Truck Accident Attorneys in Harrisburg, PA
Knowledgeable help when you’re injured in a tractor-trailer accident in Dauphin County
Commercial trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semis – whatever you call them, they are massive vehicles that can cause a whole lot of damage. When a massive truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, devastating damage and injuries almost always result. Even the safest driver is at risk when truckers fail to follow the rules of the road.
If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident with a truck, the Harrisburg injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law have the resources and knowledge you need. With over three decades of experience serving the people of South Central Pennsylvania, we understand the devastating aftermath of a truck accident. We know you need time to recover from your injuries, as well as substantial medical expenses. Our legal team will work to secure the compensation you need to move forward from your accident toward a better future.
How common are truck accidents in PA?
First, some information about why trucks are so dangerous in the event of an accident. According to federal standards, commercial trucks can weigh anywhere from 20,000 to 80,000 pounds. The average weight of passenger car is only about 4,000 pounds or less. Because of this massive size and weight, trucks need longer time to make a complete stop, more room to maneuver, and have larger blind spots.
In their Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports 127,000 large truck and bus accidents in 2019, the most current data available. Further, 5,237 trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a two percent increase from the previous year.
The FMCSA defines a large truck as “a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. A bus is defined in FARS as any motor vehicle designed primarily to transport nine or more persons, including the driver.”
Here in the Keystone State, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reported 6,905 heavy truck crashes in 2020, resulting in 22 fatalities. PennDOT defines a large/heavy truck as “a single vehicle or tractor-trailer combination designed for carrying a heavy load of property on or in the vehicle. Includes: single unit trucks (e.g., coal truck), tractor-trailers, motor homes, etc.”
Why do truck accidents happen?
Although, as they say, “accidents happen,” innocent people are often severely injured in truck crashes and collisions due to the negligence of another person. Some of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), include:
- Fatigued driving. Truckers work long hours, which can lead to disruption of sleep/rest cycles. The IIHS reports that “under current FMCSA regulations, interstate commercial truck drivers are not allowed to drive for more than 11 hours or drive after 14 hours since starting a duty shift until they take a 10-hour break.” However, if truck drivers violate these hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, they run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel and causing a catastrophic accident.
- Defective equipment. In some cases, an accident may not be entirely the trucker’s fault, but another party’s as well. Brake and steering failures, tire defects, and other mechanical issues can cause a trucker to lose control of the vehicle, leading to a crash or collision. The IIHS notes that, in a national study, “of all equipment violations, violations in the braking (36 percent) and lighting (19 percent) systems were the most frequent.”
- Braking disparities. Large trucks need much more stopping distance, especially on wet or slippery roadways. When brakes are improperly maintained, or a truck driver fails to keep a proper following distance, trucks run the risk of rear-ending the vehicle in front of them.
Other common causes of large truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Lack of driver experience
- Improperly secured or unbalanced cargo
- Failure to follow federal trucking regulations
- Poor truck maintenance
The Harrisburg truck accident attorneys at KBG Injury Law will investigate the cause of your crash and determine who (or what) is liable for your injuries. Our extensive knowledge of both federal and state law can give you the advantage you need when going up against large trucking companies and their insurance carriers.
What are some common truck accident injuries?
The size disparity between large trucks and passenger vehicles tends to make injuries from accidents severe, devastating, and life-altering. Victims of truck crashes can experience injuries like:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck, back, and shoulder injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of limb injuries
- Internal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Chronic pain
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Many of these injuries can result in months, years, or a lifetime of pain. When another person’s negligent behavior caused this pain and suffering, our Harrisburg attorneys can help ensure you recover financial compensation for what you have endured.
Who is liable for my Harrisburg truck accident injury?
Commercial truck accidents work a bit differently than typical car accidents. When you are involved in a collision involving a large truck, multiple liable parties may be at play, due to the nature of the trucking industry. Potential liable parties in a truck accident can include:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck maintenance company
- Parties responsible for loading cargo
- Truck manufacturer
- Truck parts manufacturers
It can often require a thorough investigation to determine all responsible parties after a serious trucking accident. The attorneys at KBG Injury Law have the resources to help – from accident reconstruction experts to other specialists in their fields – uncover exactly who or what caused your injuries.
What is the value of my truck accident case?
Nobody’s accident and injuries are the same, which is why personal injury cases are not one-size-fits-all. However, when you or a loved one suffer injury from another’s negligence, you are eligible to claim certain damages:
- Medical bills, both current and future, to cover expenses related to your injuries.
- Lost wages, as well as future earning potential, in the event your injuries prevent you from returning to your current job.
- Pain and suffering, to make up for the physical and emotional pain caused by your injuries.
- Punitive damages, in cases of grossly negligent behavior. These are generally awarded by the court when the defendant’s behavior is willfully reckless or exceptionally negligent.
In cases of wrongful death, families are also eligible for funeral and burial expenses.
Is there a truck accident lawyer near me?
KBG Injury Law is located at 717 Market Street, between N. 8th and N. 7th Streets in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. Our offices are only a few minutes away from district and state courts. We also maintain four locations throughout the state.
Trusted Harrisburg truck accident attorneys
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a commercial truck accident, look to the experienced attorneys at KBG Injury Law for assistance. We understand the devastation these types of accidents can cause, and want to help secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call 717-848-3838 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hanover, and Gettysburg and serve clients throughout South Central Pennsylvania for your convenience.