If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact an attorney for advice on insurance claims and possible litigation.
Trucking accidents in and around Philadelphia occur frequently as it is a main hub to distribution facilities and waterways. A plethora of accidents reflect the dangers of the increased number of trucks on the busy highways of Pennsylvania with examples including a tractor trailer breaking in half on I-95 near Philadelphia last week, and a separate crash leading to an oil spill in a very busy entrance roadway to downtown Philadelphia last month. These accidents may be indicative of poor maintenance or driver error based on many factors, including limited health screenings.
When a tractor trailer splits apart while moving at a fast speed down an interstate, it is suspicious that some type of maintenance problem must have been missed in routine inspections that drivers are supposed to initiate when they travel. Because a tractor-trailer is approximately 65 feet in length and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, it can cause catastrophic and widespread damage to other cars and highway delays. If a driver is not well and has a medical episode at the wheel, losing control of the massive vehicle could end up in chemical spills on roadways that impact traffic patterns and endanger other drivers.
There are state and federal regulations that require tractor trailers to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis, and requirements for drivers to be evaluated to make sure they are in good health to reduce or identify health problems that could render them dangerous in long distance driving situations which are required of commercial trucking companies and their deadline-imposed businesses.
Identified violations which are common in Pennsylvania include:
- Improper Maintenance
- Driver Fatigue
- Distracted Drivers
- Commercial Company Negligence
- Unsecured Loads
- Driving in Extreme Weather
Insurance and compensation.
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 passenger vehicle.
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. Injuries stemming from truck accidents may include wrongful death claims, brain and spine injuries and amputations to name a few of those that are negatively life-altering events.
A legal professional may help to mediate settlement amounts with insurance companies for damages caused by possible negligence and reckless driving. Sometimes litigation may be the only way to remedy any loss to a victim of a trucking accident. Civil lawsuits will be based on laws and statutes at the state and federal levels when dealing with trucking accident litigation, and insurance settlements.
Economic and non-economic damages are based on degrees of fault in the State of Pennsylvania and the 51% rule is utilized to determine how settlements will be determined. This means that an injured person can be up to 50% responsible for an accident and still collect damages in a Pennsylvania personal injury claim but if fault was more than 50% responsible, a party is not able to recover compensation for any accident expenses.
Legal counsel can help.
Trucking accidents are complex and often require involved research including collecting and reviewing trucking company records, maintenance and travel logs, along with certificates of health for drivers and other records or police reports that can shed light on the cause of the accident. Call an accident attorney to determine “fault” and actions toward a legal proceeding to address all property damages and physical injuries sustained.