Truck Accident Attorneys in Erie, PA
Erie, PA Truck Accident Lawyers Help You Get Compensation
According to the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, trucking is the fourth-largest employer in the Commonwealth.* Trucks move more than 1.2 million tons each day in our state, making them capable of doing significant damage when involved in accidents. Moreover, since trucks are much larger than cars and motorcycles, a truck accident can cause far more damage than a car accident or a motorcycle accident.
Pennsylvania truck accidents happen on all types of roads. From 2012 through 2016, there were 34,833 large truck accidents in Pennsylvania.* Significant accidents happen on Northwest Pennsylvania roads, such as Interstates 79, 86, 90, U.S. Route 6, and the many state routes in Erie County, Crawford County, and Warren County. Wherever they occur, truck crashes cause significant injuries because of the sheer size and weight of a big truck.
Causes of Truck Accidents on Roads and Highways in Pennsylvania
The most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Maintenance problems
- Defective equipment involving brakes, tires, cables, and other components
- Unsecured or unbalanced loads
- Burned out lights
- Excessive speed and unsafe driving
- Texting and phone use
- Inadequate training
- Company Negligence
Since many commercial truckers are employees of trucking companies and are involved in accidents while on the job, trucking companies are common defendants in truck accident cases. If a trucker’s gross negligence caused the accident, then he/she may also be named as a defendant.
How Our Law Firm Helps After a Truck Crash in Erie, PA
Our legal team works closely with truck accident victims. We thoroughly investigate each incident in order to identify the proper defendant(s), bring the strongest possible case, and recover the damages that will make things right for our clients and their families.
The cause of a truck accident can be complicated. Therefore, we consult with highly qualified private investigators to thoroughly study each accident and determine liability. Our dedicated team of professionals take it from there.
Why Trust Your Erie County Truck Accident Case to Purchase, George & Murphey?
The experienced truck accident attorneys at our firm teach other lawyers and insurance adjustors about personal injury topics, trial techniques, and insurance issues. We are part of your community and we are dedicated to helping you achieve justice.
Whether your truck accident injuries were caused by a vehicle defect, an unsecured load, or driver negligence, the lawyers of Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. are committed to helping you recover fair damages from the person or company responsible for your injuries. Call us today at 814-273-2010 or contact us via our contact form. We look forward to talking with you and hope to get started on your financial and legal recovery as soon as possible.
*Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 2008: Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics Booklet
Frequently Asked Questions About Erie, PA Truck Accident Claims
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our talented accident lawyers are here to help you get back on your feet if you were injured in a truck accident. We can help you understand the complex and overwhelming and overwhelming legal process for getting financial compensation.
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about truck accident claims in Erie, PA. For more specific answers to your questions, set up a free case review with one of our experienced injury lawyers.
Car accidents and accidents involving large trucks are often different because truck accidents tend to be much more damaging due to the size of the truck. Some other key differences that can complicate your case and make legal help even more valuable include:
– It can be more difficult to determine who is responsible for a truck accidents,
– Truck accidents can involve hazardous chemicals and even explosions, which may make locating evidence more difficult,
– Trucking companies have more money than private parties and usually fight much harder to minimize the amount they have to pay victims,
– Commercial truck insurance policies can have more complex terms than private car insurance policies,
– Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow specific and detailed requirements as to hours on the road, break times, truck maintenance and inspection.
As with any other accident, you should seek medical attention immediately and call 911. You should also do the following (or have someone who was not seriously injured do so):
– File an accident report with the police,
– Take photos and videos of the accident scene,
– Talk to witnesses and get their contact information,
– Get the contact and insurance information of the truck driver,
– Call an experienced truck accident lawyer to begin working on your case immediately.
In the days and weeks following the accident, keep detailed records of the doctors you have seen, documents the hospital has given you and any ongoing care, such as physical therapy or rehab. Take photos of your injuries over time if you can. Importantly, remember not to give any statements to the insurance company or sign any documents without first speaking to your lawyer.
Even if the truck driver caused the accident, the driver is unlikely to pay. Most truck drivers are employed by trucking companies. As employers, the trucking company is responsible for accidents caused by the driver, whether because the driver was distracted, speeding or even just overly tired. Trucking companies are responsible for making sure the driver is adequately trained, licensed and follows all safety regulations—so the driver’s violations are ultimately the responsibility of the employer-company.
Additional parties who might be financially responsible, depending upon the cause of the accident, include:
– The company responsible for inspecting or maintaining the truck,
– The company that loaded the cargo onto the truck,
– A company that leased the truck,
– Manufacturers or designers of defective truck parts,
– The party shipping the truck cargo from Point A to Point B.
Detailed safety rules apply to truck drivers and trucking companies. Those rules include specific restrictions on how many hours the driver can be on the road and when the driver has to take breaks. It’s the trucking company’s responsibility to make sure the driver is trained—and knows about these rules. Unfortunately, trucking companies instead often pressure drivers to meet unreasonable deadlines. This is why so many truck accidents are caused by fatigued driving. And one reason why the trucking company—the entity making the profit—should ultimately be held liable.
When truck accident cases involve multiple parties—as they commonly do—determining the cause of the accident is critical. The companies involved may have a significant financial stake in proving that someone else was to blame. Getting evidence about the cause through the investigation can help us pinpoint where your compensation will come from.
Our lawyers do not solely rely upon the evidence that is given to us—we conduct our own investigation. Depending upon the case and available information, this might mean working with an accident reconstruction expert to get evidence about what really caused your accident. Some trucks contain recording devices similar to those found on airplanes. We work to get a copy of any recording to find additional hard evidence. Even subpoenaing the driver’s phone records can be useful in building our case for compensation.
While you technically can, you really should hire a lawyer to do the negotiating. The trucking company’s insurance company will often be the party ultimately responsible for paying compensation. However, it is not advisable that you negotiate directly with that insurance company either. Insurance companies, especially those issuing large commercial policies, are highly experienced in knowing exactly what information can reduce their financial payout. They will ask questions designed to get you to say things that might damage your case.
The insurance company is paid to represent the insurance company’s interests, not your own. Remember that the insurance company likely has much more information than you do. They will have started their investigation while you were still being treated for your injuries. The insurance company likely has already formulated an estimate of what your case is really worth before they every speak to you. They also know how much they want to pay—which is likely well below your case value. Our experienced truck accident lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. can level the playing field and fight to get you the amount you deserve.
While a truck accident case might cost more in the end, our lawyers don’t charge any more just because it is a truck accident case. We work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay us any attorneys’ fees unless we win—and in the end, you pay us out of your compensation once you have already received it. It doesn’t cost you anything up front to hire our lawyers in either a truck accident or car accident case, however.
Please check out our Commercial Truck Accident FAQ page for more information and answers to common questions.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Experienced Erie, PA Truck Accident Lawyers Today
We know that you may be feeling overwhelmed if you have sustained serious injuries in a truck accident. The dedicated truck accident lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. are here to handle every aspect of your claim so that you can get the compensation you need to move forward. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, call our office or contact us online today.