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Truck and Pedestrian Accidents: Common Causes, Claims, and Guide to Settlements

By: Anapol Weiss

Truck versus pedestrian accidents can be some of the most tragic and dangerous motor vehicle accidents. Due to the massive size of commercial vehicles, a pedestrian hit by a semi will almost certainly be seriously injured and possibly killed. A personal injury claim can help you get the resources you need to put your life back together after a pedestrian is hit by a truck, but the process can take time and requires the guidance of an experienced attorney to help protect your rights.

Causes Of Truck-Pedestrian Accidents

While other types of accidents may be more common, truck accidents still account for thousands of deaths per year, with smaller victims, such as pedestrians and cyclists, accounting for about 15% of all truck accident fatalities. With so many rules in place to protect pedestrians and so many regulations on commercial drivers, these wrecks are almost entirely avoidable, but not everyone follows the law.

Faulty Equipment

Trucks are supposed to be regularly inspected by the driver as well as mechanical specialists, but equipment failures can happen and inspections missed. A non-working headlight can leave pedestrians less visible. Faulty brakes may prevent a stop before a semi-truck has hit and run over someone crossing in front of it. Warning tweeters, meant to advise pedestrians that a truck is backing up, can short out.

Unsafe Driving

If a driver isn’t following the rules of the road, a truck-pedestrian accident can happen without warning. Trucks operate under special federal regulations because they are larger, more powerful, and harder to stop than regular passenger vehicles. Speeding, failing to yield, or using a “rolling stop” to get the job done faster places pedestrians and other motorists in harm’s way.

Compromised Driving

Driving a big rig long hours can be draining. While motor carrier regulations are intended to allow rest time for drivers, tight deadlines and pressure from their companies leave far too many drivers struggling to keep their eyes open at the wheel. Others may choose to use illicit substances to either keep them awake or help them relax, compromising their judgment and performance.

Inclement Weather

Inclement weather can play a role in an accident, but there are actions drivers should take any time the weather may affect their driving. While rain, fog, or ice may make operating a vehicle more hazardous, if they choose to operate their vehicle in the weather, they are taking on the responsibility of doing so in a safe manner.

Who Is At Fault In Truck-Pedestrian Accidents?

Fault can be attributed to several parties when pursuing a personal injury claim for a pedestrian who has been hit by a truck. One of these parties may be solely responsible, or they may all share a part of the blame. In court, the judge or jury may factor the various levels of fault by these parties into any decision, dividing or reducing your compensation based on their determination:

  • The Driver – If the driver could have avoided the accident or directly caused the accident through negligence, they may be found responsible.

  • The Company – Draconian company policies can sometimes lead to tired drivers and poor maintenance, making them partially at fault for an accident.

  • Maintenance or Parts Providers – Faulty equipment or faulty repair labor that leaves a vehicle dangerous to operate may be liable for damages in a truck-pedestrian accident.

  • The Victim – If the victim’s own poor decision contributed to the accident, they may be partially at fault, but this does not mean that they aren’t still owed damages if other parties share the blame.

Claims Process When A Pedestrian Is Hit By A Semi

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a truck-pedestrian accident, the first step is to seek emergency medical attention immediately if necessary. Be careful about making statements that you are “ok” or “alright” and avoid signing statements or paperwork from the trucking company or their insurance company when possible. Once emergency medical attention has been provided, it’s time to start thinking about filing a claim to protect your right to compensation.

Contact Your Attorney

If you’re a pedestrian hit by a truck, the sooner you speak with your Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, the better. They’ll not only help you start the claims process but they’ll also help ensure you don’t inadvertently sign your rights away.

When you seek medical care, there’s a lot of paperwork and representatives of the driver, their employer, or their insurance company may try to get you to agree to a settlement or sign a statement that makes getting the financial help you need to rebuild your life more difficult.

Keep Copies Of Your Medical Records And Bills

Documents from health care providers show objective proof of the damages you’ve suffered physically and financially to repair the damage done to your body and lifestyle.

Create Your Own Personal Records

As you work to get better, journals, home videos, photographs, and even social media posts serve as documentation of not only the damage you’re working to overcome but your diligence in trying to get better. This can be vital if your claim goes to court, showing your good faith in working through pain and suffering to make your life whole again.

Follow Through With Your Lawyer On Your Claim

We’ll be by your side every step of the way, filing your claim, negotiating with insurance and trucking companies, and representing you in court if your case goes to trial. By working with your attorney to keep the needed documentation and avoid compromising your case through statements, you’re helping us fight for you.

Get a Free Consultation With An Experienced Philadelphia Injury Attorney

Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney if you’d like to discuss your truck-pedestrian accident. Whether it’s a semi-truck hit and run or a case of a rolling-stop-gone-wrong, your lawyer will talk to you about your options moving forward and how best to protect your rights while seeking the compensation you need for medical bills, rehabilitation, and to rebuild your life after the pain and suffering you’ve endured. Call Anapol Weiss and get the help you need today.