Big Rig accident causes chain reaction crash in Pennsylvania resulting in fatal injury.

Pennsylvania – December 16, 2021

A tractor-trailer driver from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania set off a chain reaction crash on Interstate 78 in Berks County resulting in multiple fatal injuries as traffic exited the highway due to another fatal crash in the area as reported by the Pennsylvania State Police.  When eastbound traffic was being detoured at Exit 19 in Upper Tulpehocken Township, the big rig driver failed to slow for stopped vehicles and slammed into the rear of a van driven by a 53-year-old man from South Carolina, causing the van to crash into a sedan driven by a 40-year-old woman from Reading and three passengers, which further impacted an SUV driven by a 54-year-old man from Williamsport. The SUV then hit a tractor-trailer driven by a 46-year-old man from Orlando. A 24-year-old woman from Reading who was in the passenger-side rear seat of the sedan and the driver of the SUV suffered fatal injury at the scene.  When catastrophic injuries result from multi-vehicle collisions with commercial trucks, experienced Pennsylvania accident attorneys can assist with building a case after reviewing the extent of damages caused by the distinct size differences between a tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle.

Vicarious liability.

Pennsylvania has commercial trucking laws in place to protect the public and drivers of commercial trucks from causing accidents on the highways.  Commercial trucking companies are deadline-imposed businesses and sometimes there may be errors due to the violation of safety laws, allowing tired drivers, or overloaded cargo on the highways thereby increasing the chance for accidents to occur.  Vicariously liability is the legal doctrine that assigns liability for an injury to a person who did not cause the injury, but who had a particular legal relationship to the negligent entity.  Talk to a truck accident lawyer about the impacts of vicarious liability on a lawsuit.

Injury types.

Insurance companies recognize certain types of injuries in accident claims as catastrophic when they cause lasting damage to a person’s life, or are above a certain financial threshold. often limiting the ability: to work and secure wages, to assist with home and family, and to pay for measurable expenses related to medical treatment and renovations to living space to account for life changes. They often include injury to the spinal cord, the brain, the limbs, or internal organs.  Consult with a Pennsylvania truck accident attorney who understands industry laws pertaining to commercial carriers and independent contractors working for them.

Insurance matters. 

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 Pennsylvania negligence laws stipulate that damages are proportionate to the claimant’s degree of fault. An accident victim can only seek damages from the truck driver if they are less than 51 percent at fault. Full and limited tort are options that individuals can choose under their auto insurance policies in accordance with Pennsylvania motor vehicle financial responsibility laws. Personal injury legal action needs to be initiated within the two year statute of limitations in Pennsylvania.

In the case of a multi-vehicle wreck with drivers from different states, multiple attorneys will have to work with insurance companies and research case specifics to place a value on the loss occurred because of catastrophic injury, or wrongful death claims for each accident victim.

Seek legal counsel.

Contact an experienced accident attorney for a consultation, as they can research specific case facts and interpret accident reports, and utilize state, and federal law to support a case’s best outcome toward the compensation of damages.  Scanlon & Wojton will fight for comprehensive damage awards for wrongful death claims, or catastrophic injury damages after a multi-vehicle crash.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

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

Phone:  (412) 918-1241

Fax: (412) 235-7275








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