If you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident, hiring a lawyer can be an important step in the recovery process. Accident victims that have legal representation recover more financial compensation compared to those that do not have a lawyer on their side. At Schmidt Kramer, our Lancaster truck accident attorneys understand the Pennsylvania motor vehicle laws that are often applicable in truck accident cases and we can help to build a robust argument for your damages lawsuit.
Everything was handled to make the whole process easy for me.
- Client of Schmidt Kramer
Our legal team have a proven track record handling commercial vehicle and truck accident cases, including a $2,200,000 verdict for the family of a man that was hit and fatally injured on I-78 by an inexperienced truck driver and a $475,000 recovery for a client that was seriously injured after being hit by a tractor trailer.
We offer a free, no obligation consultation with a lawyer to help determine if you have a case and there are no upfront fees if you choose to hire us.
Schmidt Kramer - Call (717) 888-8888.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Often, truck accidents will involve many parties - not just the truck driver and the victim, which can make it difficult to determine and establish liability in a crash. Ultimately, trucking companies, insurance companies and the legal teams that represent them are committed to reducing the value of accident claims so that any settlements are for the lowest possible amount.
Our trucking accident attorneys understand the challenges that can arise during the litigation of truck accident cases. We have detailed knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern truck accidents cases and claims in Pennsylvania and our legal team will often work to collect the essential evidence that our lawyers may need to help strengthen your case and obtain adequate compensation. This may include investigating the accident scene, obtaining witness testimonials, examining any photos or video captured, recovering any police accident reports and looking for evidence of negligence.
At Schmidt Kramer, our lawyers can take care of the paperwork, making sure your claim is filled out correctly and on time. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we can also assist in filing a lawsuit on your behalf and pursuing compensation in court.
Contact Schmidt Kramer today. Ph: (717) 888-8888.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
There are multiple parties that can be held liable for a truck accident. Victims of these crashes often think the driver is the only person at fault, but there are many parties associated with the truck or its contents who could be liable, including:
- The truck driver – Driver error is the most common cause of serious truck accidents. The person driving the truck can be held responsible for negligence and not following proper safety protocols. This could include speeding, driving while fatigued or failing to have the vehicle inspected.
- Owner of the truck or trailer – Truck owners can also be held liable for the actions of the driver. Many trucks on the road are operated by independent truck drivers who work as independent contractors. If that is the case, then the driver can be held directly responsible.
- Truck driver’s employer – An employer can be held accountable for the acts of its employees while they are under contract. This includes driver error and other forms of negligence.
- The trucking company – The company that leased the truck or trailer from the owner can be liable for truck accidents. While the company often does not own the tractor, trailer, or equipment used in the transportation of goods, trucking companies still own the permits to operate them, which means they could be held responsible for an accident.
- Truck manufacturers – The manufacturer of the truck, tires, or other parts of the vehicle that may have contributed to the cause or seriousness of the crash can be held liable.
- Company that owns or loads the cargo – In cases involving improperly loaded or secured cargo, the shipper or loader of the cargo can be held responsible for negligence and any injuries that resulted from the truck accident.
Our dedicated attorneys have successfully handled some of the most difficult truck accident cases. Our Lancaster truck accident lawyers can review your case to determine all individuals or entities who could potentially be held liable for your injuries. This will allow us to pursue all the compensation you are entitled.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Recovering Compensation After a Truck Accident
You have the right to recover compensation for a personal injury caused by a semi-truck or tractor-trailer accident. Our truck accident attorneys in Lancaster can help you pursue compensation for a number of damages, including:
- Current and future medical bills
- Loss of future wages or earning capacity
- Physical rehabilitation
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Depression or post-traumatic stress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Our truck accident lawyers in Lancaster will conduct a detailed investigation to determine all the damages you suffered and their value. We understand how valuable compensation can be as you attempt to move forward with your life.
Have Questions? We Can Help. Ph: (717) 888-8888.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit
The statute of limitations puts a specific time limit on the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages after suffering an injury due a truck accident. In the state of Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, according to 42 Pa. Consol. Stat. § 5524(2). This applies to personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another party. If you do not file a lawsuit within two years from the date of injury or from the date the injury was discovered, you lose the right to do so.
You may be able to obtain the compensation you deserve through an insurance claim. The driver, trucking company and other entities will have insurance coverage that may provide all the compensation you need. However, the claims process may be unsuccessful.
No matter what happens in the insurance claims process, the statute of limitations will start running once the accident occurs. This is why it is so critical to contact a Lancaster truck accident attorney as soon as possible to get the process started.
The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer understand the time limits that apply to your situation. It takes time to build a strong case that will allow us to pursue the compensation you deserve. We know how to deal with the insurance claims process while being prepared to file a lawsuit if we are unsuccessful.
Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form today to have a Lancaster truck accident lawyer review your claim.
Important Steps to Take After a Lancaster Truck Accident
After a truck accident, taking immediate action can help you get a jump start in the legal process. There are several steps you should take after an accident to help protect your safety and potentially improve your chances of obtaining compensation. This includes:
- Calling 9-1-1 and seeking medical attention right away
- Speaking with the police and making sure a detailed report is filed
- Writing down important information, including full name, contact number, insurance carrier, policy number and license plate number of each party involved in the crash
- Exchanging your own personal information with the other parties
- Talking to any witnesses on the scene and collecting their contact information
- Taking pictures of your injuries, any property damage and the overall crash scene
- Contacting a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options for fair compensation
These steps will help you to document what happened and link your injuries to the accident. If you can link your injuries to the accident you may have a better chance of obtaining fair compensation. Obtaining fair compensation can be critical to your livelihood and your ability to move forward with your life.
Our Lancaster truck accident attorneys have the experience and legal knowledge to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your damages.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today to get started.
Types of Truck Accident Cases
Trucks are not only larger in size, but also longer, heavier and more difficult to control than traditional passenger vehicles. This increases the risk of accidents that could cause severe or potentially fatal injuries.
Our Lancaster truck accident lawyers are experienced in handling numerous types of truck accident cases resulting from:
The bigger the truck, the larger the blind spots. Truck drivers cannot see you traveling in their blind spots and may try to change lanes which can put you in danger of being hit, crushed or forced off the road. Drivers of motor vehicles should avoid driving along the rear and sides of the truck to avoid a collision.
When a truck driver causes a head-on collision with a smaller vehicle, occupants of the smaller vehicle are often killed. If they survive, they are often left with life-changing injuries or severe disabilities. These types of collisions can be caused by fatigued or distracted drivers traveling the wrong way.
A jackknife accident can occur when a truck driver hits the brakes and they lock up, causing the truck’s trailer to swing out to form a 90-degree angle with the cab. Once this happens, the truck driver has no control of the trailer, which increases the risk of an accident.
Lost Load Crashes
Overloading a truck or failing to properly secure its cargo can lead to lost load accidents where cargo falls out of the trailer. Lost load crashes can cause multi-vehicle accidents if cargo directly lands on or hits cars or falls onto the road and creates obstacles for oncoming traffic.
These occur when a truck tips over onto its side. These accidents are often caused by speeding, steep inclines or declines, or cutting a curve too fast. These accidents can also occur when truck drivers lose control of their vehicle when trying to veer back onto the road after drifting off the road.
Trucks weigh a lot more than passenger vehicles so they need more distance to come to a stop. If a truck driver is not paying attention, he or she may not have enough time to stop to avoid a hazard or other vehicles that have slowed down. This is why truck drivers need to pay attention and keep a safe distance behind other vehicles.
This is a type of rear-end accident that occurs when a smaller vehicle hits the back of truck, the vehicle can slide underneath the trailer. This is one of the most dangerous and deadliest types of truck accidents that can happen.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, an experienced Lancaster truck accident lawyer can help you explore your legal options for pursuing compensation.
Schedule a free consultation today by calling (717) 888-8888.
Common Causes of Truck Crashes
Most truck accidents are caused by the following types of negligence:
- Speeding or swerving
- Improper use of signals
- Disobeying traffic signs
- Tailgating or failing to brake
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Improper loading of cargo
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Fatigued or distracted driving
- Not checking blind spots
- Unsafe passing on hills or curves
- Driving in bad weather conditions
- Trying to maneuver around construction
- Lack of experience or proper training with truck driving
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Some accidents could have been avoided if the truck had been repaired or had certain parts replaced. This helps ensure the truck can be operated safely and safety features will work when needed.
Common types of maintenance/repair issues that can cause truck crashes include:
- Brake problems
- Steering failure
- Engine malfunction
- Worn or defective tires
- Turn signal problems
- Failing transmission
If you believe your injuries sustained in a truck accident were caused by driver negligence or other forms of unsafe driving practices, our truck accident lawyers in Lancaster are ready to help you.
For a free legal consultation, call (717) 888-8888.
Trucking Regulations in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has numerous laws governing the trucking industry. These laws are meant to reduce the risk of accidents and keep truck drivers safe.
On all interstates and primary highways, the overall width of any truck load cannot exceed eight and a half feet or a height of 13 and a half feet. The standard width for a truck tractor or semi-truck on state highways is eight feet with a maximum trailer length of 53 feet.
Trucks are often overloaded and exceed weight requirements, which can lead to dangerous accidents. Based on the type of vehicle, the maximum gross weight allowed on a public highway are as follows:
- Two-axle truck - 38,000 pounds
- Three-axle truck - 58,400 pounds
- Four-axle truck - 73,280 pounds
- Five-axle truck - 73,280 pounds
- Six-axle truck - 77,000 pounds
- Seven-axle truck - 80,000 pounds
- Three-axle combination - 58,400 pounds
- Four-axle combination - 73,280 pounds
- Five or six-axle combination – 80,000 pounds
Pennsylvania law also requires any truck towing a trailer to have a combination registration when the trailer is registered in excess of 10,000 pounds. Trailer registration can also be done for one year, five years, or for a lifetime.
The load on any individual truck or combination of vehicles cannot extended more than three feet beyond the front and no more than six feet from the rear, according to Chapter 49 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. Other truck loading limitations include attaching a red flag or red light to the projecting load if it extends more than four feet beyond the rear of the vehicle.
The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have detailed knowledge of these laws and how to apply them to the specifics of your case.
Contact A Lancaster Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you may be able to take legal action. it is in your best interest to contact a skilled personal injury attorney who understands what you are going through. You need an attorney who is committed to investigating and building a strong case.
The Lancaster truck accident attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have decades of experience helping injured victims of truck accidents like you and will aggressively pursue all options available to recover any economic and emotional damages you suffered. Partners Charles E. Schmidt, Jr. and Gerard C. Kramer hold professional memberships with the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the American Association for Justice and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice.
Contact our skilled lawyers and schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim. There are no contingency fees or upfront costs unless we help you recover compensation.