Truck Accident Lawyers in Pittsburgh
Truck Accident Lawyers in Pittsburgh
603 Stanwix St., Suite 1825
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
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Truck Accident Lawyers in Pittsburgh
Each year, close to 5,000 people die on US roads across the country due to large truck accidents, according to the National Safety Council. Unfortunately, closer home in Pittsburgh, truck accident cases are not uncommon. In 2022 alone, multiple crashes have occurred in different locations across the city and beyond.
The saddest thing about truck accidents is that the survival rate is usually too low, especially for passengers in smaller vehicles. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 82% of truck accident fatalities in 2019 were not the occupants of the large truck. Even more disturbing is that Pennsylvania ranked among the top 10 states with fatal truck accidents in 2019.
On a more positive note, you may be eligible for compensation if you or your loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Fill out our free case evaluation form to learn more.
Morgan & Morgan
What Are Some Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Pittsburgh?
Some common causes of truck accidents in Pittsburgh include:
Trucks carry goods and raw materials over long distances, leading to driver fatigue. Although federal and state regulations limit the number of hours truck drivers can drive these machines consecutively, some companies do not play by the rules.
Federal regulations require truck drivers to drive no more than 14 hours. In addition, at the end of the 14-hour driving period, such drivers must rest for no less than 10 consecutive hours. Failure to observe these rules could lead to driver fatigue and tragic loss of lives.
Like any other machine, trucks develop mechanical problems every now and then. Some of these problems may not be avoidable, while others can be prevented through routine maintenance. For instance, the problem of brake failure, which is usually quite common in these scenarios, is often caused by poor maintenance.
Distracted driving can also lead to serious accidents, severe injuries, and even death. This is because trucks occupy huge portions of the road, making it difficult to spot smaller vehicles. It is even more difficult to spot smaller vehicles or pedestrians if the truck driver is distracted.
The use of mobile phones and other gadgets, such as dispatching systems, is usually the leading cause of distracted driving among truck drivers.
Because truck drivers must follow strict schedules and tight deadlines, some tend to speed to meet these goals. But the results are often catastrophic. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that speeding contributed to 29% of car accident deaths on US roads in 2020 alone, equivalent to 11,258 fatalities.
Truck drivers must undergo extensive training and earn the required certifications before being legally permitted to drive. This is because their conduct on the road is usually the difference between life and death. But despite knowing this, some trucking companies do not impose these strict requirements when hiring truck drivers, putting people's lives at risk.
It is also important to note that some truck accidents occur due to the other driver's fault. Other accidents happen due to a pedestrian's failure to observe traffic laws, such as ignoring traffic signals, crossing the road at the wrong places, not paying attention to traffic, etc.
What Are Some Common Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents in Pittsburgh?
Some common injuries caused by truck accidents in Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania include:
Many truck accident survivors struggle with back problems for years after the accident. Others require ongoing treatment to help manage the pain.
Trucks carry different kinds of dangerous materials, increasing the risk of burn injuries when some materials burst into flames during an accident.
Most individuals who suffer head injuries during truck accidents are never the same, even after several expensive medical procedures. For instance, traumatic brain injury can lead to permanent or temporary brain damage. Some common symptoms of TBI include memory loss, problems with posture and balance, concussions, and constant headaches.
Very few people survive truck accidents without broken bones. As a result, survivors may need expensive surgery and supportive equipment such as wheelchairs, wavers, Hoyer lifts, etc.
Individuals who suffer spinal injuries after truck accidents may face the risk of partial or permanent paralysis. In most cases, spinal cord injuries can lead to monoplegia, hemiplegia, paraplegia, or quadriplegia.
Who Is Responsible for Compensation After a Truck Accident in Pittsburgh?
The issue of liability and compensation will always pop up after a truck accident. It is up to you, the victim, to identify the party that owes you compensation for the accident. Because these accidents usually involve huge amounts of money as compensation for various damages, you should not expect the at-fault party to willfully accept responsibility.
That said, the nature of the accident can help determine liability. Specifically, a skilled truck accident attorney will consider the exact cause of the accident when determining liability.
Suppose the accident occurred due to brake failure. In that case, the attorney will want answers to the following questions:
- Did the truck go through the required maintenance and inspections before departing for the intended destination?
- Did the part manufacturer sell a faulty part to the trucking company?
- Did the part have a defective design?
- Did the trucking company know or should have known that the truck was at risk of causing such an accident?
- The same applies if the accident occurred due to poor road conditions. In that case, the attorney will want to know whether there were visible signs along the road warning the driver of the poor conditions. And, if the road was in good condition, was something wrong with its design?
The bottom line is that there is no formula for determining the party responsible for compensation after an accident of such magnitude. In fact, it is not uncommon to discover that more than one party might have been responsible for the truck accident. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult an experienced attorney to learn more about your options regarding liability after such an accident.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident in Pittsburgh?
Understandably, getting injured in a truck accident can be a traumatizing experience. However, do not let this fear cloud your judgment; you may regret certain decisions in the future.
Here is what to do if injured in a truck accident in this city or elsewhere in the state.
- Call 911 immediately and request an ambulance.
- When you call 911, request a police officer at the accident scene
- Gather the truck driver's information, such as name, phone number, driver's license number, insurance provider, name of trucking company they work for, their address and phone number, etc
- Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, showing the injuries and damages if possible
- Do not accept responsibility for the accident even if you feel you are partly responsible
- Call your insurance provider and inform them about the accident but do not discuss it in detail
- Avoid discussing the accident with anyone other than an experienced truck accident lawyer
- Call Morgan and Morgan truck accident lawyers in Pittsburgh for a free, no-obligation case evaluation
Do I Still Need to Call the Police if the Other Driver Agrees to Cooperate After a Truck Accident?
Yes, you should. When you get injured in a truck accident, your words alone may not be enough to help secure the compensation you need and deserve. The other party's insurer will not compensate you for the accident, even if you appear visibly injured. For this reason, having a police report improves your chances of winning such a claim or lawsuit because insurance companies are more likely to believe a police officer than a claimant.
When the officer arrives at the accident scene, they will collect the following information:
- Identity and contact information of all parties involved
- Description of the accident scene, together with evidence such as photos
- Insurance information of the parties involved
- The party responsible for the accident
In addition, the police officer can also provide you with an official police report or assist you in obtaining one. This report could come in handy in the future.
Should I See a Doctor Even if I Am Not Seriously Injured After the Truck Accident?
Yes, you should see a doctor even if you did not suffer serious injuries or feel any pain or discomfort. The doctor will conduct several tests to determine whether you suffered internal injuries or other injuries you may not be aware of.
Keep in mind that the first few hours after a truck accident, your body will likely be in shock, making it difficult to process pain.
Your body's failure to process pain does not mean you are not injured. Instead, it is a more significant reason to be concerned. This is because certain injuries, such as internal injuries, can damage some of your organs and lead to permanent injuries or even death.
Should I Accept the Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company?
It can be tempting to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company after such an accident. Chances are, you may have huge bills to settle and no means of earning a living. You might have exhausted your savings and employment benefits or even sunk into debt.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is always advisable to hang on there a little longer and contact an experienced truck accident lawyer. The attorney will review the unique circumstances of your case and help determine the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. As a result, you may be shocked to discover that the insurance company's initial offer is not close to what you deserve.
What Should I Do if I Lost a Loved One in a Truck Accident?
Losing a loved one in a truck accident can cause you immeasurable pain. There is no doubt about that. Nothing is as painful as knowing that the person or people you loved so much will no longer be physically present when you need them the most.
That said, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim if you lose a loved one due to a truck accident. This claim allows eligible members to collect death benefits to cater to funeral expenses, and medical bills, among other costs associated with the accidental death of a loved one.
How Can Morgan and Morgan Truck Accident Lawyers Help?
Morgan and Morgan truck accident lawyers understand how difficult it is to deal with injuries caused by truck accidents while pursuing a claim simultaneously. For this reason, our attorneys come in handy during these difficult times to fight for your rights.
Remember, the other party will not agree to compensate you just because you were injured. On the contrary, they could try to blame you or your beloved for the accident.
At Morgan and Morgan, we know the different tactics insurance companies use to avoid liability for such accidents. As a result, you can count on us to confront them with hard evidence to prove your eligibility for compensation.
As the largest personal injury law firm in the United States, we have powerful legal resources to build a strong case for you. We know what evidence best suits your case and how to obtain it. We also know how to maximize such claims, ensuring our clients receive the compensation they need and deserve.
Have you or your loved one been injured in a truck accident? Our truck accident lawyers in Pittsburgh are on standby, ready to listen to your side of the story and offer the best possible legal advice. Fill out our free case evaluation form to get started.