18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer in Reading, PA
Victims of a Truck Driver’s Negligence Need to Call Our 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer in Reading, PA for Help Today
Large commercial vehicles like semi-tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, box trucks, and other big rigs are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the roads. Even low-speed collisions can result in serious personal injuries. Unfortunately, most big rig crashes are not low speed. Many are at normal or high speed, resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries to innocent people. Victims injured in any type of trucking wreck may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages caused by the wreck. Our 18-wheeler accident attorney in Reading, PA can help obtain these results for you to ensure that your rights to compensation are well-protected.
Our firm offers victims and the families of trucking wrecks:
● FREE consultations and case evaluations, with no obligation to sign up
● Our attorney’s fees are only paid after we recover compensation for you in a settlement, court verdict, or award—meaning there is a no-win, no-fee guarantee
● Our legal fees are also only a percentage of the total recovery, meaning there are no out-of-pocket expenses
● We pay the upfront costs and disbursements of litigation, which are only reimbursed if we recover your compensation, and
● Our firm offers personalized representation to each client, not the cookie-cutter approach of some personal injury law firms.
How to Win a Trucking Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Personal injury cases such as trucking wreck cases are generally based on negligence. This requires a victim to establish that the truck driver, trucking company, or a third party were negligent and a substantial factor in causing the crash. A victim must also establish that their injuries were related to the 18-wheeler wreck. Proving these factors means establishing liability against the defendant(s).
The two most common ways to do this are through a common-law (judge-made law) or a statutory-law (legislatively-made law) cause of action (or a claim). In most instances, trucking accident victims can bring both types of claims.
Proving Negligence Through the Common Law
Negligence is essentially the failure to act reasonably. It occurs where a party fails to act like a reasonable person would and unnecessarily increases the chance of harm to a foreseeable person. Thus, all individuals owe others a duty of care to act in a reasonable manner to avoid unnecessary harm to others. When that harm occurs due to unreasonable conduct, it is likely due to negligence.
A truck driver or trucking company may not be acting reasonably when they are:
● Driving aggressively
● Drunk driving or drugged driving
● Distracted driving
● Failing to properly maintain a vehicle
● Improperly turning or merging
● Carrying unsafe cargo or improperly loading cargo, and
● Other conduct that a reasonably prudent driver would not do.
Proving Negligence Through Statutory Law
Acting reasonably is not enough. As you will notice from the list above, most of the actions that an unreasonable truck driver or trucking company may do are also violations of the vehicle and traffic code. Where the violation of a traffic law was meant to 1) protect a certain person from harm and 2) prevent against a certain harm, the doctrine of negligence per se can be used to automatically establish liability against a truck driver and trucking company.
In order for negligence per se to apply, a victim must establish the following:
1. A Pennsylvania law was violated by the defendant
2. The victim was in the class of persons sought to be protected by the violated law, and
3. The victim’s harm was the type of harm sought to be prevented by the violated law.
If these elements are met, a victim may be able to establish liability against a truck driver and trucking company without proving anything other than causation and damages. This makes it harder for a defendant to negotiate a settlement in bad faith or fight a case in court.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
This federal agency has enacted a comprehensive matrix of rules and regulations that can be used against a negligent truck driver or trucking company by using the doctrine of negligence per se.
However, the violation of a regulation is not an automatic finding of negligence like the violation of a PA statute. Rather, the violation of a regulation is only “evidence” of negligence against a defendant. This is still very helpful for a victim to help prove an 18-wheeler accident case in Reading, PA.
Need Help Proving Your Big Rig Wreck Case? We Can Help
The experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyers in Reading, PA, at Larry Pitt & Associates have a proven track record of success against some of Pennsylvania’s largest insurance carriers and defense lawyers. We stand up for all victims and their families after the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company harms them. Learn how we can help you during a FREE consultation by calling (888)-PITT-LAW or (877) 748-8529 or by sending us a private and confidential message through our easy-to-use contact us box available here.