Traffic accidents involving large commercial trucks such as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and buses, have the potential to cause severe, sometimes life-threatening, injuries. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were approximately 6,807 truck accidents in 2017. Of those truck accidents, 145 resulted in fatalities.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania refers to larger commercial trucks as “heavy trucks.” Due to the tremendous size and mass of these vehicles, accidents between heavy trucks and passenger vehicles can be devastating. Moreover, since resourceful companies tend to own commercial trucks, truck injury litigation can become very complicated, often involving different parties such as large corporations and insurance companies. The parties may start blaming one another and attempt to shift the blame in order to minimize their exposure to liability.
Given the potential difficulties inherent with truck injury litigation, you should consult an experienced Pennsylvania truck accident attorney for legal representation. At Marcus & Mack, we aren’t afraid to stand toe-to-toe with large corporations when it comes to ensuring that our client’s right to recover an appropriate settlement or jury award for their injuries is duly recognized and respected.
Championing Your Cause Against At-Fault Truck Drivers
In addition to the different parties that are potentially implicated in a truck accident injury case, certain federal and state laws that regulate commercial truck drivers may also be applicable.
Among the issues that can arise during truck accident litigation are:
- Negligent Hiring. Trucking companies are legally obligated to hire safe, licensed truck drivers. If a trucking company failed to perform a comprehensive background check and hired a driver who was incapable of safely performing their duties, the company may be liable for negligent hiring.
- Hours of Service Violations. Under the Hours of Services rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers are required to take a 30-minute break every 8 hours of driving to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel. Drivers also may not operate a truck for more than 11 hours within a 24 hour period. Violation of these rules could be used as evidence of the driver’s negligence.
- Load Restrictions. Regulations impose strict weight restrictions for tractor-trailers to prevent serious rollover and jackknife accidents. If a violation of these restrictions caused an injury-producing collision, the offending party might be liable for your injuries.
- Vicarious Liability. Employers can be held liable for the negligent actions of their employees if performed within the course and scope of their employment.
- Defective Equipment. Sometimes defectively designed or manufactured equipment can cause a truck accident. In such cases, the equipment manufacturer may be liable for the injuries caused by their defective equipment.
- Negligent Maintenance. Truck drivers are required to keep accurate records of their operations. Such documents include the contents of the truck, maintenance schedules and repair dates. If negligent maintenance contributed to a severe accident, liability could extend to the responsible party.
Call Marcus & Mack’s Altoona Truck Accident Attorneys
Commercial truck accident litigation can be incredibly complex. As a result, you need an experienced Altoona personal injury attorney with sophisticated knowledge of truck accident litigation to navigate the intricacies of federal interstate litigation, truck company investigatory procedures, and commercial insurance policies. At Marcus & Mack, we are dedicated to advocating for your interests from the get-go. Our legal team is not intimidated by trucking companies and their insurance providers. We are familiar with the tactics trucking companies and their counsel try to use to evade taking responsibility. We are prepared to take trucking companies to court throughout Pennsylvania.