You may wonder whether you have a right to earn compensation after your commercial truck accident. Many expenses 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.
If you’ve sustained injuries in your wreck, one way to get back on your feet is to pursue the financial recovery you may be legally entitled to. A Philadelphia commercial vehicle accident lawyer can help you explore your legal rights and options following your car accident.
A Philadelphia Commercial Vehicle Accident 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 ways your commercial vehicle accident lawyer in Philadelphia can 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
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Negligence in Commercial Motor Vehicle Accidents
There are countless ways 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.
Accident victims must prove that the other party acted negligently and that their injuries were a direct result of their behavior in order to show that they are entitled to compensation. 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, or not following safe driving practices when operating a large vehicle.
- Improperly loaded cargo – If cargo shifts around or falls off the back of a truck, the driver can lose control of the vehicle and create a serious road hazard.
- Improper maintenance – Commercial vehicles need routine inspections to ensure they can operate properly. If something is not fixed promptly, 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 your eligibility for compensation.
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Liability in Philadelphia 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, such as 18-wheelers, vans, trailers, taxis, and buses.
According to the vicarious liability doctrine, if an employee causes an accident while using their employer’s commercial vehicle, both the employer and the driver can be held liable for the damages. You may be able to make a claim against any insurance policies that the employer maintains for the commercial vehicle.
Employers will sometimes try to assert an exception to this doctrine as a defense to your claim so they can avoid liability and paying. An attorney can work with you to determine whether you could bring a claim against the employer of the commercial vehicle involved in your crash.
Commercial Vehicle Accident Damages You Can Recover
Victims of commercial vehicle accidents can be eligible for compensation of their economic and non-economic damages. In the state of Pennsylvania, there is no cap on how much you collect from your personal injury claim. Your commercial vehicle accident lawyer in Philadelphia can help you get recovery for:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation services
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Out-of-pocket expenses
If your loved one passed away from a commercial vehicle accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim and get compensation for damages such as burial and funeral costs, loss of companionship, and lost source of income.
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Pennsylvania Laws for Commercial Vehicle Accident Claims
Some state laws could affect your eligibility to receive compensation. A commercial vehicle accident lawyer in Philadelphia can advise you of any impact these laws could make on your claim.
Statute of Limitations
According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly Title 42 §5524, accident victims have two years from the date of their injuries to file a claim. If you are filing a claim against a city, county, or state government agency, a notice of intent to sue must be filed within 6 months.
Modified Comparative Negligence
If you are at least partially to blame for the incident that led to your injuries, the amount you are able to recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Pennsylvania follows the modified comparative negligence rule, which means that the injured party will always recover something.
No-Fault Car Insurance
Pennsylvania enforces the no-fault system meaning you cannot hold the other driver liable after the accident unless your case meets a “serious injury” threshold. In most minor accidents it legally isn’t important who was at fault because the injured person’s own car insurance provider will provide coverage for damages.
If you can prove you suffered serious injuries, you may be able to overcome the no-fault rules. An experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney in Philadelphia can help you determine your likelihood of being able to step outside the no-fault rules.
Call Morelli Law Firm 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.
Our dedicated professionals have decades of experience fighting for those who have been hurt due to the negligence of others. To learn more, call our office for a free consultation.