If you were hurt in a truck accident, you may be entitled to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault driver or another liable party. A truck accident lawyer from Morelli Law Firm might be able to help you:
- Identify the appropriate at-fault party
- Prove how their negligence led to your collision
- Assign an accurate monetary value to your claim
- Negotiate for a favorable financial settlement
At Morelli Law Firm, we have handled truck accident cases of all kinds, so we are prepared to take on your case no matter how challenging it is. We offer free case evaluations to help people like you understand their legal options.
Truck Accident Lawyer FAQs
Many people involved in truck accidents in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania often have numerous questions about what to do next. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, speak with one of our truck accident lawyers as soon as possible for guidance. Here are a few frequently asked questions from parties involved in a truck accident:
Who should I contact if I am involved in a truck driving accident?
It’s important to know what to do after a truck accident, because every action has the potential to affect your claim. After a truck accident, you should contact:
- The police
- Your auto insurance company
- Our law firm if you reside in New York, New Jersey, or Philadelphia
You must report your accident to the local police or DMV
If you are involved in a trucking accident, you should contact the police. Many states have laws requiring drivers to report car accidents involving injury, death, or a certain amount of property damage to the police or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Reporting your accident can also begin a paper trail for your case, as you would then be able to use the official crash report as evidence.
Notify your insurance company about the accident to begin the claims process
You should also contact your insurance company to notify them of the accident. This step can begin the claims process so that your insurance company can initiate communications with the other driver’s insurer.
Be aware that the other driver’s insurance company may reach out to you for an interview about the accident. Try to avoid making any statements that might put you at fault or offer to have the insurance representative speak with your lawyer instead.
If you are working with our law firm, we can speak with insurance companies for you to protect your case.
Contact Morelli Law Firm about your truck accident
If you live in New York, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, you can contact our personal injury legal team to receive a free case evaluation.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a complex and involved process that may include representatives for you (the plaintiff) and the at-fault party (the defendant) gathering as many facts as possible about the accident. While you can file a claim or lawsuit yourself, our team can relieve you of this legal burden and manage your case for you.
How can a truck accident lawyer help me?
Working with a truck accident lawyer from our law firm can allow you to focus on your personal recovery while we tend to your case. When you become our client, we can help you by fulfilling most or all legal tasks involved in preparing your case, which may require:
- Giving you legal advice and guiding you through the claims process
- Communicating with other parties (e.g., insurance companies and other attorneys) for you
- Reviewing the crash report about your accident to retrieve information
- Compiling evidence to support your claims
- Conducting a private investigation to retrieve more information about your case, including interviewing potential witnesses
- Identifying the appropriate liable party or parties
- Obtaining and completing insurance forms
- Negotiating a potential settlement with the other party’s insurance provider or attorneys
Our legal team can also help you calculate your damages
Before you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you will need to establish the financial value of your total damages. This value serves as the amount of compensation you intend to pursue from the liable party, and it is based on specific damages you experienced as opposed to a flat rate.
You may pursue compensation for the following types of damages in your personal injury case:
- Medical care expenses
- Current and future loss of income
- Property damage costs, such as to repair or replace your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Permanent disability
The financial impact of a trucking accident can vary greatly from accident to accident. Assigning an accurate value to your potential compensation package can be critical, as you will not be able to demand additional compensation for future or unrealized damages after your case settles.
Our team can represent you during negotiations or trial
Many personal injury cases resolve outside of court. If you opt to file an insurance claim, we may be able to negotiate a settlement with the other party’s insurer and avoid taking your case to court altogether.
If you and the other party’s insurance company cannot agree to a settlement amount, we may advise you to proceed to court, where we can continue your pursuit of compensation.
We can keep track of your case’s statutory deadline
You also need to file your potential lawsuit within the time allotted by your state. Your state’s statute of limitations determines the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Failure to comply with the relevant statute of limitations can result in a case dismissal from the court judge. A truck accident lawyer from our firm can keep track of this deadline so that your case is filed on time and avoids this outcome.
What are common causes of trucking accidents?
There are numerous common causes of truck accidents. Some trucking wrecks can be caused by driver behavior, vehicle flaws, or environmental factors. According to theFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commonly reported causes of trucking accidents include:
- Inadequate driver training
- Inadequate driver experience
- Faulty vehicle design
- Driver fatigue
- Drug or alcohol use or misuse
- Road and weather conditions
- Driver inattentiveness
- Following too closely
- Brake issues
- Vehicle cargo shift
Our team can investigate who might be liable based on the cause of the accident
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the at-fault truck driver or another liable party related to the case.
Our team can investigate your truck accident to identify who might be held liable for your injuries based on what caused the accident. In truck accidents, potential liable parties include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company that employs the truck driver
- The truck manufacturer
- A truck mechanic
- A third-party loading company
- The municipality responsible for road conditions where the accident took place
- Another third-party, such as a separate vehicle driver
We can help you collect evidence to prove the cause of the truck accident
Proving negligence by determining the cause of the accident you were involved in can be complex. When you decide to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, a lawyer from our law firm can help you meet the required legal components of your case.
To prove the cause of the accident, our legal team might request paperwork and evidence on your behalf, including:
- Witness statements
- The official crash report
- Photos of both vehicles
- Video footage from surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, or vehicle dashcams
These items may help our legal team prove the cause of your truck accident. We might also request additional items to help substantiate the cost of the accident. These items may include:
- Your medical records and bills
- Employment and salary history
- Vehicle repair or replacement estimates
Are there multiple types of truck accidents?
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact accidents
- Single-vehicle collisions
- Multiple-vehicle collisions
- Rollover accidents
What determines the type of truck accident?
The type of truck accident might be determined by:
- The points of impact to each vehicle
- The transfer of paint
- Eyewitness accounts
- Your own recollection of events
Our team may be able to obtain many of these details from your crash report. In addition to these important details, your crash report might also contain notes and diagrams from the investigating officer that help define the type and cause of the accident.
Why is knowing the type of truck accident important?
Knowing the type of truck accident you were involved in may allow us to identify who was at fault for the accident, which then shapes our case argument. For example, if you were the front vehicle driver in a rear-end truck accident, we may focus on building an argument on the actions the truck driver should have taken to avoid hitting you from behind.
The type of large truck accident you were involved in might contribute to the type and severity of injuries you sustain. Your injuries and their related treatments might force you to miss time at work, which might add financial stress to the physical and emotional trauma of a collision with a large truck.
How do you prove what caused the truck accident?
To prove the type of truck accident you were involved in and the extent of your financial damages, your lawyer may cite:
- Any traffic violations committed by the at-fault truck driver
- Errors the truck driver made, such as texting while driving
- Field sobriety test results
Your lawyer might also request specific information from the trucking company to showcase where negligence might have occurred. This information could include:
- The truck driver’s maintenance records
- Their logbook, which details their driving hours and mandated breaks
- Their vehicle and cargo weight
- Inspection records
- Blackbox information from the truck
What injuries are associated with trucking accidents?
- Broken ribs
- Broken limbs
- Severe burns
- Internal bleeding
- Broken collar bones
- Back and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Muscle sprains and strains
If you were hurt in a truck accident, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Beyond treating your injuries, a medical professional can add to your paper trail about the truck accident by documenting the event in your medical records.
Our team can seek compensation for your medical expenses
Treating your truck accident injuries might involve a series of medical care services. Our team can review your medical bills and account for these costs when calculating the amount of compensation you should pursue.
We may be able to fight for compensation for the following types of medical care costs:
- Emergency room treatment
- Hospital admissions
- Diagnostic tests and lab work
- Doctor’s appointments
- Prescription medications
- Assistive medical devices
- Bone setting
- Surgical procedures
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
You may qualify for compensation for other medical expenses not listed here.
Bodily injuries can disrupt your life
In addition to these costs, your injuries might also have an impact on your social, personal, and professional life. Your injuries may prevent you from returning to work to support yourself and your family or prohibit you from engaging in your preferred social and leisure activities.
If your physical injuries took and/or continue to take a financial toll on you and your family, our legal team wants to help you prepare and file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the liable party or parties.
How does a driver’s speed affect the severity of trucking accidents?
When a truck driver speeds, they can put everyone on the road in harm’s way. Speed can increase the force of impact in a collision, meaning a speeding truck driver can cause significant damage in an accident.
Speeding can increase the severity of a truck accident
When a truck driver speeds, the following may occur:
- The truck driver may have less control over their vehicle.
- Passenger car occupants in a collision might suffer increased injuries.
- Equipment intended to protect occupants in a collision might be less effective.
According to IIHS, large trucks require 20 to 40 percent more stopping distance than a typical passenger vehicle. When a truck driver is speeding, their vehicle might require even more stopping distance than usual.
This difference in stopping distance and time might also be increased when the road is wet, if a truck’s tires are flawed, or if the brakes are faulty.
Driving over the speed limit is not the only form of speeding
According to theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are two forms of speeding that might lead to a collision. Speeding can include:
- Driving faster than the posted speed limit
- Driving too fast for current road, weather, and lighting conditions
If you believe that the truck driver who collided with your car was speeding, you might be able to file a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit against them. If someone you love was fatally injured in a truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation via a wrongful death lawsuit instead.
How can speeding cause trucking accidents?
- Making it difficult or impossible to maintain vehicle control
- Making it harder to avoid dangerous debris on the road
- Increasing the distance required for the truck to come to a complete stop
- Giving the truck driver less time to respond to sudden traffic changes
Speeding can also increase the force of impact in an accident and lead to more serious injuries. Driving faster than the speed limit or driving faster than conditions allow is dangerous and can put everyone on the road in jeopardy.
Types of injuries you can get from a truck accident caused by speeding
Injuries you might sustain in a truck accident caused by speeding can include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Back and spine injuries
- Broken limbs and bones
- Sprains, strains, and burns
Reasons why truck drivers might speed
The NHTSA cites the following possible causes of speeding:
- Traffic congestion
- Traffic delays
- Scheduling conflicts
- Disregard for others
- Disregard for the law
- Driver frustration
A lawyer might be able to help you prove that the at-fault truck driver was speeding and define the economic impact of your accident.
What percentage of accidents are caused by truck drivers?
The percentage of accidents caused by truck drivers varies by state. Still, when passenger vehicles and large trucks collide, passenger vehicle occupants are more likely to suffer damages, bodily injuries, and even death.
Common driving errors by truck drivers
The FMCSA states that the following additional driver errors might lead to trucking accidents:
- Unfamiliar routes
- Driver inattention
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Evasive actions
If you were hurt in a truck accident, you might be required to prove that the truck driver caused the accident in order to collect financial compensation.
Proving the truck driver committed a driving error
Our team might use the following documents and evidence to prove truck driver negligence in your case:
- The crash report
- Witness statements
- Field sobriety test results
- Traffic camera footage
- Accident reconstruction
- Accident scene photos
Additional proof might also be used to confirm that the truck driver’s negligence caused or contributed to the crash. Our team may be able to help you gather any relevant materials that support your potential right to financial recovery that are not already in your possession.
If a truck driver’s error caused the accident you were involved in, you might have legal recourse for financial compensation. A trucking accident lawyer from our firm might be able to help you prove that the truck driver’s negligence or error caused your accident. We can also help you navigate all stages of the personal injury insurance claims or lawsuit process.
Can distracted driving cause trucking accidents?
The FMCSA cites distracted driving among truck drivers as a significant cause of trucking accidents. Their research goes on to cite the following internal and external distractions that may cause or contribute to a truck accident:
- Objects outside of the truck, such as billboards
- Texting or using social media
- Using a dispatching device
- Handheld use of a cell phone
- Writing or reading while driving
- Using paper maps while driving
- Operating navigational devices
- Drinking or eating while driving
Smartphone use and texting have become such commonplace activities these days that it can be difficult to avoid them while driving. However, FMCSA guidelines specifically prohibit commercial truck drivers from texting while driving.
Can aggressive driving cause trucking accidents?
Yes, aggressive driving can lead to a trucking accident. Even professional drivers are susceptible to this type of reckless behavior. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), forms of aggressive driving include:
- Improper following, also known as tailgating
- Illegal lane changes
- Erratic driving
- Driving on the shoulder
- Improper passing
- Erratic speed fluctuations
- Not yielding the right of way
- Disregarding traffic signs
- Disregarding traffic laws
- Failure to use indicators
- Exceeding the posted speed
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Making illegal turns
Aggressive driving can lead to fatalities in truck accidents
Aggressive driving can be particularly dangerous in a truck-versus-passenger-vehicle collision. According to the IIHS, a large truck can weigh up to 30 times as much as a passenger vehicle, especially if it is loaded with cargo.
This size discrepancy means that passenger vehicle occupants are at a greater risk of severe injuries and fatalities than large truck occupants. The IIHS reported that of the 4,119 fatalities in large truck accidents in 2019, 16 percent were the large truck occupants while 67 percent were the occupants of smaller vehicles.
Wrongful death cases involving aggressive driving
If you lost a loved one in a trucking accident caused by an aggressive truck driver, consult our personal injury team. We can help you file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit to help you pursue different types of financial compensation.
We can also explain which surviving family members can file a wrongful death action. With a wrongful death case, you may be able to recover compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical treatment costs for your loved one up until their death
- Funeral service costs, including burial and cremation costs
- Loss of financial support from your loved one
- Loss of companionship and parental guidance
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Psychological trauma
Our team may suggest other types of damages based on the details of your case.
Can reckless driving cause trucking accidents?
Reckless driving in the following forms might cause trucking accidents:
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Illegal vehicle maneuvering
- Following too closely, or tailgating
- Illicit drug or alcohol use
- Distracted driving, such as texting and driving
- Disregarding traffic signals
- Disregarding traffic laws
If a driver’s reckless or negligent behavior caused your trucking accident, they might be liable for your damages.
Information in your crash report may help your lawyer identify one of these forms of reckless driving as the cause of your trucking accident. Your crash report may also contain details of the accident, indicators of its cause, and other valuable information for your legal team.
Reckless driving can be considered negligent
A personal injury lawyer from Morelli Law Firm can argue how the other driver’s reckless driving caused your trucking accident, focusing on the driver’s negligence. Our team can build your case to establish:
- The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care to obey traffic laws while operating their vehicle on the road.
- The driver neglected that duty by choosing to drive recklessly.
- Their driving behavior ultimately caused them to collide with you.
- You suffered injuries and damages, which had and continues to have financial consequences.
Our team can calculate your total damages so that we pursue the amount of compensation you need to recover from your current damages and cover future ones. In cases involving gross negligence or maliciousness, you may also be able to receive punitive damages from the reckless driver, which is meant to serve as a punishment for their behavior.
Can drunk driving cause trucking accidents?
- Cause a reduction in brain function
- Impair a driver’s ability to reason
- Cause a loss of judgment and focus
- Cause relaxation or mood swings
- Decrease a driver’s visual acuity
- Lead to a lack of small muscle control
- Diminish alertness and coordination
Driving under the influence is against the law
It is illegal for a normal driver to operate a vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is at or above the legal limit of 0.08%. However, for commercial truck drivers, theFMCSA driver’s license standards mandate a stricter legal limit of 0.04% BAC.
Violators may receive fines and possible jail time if found guilty of drinking and driving. Certain types of alcohol violations may also cause a truck driver to lose their commercial driver’s license, and by extension, their ability to work.
Our team knows what evidence you need if your accident involves a drunk driver
When you become our client, our team can conduct a separate investigation into your accident to identify its cause. If we discover that a drunk driver may have caused your collision, we can help you collect evidence to support these claims. Evidence might include:
- The crash report
- The other driver’s breathalyzer or blood test results
- Footage of the field sobriety test the other driver performed at the accident scene
- Photos of the other driver’s vehicle, which might reveal whether alcoholic beverages were inside
- Videos of the accident, which might show whether the other driver was swerving or driving inconsistently due to being intoxicated
- The other driver’s driving record, which might show a history of previous DUIs
Even if the truck driver was not charged with drunk driving, you might be able to win a personal injury case against them with proof that their negligence caused your accident.
How does icy weather affect trucking accidents?
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), icy weather can affect truck accidents by causing changes to the surface of the road that might negatively impact braking ability and stopping distance. Icy weather might also be accompanied by snow or fog, which can impact visibility.
Under the best of circumstances, a large truck requires significantly more stopping time and distance than the average passenger car due to its size and weight. Based on data collected between 2007 and 2016, the FHWA reports that 13% of all weather-related motor vehicle accidents occur on icy pavement, with icy roads contributing to an annual average of:
- 156,164 collisions
- 41,860 injuries
- 521 fatalities
Call the police if you get into a truck accident during icy weather
All drivers must file a police report about an accident if it led to bodily injury, property damage, or death. Crash reports can help capture the details of the accident, which can be helpful if you lose consciousness or if your injuries prevent you from fully participating in the investigation of your accident.
Other information the crash report can include:
- The speed of the truck at the time of the accident
- Any traffic citations or violations the truck driver received
- The condition of the road
- The weather and lighting conditions
It can also help you coordinate a personal injury claim against the at-fault party by sharing contact information of the driver, their employer, and any accident witnesses.
If you were injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to pursue compensation. Our personal injury team at Morelli Law Firm offers free case reviews to truck accident victims. Should you decide to work with us, we can assign you a truck accident lawyer from our firm to help you fight for compensation.
How does snow cause trucking accidents?
According to the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS), snow can cause or contribute to trucking accidents in the following ways:
- Snow can cause slick, dangerous, and unsafe roads
- Falling temperatures can cause snow to turn into ice
- Snow might cover black ice and hide icy roads from view
Along with these factors, snow, especially blowing snow, can decrease visibility. Snowy conditions might also make navigating turns or bends in the road more difficult than usual.
If you were injured in a trucking accident while it was snowing, you might be able to hold the truck driver, their employer, or their tire or brake manufacturer responsible for your injuries and related damages.
Truck drivers need to be more cautious when driving through snow
The size and weight of a large truck can make the decrease in visibility and maneuverability caused by snow even more challenging for a truck driver. The braking and stopping time of large trucks can increase on wet, slick, or slippery roads.
Truck drivers might need to make certain allowances in snowy weather to accommodate these specific conditions and ensure the safety of all vehicle occupants and pedestrians on the road. When truck drivers fail to take extra precautions during inclement weather, it might lead to slipping, sliding, and accidents.
How does winter weather cause trucking accidents?
- Visibility impairments
- Difficulty maneuvering
- Decreased traction
- Vehicle instability
- Road and highway damage
- Traffic obstructions
Winter weather conditions can be a factor in truck accidents
Because of their size and weight, truck drivers might have a more difficult time navigating familiar and unfamiliar roads, especially during winter weather. According to the FHWA, winter weather can include:
The FHWA reports an annual average of 1,235,000 weather-related automobile accidents, resulting in nearly 418,000 injuries and 5,300 fatalities. According to the FHWA, the following weather conditions can be a factor in accidents:
- Wet pavement: Wet pavement was present in 70% of weather-related accidents.
- Rainfall: Rainfall was present in 46% of weather-related accidents.
- Snow or sleet: Snow or sleet was present in 18% of weather-related accidents.
- Icy pavement: Icy pavement was present in 13% of weather-related accidents.
- Slushy pavement: Slushy pavement present in 16% of weather-related accidents.
- Fog: Fog was present in 3% of weather-related accidents.
Driver and vehicle errors can also increase during winter weather
Truck drivers are also prone to certain driving errors, such as driving while fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which can make navigating winter weather more challenging than usual.
The challenge of driving in winter weather can also be exacerbated by flawed vehicle design, such as defective windshield wipers, tire tread, brakes, or brake lines.
Winter weather may be indicated on the crash report
After you are involved in a truck accident, obtain a copy of your crash report right away. It may help your lawyer determine the role of winter weather, driver error, and driver negligence in causing or contributing to your truck accident.
If weather has played a part in your accident involving a large truck, our team can help you fight for compensation for your injuries and other damages. However, your right to file a lawsuit against an at-fault truck driver might be limited by the statute of limitations in your state. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm to help you fight for compensation.
How can road debris in winter cause trucking accidents?
During the winter, road debris like broken snow chains or blown tires might be left in the road. Occasionally, snow or ice piled on top of a vehicle may blow off while driving, which can lead to snow or ice striking another vehicle or creating a road hazard.
Winter weather can create several road hazards
According to the FHWA, winter weather can obscure visibility and make seeing and avoiding debris on the road more challenging. Winter weather and wind speeds might lead to wind-blown debris and hidden debris.
These hazards can cause a trucking accident when a driver swerves or skids to avoid debris that appears suddenly. Trucking accidents can also happen when drivers collide with debris and lose control of their trucks.
Truck drivers might take risks while driving through winter weather
Risky truck driver actions that might contribute to accidents during winter weather include:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Improperly loaded or falling truck cargo
- Not leaving a safe following distance between their truck and the vehicle in front of them
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Consult our personal injury team at Morelli Law Firm if you or someone you love was injured in a trucking accident. You may have options for financial compensation that can help you recover from the aftermath of the collision.
Fight for Financial Compensation After a Trucking Accident
If you or someone you love was injured in a collision with a truck, you might qualify for financial compensation. Depending on the cause of the truck accident, Morelli Law Firm might be able to help you seek financial recovery from:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck’s manufacturer
- Another driver
- A municipality
Our personal injury team can help you hold the at-fault party financially responsible for your trucking accident by compiling and examining evidence, locating and interviewing witnesses, and evaluating the financial impact of your injuries.
We can also ensure you are continually updated on the progress of your case as we negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
We Can Guide You Throughout Your Legal Journey
Proving the cause, cost, and financial impact of the accident on your own can be challenging. A truck accident lawyer from Morelli Law Firm can help you navigate the litigation process.
Our law firm also works on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you only pay us attorney’s fees if and when we help you win your case. Contact our truck accident team today. We can go over your options and our services during your free initial case review.