Commercial vehicles include delivery vans, garbage trucks, construction vehicles and tractor-trailers. These vehicles transport food and other goods across the country, meaning that other drivers share the road with them every day. While most commercial vehicles are operated by responsible companies that hire safe drivers and maintain their vehicles, others are willing to cut corners in order to increase profits. The result of this kind of negligence is often serious truck accidents that can cause catastrophic injuries to those involved.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a commercial vehicle, the attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., can help you explore your legal options. We have significant experience handling personal injury lawsuits for clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide. In one case, our attorneys represented the family of a victim whose wrongful death resulted from a dump truck accident. Though this case was complex and had three different defendants, our law firm obtained a successful verdict of $10.5 million.
What Commonly Causes Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
Commercial vehicles come in many shapes and sizes, and many different people may have access to a single truck or van. As a result, different parties might be responsible for the injuries and damages caused by a commercial truck accident. Possible causes of commercial vehicle accidents include:
- Driver error. In some cases, the negligence of the driver of a garbage truck, delivery van or other commercial vehicle may be the cause of the crash. Often, commercial drivers face pressure from their companies in the form of unrealistic delivery schedules and quotas. This pressure may result in speeding, drowsiness and/or distracted driving, making a driver more prone to mistakes.
- Poor vehicle maintenance. The companies that own commercial vehicles must ensure that these trucks and vans receive regular inspections and proper repairs. However, some companies neglect these duties to save money. Inadequate maintenance of a vehicle like a cement truck or UPS delivery van may result in faulty brakes, steering or tires. Any or all of these problems may cause a crash.
- Defective machinery. In some cases, manufacturing and design defects can make a commercial vehicle unsafe and liable to crash. Defective brakes, motors or lift gates can contribute to commercial truck crashes.
- Improper loading. Most commercial vehicle haul goods or materials, like debris or gravel from a construction site. Improper loading of this cargo may cause it to shift during transport, causing a serious rollover accident.
According to federal law, the companies that own commercial trucks and delivery vehicles must insure these vehicles in case of a crash. This means that, in most cases, victims of truck accidents may file an insurance claim against the trucking company. However, this company or its insurance provider may try to blame the loading company or manufacturer in order to escape responsibility.
What Happens After a Crash Caused by a Commercial Truck?
When a commercial vehicle accident results in serious injury, investigators from the insurance company responsible for paying the damage claim may arrive on the accident scene within hours. The goal of this investigation is one-sided: to limit the liability of the company that owns the commercial vehicle.
For this reason, you should contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible after a commercial vehicle accident. While you or your loved one recover, your attorney can start working to protect your interests. We will collect and preserve evidence supporting your case, such as:
- The background of the driver, including any past violations
- How long the driver had been on the road without resting
- Telephone records of the driver
- The GPS system of the delivery vehicle (if so equipped)
- Safety inspection records of the vehicle
- Statements from witnesses
- Skid marks and debris from the accident scene
- Vehicle damage
Even if the commercial vehicle is clearly at fault, the insurance company may try to assign a percentage of the blame on you. This “blame-shifting” can reduce the amount of your financial recovery. To protect your right to full compensation, we urge you not to make any statements to an insurance company representative without first consulting qualified attorneys. The insurance company will try to use anything you say to against you to damage your case.
Hurt by a Commercial Vehicle? Call a Truck Accident Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
Commercial vehicle and delivery truck accidents can cause serious, even catastrophic injuries. However, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages or a loved one’s wrongful death. Our Pennsylvania and New Jersey law firm has experience with both these kinds of insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. If you have questions or would like to discuss your case with a qualified legal professional, we are here for you.
Contact us today to schedule a free review with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney who represents victims of commercial and delivery vehicle accidents. Our law firm has offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but we accept cases nationwide. We also handle cases on a contingency fee basis. You pay us nothing unless we get results for you!