Pittsburgh Truck Accidents Attorneys
Trucks are still one of the primary tools we use to move goods and materials around the country.
There are many good truck drivers and trucking companies. But there are also a few bad apples. Drivers that speed, drive distracted, or drive fatigued, as well as trucking companies that fail to maintain their trucks, properly secure their cargo, or operate responsibly, can increase the risk of serious accidents throughout Pittsburgh and the Ohio River Valley area.
In 2020, over 6,000 people were involved in crashes with heavy trucks in Pennsylvania, and 110 of them died, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). The vast majority of these accidents were related to vehicle failures, including tire and wheel problems, power train failure, and unsecured trailer/overload. Most of the crashes occurred on state highways.
Nationwide, a total of 4,119 people died in large truck crashes in 2019. That was a 31 percent increase over the figures in 2009. Sixteen percent of those deaths were truck occupants, while 67 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles. Fifteen percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of an accident involving a semi-truck in Pittsburgh, West Virginia, or Ohio, you need to seek the help of a Pittsburgh truck accident lawyer who is experienced in trucking accident litigation.
The Pittsburgh truck accident attorneys at Chaffin Luhana represent individuals who are injured in truck accidents. To date, our Pittsburgh truck accident lawyers have achieved over $1 billion in recoveries for their clients.
If you were hit by a big truck or bus on the road, give our experienced Pittsburgh truck accident attorneys a call today to schedule a complimentary consultation at 1-888-480-1123.
Large Truck Accidents By The Numbers: A Problem That Is Getting Worse
Automobile safety features are improving, but collisions with large trucks are an ongoing problem. Given the difference in weight between an 18-wheeler and a passenger car (approximately 5 tons vs. 2 tons), truck accident statistics are something that should be considered closely.
The chart below compares the number of injuries incurred by truck occupants (typically drivers) vs non-occupants (other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians) over the last 10 years.
Number of Injuries from Truck Accidents, 2006 to 2015
Source: National Center for Statistics and Analysis; https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813110.pdf
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS), 71 percent of people killed in large-truck accidents across the country in 2019 were occupants of other vehicles. Large-truck drivers involved in those crashes had a higher percentage (22.9 percent) of previously reported crashes compared to drivers of other vehicle types.
In trucking accidents, people outside the truck bear the brunt of the injuries. The threat of injury is almost 3x greater for them.
Other trucking accident statistics and trends from the U.S. Department of Transportation include:
- There were 5,005 people killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2019, which was about the same number as those killed in 2018 (5,006).
- An estimated 159,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2019. This was an increase of 5 percent over the number injured in 2018.
- In 2019, large trucks accounted for 10 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes and 4 percent of all vehicles involved in injury and property damage-only crashes.
- 71% of people killed in large-truck crashes were the occupants of the other vehicles.
- One out of 4 fatal large-truck crashes occurred on interstates. Fifty-seven percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas. Only 6 percent occurred in work zones.
- Almost 20 percent of all large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior speeding conviction, slightly higher than passenger car drivers (19.9 percent vs. 18.8 percent) involved in fatal crashes.
- 2% of the large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2015 had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 g/dL or higher, which is much lower than drivers of other vehicle types (20% for passenger cars, 19% for light trucks, and 29% for motorcycles).
The percentage of large trucks involved in fatal crashes (compared with other types of vehicles) was 10 percent or higher in 26 states, including Pennsylvania (10.9 percent). In total, Pennsylvania had 1,616 total vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2019, and 10.9 percent of those involved large trucks.
As noted above, in 2020, over 6,000 people were involved in crashes with heavy trucks in Pennsylvania, and 110 of them died. The counties with the most reported traffic crashes (of all types) and fatal crashes were included Philadelphia and Allegheny.
Common Injuries from Trucking Accidents in Pittsburgh
These statistics show us that large truck accidents are a perpetual problem on our roads. Non-truck drivers and passengers are most at risk of injuries in large truck accidents. The Pittsburgh PA truck accident lawyers at Chaffin Luhana LLP, have handled many cases where clients suffered significant losses in truck accidents.
Examples of truck accident injuries include:
- Amputation injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Facial fractures
- Severe lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
If you have been in a truck accident and have suffered any of the injuries listed or any other type of injury, we are here to help you.
Steps to Follow After a Pittsburgh Trucking Accident
An accident with a truck can be a traumatic and devastating experience. It may be difficult to immediately have the presence of mind to think in terms of medical bills, lost wages, lawsuits, and evidence-gathering.
It helps to know exactly what you should do and when. Here are some general guidelines:
Our Pittsburgh trucking accident attorneys are experienced in the complexities of car crashes involving semi-trucks throughout Pittsburgh and the Ohio River Valley region. We understand what it takes to build a case to ensure that you receive all compensation you are entitled to under the law. We are diligent in gathering all of the evidence needed to prove that you deserve to have your medical bills, wage/job loss, and pain and suffering reimbursed for as long as is necessary.
We offer a free case review for injury victims. See how our legal team can help you receive the compensation that you deserve.
How to Select a Truck Accident Attorney in Pittsburgh
When looking for a truck accident attorney, you want someone with a great deal of experience and a high success rate. Look for someone who has experience handling claims like yours, with a record of successful outcomes with these cases.
Next, find an attorney who is willing to do whatever is necessary to resolve your case. You want someone who has the resources to fight for your rights, no matter how far you need to go.
Finally, make an appointment for an initial consultation (these are usually free) and find out if your attorney can communicate well with you. You want someone who will help you understand what’s going on and keep you updated on the progress of your case.
The Chaffin Luhana team has the resources, experience with complex cases, and passion to carefully investigate and zealously litigate and your trucking accident case to maximize your resolution.
To date, our Pittsburgh truck accident lawyers have achieved over $1 billion in recoveries for their clients. Make sure the trucking company that caused your injuries is held responsible. Contact us today.
What Our Clients Have to Say About Chaffin Luhana
Below is a small sampling of the testimonials we have received from our clients:
Auto Personal Injury Recover
“It’s a shame that the insurance companies put you through this…I’m glad there are people like you out there because the insurance companies would walk all over victims otherwise.”
– Mark S., Personal Injury Client
Automobile Accident Victim
“[The firm has] done right [by] me. You did everything right. Informing me and keeping me up to date. You did a fine job. I appreciate you very much.”
– Roger J., Personal Injury Client
Automobile Accident Victim
“I didn’t know what to expect since I never needed an attorney before. You took care of everything and were there for me.”
– Vicki B., Personal Injury Client
Find more testimonials here.
Dedication to Community
Law partners Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana, along with their families, established The Chaffin Luhana Foundation in 2010.
A not-for-profit organization, the Foundation encourages the development of human potential and supports community empowerment through the following activities:
- Scholarships: Chaffin Luhana Foundation awards an annual scholarship to a student who helps us in the fight against distracted driving by submitting an inspiring personal essay.
- Financial gifts: The Foundation awards periodic financial gifts to institutions of higher learning to support scientific research and funds educational scholarships to students.
- Stephanie Victor Legacy Award: The Chaffin Luhana Foundation awards an annual financial gift to one deserving individual who overcame significant challenges and achieved great milestones in his or her life or career.
- Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation: Chaffin Luhana has partnered with this organization to benefit those living with spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
- Najee Harris Partnership: We have partnered with Pittsburgh Running Back, Najee Harris, and his Da’ Bigger Picture Foundation to support those in need in the Greater Pittsburgh area.
The founding partners of Chaffin Luhana have extensive experience in fighting for plaintiffs’ rights:
- Founder Eric Chaffin: Chaffin has handled a wide array of cases against various types of manufacturers, with dozens of multimillion-dollar recoveries.
- Founder Roopal Luhana: Luhana manages the firm’s mass torts division. Throughout her career, she has served on committees in MDLs involving over-the-counter consumer products and defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
- Partner Patrick Booth: Booth enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help his clients obtain the best results possible in their personal injury cases.
Chaffin Luhana lawyers have also been named to the prestigious “Super Lawyers” list several years in a row.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A car wreck involving a large truck can be a difficult, jarring experience. If there were injuries, it can be even more challenging, particularly when you are forced to deal with insurance companies.
Of course, the best course of action after an accident involving a semi-truck or 18-wheeler is to retain an experienced trucking accident attorney.
During your initial discussion with your Pittsburgh truck accident lawyer, you can expect to be asked many questions relating to the accident. You can use your answers to these questions to determine whether you should hire a truck accident attorney.
Some sample questions include:
- Were there any injuries serious enough to require a stay at the hospital or surgery?
- Is there a disagreement about who was at fault?
- Do you feel that you were incorrectly identified as the person at fault?
- Are lawyers or a representative for the insurance companies involved in the case?
- Were you insured at the time of the accident?
- Did the accident arise from problems with your car, with the road signs, or with some other outside issue?
- Did the accident happen in a construction area?
Regardless of your answer to any of the above questions, you should contact the experienced Pittsburgh trucking Accident lawyers at Chaffin Luhana LLP for a free case evaluation.
An experienced attorney is someone who provides comprehensive legal services and understands the nuances of your trucking accident case. At Chaffin Luhana, we hone in on important and sometimes overlooked questions such as:
- Was the black box recovered from the truck?
- Were the vehicles involved in the accident preserved?
- When was the semi-truck last serviced?
- How many hours did the driver work that day or over the course of several days?
The comprehensive approach of our attorneys at Chaffin Luhana embodies the following principles:
1. Sound Advice
Chaffin Luhana Pittsburgh truck accident lawyers take the time to understand all of the issues that surround your case. We take in all of the facts, review your medical situation, evaluate the relevant claims available to you, marshal all of the evidence needed to successfully litigate a case, and prepare the best presentation possible before the court.
Only after understanding your case and your background can we formulate the legal advice you need to make informed strategic decisions. This individualized approach is something that we believe distinguishes us from the competition.
Unlike a lot of truck accident lawyers who see the world through the prism of legal claims and damages, we understand that our clients have complicated lives that have been made far more complicated due to an unexpected and often serious injury.
Before we give technical legal opinions, we make sure to listen to you first, and that your concerns are heard and addressed.
3. Our Legal Team
While we make sure to understand every client's situation, that does not take away from the fact that the Chaffin Luhana team includes Pittsburgh truck accident lawyers with a proven track record of expertise in handling truck accident cases. That particular legal prowess, ultimately, leads to great results for our clients.
4. The Benefit of Experience
Our legal team has a wealth of experience with truck accident cases and complex litigation to draw from when approaching your case. Nothing serves a client better than having an attorney who has already learned the ropes from representing trucking accident victims.
This four-part commitment to excellence is the quality legal service that gives Chaffin Luhana an edge as a go-to trucking accident plaintiffs firm in Pittsburgh and the Ohio River Valley region. When you come to Chaffin Luhana, you can expect personalized, experienced, and quality legal representation.
As a Chaffin Luhana client, you will not owe us any payment upfront. Our law firm exclusively represents plaintiffs and works on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we're able to recover payment for you.
In the unfortunate event that our Pittsburgh truck accident lawyers are unable to recover damages for you, you will owe us nothing.
During our initial consultation, our firm will help you understand our attorney fees and how they impact your potential recovery.
If you were just in a truck wreck, the first thing you should do is seek any necessary medical treatment. You need to take care of your health first.
Next, contact the police so they can create a police report. Take pictures of the accident if you can, gather witness information, and write down what you remember in terms of what happened.
Then, contact a Pittsburgh trucking accident lawyer. The experienced Pittsburgh attorneys at Chaffin Luhana have years of experience in complex litigation for trucking accident victims.
Having the right Pittsburgh truck accident lawyer by your side will ensure the correct steps are taken during the progress of your case. Your attorney can investigate the accident, preserve all of the relevant evidence, take statements and photographs to create a complete factual picture of the incident, and then consult with you on their recommended course of action.
It’s best not to speak with the trucking company or even consider any kind of settlement before retaining your own Pittsburgh truck accident attorney.
If the trucking company believes it is at fault, they may want to get a recorded conversation with you, have you sign forms from them or their insurance carrier, or consider a quick settlement.
Don’t make any disclosures or any decisions about the case without consulting an experienced Pittsburgh trucking lawyer first.
The best thing to do is make a record of all relevant areas of damage or injury. So, be sure to:
- Get a copy of the accident police report.
- Get your insurance company to value the property damage you suffered.
- Keep a journal of all medical treatments and doctor visits.
- Add to your journal all out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the accident.
- Keep track of missed days of work or other important activities.
NO! You should refuse to accept any settlement by the trucking company without consulting with a Pittsburgh Trucking accident attorney first.
The trucking company has an incentive to end the case quickly and cheaply. Thus, they will likely make an offer that will not make you whole, particularly when a full investigation has not been completed.
The only way to be sure that a settlement offer is worthy of consideration is to consult a trucking accident attorney with complex litigation experience.
- The severity of damages—how badly you were injured
- Your ability to go back to work (if applicable)
- Your pain and suffering
- The extent of the property damage
- Who was at fault