Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorneys
Over $2 Billion Awarded for Our Clients, Including Those Injured in Big-Rig & Tractor-Trailer Accidents
When large commercial trucks and trailers collide with smaller passenger vehicles, the disproportionate weight and size of the vehicles often result in serious injury or death to those involved. The Department of Transportation estimates that about 500,000 truck accidents occur every year in the United States, causing over 4,000 deaths in 2017.
Since 1958, The Beasley Firm has fought to ensure that the victims of commercial trucking negligence receive full and fair compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial injuries they suffer. We recently obtained a $3.5 million settlement for the estate of a young woman killed in Pennsylvania by a tractor-trailer. We also obtained a $1.6 million settlement for the estate of a man killed almost instantly in New Jersey by a dump truck rear-ending his vehicle. Our team is reliable, dedicated, and compassionate. We prepare every case for trial and we do what it takes to win.
Call (215) 866-2424 to speak with a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer from our team today.
Our Truck Accident Firm Can Find the Cause of the Crash
The Philadelphia truck accident lawyers at The Beasley Firm have experience in every aspect of commercial truck accident investigation and litigation, such as:
- Performing expert accident reconstructions
- Preserving "black box" data
- Working with police, state highway, and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators to ensure no stone is left unturned in the civil and criminal investigations
- Determining when a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) occurred
- Using forensic data to prove violations of the hours-of-service regulations, even in cases where the truck driver has falsified their logbook
Some of the leading causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver fatigue - Truck driver fatigue is the number one safety problem in the trucking industry today. It is a factor in 40% of all trucking crashes nationwide. Profit-driven trucking companies have made the problem worse, resulting in the injuries and deaths of thousands of Americans every year. Truck drivers are only allowed to drive their vehicles for a set number of hours. It is common for truck drivers to experience greater symptoms of fatigue while driving overnight. At The Beasley Firm, our investigations and accident reconstructions have clearly revealed that many truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue. We can fight to provide the true cause of an accident, even in cases where the driver has forged his / her logbooks.
- Trucker sleep apnea - Sleep apnea is another cause of injuries and death indicated in many truck crashes. Research reveals a strong link between overweight truck drivers and sleep apnea. Statistics indicate that the truck crashes caused by sleep apnea kill more than 5,200 people and injured more than 100,000 individuals every year in the United States.
- Tire blowouts - A blown tire can cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, which may result in the truck veering suddenly into other lanes of traffic. An out of control big rig can cause massive devastation, especially on a crowded freeway. These accidents are largely preventable, since tire manufacturers agree that most blowouts are the result of inadequate maintenance.
- Unsecured truckload - Our experienced truck accident lawyers at The Beasley Firm have handled many cases involving unsecured truckloads that fall into the road and endanger other drivers. In one of our cases, a steel coil weighing approximately 8,000 pounds rolled off a flatbed truck traveling at a high rate of speed. This caused more than $200,000 worth of damage to the interstate highway before it rolled into the pathway of another vehicle and killed a woman.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Determining liability in a truck accident requires speed, experience, and determination. At The Beasley Firm, we will work tirelessly to identify which parties can be held responsible for your injuries and how much you can pursue in damages.
- Driver. A driver can be held liable if they are speeding, tailgating, texting, under the influence or failing to follow local traffic laws. Fault also depends on whether the driver is an employee or an independent contractor.
- Trucking company. If the owner of the truck trailer acted negligently, they may be held responsible. Many times companies place unrealistic expectations on drivers, which forces them to ignore federal rules and regulations. An overworked driver is more likely to cause an accident than one who gets the recommended 7 hours of sleep.
- Person who leased the truck. If someone is leasing the truck, they can be held liable in place of the owner.
- Third-party maintenance and repair company. If the trucking company hires a third-party to maintain their trucks, they may be at fault if they are negligent during their inspections.
- Manufacturer. A poorly designed tire that explodes in the middle of a highway and causes an accident may be the fault of the manufacturer.
- Cargo shipper/loader. Improperly loaded and overloaded cargo can make it harder for a driver to properly control their truck. Whoever was in charge of loading or shipping the cargo may be held liable.
Contact our Philadelphia truck accident attorneys today for a free consultation.
Regulations in the Trucking Industry
In an attempt to prevent serious crashes involving large commercial trucks, tractor-trailers, big rigs, and semi-trucks, there are various regulations set forth by the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These are designed to keep the safety of the truck driver and all others on the road in mind. Two of the most important regulations involve the maximum weight of the truck and the way the trailer is loaded, as well as the Hours of Service regulations. When drivers violate these regulations, they leave themselves and others susceptible to serious crashes.
However, it’s important to know what these regulations mean, who can violate them, and how they can cause a collision:
- Weight Restrictions - Commercial trucks are large in and of themselves. When they are carrying extensive amounts of cargo, they can reach massive weights. It’s important to know, though, that these trucks and trailers should not exceed a combined 80,000 pounds. When they are overloaded, they can cause problems with other parts of the truck, as well as make it difficult to control or stop the truck. When too much weight is in the trailer, stopping becomes more difficult and it can result in brake failure or some other part on the truck breaking, including the hitch. Overloaded trucks are also responsible for numerous jackknifes.
- Proper Cargo Loading - It is also possible to improperly load a trailer by making one side heavier than the other. This becomes especially dangerous when the truck has to make certain turns in which the heavier side of the trailer is making the bend. The heavier cargo could cause the trailer to turn over, landing it on its side and putting anyone nearby at risk of injury, as well as the truck driver. It is the responsibility of the trucking company owner, the driver, and the cargo loader to make sure the trailer is properly loaded. In some cases, the cargo might be purposely overloaded in order to deliver more products. This is dangerous to do.
- Hours of Service - Depending on the type of truck being driven, the driver is only allowed to operate the vehicle for a certain number of hours before they must take a break. For instance, if they are transporting cargo, they may only drive a maximum of 11 hours after they have been off duty for 10 consecutive hours. By implementing these Hours of Service regulations, it prevents the truck driver from driving while fatigued, which increases the risk of a crash. However, often due to tight deadlines and trucking companies wanting to deliver beyond expectations, drivers may be encouraged to violate these regulations while also altering their driver’s logs in order to reflect the time.
We Fight Your Battles So You Receive Justice. Call The Beasley Firm.
The Philadelphia commercial truck accident lawyers at The Beasley Firm have successfully represented the victims of accidents caused by trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, delivery trucks, and common carriers in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. for over five decades and have been awarded more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements during that time.
An accident involving a commercial truck is much more complicated to deal with than a wreck between two cars. Instead of simply trading information with another driver you must collect an assortment of documents because truck accidents can involve a number of guilty parties.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, please contact our team through our online form, or call us at (215) 866-2424. We offer free consultations.