Conshohocken Truck Accident Lawyers
From its past as a mill town and industrial center to its present as a thriving commercial and residential community, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, has been no stranger to commercial transit. Today, much of that traffic passes through Conshohocken in the form of large trucks.
Although Conshocken’s resident population is only about 10,000 people, thousands more visit the Conshohocken area or pass through it each day. Many of these visitors are truck drivers responsible for picking up or dropping off loads of materials, freight, and consumer goods. Trucks also pass through the Conshohocken area on their way to Philadelphia and other major New England cities. Thousands of residents, workers, and visitors share Conshohocken’s roads with these large trucks.
The number of deaths and serious injuries in truck crashes has increased in the past decade, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If you’ve been injured in a truck crash, don’t wait: Talk to an experienced Conshohocken truck accident lawyer at MyPhillyLawyer today.
Pennsylvania Truck Accident Statistics
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently released its report compiling 2021 statistics for roadway crashes in the state. The report offered sobering news: 2021 saw more truck crashes than the previous two years.
In 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recorded 7,244 crashes involving heavy trucks on Pennsylvania roadways – higher than the 2020 total of 6,344 crashes and nearly as high as the five-year record of 7,336 accidents set in 2018.
2021 was also an unusually deadly year for truck crashes in Pennsylvania. In total, 144 lives were lost in these accidents in 2021, compared to 100 deaths in 2020. In the previous five years, only 2017 saw more deaths, with 145 total.
Although many drivers think truck crashes are most common on interstate freeways, Pennsylvania’s truck accident statistics tell a different story. In 2021, just over one-quarter (26.8 percent) of all truck crashes occurred on interstate freeways. Over half of the total (55.5 percent) happened on state highways.
Crashes involving trucks carrying hazardous materials were also more likely on state highways (62.3 percent) than on interstate freeways (25.2 percent). These crashes were more likely to be fatal on state highways (78.6 percent) than on freeways (21.4 percent) as well.
About 10 percent of Pennsylvania truck crashes in 2021 took place on local roads and streets, while about 7 percent occurred on Pennsylvania’s turnpikes.
Interstate freeways may not be the most common location for truck crashes, but crashes that occur on freeways tend to be deadlier. Although only 26.8 percent of all truck crashes in 2021 happened on the freeway, 33.3 percent of total truck occupant deaths happened in freeway crashes.
Common Pennsylvania Truck Accident Causes and Injuries
Truck crashes can be caused by any number of factors. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver negligence, inattention, or recklessness. Truck drivers have a responsibility to use due care to prevent harm to others on the road. This due care includes paying attention to the road, keeping their vehicle under control, and taking necessary steps to minimize or avoid the risk of a crash. When a driver fails to use due care, devastating consequences can result.
- Failures of vehicle parts or equipment. Truck drivers, trucking companies, equipment manufacturers, and truck maintenance teams all share responsibilities for ensuring that a truck’s equipment and parts are fit for their anticipated use and are in good working order. In 2021, 103 truck crashes in Pennsylvania resulted from brake failures, 91 occurred due to tire or wheel failures, and 31 involved steering system failures.
- Load problems. Much of the truck freight that passes through the Conshohocken area is “no-touch freight,” which means that the driver isn’t responsible for loading the truck. Instead, the truck is loaded by a team specifically tasked with the job. If this team fails to load the truck properly or to secure the load, serious injuries may result – and the driver may be unaware of the problem until it is too late.
- Improperly marked roadways, driveways, and other areas. Lack of lighting, broken signals or signs, or improper markings can all lead to a truck crash if they leave truck and passenger vehicle drivers without the information they need to navigate the road safely.
When a large truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicle is at a serious disadvantage. Federal regulations allow trucks moving in interstate commerce to weigh up to 80,000 pounds and stand as high as 14 feet tall. The average passenger vehicle stands less than six feet tall and weighs only 2,500 to 3,500 pounds.
With such a difference in their respective sizes, it is perhaps unsurprising that the occupants of a passenger vehicle tend to suffer more injuries and deaths than those in a large truck during a crash. Common injuries experienced in Pennsylvania truck crashes include:
- Brain and spinal cord injuries. Damage to the brain and spinal cord ranges from a mild concussion to a total severing of the spinal cord resulting in permanent paralysis. These injuries can be among the most difficult to treat. They can also impose some of the highest lifelong costs of any injury.
- Broken bones and tissue damage. The forces generated by a truck crash often break human bones. Broken bones may require surgery to correct. They can also cause lifelong problems with pain and mobility. Broken bones are often accompanied by damage to the surrounding muscles, nerves, and soft tissues. Damage to these body parts can also occur even if no bones are broken.
- Scarring, amputation, or disfigurement. Severe injuries often lead to scarring or disfigurement. In some cases, damage to one or more limbs may be so severe that the limb must be removed to save the patient’s life.
- Burn injuries. A serious vehicle crash can expose those involved to the risk of various types of burn injuries. A vehicle may catch fire in a crash or leave electrical wiring exposed, causing thermal or chemical burns. “Road rash” is a type of friction burn caused when the skin rubs against a rough surface like concrete or asphalt.
Other types of injuries can also occur. It’s not unusual for someone injured in a truck crash to have several different types of injuries.
What to Expect in a Conshohocken Truck Accident Case
Like other legal claims, Pennsylvania truck accident cases follow rules laid out in Pennsylvania state law and regulations. Two important rules to understand are the time limits for truck crash claims and the compensation available.
Pennsylvania requires that personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. If the claim is not filed within two years, it cannot be brought to court.
Determining exactly how this two-year time limit should be calculated, however, can be challenging. Even if you suspect the time limit has passed, talk to an experienced attorney. A lawyer with knowledge of truck accident claims, and Pennsylvania law can help you determine which options are available to you.
Compensation in Pennsylvania truck crash claims is also known as “damages.” The purpose of compensation is to repay the injured person for the losses they’ve experienced as a result of the crash.
Compensation is often divided into two categories: Economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are primarily financial losses. They’re often easy to prove with records like receipts and bills showing how much you owe and how much you paid. Common economic damages in truck crash claims include medical bills, lost wages, the cost of vehicle repair or replacement, mileage to medical appointments, and any other costs you had to pay because of the crash.
Non-economic damages aren’t as easy to demonstrate with paperwork. Yet these losses are real – and for many injured people, non-economic losses are even more devastating than economic losses. Common non-economic losses in truck crash claims include pain and suffering, loss of the ability to enjoy hobbies or life activities you once enjoyed, and the impact of scarring or disfigurement on your daily life.
Identifying losses that require compensation can be challenging. While some losses are easy to spot, others don’t seem immediately obvious. Attorneys who focus on truck accident claims understand how to think about your total losses so that you receive compensation that fully reflects the impact of the crash on your life.
Choosing a Conshohocken Truck Accident Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
If you’ve been injured in a truck crash, you may be struggling to recover from devastating injuries. Yet fighting for your recovery isn’t your only concern. You may also worry about how to care for your family, whether you’ll ever return to activities you enjoy, or how to hold negligent parties accountable for the harm they have caused.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Talk to the experienced Conshohocken truck accident lawyers at MyPhillyLawyer today. We’re committed to helping our clients fight for their legal rights with skill and compassion. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.