Pennsylvania – November 22, 2021

Commercial trucking companies are deadline-imposed businesses and driving errors, or violation of safety laws allowing tired drivers, or overloaded cargo on highways, often increase the chance for accidents to occur.  Pennsylvania was among the ten states with the highest average of fatal large truck and bus crashes according to 2015-2017 data and actions investigated by FMCSA revealed mitigating factors that include:

  • Non-performance of drivers. (distracted, fatigued, or DUI) 12%
  • Recognition. (failure to observe other drivers and surroundings) 28%
  • Poor decision making. (situational, driver bad habits) 38%
  • Truck driver performance. (panicked, over-compensated or used poor judgment) 9%
  • Vehicle. (vehicle or mechanical failure, such as brake systems) 10%
  • Environment. (poor weather, road construction, or other highway problems) 3%

A skilled personal injury attorney can help sort insurance claims for damages arising out of a commercial truck accident, whether it was a direct result of an impact crash, or other roadway danger. They can also guide accident victims through formal litigation when necessary.

Damage recovery.

Factors that will increase the likelihood of comprehensive damage recovery involve a commercial driver’s compliance with state and federal laws and specific trucking restrictions, the determination of fault, and the extent of losses through personal injury and property damage valuations.  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.  Pennsylvania State and federal regulations require tractor-trailer trucks to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis and drivers of trucks have imposed hourly restrictions, and size and weight limits based upon cargo which must be logged and weighed on highways.  Deviations from trucking laws may result in truck accidents and a Pennsylvania truck accident attorney can work with victims toward damage recovery.

Insurance.

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. Coverage amounts depend on the type of freight hauled and the destination. If drivers never cross state lines, they 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, and parties involved in an accident can be up to 50% responsible for the accident and still collect damages in a Pennsylvania personal injury claim, but if they were more than 50% responsible for the accident, there will be no recoverable compensation.

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 at Scanlon & Wojton Attorneys at Law  in Pittsburgh can assist with potential claims for damages resulting from a truck accident.

 

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

Phone:  (412) 918-1241

Fax: (412) 235-7275

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

Sources:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/2018-cmv-traffic-safety-fact-sheet

https://www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/Safety/Documents/2018_CFB_linked.pdf

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/00.071.002.000..HTM

https://www.nhtsa.gov/

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