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Fatal Traffic Accident FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about accidents with semi trucks, fatal truck crash accident lawyers, 18 wheeler injury, tractor trailer injury, and semi rig injury.

Whatís the difference between truck accidents and other vehicle accidents?

Although the same laws of negligence apply, there are special Vehicle Code sections that apply only to commercial semitruck drivers and trucking companies. Truck drivers also have special licensing and training requirements which generally make truck accidents harder to defend but easier for the plaintiffs to win.

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How do I deal with trucking companies or their insurance carriers after a truck accident?

The first thing you should do is consult with an expert semitruck accident lawyer. The last thing you want to do is your own negotiation with a trucking company about your trucking accident. Most trucking companies are highly skilled at truck accident investigation and claims. Anything you say or sign may be held against you further down the road.

Who can sue in a truck accident injury or death case?

Anyone who is injured or has had a loved one killed in a truck accident can sue as long as some other person or entity is at fault for the accident. This includes adults and children (who can sue through guardians or parents); and even truck drivers if another person or entity was at fault for the accident.

Who can be sued in a truck accident case?

Any person or entity who was at fault for causing the truck accident can be sued including the truck driver and the trucking company, the owner of the trailer, the shipper, as well as any other driver, person or entity who contributed to the accident, such as the manufacturer of one of the vehicles involved in the accident, the manufacturer of a tire that contributed to the accident or the owner of any public or private property whose negligence contributed to the accident.

My accident occurred in New Jersey but I live in Pennsylvania. Should I hire a Pennsylvania semitruck accident lawyer or a New Jersey truck accident lawyer?

Thatís a good question. A prominent semitruck accident lawyer will have co-counsel in several states. Your case can be filed where you live or where the trucking company is incorporated; where the trucking company does business; or where the trucking accident happened.

How soon should a truck accident injury or death case be pursued?

Each state has a different law regarding big rig accidents and/or wrongful deaths. In some states a truck accident case must be brought within two years of the date of the decedent's death, if death occurred on or after January 1, 2004; and one year from the date of decedent's death if the death occurred before January 1, 2004.

How important is an investigation in a truck accident case?

Extremely important; if the truck is commercially owned, large trucking companies will perform their own investigation immediately after the accident. Unfortunately, this puts you at a big disadvantage. To counteract, retain an attorney who immediately investigates the case to pin down liability for potential at-fault defendants.

Are expert witnesses necessary to prove fault in a truck accident case?

Usually, unless there is no question that one party was completely at fault, a plaintiff in any serious injury or death case involving a truck should retain an expert with expertise in the design, manufacturing, and operation of trucks and the rules of the trucking industry.

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Can a truck driver operate his vehicle 24/7?

No. Since 1939, Federal law has placed restrictions on the hours of service that a trucker may operate his truck. Recent changes have been made to these rules for the first time in over 60 years. The new rules are designed to reduce the effect of cumulative fatigue and prevent many of the accidents and fatalities to which fatigue is a contributing factor for big rig drivers.

I canít afford a truck accident lawyer. What can I do?

Many truck accident law attorneys represent clients on a contingency fee basis. Under this arrangement, there is no fee, unless and until there is a recovery. If nothing is recovered -- than no fees are collected.

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