Pennsylvania is among the five states that have the highest number of truck accidents in the United States. Commercial truck company drivers are involved in accidents for a multitude of reasons including time spent on roadways, schedules, cargo loads and driver fatigue to name a few. A skilled personal injury attorney can help sort out any claim for damages arising out of commercial truck accident, whether it was a direct result of an impact crash or other roadway danger.
Factors that will increase the likelihood of damage recovery involve a commercial driver’s compliance with state and federal laws and specific trucking restrictions, determination of fault, and the extent of losses through personal injury and property damage. Contact legal counsel to assist with loss determination and legal action when necessary.
Commercial trucking laws.
Pennsylvania commercial trucking laws are in place to protect drivers and mandate specific safety requirements for commercial drivers, in the hopes of reducing accidents. Size is a factor in the extensive damages caused due to a tractor-trailer being approximately 65 feet in length and weighing 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.
Business of trucking may fuel violations.
Commercial trucking companies are deadline-imposed businesses and sometimes accidents occur due to a driver’s violation of safety laws, such as allowing tired drivers to continue to drive past their hourly restrictions, or because of the weight of overloaded cargo. There are state and federal 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 of Pennsylvania trucking rules include:
Commercial Company Negligence
Driving in Extreme Weather
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. The amount you need depends on what freight you haul and where you haul it. If you never cross state lines, you must get a PA PUC # and have a minimum amount of insurance including general freight at $750,000, oil transport at $1,000,000, Hazmat at $5,000.000, Liability at $300,000 and Cargo Insurance at $5,000 per vehicle.
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.
Seek legal counsel.
Injuries stemming from truck accidents may include wrongful death claims, brain and spine injuries and amputations that cause long term medical costs and therapies. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to fight for your rights. The laws and regulations related to the trucking industry can be difficult to understand, but the experienced legal professionals of Scanlon & Wojton Attorneys at Law can assist you with any potential claim for damages resulting from a truck accident.