November 15, 2011 – A fully-loaded tractor-trailer truck can take almost twice as long to come to a stop as your car, and even longer on slick roads. This is due to the heaviness of a tractor-trailer–in Pennsylvania they can weigh up to 40 tons, and if the truck is moving fast, the speed will just add to the stopping time. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has determined the top five causes of truck accidents, and it’s interesting to note that carelessness of the driver of the other vehicle involved is not among them. Rather, the top five are truck driver behavior, big rig brake problems, large truck design defects, bad weather and truck overloading.
Last year, Philadelphia injury attorney, Joseph L. Messa Jr., of Messa & Associates, P.C., settled a trucking accident case for client Samuel Ofei against a major national trucking company whose truck rear-ended Mr. Ofei’s car on Interstate 95 southbound in Philadelphia on June 26, 2008. Mr. Ofei’s vehicle was struck by metal object from the roadway just before the truck rear-ended him. Facts like these demonstrate why truck driver behavior, whether it’s following too closely or speeding, can cause an accident with devastating effects in a split second.
Mr. Ofei, age 54, with the help of Mr. Messa, was able to reach a settlement for $2.5 million. Mr. Ofei suffered spinal injuries from the accident, and has required surgery as well as intense and painful rehabilitation. Although he can now walk and use his upper and lower extremities, Mr. Ofei still suffers some neurological deficits and cannot return to work. The settlement will go a long way to cover his losses, both physical and financial. It takes an experienced Philadelphia trucking accident attorney like Mr. Messa with access to physicians and other medical resources to evaluate a client’s injuries and convert them to a dollars amount with which to start settlement negotiations.
Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys are responsible for evaluating clients’ claims from many different angles, and then creating a case strategy that will maximize the benefits to the victim of a truck accident, or any motor vehicle accident. Philadelphia accident attorneys who represent victims of car, motorcycle, boat, or truck accidents must critically review police reports, eyewitness statements, and medical files to assess the negligence that has resulted in their clients’ injuries, whether they be concussions, lacerations, broken bones, or even much more serious injuries that result in paralysis or the need for limb amputation. Because the Philadelphia injury attorney who represents an accident victim will have to show that the negligence of the truck driver or motorcycle operator was the cause of the accident, and that the accident was the cause of the victim’s injuries, personal injury attorneys need access to the best forensic experts, medical professionals and accident construction specialists to resolve the case with the best possible outcome for the client.
For example, suppose that you are involved in a Pennsylvania motor vehicle collision with a truck and you suffer a spinal cord injury that results in paralysis. If the truck driver negligently caused the accident, you will need a Pennsylvania catastrophic injury lawyer who can not only prove the elements of a negligence claim, but who can also call upon medical experts to testify about the extraordinary medical costs you will incur over your lifetime as a paraplegic or quadriplegic, and whether or not your life expectancy and earnings capabilities will be impaired. Quadriplegia is a spinal cord injury that impairs a person from the neck down and which also causes a person’s ability to breathe, and paralysis of his arms, legs and torso. Paraplegia is when the injured spine causes weakness and loss of feeling or mobility only in the lower part of the body and legs. The range of expenses in the first year after an accident victim becomes paralyzed range from $320K to almost a million dollars. For a 25-year-old truck accident victim who experiences paralysis, this could amount to between one and four million dollars over the course of a lifetime.*
If, after a collision with a truck caused by the negligence of the truck driver, you suffer limb damage that is so severe your physician recommends amputation, you should seek immediate representation by an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney to make sure your needs are covered every step along the way, and that your financial award includes coverage for the lifetime expenses of an amputee. And, if complications arise due to infection or an ill-fitting prosthesis, the services of a medical malpractice attorney can be critical.
The Philadelphia injury attorneys at Messa & Associates have extensive experience, and success, in handling catastrophic injuries, including those resulting in amputation, quadriplegia or paraplegia. We have medical experts on staff, along with various types of experts on call who will demonstrate the devastating effects of these types of complex injuries. We will also present evidence concerning the cost of future medical care and living expenses through the use of qualified experts, including economists and life-care planning experts. Whether you live in Bucks County, Delaware County, or any other Pennsylvania or southeastern New Jersey community, please contact us to have your case evaluated free of cost by one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. With our resources and reputation for great results, considering starting a relationship today with a responsive Pennsylvania or New Jersey personal injury attorney at Messa & Associates with offices in Philadelphia and South Jersey.
* For more information about spinal cord injuries, visit the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
For more information about sharing Pennsylvania roads safely with trucks, visit Drive Safe PA.