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Pennsylvania Truck Accident Lawyers

While any accident can be very serious, Pennsylvania truck accidents are among the most likely to result in severe injury or death. Large commercial trucks, including semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and dump trucks, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo. These enormous vehicles are capable of causing unimaginable carnage, especially when an accident involves smaller passenger cars.

After a truck accident, you may wonder how to go about recovering financial compensation for your injuries. At the law firm of Console & Associates, we can help. For two decades, our dedicated team of Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys has been skillfully handling claims on behalf of accident victims and their families.

We understand that the recovery process is challenging, even for the strongest of people, and we make it our goal to cater our representation according to the individual needs of each client. Starting from the moment you bring us on to handle your case, you will feel a heavy burden lifted off your shoulders, knowing that you are in capable hands. Console & Associates is a nationally known personal injury law firm with a reputation for excellence.

Truck Accident Statistics

Truck accidents are among the leading causes of traffic-related fatalities in Pennsylvania and across the country. According to the most recent statistics compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2018, there were nearly 5,100 fatal truck accidents in the United States. This figure represents a one percent increase from the year before, and a 45 percent increase from 2009 through 2018.

In addition, there were over 151,000 people injured in 112,000 accidents involving large trucks. This represents an increase of eight percent from the number of accidents in 2016.

Given the size of the trucks involved in these accidents, it is no surprise that the majority of those injured or killed in truck accidents are passengers of other vehicles.

  • Just 16 percent of fatal truck accident victims were truck drivers.
  • 67 percent of the fatalities were the occupants of other cars and passenger vehicles
  • 15 percent of the fatalities involved pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.

Pennsylvania is a large state that sees a significant amount of truck traffic due to its location along the Eastern Seaboard. As a result, truck accidents occur in Pennsylvania with startling frequency.

Fortunately, the number of fatal truck accidents trended downward in recent years. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration keeps track of the number of fatal Pennsylvania truck accidents. Over the most recent few years, the data shows:

  • Pennsylvania Trucking Accident Lawyer2019 – 128 truck-related fatalities
  • 2018 – 136 truck-related fatalities
  • 2017 – 155 truck-related fatalities
  • 2016 – 162 truck-related fatalities
  • 2015 – 149 truck-related fatalities

In 2018, the most recent year for which detailed statistics are available, the following counties reported the highest numbers of fatal truck accidents:

  • York County – 13 fatalities
  • Dauphin County – 9 fatalities
  • Lancaster County – 8 fatalities
  • Montgomery County – 7 fatalities
  • Allegheny County – 7 fatalities
  • Berks County – 6 fatalities
  • Chester County – 5 fatalities
  • Somerset County – 5 fatalities
  • Philadelphia County – 4 fatalities
  • Lehigh County – 4 fatalities
  • Northampton County – 4 fatalities

Recovering Damages for a Pennsylvania Semi-Truck Accident

In the wake of a Pennsylvania truck accident, those injured in the collision can pursue a claim for compensation against the parties responsible for causing the accident by filing a personal injury lawsuit. To succeed in bringing a claim, an accident victim must be able to establish the four elements of a negligence claim:

  • The truck driver owed the accident victim a duty of care;
  • The truck driver breached, or violated, that duty of care;
  • The truck driver’s breach of the duty resulted in the accident; and
  • The accident victim suffered damages as a result of the accident.

All motorists owe others on the road a duty of care to drive in a safe and responsible manner. And in truck accidents, in particular, accident victims very frequently suffer physical or emotional injury. Thus, in the majority of truck accident cases, the first and fourth elements of the negligence analysis go uncontested.

However, truck drivers, their employers, and insurance companies frequently contest the remaining elements. Thus, accident victims must be prepared to prove that a truck driver breached a duty they owed to another motorist, and they must be able to show that this breach resulted in the accident victim’s injuries. An experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can prove an invaluable resource to accident victims, in no small by establishing the truck driver’s liability.

Available Damages in Truck Accident Claims

Truck accidents involve massive vehicles that weigh tens of thousands of pounds. Because truck drivers spend most of their time on the highway, these accidents often occur at high speeds. Needless to say, Pennsylvania truck accidents frequently result in serious injuries and even death.

If an accident victim can establish that a truck driver was legally responsible for their injuries, they will be entitled to monetary damages for the injuries they sustained, as well as the impact the accident had on their life. Pennsylvania law provides for three types of damages in truck accident cases:

Special Damages

Also referred to as economic damages, special damages compensate an accident victim for the economic costs associated with the accident. The following are a few types of special damages that are available in a Pennsylvania truck accident case:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Decrease in earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Necessary modifications to an accident victim’s home to accommodate their newfound disability

General Damages

General damages, or non-economic damages, compensate an accident victim for the impact an accident had on their life. Due to their non-economic nature, these damages cannot be readily determined by presenting receipts or forecasting future costs. Instead, an experienced personal injury attorney will illustrate the toll that the accident took on the victim’s life by explaining what their life was like before the accident and what limitations they now must deal with due to the accident.

General damages may include compensation for any of the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Embarrassment and humiliation
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life
  • Loss of important relationships
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

Punitive Damages

While courts award general and special damages to compensate victims for their injuries, punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for the conduct that caused the accident. Punitive damages are not available in every case, as they require a plaintiff to prove that the defendant acted willfully or maliciously, or that they acted so carelessly that it displayed a “wanton disregard” for the safety of others. When appropriate, punitive damages awards tend to be substantial.

By working with a dedicated Pennsylvania truck accident lawyer, accident victims can be sure that they are pursuing the full extent of the damages they are entitled to receive.

Can a Negligent Truck Driver’s Employer Be Liable for an Accident Victim’s Injuries?

One of the most critical issues in a truck accident case is determining which parties to name as defendants in the case. Of course, the truck driver responsible for causing the accident is the most obvious choice. However, the truck driver’s employer may also be liable for a negligent driver’s actions.

Pennsylvania follows a doctrine of law called vicarious liability. Vicarious liability allows an accident victim to hold a third party liable for another’s actions – even if the third party was not negligent. In the context of a Pennsylvania semi-truck accident, an employee-employer relationship can give rise to a trucking company being held vicariously liable for a truck driver’s negligence.

To establish vicarious liability against a trucking company, an accident victim must be able to show that the truck driver was acting within the “course and scope” of their employment at the time of the accident. Generally, this requires an accident victim to prove that the truck driver was engaging in the type of activity they were hired to perform and serving their employer’s interest when the crash occurred.

Establishing an employer’s liability can be crucial to ensuring an accident victim obtains full and fair compensation for their injuries. This is because, often, truck accidents cause tremendous damage and severe injuries. Frequently, the damages an accident victim sustains in an accident exceed the amount of insurance coverage available under the truck driver’s policy. If an accident victim can successfully hold a trucking company vicariously liable for the truck driver’s negligence, they can tap into the trucking company’s insurance coverage, as well. This can significantly increase the potential amount of compensation an accident victim receives.

What to Do After a Pennsylvania Truck Accident

Those who have been in a Pennsylvania truck accident know that the moments after the accident are a blur. Of course, the first thing an accident victim should do is to make sure they are safe. However, once safely out of the way of traffic, accident victims should be sure to take the following steps to address their physical injuries and help prepare for the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.

  1. Stop and report the accident – As soon as possible, accident victims should call to report the accident. One or more witnesses will often report the accident; however, an accident victim should not wait for someone else to call the police. Reporting an accident can be crucial to the success of a truck accident claim. The police report will prove that the accident occurred and may also trigger an official investigation.
  2. Obtain medical treatment – Often, after a truck accident, a motorist’s injuries will be immediately apparent. However, that will not always be the case. In the case of injuries to the back, spine, neck, and head, it may take hours, days, or weeks for the physical symptoms to appear. Seeking immediate medical treatment is critical not only to an accident victim’s health but also to any subsequent personal injury claim. Ambulance transportation logs and medical records can help establish the seriousness of an accident victim’s injuries and prove that the accident was the cause of their injuries.
  3. Exchange information – By law, motorists must share pertinent information after a serious accident. Aside from collecting information from the other parties involved in the accident, it is also essential for accident victims to obtain the names and contact information of any people who witnessed the accident. Having unbiased third-party witnesses can help prove what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.
  4. Document the accident – To the extent possible, Pennsylvania truck accident victims should document the scene of the accident. Most importantly, this includes taking pictures of all the vehicles involved in the accident, as well as their locations relative to one another. Traffic signs, debris on the roadway, and fixed objects damaged in the accident (for example, utility poles, traffic barriers, or buildings) should also be photographed.
  5. Speak carefully – After a truck accident, the insurance adjuster will reach out to the injured parties. If an accident victim is represented by an attorney, the attorney will explain what an accident victim should (and should not) say. However, unrepresented accident victims should be cautious, as the insurance company can use anything an accident victim says against them.

Working with a dedicated Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can significantly ease the burdens that accident victims face when pursuing a claim for compensation.

How an Experienced Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Truck Accident Victims

No two accidents are the same. Not only is every accident victim unique, but accidents affect peoples’ lives in different ways. Additionally, some Pennsylvania truck accident cases may present unique legal issues, requiring a skilled attorney who can tackle the unexpected.

When you choose Console and Associates P.C. to handle your truck crash claim, you’ll get the answers you’ve been looking for – and so much more. We have extensive hands-on experience with truck accidents and know how difficult life can be following a major PA truck accident. We will go above and beyond to make things easier for you.

Below are a few of the ways that we can help you through the recovery process:

  • We help you understand your rights and the legal process, so you know what to expect throughout your claim.
  • We will take over interacting with the trucking company and its insurer, including phone calls and paperwork.
  • We will prepare a property damage claim, so you can get your car fixed or replaced as quickly as possible.
  • We will gather, organize, and keep a copy of all your medical records. We will also make sure that all medical bills are paid, so you don’t have to worry about the collections agency calling you or sending you letters.
  • We will make sure that you are getting the necessary medical treatment.
  • We will investigate the truck accident so we can prove that the commercial truck driver or business owner was at fault – and that you deserve full compensation.
  • We will put our extensive knowledge of the insurance industry to use by making sure you never fall prey to the sneaky tactics used to deny or reduce the value of your claim.
  • We will build a case as strong as possible so we can successfully negotiate the settlement you deserve.
  • We will fight for you in court, if that’s what it takes to win you maximum compensation.
  • We will finalize your claim, which in some situations may include negotiating down your outstanding medical bills, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.

How Much Is Your PA Truck Accident Case Worth?

Every truck accident is different, and each case must be evaluated based on the specific circumstances leading up to the accident, as well as the extent of the victim’s injuries. At Console & Associates, we have successfully handled many truck accident cases, recovering significant compensation on our clients’ behalf.

A few of our recent results include:

  • $750,000 for a commercial truck driver who suffered permanent neck and wrist injuries when a tractor-trailer struck his vehicle.
  • $450,000 for a pedestrian who lost a toe when a commercial truck blew through a red light and ran over his foot.
  • $427,000 for a motorist who suffered numerous neck and back injuries when an out-of-control delivery truck turned directly into his path and struck his car.
  • $350,000 for a little girl who suffered permanent and disfiguring scars when a water delivery truck hit the car she was riding in head-on, catapulting a dislodged headlight through the windshield and directly into her face.
  • $275,000 for a driver who sustained a concussion and severe damage to her spinal discs when a flatbed Mack truck towing a paving machine veered suddenly into her path and struck her.
  • $215,000 for a passenger who suffered lifelong spine injuries when a tractor-trailer making a wide turn hit the vehicle he was riding in.
  • $125,000 for a driver who sustained herniated spinal discs when a commercial truck rear-ended the car.
  • $115,000 for a passenger who suffered spine and facial injuries when in a collision with a large cargo truck.

We approach each case with a fresh set of eyes, focusing on what our client tells us is important to them. While we have extensive knowledge of the law pertaining to these accidents, only you know the most important issues for your family.

At Console & Associates, we promise to listen to you when you tell us what is important to you and to cater our representation accordingly.

Reach Out to a Dedicated Pennsylvania Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer for Immediate Assistance with Your Case

If you have been injured in a trucking accident, contact the dedicated injury advocates at Console & Associates. For more than 25 years, Attorney Richard P. Console, Jr., has provided accident victims with effective, aggressive representation in all types of truck accident claims. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, call 866-778-5500 today.

Client Testimonial

Rick is an exceptional advocate for his clients. He is extremely talented in navigating legal matters and shows an empathy to his clients that is hard to find. Rick is a good guy and I highly recommend him.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Chris K.
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