Truck accidents are often catastrophic.

Injuries stemming from truck accidents include wrongful death claims, lasting brain and spine damage and amputations, to name a few that are majorly life-changing for victims or loved ones.  If you have experienced devastation from an accident involving a truck, you may need the help of an experienced legal professional to navigate insurance settlements and legal action for damages caused by possible negligence.

Highway dangers of trucks.

The United States Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Administration announced in October 2018 that 2017 highway fatality numbers are down compared to the two years prior, but still estimates over 500,000 truck accidents every year with approximately 500 fatalities, of which 81% occur in multi-vehicle crash situations.  Trucks fall into two classes, those weighing 10,000 pounds or less, and those weighing more than 10,000 pounds which may move them to the Commercial Motor Vehicle category and change some of the laws and damages to be sought after in personal injury situations. A tractor-trailer is approximately 65 feet in length and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, causing any type of crash between it and another moving vehicle, stationary object or person to be more catastrophic and/or fatal in terms of injuries.

Regulations.

Pennsylvania Roadways are plagued with large numbers of bustling commercial trucks navigating their way to delivery locations.  Because many commercial trucking businesses are deadline-imposed, errors may occur due  to violations of safety laws, allowing tired drivers, or overloaded cargo on the highways, thereby increasing the chance for accidents to occur. State and federal commercial trucking laws are in place to protect the public and reduce motor vehicle accidents and they include regulations that require tractor-trailer trucks to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis.  Drivers of trucks have imposed hourly restrictions, and size and weight limits based upon cargo are logged and weighed on highways.

Common violations.

  1. Improper Maintenance.
  2. Driver Fatigue.
  3. Distracted Driving shortening reaction time when needed.
  4. Commercial Company Negligence allowing a driver to drive a faulty vehicle or pushing delivery times over required hours leading to driver fatigue.
  5. Unsecured or Heavy Loads can make the truck difficult to control, and too heavy to stop or maneuver properly.
  6. Driving in Extreme Weather.

Insurance requirements.

Federal regulations require tractor-trailer trucks to carry various levels of insurance coverage, based on the transported cargo. The state of Pennsylvania requires a tractor trailer truck to carry a much higher minimum liability insurance policy than a typical automobile. If you have been involved in an accident with a truck that causes you lost wages, physical pain, change in lifestyle, or wrongful death to a loved one based on negligence, you are entitled to compensation based on the negative impact to your life.

Negligence impacts settlement outcomes.

The basis for most civil lawsuits and negligence laws are established at the state level. Pennsylvania negligence laws stipulate that damages are proportionate to the claimant’s degree of fault, but Pennsylvania utilizes the 51% rule, whereby an injured person can be up to 50% responsible for an accident and still collect damages in a Pennsylvania personal injury claim but if you were more than 50% responsible for the accident, you are not able to recover compensation for your accident expenses.

Hire an attorney.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a truck, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer to fight for your rights. The laws and regulations related to the trucking industry can be difficult to understand. The experienced legal professionals at the Law Firm of Scanlon & Wojton may be able to help.

 

Scanlon & Wojton LLC

304 Ross St Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

Sources:

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/00.071.002.000..HTM

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts

https://www.nhtsa.gov/