Philadelphia Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Commercial vehicles of all kinds are a common sight on Philadelphia’s busy streets and highways. Unfortunately, they also pose a big threat to other motorists when there is an accident. A standard vehicle is no match for a heavy and unwieldy truck. Injuries are often catastrophic, and fatalities occur at a much higher frequency in these collisions.
Commercial vehicle accidents also involve many more parties and legal issues than the average accident. Because they are owned by a company and operated by a professional driver it can be difficult to determine who bears responsibility for the wreck. Add in insurance companies and corporate attorneys fighting to dodge liability whenever possible and a commercial vehicle accident quickly becomes a nightmare.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident with a commercial vehicle in the Philadelphia area, you could be entitled to significant compensation for your damages. The commercial vehicle accident lawyers of MyPhillyLawyer are experienced with all that these types of cases entail and ready to provide top-notch legal representation.
What Are Commercial Vehicles?
Commercial vehicles include tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, garbage trucks, construction vehicles and other heavy trucks as well as vehicles owned by businesses used for work.
Commercial vehicles comprise only around five percent of all traffic on the road but are involved in over twelve percent of fatal accidents in Pennsylvania last year. This discrepancy is all thanks to the immense weight and reduced maneuverability of most commercial vehicles. A fully loaded eighteen-wheeler can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When a much lighter vehicle collides with a truck of this size, the results are catastrophic.
Commercial Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 4,119 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks in 2019. Of those fatalities, 16 percent were occupants of the truck, 67 percent were occupants of other, passenger vehicles and 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. These rates had been dropping since 1975 when official statistics were first kept until 2009 when they were at their lowest. They have risen steadily every year since.
In Pennsylvania alone, 8,125 heavy trucks and commercial busses were involved in accidents in 2019. These accidents resulted in at least 128 fatalities.
Potential Damages in a Commercial Accident
Accident victims and their families can recover money for the damages a commercial vehicle accident has caused them in the immediate aftermath and the future. These include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical care costs
- Lost wages and benefits
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Permanent disability or disfiguration
- Property damages
- Loss of consortium or support
Some of these damages are easy to assign a dollar amount to, such as medical bills. Others are less clear. An experienced attorney can help you value damages like pain and suffering fairly so you are paid what you deserve.
Who Is Responsible for a Commercial Accident?
Determining who is ultimately responsible for a commercial vehicle accident can get complicated. There are many more parties involved than in an accident that involves only privately-owned vehicles and liability can be shared among them, depending on what happened.
Companies should be responsible for their property and workers, but too often they and their corporate lawyers and insurance companies work hard to avoid blame and payout as little as possible to the people they have potentially harmed.
Examples of who could be legally responsible in a commercial vehicle accident:
- The vehicle driver
- Their employer
- The company that owns or leases the commercial vehicle
- The company that maintains the vehicle
- The manufacturer of the vehicle and its parts
Corporate insurance adjusters usually begin their investigation into a commercial vehicle accident very soon after it occurs, to reduce their client’s risk and protect their bottom line. Remember that they do not have your best interests in mind. Your own, well-qualified attorney is the best defense against being taken advantage of after your commercial vehicle accident and getting fair and full compensation.
Injured Workers in Commercial Accidents
Another complicating factor in commercial vehicle accidents involves the employees who might be left injured as well. Commercial vehicle operators are highly trained professionals in most cases and follow the laws put in place for them; the driver of a commercial vehicle is not always at fault for an accident.
Because they were hurt while on the job, they could be entitled to compensation for damages and lost income and protected by laws for injured workers. MyPhillyLawyer handles all types of workplace injury cases, including commercial vehicle accidents.
Contact MyPhillyLawyer Without Delay
It is important to contact a commercial vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your best interests and your right to compensation. They will handle insurance companies on your behalf to let you focus your energy on healing, not negotiating. An attorney is also able to help you get the medical care and other practical help you need to recover from a devastating accident.