Red semi truck in a truck lot

What To Do After An Accident With A Semi or Big Rig in Philadelphia

If you have been involved in an accident in Philadelphia involving a semi-rig or big-rig truck, the first step should be to ensure the safety and health of everyone involved. After that, specific steps are beneficial depending on how injured you are and whether you are able to think clearly in the aftermath of such an accident.

Steps to Take After An Accident With A Semi Rig Or Big Rig Truck in Philadelphia:

  • Ensure Safety: Immediately check for injuries and ensure everyone involved in the accident is safe. Move to a secure location if you are in danger or blocking traffic, but do not leave the scene.
  • Call 911: Report the accident to the police, even with no serious injuries. The police will document the scene and create a report essential for insurance claims and legal purposes.
  • Gather Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the truck driver, including their name, phone number, insurance company, policy number, and truck and trailer license plate numbers. Also, collect contact information from witnesses.
  • Document the Scene: Take photographs of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, any visible damages, road conditions, traffic signs, and any injuries sustained.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you do not feel injured, seeing a doctor after an accident is crucial. Some injuries, like whiplash or internal bleeding, may not show up immediately.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company about the accident immediately. Provide them with all the gathered information and cooperate fully.
  • Consult with an Attorney: Consider consulting with an attorney experienced in dealing with truck accidents in Philadelphia. They can help protect your rights and guide you through the legal and insurance claims processes.
  • Follow Up on Medical Treatment: If you were injured, follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and keep records of all your medical visits, treatments, and expenses.
  • Keep Records: Document all correspondence and keep records related to the accident, including the police report, medical bills, repair estimates, and any other related expenses.
  • Do Not Admit Fault: Avoid discussing the accident details with anyone other than your attorney, insurance company, or the police. Do not admit fault at the scene or during conversations following the accident.
  • Contact Your Insurance Company: Following the accident’s immediate aftermath, contact your insurance company to report the accident, but refrain from making detailed statements or accepting settlements without discussing them with an attorney.

Keep in mind that if you are involved in an accident with a semi-rig or big-rig truck, several Federal trucking regulations could come into play, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Here are just a few of the key regulations that might be relevant to your accident claim:

  • Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations: These rules govern the number of hours a commercial truck driver can be on duty and driving. These requirements help ensure that drivers are well-rested and alert while driving. If a truck driver exceeded their HOS limits during the accident, this could be significant in establishing negligence.
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Requirements: Drivers of big rigs must have a CDL, which requires passing written and practical tests. If a driver involved in an accident did not have a proper CDL, this could be a crucial factor.
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection: Commercial trucks must adhere to strict maintenance and inspection schedules. Failure to comply with these regulations, which can lead to issues like brake failure or tire blowouts, could be a significant factor in an accident.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing: Truck drivers are subject to strict drug and alcohol testing regulations. If a truck driver were under the influence at the time of an accident, this would be a significant legal issue.

You have legal remedies should you be involved in an accident with a big-rig or semi-rig truck, which could include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Pennsylvania operates under a modified comparative negligence law, meaning that your percentage of fault in the accident can reduce your compensation. However, you can still recover damages if you are less than 51% at fault. It is important to note that the state’s statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is generally two years from the accident date but can vary depending on specific circumstances.


If you are involved in an accident with a semi or big rig truck, it is essential to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself after ensuring everyone is safe.  After taking the steps outlined above, consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in trucking accidents is advisable. It is essential to seek legal counsel experienced in trucking accidents due to the multiple parties that could be involved, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, or even the manufacturer of truck parts. Cooper Schall & Levy can help investigate your situation involving which parties to name in the lawsuit.  They will also help you determine if Federal violations contributed to the accident. This comprehensive approach will assist in determining liability and maximizing your legal remedies. Contact us today.