Blair County, the home of Altoona, is uniquely situated in an area that has a lot of trucks on the road. There are also a large number of warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and businesses in industry and manufacturing that use commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, the high number of trucks means there is a greater chance of a serious collision. If you were involved in an Altoona truck accident, it is important to understand the unique aspects of your case. A dedicated truck accident lawyer could examine your case to determine the best course of action.
Determining Fault in Altoona
In a case where the fault is not 100 percent clear, the court must assign degrees of fault to the parties involved in the collision. Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state, so every county in Pennsylvania must apply the law of comparative negligence.
In some cases, it is clear the defendant is entirely at fault, so there will not be a liability dispute. In that case, the defendant would be held responsible for the injuries and the economic losses caused in that collision.
Other cases are not as clear. It could be argued that each party contributed to the crash. In those cases, the judge or jury must allocate or apportion fault to each person. If it is found that the defendant was 80 percent responsible for the collision and the injured plaintiff was 20 percent responsible, the injured party could recover only 80 percent of his or her total damages.
That sliding scale applies right down to 50-50 fault, where each person bears equal responsibility for the collision. If it is determined, however, that the plaintiff is more than 50 percent responsible for the collision, then he or she may not recover truck accident damages.
Who is the Defendant?
It is important when building a case to determine who the correct defendant would be. This could be done by determining the cause of the truck accident. If the collision was due to reckless or distracted driving, both common causes of Altoona truck accidents, the truck driver or trucking company would be the defendant. If the truck itself contained a manufacturing error, the manufacturing company could be held responsible for the damages. Should the company the truck driver works for not provide sufficient training for its employees, it could be liable. An Altoona attorney could help determine who the correct defendant is in a truck wreck case.
Collecting Evidence in Truck Wreck Cases
From the very moment the collision happens, the trucking company is working to collect evidence and try to escape liability or minimize liability. The injury victim should do the same.
Obtaining representation from a seasoned truck accident attorney early on can be critical to proving fault in a case. A dedicated law firm could quickly work to have the truck taken off the road to preserve evidence.
If a truck is not examined right away, then it is placed back in service. It could have hundreds, if not thousands, of additional miles on it by the time a lawyer gets to it. Other evidence can disappear, too. Most trucks have black boxes, and they have crucial information as to the speed vehicle was going at the time of the collision and whether the brakes were applied. This information could be used to determine if the person properly reacted or saw the collision coming.
Those event data recorders can only hold so much data, and it gets overwritten periodically. That is why it is critical to have an attorney protecting the individual’s rights and preserving that information as quickly as possible after a collision.
Contact an Altoona Truck Accident Attorney Today
Truck accidents could result in serious physical and emotional injury that can lead to high financial burdens. If you were injured in a wreck involving a truck, you have the right to seek monetary compensation. Contact us at Marcus & Mack to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer experienced with the unique aspects of Altoona truck accident cases.