42+ Years of Serving Accident Victims in Pennsylvania
For Injured Pennsylvanians
18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer in Reading, PA
Personal Injury Law Firm Handling Car and Truck Accident Claims For Clients Throughout Pennsylvania
If you or a family member are a victim of a truck driver’s negligence, call an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Reading, PA for help today. We fight for your needs and to get you the compensation you and your family deserve.
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 attorneys in Reading, PA can help obtain these results for you to ensure that your rights to compensation are well-protected.
If you’re suffering from an injury or have lost a loved one in a preventable truck accident, let Larry Pitt be your 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Reading, PA.
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.
GET A FREE CONSULTATION WITH LARRY PITT
We’re the Firm Your Friends and Family Trust to Protect Them After a Car Accident
Dealing with the after-effects of a collision is hard; choosing the right lawyer for your needs shouldn’t be. Larry Pitt & Associates offers comprehensive and aggressive representation to car and truck crash victims in Pennsylvania. Please call 888-PITT-LAW or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia traffic accident lawyer today. We are proud to serve clients throughout:
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 was 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 Common Law
Negligence is essentially the failure to act reasonably. It occurs when 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 unreasonably behaving 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 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:
- A Pennsylvania trucking law was violated by the defendant
- The victim was in the class of persons who sought to be protected by the violated law, and
- 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)
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 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.
What Our Clients Say
Philadelphia Car & Truck Accident FAQs
When you live in a city like Philadelphia, you’re surrounded by cars and people at all times. As far as the law is concerned, the leading cause of a serious car accident is “negligence.”
In a car accident case, you will have to prove that your injuries are the result of the negligent behavior of another driver or another person or entity, such as a manufacturer.
A car accident can happen any time – day or night – and for any number of reasons. Philadelphia car accidents are often the result of:
- Driving aggressively (road rage)
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving e.g. using a mobile device (texting, talking, emailing)
- Adjusting the radio or GPS/Maps
- Grooming such as shaving or applying makeup
- Adjusting the radio or other music device
- Watching videos
- Interacting with other passengers
- Looking for an object in the vehicle while driving
- Reading or writing
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI)
- Driver cutting other drivers off
- Drivers are unable to see around blind spots, like double-parked cars or delivery trucks
- Drivers ignoring the laws for crosswalks
- Out-of-staters not knowing the rules of the road
- People cutting into bike lanes
- Stop-and-go traffic patterns
- Trying to “beat” the light, either on the straight-away or around corners
- Wrong-way collisions on one-way roads
- Driving at night
- Driving without a license
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Unsafe or illegal turns
- Defect of your vehicle or another’s vehicle
- Negligent maintenance
- Hazardous or dangerous roadway
While this is a fairly comprehensive list, there may be another reason for a car or truck accident. If you have been injured by or while in a vehicle, you may have a car accident claim. Have an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney evaluate your case.
In any case where the other driver was negligent, you are entitled to recover damages. There are numerous types of car accidents that can occur on the roadways of Philadelphia, however, the common ones are:
- Head-on collision
- Side impact or T-bone crash
- Rear-end collision
- Rollover accident
- Intersection crash
In any of the above crashes, a person may sustain serious injury or even death. There may be economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages or non-economic damages like emotional distress or pain and suffering.
Your Philadelphia car accident attorneys will evaluate your case, where and how it occurred, and advise you on how to build the strongest case and recover money for your serious injuries.
As an accident victim, you may have suffered severe or even catastrophic injuries leading to economic claims (lost wages, medical bills) or non-economic damages (emotional distress). These are injuries for which you can recover damages including but not limited to:
- Broken bones – Fractures are common in the legs and arms
- Brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries – Rear-end collisions may result in a herniated or ruptured disc
- Broken bones
- Sprain, strains and soft tissue damage
- Mental or emotional anguish – The severe physical pain from a motor vehicle accident can cause long-lasting emotional harm.
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Wrongful death
A Philadelphia car accident attorney will be best able to evaluate your case and determine, based on the facts and circumstances, what kind of car accident claim you may have under Pennsylvania law for your physical pain, medical bills, medical treatment, and non-economic damages.
There is no simple answer to this question. Each case has to be evaluated by an experienced car accident attorney in order to determine the potential amount of damages an injured person can recover.
Initially, your Philadelphia car accident lawyer will weigh how severe your injuries were; your age and health at the time of the accident; whether you have a job or not and if you were the sole provider for the family, and how many members you supported; whether you had any fault in the accident; and the amount and type of insurance you have.
In a car accident case, you may be able to recover economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages.
In Pennsylvania, there are two main types of damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages:
- Compensatory damages are designed to make you whole after an accident. You may suffer both economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic damages will compensate you for financial costs incurred as a result of the accident. The idea is to “make you whole” or in other words, put you back in the financial place you were in before the crash. Such damages would include:
- Present and future medical expenses which include ambulance fees, hospitalization, surgery, medication, medical equipment, surgeries, and doctor visits
- Physical therapy and other necessary and related rehabilitation treatment and costs
- The cost of replacing or repairing damaged property
- Lost Income and wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Temporary or permanent disability
These types of damages are relatively straightforward. So long as they are related to the accident, they are proven by the medical bills and expenses incurred.
Non-economic damages by their nature are more difficult to calculate. This is where pain and suffering and emotional distress are covered. These damages include:
- Loss of ability to work
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium (deprivation of family relationship including affection or personal physical reactions)
- Emotional pain and distress
These damages require a different level of proof than the economic damages as there are no bills to prove the amount. This does not mean the damages are any less real. They require the experience and knowledge of a car accident lawyer. An attorney will have knowledge of how the insurance company may weigh a personal injury claim for these non-economic damages and be able to evaluate what kind of demand they may make and/or argue for in a settlement conference or at a trial.
Punitive damages are designed to punish a person for intentional conduct. This means their conduct that led to your injuries was more than negligent. While punitive damages may not be appropriate in a car accident case, that does not mean your Philadelphia car accident lawyer won’t consider them depending on the facts of your case.
If the person who causes your accident and injuries was operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drove recklessly, engaged in grossly negligent behavior, or had a willful disregard for the safety of other parties, punitive damages may be awarded. This will be determined by your Philadelphia car accident lawyer and by the court.
When seeking an accident lawyer in Philadelphia or surrounding areas, make certain that this personal injury lawyer has experience in these types of car accident cases. We’ve been handling them for more than 40 years, and we’ve helped countless people by:
- Working with the doctors. We review your medical records, communicate with your doctors, and make sure all of your information is collected for the purpose of building a case.
- Investigating the accident. We’ll speak to witnesses, schedule and take depositions, and review the police records. We’ll also review any footage available, whether that comes from people posting videos on social media, or from traffic and security cameras at local storefronts.
- Look into potential defects. If the truck had, say, defective air brakes or the car was on the recall list, but the part wasn’t available yet from the manufacturer, you may have grounds for a Philadelphia car accident claim against that manufacturer.
- Dealing with the insurance company. Your insurance company doesn’t want to pay you. They want to keep their money. As such, most insurers offer lowball offers hoping you will take it before you have a lawyer. We don’t back down when it comes to negotiating a fair settlement offer. We also don’t force you to take an offer you don’t want, because we are prepared to fight to make you whole.
- Prepare every case for trial. A lot of our clients want to avoid jury trials, but sometimes, that’s the only way to get the insurance companies or other negligent parties to play fair. Because we’re willing to go to trial, our clients often get better settlement offers right from the start. When they don’t, we put our considerable skills to use in a trial setting.
Truck collisions can lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering. They can also leave you with extensive medical bills and the inability to work. We make sure you’re protected at every step. Your job is to recover. Our job is to recover money for the injuries you sustained.
The first thing anyone should do if involved in a car crash is to seek medical treatment. Your health and well-being are paramount.
If you or a family member or other person on your behalf is able, you should follow these general guidelines. It will protect you, make your case stronger and enable your Philadelphia car accident lawyers to better evaluate your case:
- Obtain copies of the police report and ambulance report
- Collect the names of all parties involved
- Collect the names of witnesses
- Call your car insurance company
- Obtain a copy of your medical records
- Journal all facts and details you remember about the accident
- Journal your medical treatment and condition
- Keep all doctor appointments and follow doctor’s orders for recovery and treatment
- Do not speak to the other party’s insurance adjusters
- Do not give a recorded statement to an adjuster or car insurance company
- Do not admit fault to any parties, witnesses, insurance adjusters, or others
- Stay off social media (no comments, photos, or updates on your status)
- Do not repair your vehicle until advised to do so by your personal injury attorney
- Do not sign any documents until you understand them and consulted with an attorney
- Hire an experienced car accident lawyer
Finally, contact Larry Pitt & Associates. An experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney can evaluate your case and ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation for pain, suffering, medical expenses, lost income or wages, loss of enjoyment of life activities and more. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers know the law, so let us put our knowledge to work for you. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation.
We will review the facts of your case, explain the process, discuss the legal options available to you, and answer any questions or concerns that you may have. You don’t have to go through this process alone. Our experienced car accident lawyers are here to help. We understand the complexities of the car accident system, and we will do our best to fight for you and protect your rights. Contact us today. Let us get started on helping you make things right.
The most common types of truck accidents include rear-ending collisions, side-swipe crashes, jackknife accidents, rollover accidents, underride collisions, and head-on collisions.
You should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car crash. Your car accident lawyer knows Pennsylvania law and can help you understand your legal rights, assess the value of any car accident claims you may have against the other driver, and help you obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs related to the accident.
Legal representation will be critical immediately after the accident and moving forward and it’s unlikely you will have the Philadelphia car accident resources personal injury lawyers have.
The top qualities of a car accident lawyer include:
- Knowledge and experience in the field of personal injury law including the rights you have to collect for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation long term care.
- Excellent communication skills to negotiate with insurance adjusters, judges, and other lawyers.
- Analytical thinking skills to assess liability, evidence, and damages resulting from an accident.
- Strong organizational and research abilities to build a strong case. This is critical when negotiating with insurance companies or at trial.
- Compassion for clients to provide support during difficult times.
- Diligence for timely filing of documents and attending court proceedings as needed.
- Ability to work long hours as many cases require extensive preparation and follow-up work