Sharing the road with large commercial vehicles can be intimidating, and getting into a collision with one can be devastating. Due to their size, serious injuries often result from crashes involving large trucks.
If you suffered injuries in a severe accident due to a truck driver’s negligence, you may wish to consult with a seasoned personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A Cambria County truck accident lawyer could safeguard your rights in and out of court to ensure you are properly compensated for your losses.
Who is Liable for a Commercial Vehicle Wreck?
Negligence is often a contributing factor in truck wrecks. Driver error, mechanical failures, improperly loaded trailers, driver fatigue, and poor road maintenance are just a few examples of negligence that may lead to vehicle accidents.
A challenging aspect of truck accident cases is there could be many potential defendants. If driver error or misconduct was a factor in the accident, the truck driver is one potentially liable party. However, for example, there are federal and state regulations governing truck driver working hours, and a claimant might be able to show negligence based on a violation of those regulations. If so, an injured person might be able to collect damages from the driver and his or her employer, depending on the circumstances.
A skilled truck wreck attorney in the area could look into the vehicle’s maintenance schedule to determine whether the vehicle was current on all recommended service. If not, there may be an opportunity to assert negligence against the truck owner or the maintenance company. The truck manufacturer, parts manufacturer, and the company that loaded the truck, could also potentially be liable for damages to an injured person if their negligence contributed to the accident.
If a road hazard or improper signage caused a crash involving a commercial vehicle, a municipality or other government agency may bear some responsibility. Governmental entities could also be liable in a semi-truck accident if the wreck involved a vehicle driven by an employee on official government business.
Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania follows a legal doctrine called “comparative negligence.” This law, makes every party to a lawsuit responsible for their percentage fault in causing an accident. A negligent plaintiff can still collect damages from other negligent parties, but only if the plaintiff is less than 51 percent responsible for the collision.
In truck collision cases in Cambria County, a jury must allocate fault among all the parties. When a claimant receives a damage award, the judge will adjust it to reflect the plaintiff’s degree of responsibility. For instance, if a jury decides a plaintiff is 20 percent at fault for an accident, the judge will reduce the plaintiff’s recovery by 20 percent.
Statute of Limitations to File Truck Crash Claim
Generally, in Pennsylvania, an injured person has two years after he or she suffers an injury to file a lawsuit seeking damages. In the case of a minor, the statue of limitations is extended until two years after his or her eighteenth birthday.
If the negligence of a government entity contributed to an accident, an injured person must act quickly. The law requires an injured person to notify the government of his or her intent to sue within six months of the accident. A local truck accident attorney could protect an injured person’s right to sue by making sure no deadlines are missed.
Schedule a Consultation with a Cambria County Truck Accident Attorney
Trucking companies often fight hard to minimize their percentage of blame in the event of a collision. You need a dedicated legal professional to advocate just as hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Consulting with an experienced attorney early can help you locate and preserve evidence and secure witness statements before memories fade. Contact a Cambria County truck accident lawyer at Marcus & Mack today for a complimentary case review.