Commercial Truck Accidents
Anyone who has driven on a highway, knows the feeling when they see a large truck is speeding past them in the next lane. There is a sense of angst. Trucks are so large and often driving quickly, that the subconscious knows this is a recipe for disaster if something goes array.Truck Crash Data
- In 2013, approximately 342,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes. There were approximately 95,000 people who were injured as a result, and 3,964 people who were killed. These are daunting numbers.
- In Pennsylvania there anywhere between 147 and 159 heavy truck related deaths per year between 2010 and 2014.
- About 12.5% or one of every eight traffic death accidents involves an 18 wheeler.
- 64% of the fatal crashes in which large trucks were involved happened in rural areas.
- Trucks weigh on average 25 times more than passenger vehicles
- Trucks are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes
- Due to their weight, trucks take longer to brake. Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than trucks
- Driver fatigue
- Overloaded freight
- Negligent maintenance of the truck
- Brake problems
- Inadequate driver training
- Weather conditions
- Equipment failure
- Prescription drug use
- Roadway defect
- Unsafe Highway design
- Obscured vision
- Traffic violation
There are Pennsylvania state specific regulations as well as federal regulations the truck driver and company must follow. Nationally the trucking industry is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA provides for a maximum of 11 hours of driving a day for truckers. The driver must also take at least a half hour break during the first 8 hours of driving each new day. Additionally truckers cannot drive more than a total of 70 hours a week. There are additional rules such as restart provisions which are fairly complicated. However we will request a copy of the drivers log book during discovery and carefully examine to see if the driver complied with all the rules. If they were not, you can be sure we will bring them out to the insurance company and at trial.
Additionally the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) has extensive regulations for the trucking industry including:
- License requirements for truck drivers
- Required documentation for both the driver and trucking company
- Limits on consecutive work hours by hours
- Weight, size and route limitations
- Trucking insurance minimums
There might be more than one liable party when it comes to trucking accidents. There might be negligence on the trucking companies part, and independent maintenance company, the driver, or any combination of the parties. We will do a thorough investigation of your accident and the history and maintenance of the truck to make sure all parties who are liable, are sued for damages. We will request a copy of the repair log, to see whether or not the truck was properly maintained. For example the trucking company must have done not only a background check of the driver’s driving history, but also of his criminal record. In addition, the trucking company must regularly have it’s drivers go for medical examinations. We will examine all records to see if the trucking company has met it’s responsibilities.
Furthermore the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 requires that all drivers of trucks greater than 26,000 pounds have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
In addition your case might be an outlier, where the highway design was particularly unsafe. In such a case, we will sue the township or state.
Even if the accident was partially your fault, you still may be able to recover in a lawsuit.
We will go as far to bring in accident reconstructionist expert as well as other experts, to give you every advantage necessary at trial.When you are involved in accident with a truck, we will try to recover:
- Hospital and Medical Bills
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Lost Income
- Pain and Suffering
If you have been in an accident with a commercial truck, call us today for your free consultation. We will go over what your options are, and start creating a plan of attack for your case.