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Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Pittsburgh Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Attorney Advocates for Clients Injured in Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Pittsburgh and Throughout Pennsylvania

The remarkable severity of injuries seen by an experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyer are almost beyond belief. These injuries are permanent and disabling, yet receiving fair compensation is a difficult process. 

The injuries you or a loved one have suffered in a commercial vehicle accident can come with massive ongoing medical expenses and a lifetime of lost income. Truck and other commercial vehicle carriers and their insurance companies will always take thorough steps to avoid being held responsible for your injuries. This is why you need an experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney who will always fight for your rights. Pittsburgh Attorney Mark A. Smith will listen to your story and assess whether you have a commercial vehicle accident claim in Pennsylvania. 

When you are injured in a commercial vehicle accident, figuring out whether you might have a legal cause of action and against which party or parties can be very complicated. Perhaps the driver of the vehicle that injured you is an independent contractor, or maybe one directly employed by a massive trucking company?

Commercial vehicle accidents are not uncommon in Pennsylvania, a state with a large amount of truck traffic, especially on the highways around Pittsburgh and other major urban centers. On the roads of Pennsylvania, when a commercial vehicle, such as a transport truck, collides with a passenger car, the occupants of the car will almost always be the ones who suffer serious injuries, permanent disability, or even death. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 98% of the accident cases in which there is a death when a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle collide, the person killed is an occupant of the passenger vehicle.

Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

The errors and negligence of a commercial vehicle driver may have caused your accident

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 2005 Report to Congress, large commercial truck accidents are caused by the following factors:

  • Vehicle: brake problems – 29 percent
  • Driver: Travelling too fast for existing conditions – 23 percent
  • Driver: Unfamiliar with roadway – 22 percent
  • Environment: Roadway problems – 20 percent
  • Driver: Over-the-counter drug use – 17 percent
  • Driver: Inadequate surveillance – 14 percent
  • Driver: Fatigue – 13 percent
  • Driver: Felt pressure from carrier – 10 percent
  • Driver: Illegal maneuver – 9 percent
  • Driver: Inattention – 9 percent
  • Driver: External distraction – 8 percent
  • Vehicle: Tire problems – 6 percent
  • Driver: Following too close – 5 percent
  • Driver: Jackknifed – 5 percent
  • Vehicle: Cargo shift – 4 percent
  • Driver: Illness – 3 percent
  • Driver: Internal distraction – 2 percent
  • Driver: Illegal drugs – 2 percent
  • Driver: Alcohol – 1 percent

Distracted Commercial Vehicle Drivers Can be Deadly

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules apply in Pennsylvania 

Recognizing the profound dangers when commercial vehicle drivers allow themselves to drive while distracted, FMCA rules are in place to try to prevent commercial vehicle accidents.

Despite crystal clear prohibitions against using any “hand-held mobile phone: while driving (with the exception of communicating with law enforcement or emergency services officials), commercial vehicle drivers continue to both use mobile phones and to even text while driving loaded commercial vehicles that weigh up to 80,000 pounds. 

The dangers of distracted commercial vehicle drivers have been highlighted by FMCA studies, which have found that commercial vehicle drivers who text take their eyes off the road for almost five seconds and are 23 times more likely to contribute to traffic collisions than those who do not text.

Avoid Quick Commercial Vehicle Accident Settlements

An experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyer understands settlement strategy

Because commercial vehicle drivers are covered by massive insurance policies, their lawyers and claims adjusters often want to resolve the case as quickly as possible at a deeply discounted price. Attorney Mark A. Smith has the perspective and experience to advise you on when a claim should and should not be settled.

Remember that If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or your loved one has been killed due to an accident involving a commercial vehicle due to the trucker’s negligence, you have a right to fair monetary compensation for your loss of income, medical costs, and perhaps even your pain and suffering. Settling quickly without having experienced counsel fighting on your behalf is exactly what the other party wants you to do. They have done this hundreds, if not thousands, of times, while this is almost certainly your first commercial vehicle accident experience. 

Contact experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyer Mark A. Smith today for a free consultation about your case.

Frequently Asked Questions About Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Pittsburgh

Are truckers who drive at night more likely to be in a commercial vehicle accident?

Yes. FMCSA conducted a study and reached an important conclusion: the time of day affects driver alertness more than the number of hours driven. Commercial vehicle drivers who drive at night are statistically more likely to fall asleep at the wheel and become involved in fatigue-related accidents than commercial vehicle drivers who drive during the day.

I was not injured in a commercial vehicle accident but my family member was. Could I have a legal claim?

Yes. Attorney Mark A. Smith can advise you on the necessary steps to be taken in order to file a claim where a loved one has been injured or killed in a commercial vehicle accident. You may have the legal right to seek financial compensation for your loss.

I thought I was fine after an accident with a commercial vehicle but now I am getting medical help. Will I be blocked from filing a claim because I didn’t get medical help right away?

No. Delayed injuries from a commercial vehicle accident are common. These include, numbness, dizziness and disorientation, whiplash, and back pain.

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