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.

Truck driving down the road

Avoiding Truck Blind Spots

Sharing the road with other vehicles is a challenge. This can be especially true when you are talking about oversized vehicles like semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. These large scale vehicles take up a lot of space on the road. They are big, they are heavy, and they are often traveling at high speeds across America’s highways. To help you stay safe while you are sharing the road with these big rigs, we are going to talk about a notable feature of oversized trucks and one that has powerful implications for others on the road. This is about their blind spots. Large trucks come with large blind spots. Avoiding them can help you and your loved ones stay safer on the roads. 

Avoiding Truck Blind Spots

Bling spots surround semi-trucks. The blind spot to the truck’s front extends about 20 feet from the truck’s cab. The blind spot directly behind the truck extends from the truck’s trailer out about 30 feet. Then, there are blind spots on either side of the truck that extend back diagonally. These large blind spots are often referred to as the truck’s “no zones” as cars should avoid entering and lingering in these areas.

Avoiding truck blind spots starts by being aware of them. Know where they are and avoid entering these areas. Of course, sometimes going into the truck’s blind spot is unavoidable. Should you need to pass a semi-truck or otherwise pass through one of its blind spots, do so as quickly as you can safely accomplish. It is also helpful if you use your signals early on so that the truck driver can be put on notice that you are intended to pass them.

You should also be aware of the truck’s side mirror. The general rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the truck driver in their side mirror, it is more likely than not that the truck driver cannot see you either. If you cannot see the truck’s side mirror, you are in one of the truck’s blind spots and should get out of that spot as soon as possible so that you are visible to the truck driver.

Should you be driving behind or in front of a large truck, remember that there are sizeable blind spots here as well. Be sure that there is plenty of room between you and the truck. If you are in front, remember that the truck cannot stop as quickly as other vehicles. Tailgating a truck can be equally as dangerous. If you are driving behind a truck, you are not going to be able to see what is going on in front of the truck. You would not be able to anticipate whether the truck was going to need to make a quick stop. Give plenty of room for you to safely brake should the truck need to brake suddenly.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one have been in a truck accident, you may have suffered a serious injury. The team at Cooper, Schall & Levy is here to fight the legal battles for you so that you can focus on your health and recovery.  Contact us today.

Truck driving down the road

Causes of Jackknife Accidents

A semi-truck or tractor-trailer is said to jackknife when its trailer swings out from behind the truck bed and to its side, referred to as a tracker “swing” or “slew.” As a result, the truck forms a kind of “L” or “V” shape. It’s referred to as jackknifing as the truck resembles a folding pocketknife. When an oversized truck jackknifes, the results can be devastating to a large swath of vehicles on the road. Because of the magnitude of these trucks, the reach of destruction can be great, extending in every direction and across lanes of traffic.

Causes of Jackknife Accidents

When a truck jackknifes, it can result in significant property damage and devastating injuries to those involved. If you yourself have not ever been involved in a jackknife accident or seen one occurring, you may have been in a resulting traffic jam as such an accident can shut down entire roads and sections of highway for several hours or longer. The devastation left behind as a result of a jackknifing truck can take a significant amount of time to manage before it is safe for traffic to proceed.

So, what causes a jackknife accident? Well, the root cause is a semi-truck experiencing a sudden change of speed or weight distribution. This often occurs due to the driver slamming on the brakes. Some of the most common reasons a truck jackknifes include:


  • Speeding: A jackknife accident can often be the result of the truck driver speeding. Consider the fact that these oversized vehicles weigh upwards of 80,000. Put too much speed behind this weight and you have a recipe for disaster. Semi-trucks require 40% more time to effectively stop than other, smaller vehicles. Speeding makes it more likely that the truck driver will have to, at some point, quickly brake to avoid traffic or another roadway hazard. Suddenly stopping makes it more likely that the truck will jackknife.


  • Improper loading: If the truck’s cargo is improperly loaded, it makes it more likely for it to shift at some point during transport. A sudden disruption in the weight load being carried by the truck can cause the trailer to slide out to the side and jackknife.


  • Trucker inexperience: Managing the great weight of a semi-truck is no small task. It takes experience and it takes training. Sometimes, in the name of saving money, trucking companies will skimp on hiring and bring on inexperienced drivers. An experienced, well-trained truck driver is more likely to know how to and be prepared to avoid dangerous situations.


  • Driver fatigue: Tired drivers are dangerous drivers. This may even be more so true when it comes to those drivers behind the wheels of big rigs. Semi-truck drivers are also more susceptible to fatigue as they often log many hours out on the road. When a driver is fatigued, they have slower reaction times and impaired judgment, both of which can lead to an accident such as a jackknife accident.


  • Bad weather: Inclement weather can mean icy or wet roads that reduce a vehicle’s ability to effectively stop and the driver’s ability to effectively control the vehicle. In the case of large trucks, losing traction on the roadway can all too easily lead to the driver losing control and the truck bed swinging out behind them.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Jackknife injuries can mean devastating injuries for many. If you have been hurt in a semi-truck accident, do not delay in reaching out to the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy.  Contact us today.

Truck speeding down the road

Sideswipe Truck Accidents

Some of the biggest blind spots on any vehicle are those on either side of 18-wheelers and other big rig trucks. The size of the truck’s blind spots and the size of these trucks in and of themselves can be major contributing factors in a variety of accident types, sideswipe accidents included. Here are some things you should know about sideswipe truck accidents.

Sideswipe Truck Accidents

Sideswipe truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. They can be caused by the truck’s blind spots or mere driver inattention. They can arise from a truck driver or other driver failing to properly anticipate lane changes and mergers. Sideswipe truck accidents may be due to the truck or other vehicle failing to stay within a single lane of traffic. There are a variety of things that can cause or can contribute to causing a sideswipe truck accident.

To help avoid involving in a sideswipe truck accident, it is best practice to stay out of a big truck’s blind spots. Of course, if you need to change lane or otherwise enter into a truck’s blind spots, make sure to do so as quickly as safely possible. It is best not to linger in these dangerous areas. Furthermore, be sure that you stay alert during merges and lane changes and also be aware of truck’s trying to merge or change lanes. It is often best to accommodate a large truck looking to change lanes or merge. Also, proper signaling of lane changes and merges is also very helpful in preventing any roadway mishaps.

If you have been sideswiped by a truck, be sure to remain at the scene and call 911. Law enforcement will be dispatched to the scene and, if anyone is hurt, so will emergency medical personnel. If you can do so safely, take pictures to capture the accident scene and the resulting damage. Gather the names and information of any witnesses to the crash. Be sure to note details about the truck that sideswiped you including the license plate and any identifying logos or names printed on its body. 

Regardless of the extent of the pain or discomfort you are feeling after an accident, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. Oftentimes, the full force of an injury does not present itself till some time after the accident. Getting immediate medical attention can be critical in making sure your injuries are properly identified, evaluated and treated. Immediate medical attention and consistent follow-up care will also be critical in any personal injury action you wish to pursue seeking compensation for the harm you suffered in the accident.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Driving near those big 18-wheelers and semi-trucks can be scary. Being hit by one can be terrifying. If you have been sideswiped by a large truck, you may have suffered significant harm and extensive damage. You can count on the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy to zealously represent you in pursuing your right to be fully and fairly compensated for your losses. Contact us today.

Truck driving down the road

Truck Crash Risk Factors

Big rigs are just a part of American life on the roads. It is easy to become complacent when traveling alongside these oversized vehicles, but it is critical that we all be mindful of the risks of sharing the roads with semi-trucks. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles, combined with the weight of their loads mean that any level of collision with them can easily spell disaster. Drivers, be mindful of these large vehicles. Stay out of their blind spots. Maintain safe driving practices. Truck drivers, remember your own rights and responsibilities when operating your rig. Be especially aware of the factors that can increase the risk of crashing your truck.

Truck Crash Risk Factors

Truck drivers must remain in compliance with federal regulations mandating big rig drivers to comply with certain safety precautions. Despite these regulations, however, truck crashes continue to occur on a regular basis and they can be devastating for all involved. Truck drivers can do their part to avoid these tragedies by avoiding the fall into some of the more prominent risky behaviors a truck driver can engage in.

For instance, driving while fatigued is a huge risk factor for a truck crash. Unfortunately, fatigued driving is all too common among truck drivers. While regulations are in place to restrict the time a driver can put in on the road at one time, they are still long hours and many drivers end up going over their allotted drive time in a day. Extended periods of driving, driving with little change in scenery, driving while in poor health, and many other things can contribute to fatigued driving. Fatigued driving is dangerous driving. It makes paying attention and focusing on the road difficult. It slows reaction time. This is why it is such a big risk factor for truck crashes.

There are also a number of reckless driving behaviors truck drivers engage in that can drastically raise the chances of them being involved in a truck crash. Reckless driving behaviors can encapsulate a wide range of actions. Some or more prevalent or more relevant for truck driving purposes. For instance, improperly loading a rig improperly is reckless as is failing to properly maintain a rig and seek repairs as needed. Additionally, there are those other reckless diving behaviors we all fall into sometimes, but are dangerous, nonetheless. These include things like speeding, tailgating, improperly passing, and driving while distracted.

Unfortunately, and also unsurprisingly, drinking while driving is a huge risk factor for truck crashes. We all know drunk driving is dangerous driving and it is certainly no different when you are talking about operating a semi-truck while intoxicated. Operating such an oversized vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can spell devastation. Even the slightest impairment in your ability to make sound driving decisions, miscalculate distances between your vehicle and others on the road, or slowed reaction time could greatly increase the risk of a truck accident occurring.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Drivers, stay safe out there and do your part to avoiding accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, they may have suffered catastrophic injuries. Let the dedicated team at Cooper, Schall & Levy fight for you. Contact us today.

Truck driving on highway

Determining Fault in a Truck Accident

In truck accident as with any other type of motor vehicle accident, the determination of fault is foundational to who may bring a claim against another party seeking compensation for damages sustained as a result of the accident. There may be even more at stake in a truck accident, however, because the fallout of such are often devastating. The sheer size of these vehicles makes it all the more likely that any accident may involve serious injury or even death. In order for an injured party to make a claim against the truck driver or even the trucking company, it must first be determined whether or not the truck or trucking company was responsible for causing the accident. Here, we will take a look at some of the key pieces of evidence that may be critical in successfully determining a truck to be at fault in causing an accident.

Determining Fault in a Truck Accident

After a motor vehicle accident, time is of the essence when it comes to collecting evidence. Evidence, when left unacknowledged, can disappear, or be mishandled. That is why it is so important to being collecting evidence as soon as possible. Knowing where to look for evidence to use in determining fault in the truck accident is important to gathering such evidence quickly and efficiently.

One type of evidence that can be compelling in determining fault in a truck accident that would not necessarily in another type of motor vehicle accident is black box data. While most often associated with airplanes, most newer commercial trucks also carry these recording devices which are used to both monitor and track the truck’s metrics. The black box data can reveal such things as whether the truck was speeding up or braking in the moments right before a crash. The data can also reveal the driver making erratic maneuvers prior to the crash. Additionally, the black box data log can reveal how many hours and miles the driver has driven. This can be demonstrative of whether the driver was driving while drowsy or fatigued or even in violation of any operating restrictions which look to limit the amount of time drivers spend on the road.

Eyewitness testimony can also be critical in determining fault in a truck accident. Witnesses, however, can be difficult to locate and next to impossible to find as time progresses after an accident. This is why it is so important to get the names and contact information for any witnesses you may encounter after an accident. Be sure to reach out to them not long after the accident to verify their account as to what they saw before and at the time of the accident.

In addition to gathering eyewitness information after a truck accident, taking pictures, accessing other pictures another person might have taken, and getting access to any video footage of the accident can also be critical in determining what happened and who was at fault in causing a truck accident. Pictures taken at the accident scene can also help accident reconstruction experts determine how the events leading up to the accident unfolded.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

The experienced personal injury team at Cooper, Schall & Levy knows what needs to be accomplished in order to put forth the strongest possible personal injury claim. We will work tirelessly to gather the evidence necessary to support your claim for full and fair compensation.  Contact us today.

Cooper Schall & Levy discusses the legal action you can take with truck accidents.

Truck Accidents

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2017 alone. Of those 450,000 crashes, 4,237 were fatal and 344,000 involved injuries. Sharing the road with large trucks is a part of the life of a motor vehicle driver. Unfortunately, the size of these trucks means they are more dangerous than other vehicles and cause some of the worst accidents on U.S. roads and highways. Take care when you are around these vehicles.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Closed Almost Nine Hours After Truck Accident Occurs

During the early hours of Friday, July 12th, a tractor-trailer overturned, shutting down a significant portion of the eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike for hours. While the accident occurred around 4 a.m., the roadway did not reopen until just before 1 p.m. The overturned truck blocked all lanes past Exit 312, Downington. The big rig was hauling glass that broke all over the highway. It took crews several hours to remove all of it. Drivers were detoured between Exit 312, Downington, and Exit 326, Valley Forge. While this was a major inconvenience to many people on their morning commute, it is fortunate that there were no reported injuries as a result of the crash.

Crashes involving semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large trucks used for hauling heavy loads often come with a significant amount of destruction. Fortunately, the accident involved here did not result in any injuries, but it is all too often that the most severe and fatal injuries occur as a result of a truck accident. The cause of the tractor-trailer overturning remains under investigation. Some of the most common causes of truck crashes are:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Improper driver training
  • Failure to comply with truck maintenance safety standards
  • Driving Under the Influence

Because of the sheer size and weight of a tractor-trailer, drivers must undergo extensive training to be prepared for the unique hazards that come with operating such a vehicle. It takes trucks longer to stop because they are so heavy. Turning in a tractor-trailer is completely different than in other vehicles. Blind spots are much more extensive and the fact that the driver sits up so much higher than other vehicles can also make it more difficult to see other smaller vehicles on the road. These are all things that a truck driver should be aware of and in command of before heading out on long hauls. Additionally, the truck should always comply with the required safety checks to make sure it is fully operational and carrying properly loaded cargo.

If you are in a car or other motor vehicle sharing the road with a semi-truck or tractor-trailer, be aware of the unique dangers of such a situation. Remember that the truck has large blind spots. Avoid entering these blind spots and remain as visible to the driver as possible. Remember that it takes these trucks more time to brake. This means keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the truck. If you need to pass the truck, do so quickly. Remain vigilant to help keep everyone on the road safer.

Truck Accident Attorneys

If you have been involved in a truck accident, you may have sustained severe injuries that will require extensive and continuing treatment. With mounting medical bills and the possibility that you will be unable to return to work as soon as you’d like, you are likely under a large amount of financial stress and pressure. Cooper Schall & Levy are here to be your advocate. We stand up for our clients and fight for their right to full and fair compensation. Contact us today.

Trucking Accidents Hit Record High

In the 24-month period prior to December 3, 2017, FedEx Express drivers were reported to have been involved in 1762 crashes, 575 involving injuries, including 41 deaths. From 2012, the number of crashes has increased by 254.5%; the number of injuries has increased by 192%, and the number of fatalities has increased by 273%.

In the 24-month period prior to December 3, 2017, DHL Express drivers were reported to have been involved in 16 crashes, involving 7 injuries and 1 fatality. From 2012, the number of crashes has increased by 100% and the number of injuries has increased by 75%.

In the 24-month period prior to December 3, 2017, UPS drivers were reported to have been involved in 2,003 crashes, 689 involving injuries, including 49 deaths. Since 2012, the number of crashes has increased by 38%; the number of injures has increased by 27%, and the number of fatalities has increased by 25.6%.

Fedex reported the highest number of employees at 99,999 drivers while UPS came in second at 47,799 drivers.

On the job deaths involving heavy-duty truck drivers or semi-truck drivers hit a record hit a record high in 2017 This ominous news is only furthered by the fact that the trucking industry has an increase of crashes by 254.5%. Read More….

The companies listed here are not necessarily the most dangerous ones on the road. The number of miles traveled and accidents logged—and the severity of those accidents—varies wildly between companies.

Truckers are not the only victims

The unfortunate reality is that while these truckers are dying, many more victims are also killed or seriously injured due to the negligence on the part of the truckers. These large vehicles often cause considerable damage to others with little more than a scratch to themselves. The families of truckers and their victims are best served by seeking out legal guidance. An experienced personal injury attorney can help secure damages for loss of income to the injured and deceased, medical expenses and even damage to property.

If you have been involved in an accident and may be seeking a lawyer who understands the complex matter of litigating a truck accident case, please feel free to call CSL for a private and free confidential consultation. We can be reached at 215.561.3313 or use the website www.cooperschalland registration form on this site.