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Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney

Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer

The increase in the use of the trucking industry in the United States has led to commercial motor vehicles (CMV) sharing the roadways with much smaller vehicles, sometimes with devastating effects.

While most of the time CMV and their drivers are able to co-exist with motorists, truck accidents are still very prevalent, often resulting in serious long-lasting physical injuries and fatalities for the motorist involved.

If you have been seriously injured from a truck accident involving an 18-wheeler or a large truck, you might be thinking about what your options are.

Fortunately, your best option is to get in touch with a trusted Philadelphia truck accident attorney from Rosenbaum Injury Law. Our team can help recover what was lost and help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact our law firm or give us a call at (215)-569-0200 to learn more about your options.

Why Choose Rosenbaum Injury Law?

At Rosenbaum Injury Law, our Philadelphia truck accident attorneys are well-versed in tractor trailer truck regulations, relevant to Pennsylvania laws, and trucking insurance loopholes. Here’s some additional reasons why you should choose us:

  • We have successfully settled and litigated personal injury and truck accident claims in Philadelphia for over 25 years. At our firm, personal injury is all we do.
  • We have a staff of over 40 people for full case coverage. Lead attorney Jeff Rosenbaum maintains a close relationship with all his clients and is personally involved in every case we take on.
  • We are dedicated to helping truck accident victims as we give personal care and attention to each case we take on. Let us do the work for you while you focus on your healing during this difficult time.
  • We have secured millions of dollars for clients in settlements and jury verdicts. Additionally, our firm has obtained over $100,000,000 for our clients in the last decade.
  • We operate on a contingency-fee basis, and our attorneys only charge for their services if we secure a settlement or verdict for you. So if we don’t win, you don’t pay.

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck or have lost a loved one, finding the best Philadelphia truck accident lawyer to represent your case is vital to ensure that you receive the just compensation for serious injuries and medical expenses.

Meet Lead Attorney Jeff Rosenbaum

Attorney Jeff Rosenbaum

Lead attorney and founder Jeff Rosenbaum is here to help you lead the charge after a devastating truck accident. As someone who has helped thousands of injured victims recover the compensation that they deserve, he is committed to you during these difficult times.

Mr. Rosenbaum knows that the injuries from a truck accident can be life changing, but he will help you at every step of the process. He is committed to help you get better after sustaining serious and life-changing injuries. So if you’re looking for someone who is committed to you, while also advocating for your best interests, trust Jeff Rosenbaum to do so.

Table of Contents

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How Can a Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney Help You?

Truck accident cases can be considerably complex and often require knowledge of federal and state laws that commercial vehicles are subject to.

Additionally, multiple parties can potentially be liable, such as the truck driver, their employer, or a third party, which means several insurance companies can be involved.

Each insurer from each company will be working to preserve their bottom line and shifting the blame on the other. This is why a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer’s knowledge and experience will be invaluable to help victims in their recovery of damages to offset what was lost.

The Steps A Lawyer Takes To Build Your Case

Hiring a lawyer will protect your rights and ensure you have a solid case for compensation through trial or  a settlement offer. The steps your truck accident lawyer will take to build your case include:

Gathering evidence from the scene. This includes photographs, videos, skid mark measurements, positions of the vehicles, police reports, video surveillance from traffic cams or businesses, eyewitness statements, an inspection of the truck’s brake pads, and other vehicle components, and more.

Helping you get evaluated by a trusted medical professional who can accurately assess the severity and extent of your injuries. Be sure to save or keep any outstanding medical bills and documentation, as that can strengthen the validity of your truck accident case.

Obtaining all records and the necessary documentation to determine liability for the crash. Determining liability includes gathering information on the truck driver and trucking company, the truck driver’s logbook, truck’s black box, maintenance logs, driver’s training history, results from alcohol or drug tests, etc.

Negotiating with the insurance adjusters to recover fair compensation that will pay for all your accident-related expenses. These expenses are property damage, medical treatment and pain and suffering, just to list a few examples.

Your Philadelphia personal injury attorney will initiate an accident investigation immediately to preserve critical evidence of fault that can disappear quickly. Once a trucking company hears of an accident, they may send an investigator to the scene to cover up or get rid of evidence to minimize their liability for the injury claim.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?

Several parties may be responsible for financial damages after a truck accident, including:

The Truck Driver

If the truck driver’s negligence led to an accident, they might be responsible for your losses. Examples of trucker negligence are driving while distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, intentionally violating federal hours-of-service regulations limiting how long truck drivers can work without a break, reckless or aggressive driving.

The Trucking Company

A trucking company can be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of its truck drivers. The company can also face liability if they also engaged in negligent acts, such as hiring an inexperienced driver or one with multiple driving infractions, failing to train drivers, or failing to schedule regular vehicle inspections.

Loading Companies

In some injury cases, cargo loading companies can be held responsible for an accident if they failed to ensure a truck was loaded correctly. When cargo isn’t loaded evenly or properly secured, a cargo shift while driving can lead to a severe accident.

Other potentially liable parties could be the manufacturer of the truck and its parts if they were defectively designed or manufactured, a mechanic who worked on the vehicle and didn’t perform the job properly, or a local government or contractors responsible for highway design or maintenance.

Truck On The Highway

How Do Truck Companies Attempt to Avoid Liability?

Trucking companies will do everything in their power to avoid responsibility and having to pay damages for a truck accident.

Common arguments used to avoid liability are denying that the truck driver is an employee, that the truck driver was not acting within the scope of their employment, or that you were at fault.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor

Under the legal doctrine “Respondeat superior,” a company can be held accountable for the negligent actions of its employees.

As a result, trucking companies will claim their drivers are independent contractors rather than employees. While that may be the case for some truckers, a company cannot incorrectly classify its driver as an independent contractor to avoid liability for an accident claim.

Scope of Employment

If the trucking company cannot deny the truck driver’s employment status, a trucking company’s insurance company may try to raise a “scope of employment” defense.

Employers are only liable for an employee’s negligent actions if they were carried out while the employee was working or performing tasks “within the scope of employment.”

For example, if a truck driver causes an accident while on a break or when returning a leased truck to its owner, their employer may try to deny liability since the driver was not working at the time.

However, these are examples of work-related duties, and the driver could legally be considered working.

In contrast, a trucker would be regarded as acting outside of the scope of their employment if they were using the truck for a personal errand or activity. Then liability will fall on the truck driver.

Shifting the Blame

Lastly, some trucking companies will place blame on you and other parties to shift responsibility for their own employee’s driver error.

In extreme cases, they will destroy evidence of liability, such as driver’s logs (records of duty) or the data from the EDR (“black box”).

Action must be taken quickly by either sending an evidence preservation letter to the trucking company or obtaining a court order to preserve potentially relevant evidence that involves human error. If the trucking company can successfully argue that you were at fault, your compensation can significantly be reduced.

Under Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence laws, individuals can still recover compensation if they are less than 51% at fault, but their percentage of the blame reduces it.

For instance, if you are found 40% at fault and awarded $100,000, you will only recover 60% or $60,000. However, if you are 51% or more at fault, you will not be able to seek compensation for damages.

What are Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

Despite the trucking industry’s regulations, fatal passenger car accidents on major roadways are still very common. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Analysis Division cites the following driver-related factors that contribute to trucking fatalities:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Distraction and or inattention while driving
  • Failure to stay in the proper lane
  • Vision obstruction
  • Failure to yield right-of-way
  • Driver fatigue

Despite changes and improvements within the industry, there is no accounting for adverse weather conditions being the cause of an accident. Nearly 14% of all fatal and nonfatal wrecks involving large trucks occurred during inclement weather, particularly rain.

Trucking-related injuries to accident victims may include internal bleeding, broken bones, head and neck injuries, scars and disfigurement, and many more.

The compounding medical bills from a tractor-trailer accident alone can be overwhelming, which is why finding the right Philadelphia truck accident lawyer is vital to help get you and your family back to where you were before the injury occurred.

Blind Spot Accidents

According to the United States Department of Transportation, approximately 500,000 accidents are caused by truck blind spot accidents each year, with nearly 160,000 truck-related fatalities.

Since 1994, the U.S. Department of Transportation has been warning about the dangers of driving with trucks on the road through two of the Federal Motor Safety Administration programs, the “Teens and Trucks,” program, and the program “Don’t Hang out in the No-Zone.”

These two programs strive to educate all drivers about the specific hazards of driving alongside trucks and the driving requirements needed to safely coexist on the roads.

A commercial truck has four known blind spots or “no-zones”: the area immediately behind the truck, directly in front of the truck, the area surrounding the passenger’s side cabin, and a small portion adjacent to the driver’s side of the truck’s cabin.

Generally speaking, if you cannot see the truck driver’s face in his or her side mirror, then he or she cannot see you.

Brake Failure & Truck Accidents

A recent study by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), found that 29 percent of all large truck accidents involved some form of brake failure.

Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires truck drivers prior to departure to perform a detailed pre-trip inspection noting the status of the truck’s brakes in the daily log.

Truck owners also have a duty under federal trucking laws to properly maintain, repair, and inspect a truck’s brakes on a regular basis and to keep an up-to-date maintenance record.

When the driver or company, negligently fails to maintain their trucks or purposefully compromises the efficiency of the truck’s braking power, that results in a traffic accident which causes serious bodily harm, the injured party has a legal right to hire an experienced Philadelphia truck accident attorney and seek maximum compensation for the harm caused.

When a big-rig, tractor-trailer, tanker, flatbed, or commercial truck’s brakes malfunction or fail, serious injuries including wrongful death can occur. Under Pennsylvania law, a valid claim for negligence will be made when truck accident victims and plaintiffs establish duty, breach, causation, and damages in Philadelphia.

When commercial truck brakes fail or malfunction, there are several different parties that may individually or together be held responsible for the injury caused. The four most common parties are the driver, owner, truck mechanic, and or the brake manufacturer.

These parties may be found liable if their failure of care resulted in an accident and subsequent harm. As defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulation § 350.105, a large truck is a vehicle with a gross vehicle rating greater than 10,000 pounds. Therefore, when a large truck experiences brake failure or the inability to stop, a 10,000-pound juggernaut is unleashed.

Overloaded Trucking Accidents

By overloading a tractor-trailer, it requires the driver to compensate both in stopping distance and in speed.

Other dangers of overloaded trucks are a heightened risk for a potential tire blowout that can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and potentially jackknife, dramatically changing driving conditions for all motorists on the roads.

A chain-reaction from a car accident often follows a truck jackknife as a truck can quickly block lane access and create unpredictable driving conditions.

If a truck driver with an overloaded truck does not leave ample distance, it increases the likelihood that the truck will be involved in a collision as it may not be able to stop in time to avoid striking a passenger vehicle or another truck.

Each Philadelphia truck accident lawyer at Rosenbaum & Associates has vast experience in representing their client’s best interests.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with an overloaded truck, you may be eligible to pursue legal compensation for current and future medical expenses associated with the accident, including lost wages, pain and suffering from the liable party.

Large commercial trucks have a federal gross weight limit of 80,000 pounds, which includes the combined weight of the truck, trailer, and additional cargo.

In order to ensure that the trucks are transporting cargo within their legal limit, truck operators are responsible for checking their own vehicle’s weight. Normally for a small fee, trucks can be weighed at truck stop scale.

Large trucks are especially lethal and cause accidents involving serious injuries to smaller passenger vehicles.

A NHTSA’s truck study found that when a fatal truck accident does occur, 74 percent of the time, occupants of the vehicle were the ones fatally injured as opposed to the 16 percent of occupants in the large truck who were severely injured.

Distracted Driving

A truck driver’s inattention while driving can be catastrophic. Typical forms of distractions include texting or talking on a cell phone, drinking, and eating.

Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers work long hours and don’t have a reliable sleep schedule. Although federal laws dictate how many hours a trucker can be on the road, it doesn’t guarantee they will be adhered to, especially since truck drivers are trying to meet deadlines.

Impatience or Road Rage

The enormous pressure to meet deadlines can lead to impatience or anger when a truck driver is on the road or stuck in traffic.

Reckless Driving

Reckless behaviors such as speeding, sudden lane changes, failing to signal, failing to account for traffic, or braking abruptly can leave little time for a truck driver or other drivers to react and increases the risk of an accident.

Driving Under the Influence

Many truck drivers resort to alcohol or drugs out of boredom or stimulants to stay awake. Driving under the influence clouds judgment, slows reaction time and can compel a driver to take unnecessary risks.

Poor Maintenance or Manufacturing Defects

Many truck owners or trucking companies don’t spend the time or money to maintain their vehicles properly. Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, originate from the manufacturer, and if a part fails, the truck driver may lose control.

Poor Weather Conditions

Dangerous weather can significantly reduce a truck driver’s ability to control the vehicle if they fail to adjust to the climate and road conditions.

How To Stay Safe When Driving Next To A Truck

How To Stay Safe When Driving Next To A Truck

When a motor vehicle does get into an accident with a large truck, the sheer size of the truck tends to lessen the injuries of the truck driver and exacerbate the injuries of the passenger vehicle.

The following tips and tricks for driving with trucks in Philadelphia can help drivers navigate the roads safely:

  • Keep in mind that a fully loaded tractor-trailer requires approximately twice the distance to stop than that of a passenger vehicle and trucks with overloaded cargo could pose a further threat.
  • When it comes to trucks and tractor-trailers, the bigger the truck the bigger the blind spot.
  • The longer the vehicle, the greater the difference in the turning path required for a wide turn.
  • You diminish your own cushion of safety when you tailgate a truck, or cut in front of one abruptly, as:
    • 1) the truck driver may very well not see you as you are in their “no-zone” and;
    • 2) trucks are not as maneuverable as passenger vehicles, when a hazard pops up on the road you want to ensure your safety, and those of your loved ones, by factoring in the likelihood that large trucks may need to make a quick correction that takes both time and space.
  • Always pass a large truck on their left side, and do not linger in the process. The quicker you can get out of the truck’s “no-zone” in a controlled manner, the better.
  • Lastly, truck driver’s cannot see everyone on the road simply because they sit higher off the ground. Instead, they are blanketed by a blind spot where a driver loses sight of the vehicles on the road.

What Are Common Truck Accident Injuries?

Some of the most common types of truck accident injuries that occur in Pennsylvania include:

Head Injuries (TBIs)

Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe and may leave victims with permanent cognitive or physical impairments.

Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)

A tiny amount of damage to the spinal cord can cause a catastrophic injury, leading to a loss of range of motion, paralysis, and in some cases, a loss of control over basic bodily functions.


Whiplash is a leading injury in motor vehicle accidents, caused by soft tissue damage to the neck. It occurs when a person’s neck is ‘whipped’ violently back and forth. The pain can be excruciating, and these injuries can take considerable time to heal.

Broken Bones

Severe bone fractures often occur in the impact of a truck accident or from being hit by or thrown into objects. Treatment may involve surgery, and these injuries can take several weeks to months to heal.

Back Injuries

Many types of back injuries can occur, such as herniated discs or vertebral fractures. It may take months or years for victims to recover from a severe back injury, and in some cases, they never completely heal.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries are not always immediately apparent but can be life-threatening if medical attention is not sought right after a crash.

Disfigurement and Burn Injuries 

Road rash or lacerations from coming into contact with the road or a sharp object can permanently scar a victim. Fires can also develop after a truck accident, which can severely injure and disfigure victims.

Emotional Distress

Victims may suffer from psychological conditions after a truck accident—for example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, insomnia, terror, etc.

Wrongful Death

In the most tragic cases, victims suffer fatal injuries. If another party’s negligent actions are responsible, surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death claim to hold them accountable.

It is critical to always seek medical care as soon as possible after a truck accident. Injuries can be severe or life-changing; in some cases, it can take up to 72 hours for symptoms to appear.

What is the Timeline To File A Truck Accident Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?

Each state sets a legal deadline for filing a truck accident claim, known as the statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, you generally have two years from the date of the accident.

If you miss this window, you will be barred from recovering compensation. This deadline encourages timely filing for a more efficient legal process and ensures evidence remains available.

There are limited exceptions to the statute of limitations, but some situations can alter this deadline:

  • Minors: If the victim is a child under the age of 18, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until they turn 18.
  • Claim Against a Government Agency: If you bring a truck accident injury claim against a city, county, or state government, you must first file a notice of intent to sue within six months.

    It is crucial to speak to a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.

    Contact Our Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyers Today

    If you or someone you love has suffered a personal injury or was wrongfully killed in a large trucking accident, the experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyers from our legal team can help your personal injury case.

    For questions or a free case evaluation, call our Philadelphia office today at (215) 569-0200. You shouldn’t have to suffer due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else – a dedicated Philadelphia truck accident attorney will fight for the compensation you deserve.

    Victims that need help after an accident with medical costs and pain and suffering damages have an advocate at Rosenbaum Injury Law.

    Our firm offers a free initial consultation to victims involved in trucking accidents. We have offices all across Pennsylvania; give us a call and schedule a consultation to discuss the legal options with our experienced truck accident experts in Philadelphia. We are available for in-office visits or virtual meetings, whichever works best for you.