Our society relies on trucks to distribute goods, but large tractor-trailers can pose a significant danger to others on the road if they are not operated professionally and safely. Due to the huge size of a tractor-trailer, if you were a victim of a truck crash, you are likely dealing with severe injuries. If another party caused the wreck, our seasoned accident attorneys at Ostroff Injury Law can help you seek compensation, by holding the truck driver and company accountable for the harm they caused to you and your family members.
Founding Partner Jon Ostroff and his team of Lewisburg truck accident lawyers have recovered money for thousands of clients. For example:
- Our legal team recovered $5 million for the family of a woman that was killed after she was ejected from a vehicle that collided with a truck in Union County, on Route 80. This substantial settlement was obtained after Ostroff Law won a large verdict related to this crash.
- We obtained a $3.075 settlement for our client who was seriously injured in a multi-truck crash on I-80. This accident occurred during a “white-out” blizzard.
- We recovered $10 million for a client that was catastrophically injured after his vehicle was crushed in the rear by a tractor-trailer on I-79 in a rural area of Pennsylvania.
If you were in a severe collision with an 18-wheeler, you should consult an experienced truck crash lawyer that will begin working on your case immediately. Our lawyers are prepared to guide you through the legal process and fight for your right to recover payment from the at-fault party.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The large size of 18-wheelers makes them a threat to smaller vehicles, but there are other reasons trucks are so dangerous.
- Their shape creates large blind spots on all four sides, and an inattentive trucker might not be aware of surrounding traffic. Additionally, large tractor-trailers are unwieldy and less responsive than cars due to their heavy weight, height and length, so controlling them requires professional training and conduct.
- Handling 18 wheelers in wet or icy conditions takes training, focus and the experience to look at the entire roadway. Otherwise, they can be the equivalent of a large bomb if they are lose control near other vehicles in bad weather.
- Truckers often drive tired, due to pressure from their company to deliver the load they are hauling on time. Often, they are over-scheduled and over-committed. This is part of the reason you see truckers speeding on highways or rushing through backroads.
- Tired truckers also rely on dangerous methamphetamines (a/k/a “Speed” or “uppers”)to stay awake. While this may help prevent them from falling asleep, it also causes them to drive faster and aggressively, causing them to overreact to a dangerous situation. Most importantly, they will be impaired by these dangerous and illegal narcotics. (Your lawyer must quickly investigate your crash and find witnesses that observed the driver’s driving before the crash and their appearance at the scene, to try to establish evidence of illegal drug use.)
Truck Driver Mistakes
Reckless or careless driving is a factor in many, if not most, truck crashes. Driving a semi requires significant skill, and it is easy for a small miscalculation to have a tragic impact. Drivers who are poorly trained, fatigued, distracted, or impaired will cause accidents that leave innocent people seriously injured.
If a truck operator takes a turn too quickly, the vehicle could jack-knife or even roll over, crushing any vehicles in adjacent lanes. Improper loading of cargo, excessive speed, or defective brakes could cause a truck to jackknife, where the trailer swings out perpendicular to the cab.
Excessive speed, poor weather conditions, or limited visibility could prevent a truck from braking in time to avoid a hazard in the road, leading to a multi-vehicle accident. A local attorney well versed in tractor-trailer accident cases can help you determine the cause of a truck collision.
Investigating an 18-Wheeler Wreck in Lewisburg
Trucking companies often have a team of investigators ready to investigate any crash. They search for any evidence they can find or manufacture that will be used to defend the trucker or the trucking company.
If you suffered injuries in a tractor-trailer accident, it is important that you hire a respected attorney who can examine the circumstances of your accident. A lawyer can hire their own investigators or accident reconstruction specialists to pinpoint the cause of the wreck and gather significant evidence. You need a winning team like Ostroff Injury Law to go to battle and overcome the team the trucking company and its insurance company will hire.
Collecting evidence immediately after a crash is essential. Commercial trucks have a black box that records data about the truck’s performance and other significant information. An attorney can present a demand to preserve this data. Without a timely demand, the trucking company will typically erase or destroy it.
In a case handled by Ostroff Injury Law that resulted in a $10 million dollar recovery, only a few days after the crash, the trucking company quickly started repairing the at-fault truck. Ostroff’s lawyers appeared in court immediately after they were hired, to present an emergency motion and obtain an emergency order requiring the trucking company to stop all modifications until Ostroff Injury Law attorneys and experts could photograph, measure, and preserve the evidence of this crash. Jon Ostroff did the same in a Union County bus/truck crash, to prevent Greyhound Bus Company from modifying or moving its damaged bus. In this instance, Ostroff was able to keep the bus in its post-crash condition until they were near trial. Ostroff used this evidence to overcome a negative police report investigation and win over $20 million for the clients that were injured.
In addition, the sooner your lawyer can interview witnesses, the more likely they are to produce useful information. It’s critical to properly download data from the computer on the truck, to secure driver personnel files before they are lost or modified, to obtain accurate truck maintenance records, surveillance camera footage, and other evidence as soon as feasible after a crash. Otherwise, physical evidence could be modified, damaged, deteriorate, or get “lost.” Anything that is vulnerable and can’t be obtained quickly, should be locked down with an emergency Court Order, to preserve it before it is modified.
Proving Negligence in Truck Accidents
Your attorney must prove another party was negligent in order to hold them accountable to pay what they should, for the harm they caused to you or your family member. To prove, and recover for, negligence in a truck accident case, you must meet your burden of proof to demonstrate that someone behaved carelessly and failed to follow the rules of the road.
You must also prove that their negligence or recklessness was the cause of your accident and directly led to your injuries. Investigatory evidence might show that the trucking company violated the law by postponing vehicle maintenance, hiring an unfit driver, rushing the driver or pushing them to drive while tired, or requiring the driver to violate rules regarding work hours.
If shifting cargo contributed to the crash, the company that loaded the tractor-trailer might be negligent. The truck’s manufacturer could even be negligent if an equipment failure was a factor in the accident. Your semi-truck wreck lawyer will investigate all potentially negligent actions to identify responsible parties. If multiple parties share the fault for an accident, all of them could be liable to pay you compensation.
Talk to a Lewisburg Truck Accident Attorney About Your Case
If you were injured in a truck accident, you will need an experienced attorney on your side to obtain fair compensation for all of your harm and losses. Trucking companies do not readily admit fault and will do all they can to create legal obstacles to avoid paying you. Our seasoned Lewisburg truck accident lawyers know how to succeed in these types of cases. Schedule a consultation as soon as you can to get the strong truck crash advocates at Ostroff Injury Law working for you.