Tractor Trailer Accidents
Transportation Incidents are a Leading Cause of Work-Related Deaths
Commercial truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that there were over 60,000 injuries from large truck and bus accidents in 2018 alone.
The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. proudly represent over-the-road haulers, delivery drivers, and other trucking industry workers in workers’ compensation and third-party personal injury claims.
Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents
Tractor trailer accidents are most commonly caused by drivers of passenger vehicles. Driver errors that often lead to motor vehicle accidents involving injuries and fatalities include:
- Distracted driving: Technological advancements have made distracted driving increasingly prevalent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in distracted driving accidents in the U.S. each day.
- Drunk driving: According to the CDC, 29 people in the U.S. are fatally injured each day in drunk driving accidents. Alcohol slows down the nervous system, leaving drivers less equipped to see and react to situations on the road.
- Failure to follow traffic laws: Drivers may fail to follow traffic laws or commit other unsafe acts. Common causes of tractor trailer accidents include driving in blind spots or “no-zones,” pulling out in front of a truck without giving the driver adequate time to break, improperly merging into traffic, unsafe passing, and failure to slow down for approaching trucks.
- Speeding: Speeding was a contributing factor in over one-fourth of all fatal car accidents in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). With tractor-trailers weighing up to 100,000 pounds, high-speed accidents can have catastrophic consequences.
Other causes of tractor trailer accidents include truck driver negligence, adverse weather conditions, and defective products. Depending on the circumstances of the case, injured workers may be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits in addition to damages from a third-party claim.
Laws regarding workers’ compensation vary; therefore, workers should seek the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney in their area. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. provide experienced legal representation for injured workers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania.
Workers’ Compensation for Injured Drivers in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system is no-fault; therefore, workers may collect workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act may include compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses, such as hospital visits, surgeries, treatments, therapy, and the cost of traveling to and from doctors’ appointments. Those who miss work for more than seven days may also be entitled to wage loss benefits, which vary depending on the severity of the injuries.
Third-Party Claims for Tractor Trailer Accidents
Although workers may not sue their employers personally for their work-related injuries, they may be able to sue responsible third parties. In Pennsylvania, a worker may file a third-party claim in addition to filing for workers’ compensation. Third-party claims, or personal injury lawsuits against non-employers, allow workers to recover additional payments for non economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Negligent third parties may include:
- Cargo loading company
- Defective auto parts/equipment manufacturers
- Government entities
- Maintenance company
- Responsible passenger vehicle drivers
- Shipping agency
To prevail, a worker must be able to show that a third party negligently or intentionally caused his or her injuries. In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation claims must be filed within three years from the date of the injury. The statute of limitations for third-party personal injury claims is two years.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Injured Truck Drivers Collect Benefits
If you were injured in a tractor trailer accident, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our experienced lawyers can represent you in both workers’ compensation and third-party claims to help ensure that you get the maximum recovery for your injuries. Contact us online or call 888-PITT-LAW today to schedule a free consultation.
We proudly represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.