Don’t Try to Get Compensation on Your Own. Contact a Bethlehem Truck Accident Attorney Today

Truck accidents in Bethlehem and throughout Pennsylvania are unique with respect to other motor vehicle accidents in the sense that the destruction wrought by a negligent truck driver can be more severe and, ultimately, can lead to catastrophic injuries — owed primarily to the sheer mass of the truck itself.  This is common sense, for the most part.  For example, if a motorcycle rear-ends your car while you’re stopped at a red light, the injuries you suffer will likely be relatively mild in comparison to the injuries you would have suffered had you been rear-ended by an SUV or pickup truck. Since the accidents are often severe with high medical bills, it’s critical to contact a Bethlehem truck accident attorney to handle your claim.

In a comprehensive 2016 crash study conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, researchers found that light trucks (i.e., pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs) accounted for 43.9% of fatal crashes and 51.6% of injury crashes, and contributed to 65,671 crashes overall.  Heavy trucks (i.e., commercial trailer trucks, among other large types) accounted for 12.8% of fatal crashes and 4.7% of injury crashes — nearly three times as likely to result in fatal injury — and contributed to 6,740 crashes overall.

Bethlehem truck accidents can lead to severe injuries, and often death.  As such, truck accident litigation may involve a myriad of claims and issues, from litigation of wrongful death survivor claims to serious conflicts over necessary medical intervention and the financial losses sustained as a result.  It’s important to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who is capable of effectively navigating these inevitable roadblocks.

A truck with the front end smashed in after truck accident

Five of the Most Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents in Pennsylvania

Truck accidents involving commercial truckers are unfortunately common, despite the fact that drivers are professionally licensed, though it should come as no surprise to those familiar with the trucking industry — companies often impose significant pressures on drivers, which can lead to a heightened risk of an accident.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident involving a commercial trucking company, then you may be entitled to sue the driver and/or the company pursuant to Pennsylvania law, depending on the circumstances of your injury.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common factors contributing to commercial truck accidents.  Consider the following.

Improper Loading

Commercial trucks are at serious risk of “rollover accidents” due to improper loading of cargo at the warehouse.  If the truck rolls over and causes an accident, liability may fall on both the driver and the company.

The company must train its employees properly and supervise loading to ensure that all cargo is being safely packed on company trucks.  Drivers with loaded cargo have a responsibility to avoid making sudden, sharp turns at high speeds.  Further, drivers should check their cargo prior to departure, to ensure that it has been loaded correctly. A truck accident lawyer will help you collect the evidence you need to present this type of lawsuit.

Failure to Conduct a Thorough Background Check

Trucking companies must conduct a thorough background check of the defendant-driver to ensure that they can safely operate a commercial trucking vehicle.  Failure to conduct a thorough background check could expose the company to significant liability in the event of an accident.

For example, suppose that you are injured in a truck accident where the defendant-driver was heavily intoxicated due to drug use.  The trucking company did not conduct a thorough background check before hiring the truck driver — had they done so, they would have discovered that the driver had a history of drug abuse.  The trucking company could therefore have prevented the accident, and a Bethlehem truck accident lawyer will help you file a claim.

Substance Abuse and Exhaustion

Unfortunately, the trucking industry is rife with poor scheduling.  Truck drivers are often forced into challenging shifts that require them to forgo sleep for long periods of time.  This may lead to driver exhaustion.  In order to stave off this exhaustion, many commercial truckers abuse stimulants.

All of these issues pose a serious injury risk to others on the roadways — if the exhaustion was caused by the employer’s oppressive scheduling policies, you might also have a legitimate claim against the company.

Inadequate Maintenance

Commercial trucks are dangerously large and heavy machines that must be properly maintained.  Both drivers and trucking companies have a duty to regularly inspect their trucks and correct maintenance issues as they arise.  Many companies cut corners, however, so as to keep up healthier profit margins.

Excessive Speeding

Truckers are under a great deal of pressure to deliver goods on time.  As such, it’s quite common for truckers to speed, despite the fact that their trucks pose a significant injury risk to others (in the event of an accident).  Truckers must adhere to the rules of the road.  Failure to do so may result in liability.

To Speak With a Bethlehem Truck Accident Attorney, Call Our Law Office Today

Truck accidents are often multi-layered affairs involving several different defendants and complicated fact patterns.  It’s therefore critical that you work with a Bethlehem truck accident attorney who has experience successfully litigating truck accident claims to the fullest extent.  Your attorney may have to litigate against the truck driver, an auto manufacturer, or an employer — or all of them simultaneously!

Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC is a personal injury law firm with over three decades of experience litigating truck accident claims and securing compensation for our clients.  To schedule a free consultation with a Bethlehem truck accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, call 610-882-1717  today.