When large commercial vehicles have to drive long distances in inclement weather, the results are often catastrophic. A civil lawsuit against the business that owns the vehicles is the best way for the victims to receive compensation for their medical bills and other problems.
A large accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that involved multiple vehicles and caused several deaths and dozens of injuries made national news over the weekend.
Multiple trucks and a bus collide on the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside of Pittsburgh
The crash included three tractor trailers and a bus. Five victims were identified confirmed to be dead by authorities in the hours after the collision, aged between 9 and 58. Two UPS drivers who left from Harrisburg were also among the fatalities. Sixty people in total sustained non-fatal injuries, and they all needed to be rushed to local hospitals in the area.
Authorities say that the incident began near milepost 86 on the turnpike westbound in the town of Mount Pleasant. At some point while the bus was moving downhill, it rolled over an embankment as it approached a corner. Two tractor trailers collided with the overturned vehicle, then another truck and a car collided with the two trailers after the initial collision. Police said the scene was horrific and the vehicles had to be forcefully removed from the debris as the turnpike remained closed from New Stanton to Breezewood for a number of hours afterward.
One hospital received 31 of the victims, and most of them were able to be released within a few hours. However, another area hospital in Monroeville is still watching two patients from the accident who are in critical condition.
The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to investigate the area for approximately a week to determine a probable cause and gather other important information. After a meeting with state police, the board will hold a press conference to release more information to the public as it becomes available. They will also try to recreate the accident and look for compliance issues with the commercial vehicles involved.
One of the vehicles involved in the crash was a bus from Z&D Tours carrying a number of international passengers. The owner stated that he believes they are not at fault for the accident, and that it was likely caused by the weather and icy roads. Records indicate that the bus company had been cited by the state police for three different violations in 2015.
Lawsuits against the owners of the commercial vehicles
Because this crash involved multiple commercial vehicles, it is likely that the owners of these businesses will have to pay damages to the victims and their families. As a general rule of tort law, businesses are strictly liable for the actions of their employees while they are working.
The families of the UPS drivers who died can file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the company responsible, because the drivers were working while the accident happened.
Speak with a truck accident attorney in Pennsylvania
If you have been hit by a commercial vehicle near Pittsburgh or anywhere else in the state, lawyers are available to provide assistance and file a lawsuit on your behalf. You can browse the listings on USAttorneys.com to find an experienced attorney in your city.
Scanlon and Wojton Attorneys at Law provide free consultations to accident victims in Pittsburgh.