Personal Injury Lawyer
Serving Hazleton, PA

An attorney who gets results for people injured in truck accidents

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it's important to take action quickly to protect your rights.

Attorney Edward McNelis has been helping clients injured in truck accidents since 1982. He knows that trucking companies and their insurance carriers are not on your side.

Truck accidents can be devastating. A fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh 80,000 pounds. When that truck hits a car while traveling at 65 mph or faster, it can cause tremendous damage-and serious injuries. People in truck accidents can suffer from brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones and injuries to internal organs, to name a few serious consequences of a crash. You may have even lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident.

A truck accident can also damage your finances. There are medical expenses, including surgery, hospitalization and doctor's appointments. You may need physical therapy. There may be medication you need to take. Then there's the loss of your vehicle. If you can't work, there are lost wages. The costs add up fast.

What can you do? McNelis Law can help you strike back.

Fighting for your rights. Standing up to trucking companies.

Truck accidents typically differ from car accidents because more parties are involved. There is the truck driver, the insurance companies - usually the cab and trailer have separate insurance - and the trucking company that hired the driver. In some cases, the trucking company may be liable for the accident. You can be sure they will take an active role in trying to deny your claim.

How did your accident happen?

Why did your accident happen?

A trucking company will often send someone to the scene within hours after an accident to investigate. They are looking for any evidence that could show the driver or the company was not at fault. If they do find evidence of negligence-such as a driver who was speeding, texting or driving longer than allowed by law-they are going to keep it quiet. Their goal is to deny you compensation, or at least keep it low.

Attorney Edward P. McNelis knows how trucking companies operate, and he won't stand for anything that threatens your legal rights. He'll conduct his own investigation to look for evidence of negligence. He'll interview anyone who can provide information about what happened-including witnesses, passengers, and police officers and medical personnel who were on the scene. He will also examine all related documents-accident reports, medical records, repair estimates, driver logs. He may consult experts to examine the scene and determine how the accident happened.

That's why it's important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your truck accident. We can act quickly to document the scene, preserve evidence and talk to the people involved while their memories of the accident are still fresh. For instance, trucking companies are only required to keep driver logs for six months - unless an attorney takes action. If you wait too long, the trucking company may destroy that critical piece of evidence.

Attorney Edward McNelis will protect your rights and fight to get you the full compensation you deserve for your injuries, so you can focus on recovery. Many times, insurance companies will see how well-prepared our case is and negotiate a favorable settlement. But if they are not willing to be fair, we'll be ready to fight your case in court.

If you have any questions, visit our truck accident FAQ page and then talk to Edward. If you've been injured in a truck accident, you need an experienced attorney who won't back down on your side. Call today for your free consultation.

Rollover

When a large commercial truck rolls over, especially on the highway, it creates a massive hazard for everyone else on the road. Smaller vehicles are no match for a tractor-trailer that may swing out over multiple lanes of traffic. You or a loved one may have sustained serious injuries in such a collision, ranging from back and neck injuries to traumatic brain injuries.

There are many potential causes of rollover, but nearly all involve negligence. The trucker may have taken a turn or lane change at an unsafe speed, or the cargo may have been improperly loaded and caused the truck to become unbalanced. The truck itself may have been poorly maintained, causing steering issues. No matter what the cause, we’ll conduct a thorough investigation to find out what happened and help you strike back.

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Jackknife

A tractor-trailer is said to “jackknife” when the trailer folds in toward the cab, creating a jackknife shape. These kinds of accidents can lead to serious injuries as cars are hit by the jackknifing trailer or collide with the truck as it comes to a stop blocking traffic. You may have even lost a loved one in a jackknife crash.

Jackknifing is usually a result of negligence or inexperience on the part of the truck driver. For instance, the driver may have been going too fast, swerved or suddenly applied the brakes. Occasionally, design defects or poor maintenance of the brake system can also lead to jackknifing. You need an experienced attorney on your side to find out what happened and strike back against the trucking company.

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Underride

Some of the most devastating truck accidents happen when a car, van, motorcycle or other small vehicle hits the rear or side of a tractor-trailer and actually slides underneath the trailer. In many of these cases, part of the trailer actually enters the cab of the smaller vehicle. Underride frequently causes serious, often fatal injuries, including brain injuries and loss of limbs.

Modern trucks are equipped with underride guards to prevent these sorts of crashes from happening, but those guards often fail. Depending on the circumstances of your underride accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from the trucking company or the manufacturer of the trailer. Our law firm will help you strike back.

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No-Zone/Blind Spot

Most vehicles have blind spots, but tractor-trailers have much larger blind spots than passenger cars. Truckers are trained to compensate for their vehicle’s “No-Zone” and check before stopping, turning or changing lanes. But too many drivers fail in that responsibility and cause collisions with other cars.

If you were involved in a “No-Zone” accident, be prepared for a fight. The trucking company will likely try to put the blame on you for driving in the larger vehicle’s blind spot. But the reality is that truck drivers are held to higher standards than most motorists, and we’re prepared to fight back against their tactics. Call our law firm today and strike back.

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Wide Turn

Tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles need more space to turn than passenger cars. Part of the reason a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to operate these vehicles is to make sure that each driver understands how to effectively compensate for those wide turns. But some truck drivers are poorly trained or inexperienced, and others make risky maneuvers that put other motorists at risk.

Few things on the highway are scarier than a fully loaded tractor-trailer swinging out and hitting your vehicle. If you were injured in a wide turn accident, contact us right away. We’ll help you strike back against the trucking company.

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Rear-Ended By Truck

Being hit from behind by a larger vehicle can be devastating. You have no time to react, and the force of impact is massive. Too often, drivers in passenger cars are ejected from their vehicles. These crashes can cause very serious, even fatal injuries in some cases, and you need an experienced advocate to help you strike back.

If you were hit from the back, we can help. We’ll thoroughly investigate to find out whether your rear-end crash was caused by the truck driver’s negligence, such as driving too fast, or by the trucking company or manufacturer. Moreover, we’ll find out just how much the accident has affected your life, and we’ll fight for the compensation you need to rebuild.

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Fatigued Truck Driver

Truckers work long hours and are behind the wheel for long stretches of time on end, which leaves them dangerously vulnerable to fatigue. That’s why federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations limit the number of hours truck drivers are supposed to spend behind the wheel. But too often, whether on their own initiative or due to pressure from the trucking companies, truckers work through their mandatory breaks and stay behind the wheel, causing serious collisions. Fatigued truckers can be especially dangerous because they often don’t even hit the brakes before colliding with a smaller vehicle, meaning they’re going at full speed at the moment of impact.

Our law firm understands how to build strong cases to help people hurt by fatigued truckers strike back. We’ll look at the accident scene, the Hours of Service log and the trucker’s own statements to understand what happened, and we’ll go to work to make sure you are compensated for your injuries.

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Texting/Distracted Trucker

Truckers are very prone to distracted driving because they spend all of their working hours behind the wheel. Texting while driving is illegal for truck drivers nationwide, but some choose to break the law. And texting is only one type of distracted driving. Truck drivers also cause serious injuries while adjusting the radio, talking to dispatchers or eating and drinking behind the wheel.

Our investigation will find the critical evidence to show that negligence on the part of the trucker or trucking company led to your crash. We’ll talk to witnesses and review any applicable records and documentation to get to the bottom of what happened. And we’ll build a strong case to show that the trucker was at fault – and that you need to be fairly compensated.

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Drunk and Drugged Truck Drivers

Even though truck drivers are subject to strict rules regarding driving under the influence, some choose to break those laws. Drunk driving is always dangerous, but it’s even more so when the drunk driver is behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.

All trucking companies have policies in place to prevent drunk and drugged driving, but many do not adequately enforce those policies. Our investigation may also show that the trucking company failed to conduct a background check that would have turned up a history of drunk driving, or knowingly retained a driver despite a history of driving under the influence. We have the experience needed to strike back against those negligent companies and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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Truck Maintenance Issues

Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for keeping their vehicles in good working order. A poorly maintained truck is a danger not only to the driver, but also to everyone else on the road. Truckers are required to conduct a maintenance check every time they get behind the wheel, but under pressure to make deliveries faster, many rush through or even skip that check entirely. And trucking companies often put profits ahead of safety by failing to resolve critical safety issues, such as trouble with the engine or brakes.

If you have any reason to believe a maintenance issue contributed to your accident, we can help you strike back. We’ll look at the trucker’s statements and the truck’s maintenance logs. We’ll even interview mechanics and anyone else who worked on the truck to find the critical evidence that the trucking company’s negligence caused the accident.  And we’ll fight for the compensation you need and deserve.

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Speeding Truck

Tractor-trailers are difficult enough to maneuver at legal speeds. When truck drivers break the speed limit, they put everyone else at risk, not only because collisions become more likely but also because an impact at high speed will cause even more damage. But under pressure from the trucking companies to meet unrealistic delivery schedules or to earn more money for greater mileage, some truck drivers still choose to drive at unsafe speeds.

We’ll move quickly to gather evidence after a crash involving a speeding truck. Our attorneys will take legal action to preserve the truck’s “black box” data, which should tell us the truck’s speed at the time of the accident. We’ll also talk to eyewitnesses and pore over police reports to see whether speed was identified as a factor. Our goal is to hold the negligent trucker accountable and, more importantly, help you get the fair compensation you need.

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Unsecured Cargo

In some truck accidents, the cargo is as dangerous as the truck itself. Falling cargo could strike another vehicle directly or create a road hazard that causes an accident. And when the cargo in question is dangerous or hazardous material, the possibility of serious injuries is even greater.

Depending on the circumstances, accidents involving unsecured cargo can be exceptionally complicated. Liable parties could include the trucking company, the owner of the cargo or the company that loaded the cargo. We’ll fight to get to the bottom of what happened, and we’ll help you strike back.

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