A tractor-trailer is an 18-wheeler transport vehicle consisting of a semi-tractor with a trailer attached to it. These big rigs can carry up to 80,000 pounds and are sometimes carrying dangerous cargo that could cause even more destruction and injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, there are some things our truck accident attorneys in Philadelphia would like you to know before you move forward with a lawsuit. Contact a Philadelphia tractor-trailer accident lawyer today.
I was in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, what do I do?
The most important step is that you receive medical attention even if you don’t think you have sustained an injury. Some symptoms take time to develop but should be treated immediately.
Secondly, you should gather as much information and evidence as possible. You will need the truck driver’s name and contact information as well as the name and contact information for the trucking company.
Your next step should be to file an accident report with the police. Do not speak to any representatives of the trucking company or the insurance company. It is very likely that they will try to reach you before you have had time to hire an attorney and they will use any information you give them to avoid responsibility.
After the report, you should contact an experienced injury attorney. Again, the trucking company will start their investigation immediately, and you will need a skilled attorney on your side to protect your legal rights and build a strong case.
How does a tractor-trailer accident differ from other truck accidents?
For tractor-trailer transportation and other commercial vehicles, there are federal rules and minimum safety standards that must be followed. These rules are called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (“FMCSR”), and they are often key issues when handling tractor-trailer accident cases:
- How long a driver can be on the road consecutively before they must stop and rest,
- Preventative maintenance and inspection requirements on trucks,
- Requirements for loading and securing cargo,
- Hiring, training and supervising requirements,
- Rules regarding timing on delivery scheduling by trucking companies to not encourage speeding and/or exceeding the max hours of driving time.
What’s the difference between tractor-trailer accidents and regular car accidents?
Tractor-trailer accidents can cause much more severe damage and injuries than any other kind of automobile accident. These accidents generally involve big companies who have large teams of attorneys, making them even more complicated than a regular car accident.
Furthermore, trucking companies launch immediate investigations in the event of a tractor-trailer accident in order to gather as much information as possible. They do this so quickly because they are looking for any information that could minimize the fault of the driver and the company. Their goal is to pass the buck and provide little or no compensation to the victims.
These accidents are aggressively defended, and you will need to level the playing field. In order to get on equal footing, you will need a qualified Philadelphia tractor-trailer accident lawyer.
At KaplunMarx, our law firm can move just as quickly as the trucking and insurance companies, we know which questions to ask, and we know how to find the answers.
Who is liable in a tractor-trailer accident in Pennsylvania?
There are many factors at play when it comes to a tractor-trailer accident and a number of different parties that could be liable such as:
- The driver
- The trucking company
- The leasing company
- The manufacturers
- Third-party maintenance companies
- The loading facility
Even if the driver was responsible for the accident, the trucking company may be held solely responsible and can be sued depending on whether or not the truck driver is an employee or an independent contractor. If the driver was an independent contractor, you might also want to sue the driver.
Because truck drivers and their trucking companies are required to comply with a vast array of laws and regulations, there is a lot of room for error. An experienced trucking lawyer knows what kind of games they like to play and how to avoid them.
Contact The Top Philadelphia Tractor-Trailer Law Firm Of KaplunMarx Today
After a trucking accident,it is important to level the playing field when trying to get the full and fair compensation you deserve from insurance companies. The trucking companies and their insurance companies will do whatever they can to avoid responsibility.
Having an experienced Philadelphia tractor-trailer truck accident lawyer from KaplunMarx on your side can protect your legal rights and increase your ability to get the justice you deserve. To learn how we can represent you and fight towards your best chance at getting you the maximum dollar, contact us at or fill out the form on our website.