Commercial vehicles are vehicles that carry goods, such as food, furniture, and garbage, or paid customers. Accidents with commercial vehicles can often be the most devastating and severe vehicle accidents that can occur. Commercial vehicles, such as school buses, delivery trucks, or trains can cause serious and sometimes life altering injuries for their victims, and suffering an injury in a commercial vehicle crash often leads to significant emotional, financial, and physical hurdles to overcome.
Unfortunately, money can be one of the biggest challenges after an accident due to extensive time off of work to recover, mounting medical bills, and long-term rehabilitation. If another person’s negligence caused you or your loved one to face such difficulty following a commercial vehicle accident, experienced legal council may be beneficial to help you rebuild your life.
At Reiff & Bily, we know how to hold commercial drivers and transportation companies accountable for serious injury accidents. It’s important to us to provide accident survivors and their families with information regarding their legal rights and options. If you have been injured in a Philadelphia commercial vehicle accident, you deserve effective legal action. Our nationally recognized trial lawyers have over three and a half decades of experience helping people who may have been in a similar situation to your own and strive to help our clients and their families obtain compensation for their significant losses. If you or someone you love has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, call (215) 274-0072 today for a free consultation.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Commercial vehicles tend to be much larger and heavier than normal passenger vehicles and include:
- Delivery trucks, such as UPS and FedEx
- Cargo vans
- Garbage trucks
- Food and beverage trucks
Commercial vehicle classifications can become a bit complicated, and can extend to include company cars or other vehicles used for business. Following an accident with a commercial vehicle, it is important to contact a lawyer that understands the specific classifications, and laws surrounding commercial vehicles.
Accidents with these types of vehicles can cause significant damage to smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Many commercial vehicle accidents are the direct result of an act of negligence or wrongdoing. If this is the case, you may have grounds for filing a personal injury claim or pursuing a lawsuit, so it is important to contact an attorney right away.
Commercial drivers who are under pressure to make a deadline may exceed the speed limit or attempt to drive while fatigued. Others fail to inspect their vehicles for defects, worn tires, or other maintenance issues that can lead to a hazardous situation. Distracted driving is a common cause of commercial vehicle accidents as well. Any of these causes, as well as others, may be reason enough to take legal action. Along with proper medical evidence, our skilled commercial vehicle lawyers have over 90 collective years of experience and are prepared to apply effective strategies in order to increase the likelihood of a favorable case outcome.
Regulation Regarding Hours of Service
An overworked driver is one of the more common causes of commercial vehicle accidents. Motorists who work for long hours without proper rest and breaks are more likely to lose focus, feel drowsy, and drift from their lane of traffic. Each accident is unique and fact specific, but laws are in place that strive to decrease driver fatigue. Federal laws limit the number of hours that a commercial driver can work consecutively without rest.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that property-carrying commercial drivers only operate their vehicles for 11 hours after 10 hours of consecutive time off duty. Passenger-carrying commercial drivers may only work for 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty. Both property-carrying and passenger-carrying commercial drivers may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
Damages Sustained by Victims
Drivers and passengers in small vehicles who are crushed by commercial vehicles can suffer devastating injuries, including:
- bone fractures
- traumatic brain injuries
- spinal cord trauma
- burn injuries
If you or someone you love has sustained any of these injuries, or injuries of similar severity, compensation may be available. Compensation for the resulting medical bills, hospitalization fees, surgical procedures, medical devices, and the cost of rehabilitation services, may be included.
There are other damages that can be included in a claim against the at-fault party as well. For example, our skilled accident lawyers may be able to help our clients seek financial compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and lost future income. Every case is different, but all losses that are the direct result of driver negligence should be included in a claim against the at-fault party.
The process of filing a claim against a negligent driver is more complicated when a commercial driver is involved. Potential liable parties may include the driver, his or her employer, and the owner of the commercial vehicle. It is crucial to obtain quality legal representation before the Pennsylvania statute of limitations of two years from the date of the accident passes and before valuable evidence is lost.
Contact the Attorneys at Reiff & Bily for Your Commercial Vehicle Accident Claim
There is no excuse for careless and reckless behavior. Commercial motorists who drive while impaired, fatigued, or distracted should be held accountable for their negligence. If you have been injured by a negligent commercial driver, the experienced Philadelphia commercial vehicle and car accident attorneys at Reiff & Bily are here to help. If you or someone you loved has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, please call us at (215) 274-0072, or contact us online for a no-cost and private consultation.