braking systems, but it does occasionally occur because of improper maintenance, installation, or overuse of the brakes. In addition, if the truck is not properly loaded, additional pressure is put on the braking system. An air brake malfunction may occur when a driver applies too much pressure to the brakes when traveling downhill.
Underride can be the most devastating type of truck accident and is the cause of the most fatalities. Underride occurs when a smaller automobile collides with a truck and, due to the difference in height, continues under the truck as the top of the car is sheared off. Underride may cause decapitation of passenger vehicles and sometimes extreme head trauma.
Philadelphia Truck Accident Law Infographic
Federal Truck Loading Laws
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented a number of specific truck loading laws that must be followed by all Philadelphia, Pennsylvania truck drivers and trucking companies. The purpose of these federal trucking regulations is to reduce the number of truck accidents that are caused by shifting cargo or falling debris from commercial vehicles operating in interstate commerce. These regulations include:
- Cargo that is likely to roll must be restrained by wedges, chocks, or cradles
- Cargo must be firmly secured on or within a vehicle by structures equipped to hold it, including dunnage or dunnage bags; tie-downs; and shoring bars
- Specific minimum requirements for truck tiedown restraints
- Commodity-specific Securement Requirements (such as logs, heavy vehicles, metal coils, concrete pipe, and automobiles)
- Special Purpose Vehicle requirements (vehicles carrying items such as heavy machinery, crane booms, steel or concrete beams, and other objects that require special restraining systems)
If an accident occurs because a truck driver violates loading regulations it can be held liable for damages that ensue. For a free and confidential consultation, call a truck accident lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm at (215) 666-7777.
The Wieand Law Firm practices throughout all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We are proud to serve clients in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and represent clients throughout PA and NJ.
A Philadelphia truck accident lawyer at Wieand Law Firm can help if you were injured in a commercial trucking accident in Pennsylvania. For motorists on highways and interstates, the proliferation of large commercial trucks has made driving even more dangerous. In fact, about one out of 10 highway deaths occur in a crash involving a large truck.
The difference between a truck’s size and the size of most typical passenger vehicles causes accidents between the two vehicle types extremely hazardous. The typical truck can outweigh a passenger vehicle by 20-30 times the passenger vehicle’s weight. Additionally, the smaller vehicle can become lodged underneath the large truck due to the significant difference in vehicle heights. These differences often lead to significant injury or death of individuals in the passenger vehicle. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident that resulted in serious injury or death, you should consult with a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer.
Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a Large Truck Causation Study to identify the critical events and associated factors that contribute to serious large truck crashes. A Philadelphia truck accident lawyer will investigate the circumstances and causes surrounding your accident to prove your case in court.
Driver fatigue is a serious concern that frequently precipitates truck accidents. In 2005, one-fifth of truck drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel within the past 30 days. The federal government has enacted laws to limit the number of hours and the frequency of rest breaks for truck drivers; however, compliance remains a challenge. Drivers report unrealistic delivery schedules, longer wait times to drop off or pick up loads, difficulty finding a legal place to stop or rest, and driving a refrigerated trailer to heighten their likelihood of non-compliance with mandated hours of services rules.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that 13% of fleet drivers involved in truck accidents were fatigued at the time of their crash. Philadelphia truck accident lawyer Brent Wieand, founder of the Wieand Law Firm, LLC, can help you hold the driver and trucking company responsible for injuries or death resulting from driver non-compliance with hours of services rules that were improperly supervised by the trucking company.
Mechanical failure of the truck’s systems or equipment is a leading cause of accidents. Equipment failure may include problems with the trucks:
- Braking system
- Tire blowouts due to low pressure or defective tires
- Transmission failure
- Steering failure
- Window wiper failure
Determining who is responsible for equipment failure is done by a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer who is well-versed in these types of accidents. The manufacturer might be responsible for a faulty piece of equipment, even one that didn’t show signs of failure prior to the accident, that contributed to or caused the accident. Additionally, the trucking company or driver may be negligent in maintaining the vehicle, which caused the equipment failure to occur.
Because of the expert knowledge set required, it’s important to seek out a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer who can review your individual situation and determine who is at fault and seek fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and suffering. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC will take the time to listen and provide that skilled advice you need to take action.
To speak with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC call us today at 215-666-7777 to receive a free, no-obligation consultation.
Wieand Law Firm Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer
230 S Broad St. Suite 602 Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Hire an Experienced Philadelphia Trucking Accident Attorney
Proving truck driver negligence is no easy task for someone without intimate knowledge of trucking regulations. A Philadelphia truck accident lawyer at Wieand Law Firm has the legal knowledge and experience to win tough trucking accident cases. We know the tricks insurance companies use to try and settle with truck accident victims for drastically less money than they deserve. We won’t stop fighting until you are fully compensated for the harm caused.
If you’re involved in a truck accident in Philadelphia, never negotiate with an insurance company, trucking company or truck owner before speaking to an experienced truck accident lawyer. The Wieand Law Firm can help you evaluate the value of your case and get you maximum compensation for your injuries. We work hard to hold the parties at fault accountable for the injuries and harm caused by their negligent or reckless driving.
Call the Wieand Law Firm at (215) 666-7777 for a completely free and confidential legal consultation. We know the laws that trucking companies need to follow and can quickly determine if the driver or trucking company violated federal or state regulations.
Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice.