Harrisburg Truck Accident Attorney
Large Truck & Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Dauphin County
Any car accident can be devastating, but few have such a major impact on the lives of victims as those involving large semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles. Due to their sheer size and weight, these vehicles cause immense destruction when they collide with smaller passenger cars and motorcycles—and the occupants of the smaller vehicles are typically the ones who suffer the most severe injuries and the highest risk of death.
If you or someone you love was involved in a collision with a large commercial truck, the aftermath can seem overwhelming. At Metzger Wickersham, we are committed to helping you secure the justice you deserve. From our office in Harrisburg, our truck accident attorneys offer aggressive advocacy on behalf of those who have been catastrophically injured or who have lost loved ones due to the negligence and recklessness of others. We understand what you have been through, as well as the challenges that still lay ahead—and we are ready to fight for you and the recovery you are owed.
How Do Large Truck Accidents Happen?
Like any other motor vehicle crash, large truck accidents can often be traced back to negligence. Sometimes, this negligence occurs on the part of the truck driver; in other cases, another party is to blame. Regardless of the circumstances, you should not have to simply deal with the life-altering consequences of someone else’s negligence on your own.
Some of the most common causes of semi-truck and other large truck accidents include:
- Truck Driver Error: Most truck drivers are highly skilled professionals, but this does not mean they are immune from making mistakes. Truck driver error and negligence are common factors in large truck accidents. Examples include distracted driving, texting while driving, fatigued driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, violating traffic laws, driving too fast for conditions, speeding, and more.
- Trucking Company Negligence: In some cases, the truck driver’s employer is negligent, ultimately leading to the crash. Examples of trucking company negligence include failing to conduct background checks on new drivers, failing to adequately respond to a driver’s history of DUI, failing to properly supervise truck drivers, and even encouraging drivers to forge hours-of-service logs to meet strict qour harrisburguotas and deadlines.
- Improper Cargo Loading: The way cargo is loaded is incredibly important; unbalanced cargo may shift during transport, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Overloaded trucks also pose a serious threat, as they can be harder to control and more difficult to stop. When third-party cargo companies improperly load trucks, including by overloading them, they could be potentially at fault for resulting accidents.
- Poor Maintenance and Repairs: Truck drivers are often responsible for conducting routine maintenance on their vehicles and notifying the proper parties when repairs are needed. When they fail to do this, or when corners are cut to save costs on repairs, the consequences can be disastrous. Poor truck maintenance can lead to failed brakes, tire blowouts, missing reflective strips, broken headlights/taillights, and other serious problems.
- Vehicle and Roadway Defects: Sometimes, even when proper truck maintenance and repairs are carried out, a vehicle may have a defect that causes it to crash. In other cases, poorly designed or improperly built roadways can contribute to or cause accidents. When this occurs, the manufacturer, distributor, engineer, construction company, contractor, or other responsible party could be held legally liable.
- Third-Party Negligence: In a small percentage of cases, truck accidents occur for reasons completely out of the truck driver or trucking company’s control. When other people on the road—including fellow motorists, pedestrians, and even bicyclists—are negligent, truck drivers may not be able to react safely. This can lead to devastating accidents for which the at-fault third party could be liable.
An injured accident victim may even be partially to blame for the crash, but this does not necessarily prohibit them from filing a claim. If you were less than 51% at fault for the accident, you could still seek compensation for your damages under Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence statute. However, if this is the case, your total recovery will be reduced by your at-fault percentage.
Who Is Liable for Truck Accidents?
One of the main things that makes truck accident claims so complex is the issue of liability. In most standard car accident cases, the person who caused the accident is the one who is liable for the resulting damages. However, when a truck driver causes an accident, his or her employer—the trucking company—is likely legally liable. This is because employers are largely responsible for their employees’ conduct while those employees are “on the clock,” so to speak.
However, liability becomes even more complicated in these cases when the trucking company disputes your claim. The trucking company may claim to not be liable because the truck driver was an independent contractor, not an employee. They may argue that you were mostly or completely at fault for the accident or that another third party, such as a cargo loading company, was to blame.
It is incredibly important that you work with a skilled truck accident attorney after any accident involving a large commercial vehicle. Trucking companies and their insurance providers have large legal teams to defend them against claims and will often do everything they can to avoid paying out the compensation you are rightfully owed. Our Harrisburg truck accident attorneys know how to go up against these powerful defense teams and successfully advocate for our clients.
Damages for Truck Accident Victims
After an accident with a large commercial vehicle, you are likely to experience numerous unexpected losses. Collectively, your economic and non-economic losses are known as “damages.”
Depending on the specifics of your case, you could be entitled to compensation for the following damages:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Costs associated with emergency medical care
- Pain and suffering, including future pain and suffering
- Lost wages, income, and employment benefits
- Disability leading to lost earning capacity
- Miscellaneous expenses, such as in-home care costs
Our goal at Metzger Wickersham is to recover the maximum compensation you are owed. We know that no amount of financial recovery can undo the trauma you have experienced, but we have also seen firsthand how successful truck accident settlements and verdicts have allowed our victims the economic resources they needed to heal and move forward with their lives.
Fighting for the Recovery You Deserve
For more than 130 years, Metzger Wickersham has been recognized as a client-focused law firm, dedicated to securing justice on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania. We are known for our compassionate approach, as well as our aggressive advocacy in and out of the courtroom. When it comes to your case, we are ready to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet.
We have multiple offices throughout the state and can travel to meet you at your home or in the hospital if needed. Our team is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we do not collect any attorney fees unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.