Semi-trucks are an important part of our economy. These vehicles transport countless commodities and products across the country every day. Unfortunately, their size and weight also have the potential to cause great harm to pedestrians and other drivers on the roadway.
At the Morelli Law Firm, we know just how devastating a semi-truck accident can be. Our team of semi-truck accident lawyers in Philadelphia has plenty of experience taking on the big trucking companies to get fair compensation for accident victims.
Determining Liability After a Semi-Truck Crash
One of the first steps that accident victims must take in order to recover compensation after a trucking accident is to determine who is liable for the damages. In a semi-truck accident, there are typically several parties that could possibly share a level of liability for the crash. Some of the most commonly liable parties are:
- The driver of the semi-truck
- The trucking company
- The company that loaded cargo onto the truck
- The semi-truck manufacturer
- A third party driver, whose actions caused the semi-truck to collide with your vehicle
The more evidence your lawyer can gather, the better positioned you will be when these parties inevitably try shifting blame to one another.
Steps a Semi-Truck Accident Attorney in Philadelphia Will Take
The investigation launched by your semi-truck accident attorney in Philadelphia will not stop once they have evidence of liability. They will continue to investigate your accident to gather more evidence and help build your case for compensation.
Common steps your attorney and their legal team will take in their investigation include:
- Visiting the accident scene
- Speaking with witnesses
- Consulting with experts
- Reviewing the official police report
- Reviewing your medical records concerning any injury you suffered as a result of the crash
Once your attorney has wrapped up their investigation, they will assess the damages you have suffered and calculate the full value of your claim. They will then prepare and file a lawsuit with the court. Next comes the pre-trial process, which can be quite lengthy. Finally, your attorney will represent your interest in court, if necessary.
All the while, your lawyer will be in negotiations with the legal representatives of the liable party and the trucking company’s insurance providers, attempting to reach a deal for a fair settlement deal. Your attorney will keep you apprised of any updates to your case, as well as relaying any settlement offers.
Philadelphia Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
Regulations for Semi-Truck Drivers
There are several regulations that semi-truck drivers must abide by to legally operate their vehicles. Semi-truck drivers must:
- Obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and any other necessary certifications
- Follow the service hours restrictions as governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Not exceed weight limits
Semi-truck drivers are held to a higher level of safety standards. A violation of any of these regulations can be considered negligence. If a court determines that the driver’s negligence was willful and done with wanton disregard for public safety, they could be forced to pay punitive damages and possibly even face criminal charges.
Compensation for Which a Semi-Truck Accident Victim May Be Eligible
After a semi-truck accident, there are many damages that a victim may be eligible to claim. Items eligible for compensation depend upon the particulars of your situation, which your semi-truck accident lawyer in Philadelphia can investigate. Some common damages include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
- Wrongful death
These compensation claims can all be split between economic and non-economic damages.
These are the damages that have a direct financial impact on an accident victim. Medical costs, lost wages, and property damage all take money out of an accident victim’s pocket in one way or another. Compensation for these damages aims to offset the money that a person will lose as a result of the accident.
These damages are not nearly as straightforward. They do not concern any form of financial loss. Instead, they cover other losses like the reduced quality of life due to a permanent disability or the mental anguish that comes with witnessing the death of a loved one.
No amount of money can fix these problems, but unfortunately, money is the best our legal system has to offer. Since these losses are priceless, the money paid out for non-economic damages tends to account for the largest part of a compensation payout.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia?
People are often discouraged from hiring lawyers because they think the cost will be too great. Fortunately, this should never be a concern when it comes to hiring a personal injury attorney. All reputable personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means that they only get paid if you receive compensation.
Even after your lawyer has received their fee at the end of your legal battle, you will likely be in a much better financial position than if you attempted to take on a trucking company on your own. On average, people who hire a semi-truck accident attorney go home with a significantly greater amount of money than those who choose to represent themselves.
When your Philadelphia semi-truck accident attorney works on a contingency fee basis, you can rest easy. Not only will you not have to worry about any out-of-pocket costs, but you can be assured that your lawyer will do everything in their power to get you a large payout.
How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
In the state of Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years. However, it is important to be aware that in certain situations the time frame can shrink dramatically. By hiring a semi-truck accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident, you can ensure you don’t miss any deadlines and lose out on vital compensation.
Whether you have years or weeks, it is always in your best interest to get things started as soon as possible. Delays will likely hurt your case as evidence can become lost or corrupted with time. Additionally, witness testimony is less valuable with each passing day as memories of the event grow murkier.
Taking a Settlement or Going to Court
The potential for a larger payout can make the idea of going to court tempting for some people. However, doing so is rarely going to be in your best interest. Courtroom trials can be unpredictable, and even a very strong case can begin to unravel. If your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement offer, taking the assured payout is almost always going to be the smarter move.
Despite this, you should always be prepared and willing to go to court. Doing this will keep the pressure on the opposition to agree to a fair deal, and if they refuse to make a reasonable offer, you will be in a position to potentially win big in the courtroom.
Hiring a Semi-Truck Accident Attorney in Philadelphia, PA
The best move you can make to ensure you receive fair compensation after a tractor trailer wreck is to hire experienced legal representation. At the Morelli Law Firm, our team of Philadelphia semi-truck accident lawyers knows the tactics that the big trucking companies will attempt to use against you and how to combat their attempts.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by giving us a call or filling out our online case evaluation request form. A member of our legal team will review your case and advise you of your options for recovering the compensation you need to move on from an accident.