If you often drive in Pennsylvania, such as if you commute to and from work every day, you probably see plenty of big trucks on the highway. These eighteen-wheelers rule the road because of their size. You must give them a wide berth because they’re so much larger than your vehicle.
Still, just because a truck is larger and heavier than your car, that does not mean the driver can ignore any traffic rules. They can’t bully you or bypass conventional motorist behaviors.
If a commercial truck hits your car, you can certainly try to collect compensation for that. To do so, you’ll first need to get the right lawyer for the job. Here are four things you’ll want to see from your Pennsylvania attorney before you hire them to represent you in a commercial truck accident suit.
They Have to Know the Law
Probably knowing the law’s ins and outs is the most critical thing you’ll want to see from your attorney. What you have to realize is that every state has different laws when it comes to truck accidents, and
Pennsylvania is no exception.
In Pennsylvania, they have what’s called comparative fault. What that means is that if you’re partly to blame for a truck accident, you can’t collect as much money. The jury will determine how much of the blame rests on you if you take the truck driver or their company to court.
If the jury allocates more than 50% of the blame to you for a truck accident, that can prohibit you from recovering any damages. The jury will reduce the payout based on how much of the accident they feel you caused. If they think you caused 10% of the accident, they will reduce your payout by that amount.
You need a lawyer who knows all about this and can explain it to you. There are other aspects of seeking justice in a commercial truck accident case that might confuse the layperson, but your attorney needs to know them backward and forward.
They Must Have Prior Experience
You also should only hire an attorney who has handled commercial truck accident cases in the past. You don’t want a new lawyer who doesn’t know very much about these sorts of situations.
At the same time, you won’t want to get a lawyer who has been in practice for many years but doing an entirely different sort of law. Remember that there are many different lawyer varieties. You want one specializing in this sort of case and not one who has done nothing but real estate or business law for their entire career.
They Must Know How to Determine Who Caused Your Injuries
Truck accidents can happen fast, and assigning blame is not always easy. It’s one thing to simply say that a truck changed lanes abruptly and hit you, but rarely is it that simple.
You and your lawyer will have to determine whether you can blame the truck driver, their company, other involved motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, etc. It’s all about who was around you when the accident occurred and how it all played out.
You may bring a lawsuit against the truck driver for their actions that day, but also another vehicle’s driver if what happened involved them as well. Your lawyer will likely have to use an investigator to reconstruct the events so that you can determine who to include in your lawsuit.
They Have to Figure Out What Mitigating Factors Caused the Crash
You also definitely want an attorney who knows how to figure out what mitigating factors might have gone into the whole crash sequence. Again, that involves their investigative capabilities. You’ll likely want to find a lawyer or firm that has a whole investigative team for this sort of thing.
They might decide that the truck driver’s fatigue caused what happened if they nodded off at the wheel. They may figure out that the truck driver ingested alcohol or took drugs before driving. They might also look for vehicle defects, such as power train issues, worn-out brake pads, etc.
On top of all of that, you want a lawyer who can support you and be your emotional backbone during this challenging period. This may turn out to be one of the toughest times of your life. Having someone who you know is definitely on your side is extremely invaluable, even if you do have to pay them for that support.