If you were hurt in an accident involving a commercial vehicle in Philadelphia, you may be wondering whether you have a right to compensation. There are many expenses that can pop up after a collision from medical bills to lost wages. For many people, these costs can become just as devastating as the injuries that they suffered.
One way to get back on your feet is to pursue the financial recovery you may be legally entitled to. At Morelli Law Firm, we help individuals explore their legal rights and options following personal injury accidents. For a free consultation to learn more about whether a Philadelphia commercial motor vehicle accidents lawyer can help you, call us at (212) 751-9800.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Commercial vehicle accidents often lead to legal issues such as figuring out who is responsible for the accident and whether they have an insurance policy that will provide you with coverage. There can be multiple insurance policies and several different companies listed as owners, operators, or permitted users of the vehicles.
A few other ways that your lawyer will take care of your case include:
- Determining the at-fault and liable parties
- Investigating the cause of your accident
- Reviewing insurance documents and determining the available policy limits
- Preparing you for court hearings and appearances
- Negotiating a settlement
- Contacting experts to consult on your case, such as medical professionals
- Keeping you up to date on the development of your case
- Answering your questions about the case and your rights
Negligence in Commercial Motor Vehicle Accidents
Many accident victims want to know what they need to do to show that they are entitled to compensation. In general, you must show that the other party acted negligently at the time of the accident and that this caused you to get hurt. Negligence means failing to act with reasonable care and skill considering important factors such as the road conditions or weather at the time of the accident.
There are countless ways that a commercial vehicle can cause an accident. In 2018, over 5,000 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal vehicle accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), showing just how dangerous these vehicles can be.
A few examples of negligence in a commercial motor vehicle accident include:
- Distracted driving – If the driver is trying to read directions or talk on the phone, it takes their attention away from the road.
- Speeding – Many commercial drivers are on a tight schedule and in a hurry to get to their next destination.
- Drugged or drunk driving – Like any driver, intoxication behind the wheel can lead to delayed reaction time and reckless driving.
- Traffic rule violations – This can include not yielding the right-of-way, failure to use turn signals when merging, and not following safe driving practices for these large vehicles.
- Improperly loaded cargo – If cargo shifts around in the back of a truck, it can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It can also cause cargo to fall off the truck and create a serious road hazard.
- Improper maintenance – Commercial vehicles get a lot of wear and tear and need routine inspections to ensure they can operate properly. If something is not fixed promptly, like faulty brakes, the outcome can be devastating.
These are just a few examples of situations where commercial vehicles make the road a dangerous place. You may have experienced something different, which is why it could be a good idea to speak to a Philadelphia commercial motor vehicle accidents lawyer about your accident and whether you are entitled to compensation. For a free consultation, call Morelli Law Firm now: (212) 751-9800.
Philadelphia Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
Liability in Commercial Vehicle Accidents
A unique aspect of a commercial vehicle accident is the fact that the vehicle is used for a business purpose instead of personal use. A commercial vehicle can include many different styles including 18-wheelers, vans, trailers, taxis, buses, and more.
If an employee causes an accident while using their employer’s commercial vehicle and while working, the employer can be held liable for the damages as well as the employee. This doctrine is known as vicarious liability. It means that you may have a claim against the driver of the commercial vehicle as well as their employer. This also means that you may be able to make a claim against any insurance policies that the employer maintains for the commercial vehicle.
There are some exceptions to the vicarious liability doctrine. Employers will sometimes try to assert one of these exceptions as a defense to your claim so that they can avoid liability and paying you compensation. An example would be situations where the employee was doing a personal errand or engaged in a personal activity at the time of the crash. If the employee is a delivery driver and gets into an accident while making deliveries on their assigned route, then the employer is probably vicariously liable. But if the employee deviated from that route to visit a friend for a social reason, the employer may not be vicariously liable.
This concept can be confusing, and there are several facts to take into account when deciding whether vicarious liability applies. A lawyer from our firm can work with you to determine whether you could bring a claim against the employer and/or owner of the commercial vehicle involved in your crash.
Call Now for a Free Consultation
You do not need to deal with the financial toll of a crash all on your own. A Philadelphia commercial motor vehicle accidents lawyer at Morelli Law Firm may be able to assist you with seeking the compensation that you deserve. To learn more, call our office for a free consultation: (212) 751-9800.