The driver of a tractor-trailer is dead after a train slammed into the truck he was driving, pushing it against a building on Thursday morning in Cheswick, officials said. The collision was reported about 5:30 a.m. in the area of Pittsburgh and Blockdale streets. Officials said the tractor-trailer driver was trying to cross the train tracks and the impact of the crash caused extensive damage to the building that the tractor-trailer was pushed against. Despite that, the building, which is located in the Watercrest Business Park, is still structurally sound. Two people live upstairs in the building that was hit and said the experience was terrifying.

Truck versus train.

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, tight schedules, dangerous cargo loads and driver fatigue to name a few.  Similarly, trains have long hours, tight schedules, and dangerous cargo loads.  According to the Federal Railroad Administration, more than 3,000 train accidents occur on average per year in the United States, leading to death, injury and property damage. A skilled personal injury attorney can help sort out a complicated claim for damages arising out of  a commercial truck accident with a train, as there may be multiple negligent parties to the action, and various state and federal laws to build a case for wrongful death.

Insurance.

Federal regulations require trains to carry various levels of insurance coverage, based on the transported cargo, the type of train and the scheduled routes.  The state of Pennsylvania requires a tractor trailer truck to carry a much higher minimum liability insurance policy than a typical automobile, and is dependent on they type of freight and the location where it is hauled.  When a train accident occurs in Pennsylvania, the accident laws of the state will guide legal action, but are dependent on the ownership and type of rail line.

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 individuals who are found to be more than 50% responsible for an accident will not be able to recover compensation.

Seek legal counsel.

Injuries and damages stemming from truck and train accidents can be catastrophic and deadly.   An experienced truck accident lawyer can research the facets of the case, utilizing knowledge of federal carrier laws and how they impact wrongful death actions.  The experienced legal professionals of Scanlon & Wojton Attorneys at Law can assist you with any potential claim for wrongful death losses resulting from a truck accident.

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.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state

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/

https://railroadclaims.com/railroad-accident-statistics/