Like many other states, truck accidents are a serious concern in Pennsylvania. Due to the extensive network of highways and interstates that crisscross the state, Pennsylvania sees significant truck traffic. The size and weight of these vehicles alone are enough to cause serious and fatal crashes.
If you or a loved one was injured in a Pennsylvania truck accident, it's important that you understand your legal rights. The attorneys at Romanow Law Group discuss how prevalent truck accidents are in Pennsylvania and what course of action you can take if you were injured or a loved one died in a crash with a tractor-trailer.
How many truck accidents happen in Pennsylvania?
There were 166,833 truck accidents in the United States in 2022. Approximately 4,678 of them involved fatalities. Texas, California, and Florida had the most truck accidents. But Pennsylvania didn't trail too far behind.
Pennsylvania was in the range of 10,000-12,000 truck accidents for 2022, the 4th highest in the nation. Around 4,000-5,000 caused injuries, and 250-300 were fatal.
What causes truck accidents in Pennsylvania?
Truck accidents can occur due to various reasons. The most common causes include:
- Driver fatigue: Long hours on the road can lead to driver fatigue, impairing reaction times and decision-making abilities. This is why there are strict Hours of Services rules truckers must follow.
- Distracted driving: Texting, eating, or using electronic devices while operating a truck can divert attention and cause a serious crash.
- Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions increases the likelihood of losing control of the truck. When combined with the size and weight of an 18-wheeler, speeding can be especially dangerous.
- Improper loading: Overloading or improperly securing cargo can lead to a shift in weight distribution. This makes it difficult to control a large truck and may result in a jackknife or rollover crash.
- Mechanical failures: Defective brakes, tire blowouts, and other mechanical issues can result in loss of control, leading to a crash.
- Failure to adjust to poor road conditions: Rain, snow, or fog can reduce visibility, affect traction, and increase the chances of a truck crash.
- Aggressive driving: Reckless behaviors such as tailgating, frequent lane changes, or failure to yield can increase the risk of collisions.
- Inadequate training: Insufficient training or lack of experience can lead to errors in judgment, improper handling of the vehicle, and increased crash risks.
- Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs a truck driver's abilities and reaction times.
What should I do after a truck accident in Pennsylvania?
A truck accident can be a traumatizing experience, but you can take certain actions to build a strong case against the at-fault party. These include:
- Ensure everyone's safety: First and foremost, prioritize your safety and the safety of others involved. Move to a safe location if possible and turn on hazard lights to alert other drivers.
- Call emergency services: Call 911 immediately to report the accident and request medical assistance. Then, wait for the police to arrive.
- Gather information (if you're able to): Exchange contact, insurance, and license plate information with the truck driver and any other parties involved in the crash. Additionally, note the truck's company name, driver's name, and license number.
- Document the scene: If you can, take photos or videos of the crash scene. Include vehicle damage, road conditions, and any relevant signage.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you feel fine initially, it's crucial to get a medical evaluation. Some injuries may not manifest immediately. Keep copies of your medical records and any treatment received as evidence.
Truck accidents can lead to serious injuries and complex legal cases
If you're seeking compensation for your losses due to a truck accident in Pennsylvania, you're not just going up against a regular driver's insurance company. You're up against multiple insurance companies who only care about reducing their liability and protecting their profits. You're also up against a trucking company with a lot of money and a team of attorneys looking out for its best interests.
Don't attempt to handle your truck accident claim alone. Get an experienced Pennsylvania truck accident attorney from Romanow Law Group to investigate your crash and take on the insurance companies for you. Contact us online to set up a free consultation to learn more about how we can help with your potential legal case.