Pennsylvania – October 30, 2020

Truck size.

 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 suffer catastrophic injury, or death. Commercial trucking companies are deadline-imposed businesses, and occasionally driver errors caused by fatigue, safety violations, or overloaded cargo may increase the chance of a truck accident.  The five common reasons for tractor trailer accidents include:

  1. Careless driving by 18 wheeler operators,
  2. Drivers fall asleep,
  3. Poor maintenance and defective equipment,
  4. Improper training of commercial motor carrier drivers.

Type of cargo.

Semi-trucks are used to transport hazardous materials such as chemicals that can spill, blow up or catch fire, if there is an accident. These chemicals and other materials pose a health and safety risk to other drivers as well as environmental concerns to the public. Additionally heavy cargo and live cargo can increase dangers to a truck movement.

Contact an attorney regarding personal injury, property damage, or loss of life from a truck accident to determine if negligence played a part and if legal action is required.  When an individual fails to exercise the degree of care expected of someone in a similar situation, and it results in an injury of some sort, it is called negligence. The burden to prove negligence usually falls upon the accident victim’s legal counsel.

Regulations and insurance.

The state of Pennsylvania requires a tractor trailer truck to carry a much higher minimum liability insurance policy than a passenger vehicle.  Pennsylvania commercial trucking laws are in place to protect the public and reduce motor vehicle accidents. There are state and federal regulations that require tractor-trailer trucks to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis.

A truck accident attorney can explain Pennsylvania’s  “modified comparative negligence” rule, where an individual can still recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, but the amount of compensation will be reduced by an amount that is equal to their percentage of fault, but a plaintiff can only seek damages from the defendant if they are less than 51 percent at fault.

Wrongful death.

In Pennsylvania, family members, or legal representatives must file a wrongful death legal action to secure compensation when a loved one dies because of the negligent, reckless, or deliberate act of another.  A Pennsylvania truck accident attorney can assist with damages in these lawsuits that may include:

  • Medical bills and treatment,
  • Funeral and burial expenses,
  • Lost wages compensation,
  • Compensation for pain and suffering,
  • Punitive damages base on individual case.

Seek legal counsel.

Call an accident attorney in the Pittsburgh area to assist in the determination of  “fault” and move forward with a legal proceeding to address catastrophic personal injury and damage loss.  An experienced truck accident lawyer at Scanlon & Wojton will fight for your rights and is familiar with trucking industry regulations that will impact a case outcome.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219

 

Phone:  (412) 918-1241

Fax: (412) 235-7275

 

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/

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