Johnstown is near the Marcellus Shale formation, one of the largest sources of natural gas in the United States. Truck traffic has increased in the area as the fracking industry requires the use of many large trucks. Due to the heavy machinery and hazardous chemicals these vehicles carry, Johnstown fracking truck driver accidents can cause traumatic injuries and death to other drivers and contamination to neighboring community groundwater.
A collision with a fracking truck is a frightening and stressful experience, leaving those injured with expensive medical bills and emotional scars. If you or your loved one are harmed from a fracking truck accident, a Johnstown fracking attorney could help you and your family obtain the maximum compensation deserved.
Inherent Dangers of Fracking Truck Crashes
In Johnstown, collisions involving fracking trucks are more dangerous than other vehicle crashes for various reasons. Aside from the heavy machinery they carry, which can cause severe injuries to others, drivers in the fracking industry are not bound by the safety rules that commercial truckers must follow. There is no daily limit in driving time (as is the case for tractor trailer drivers), meaning drivers can haul highly flammable gas or toxic chemicals even after a regular workday when they are tired and more prone to accidents.
Furthermore, the fracking site itself is dangerous. Trucks, people, and equipment are constantly coming and going at a fracking site. In addition, since a fracking job site is filled with dangerous chemicals and wastewater, if a truck accident occurs at the fracking site, toxic chemicals can spill into the groundwater or nearby streams, creating a hazard to the people and environment nearby.
Coal trucks and trucks that haul wastewater are used frequently in the fracking industry and can cause accidents. The wastewater trucks travel along roads which are not equipped to handle the large vehicles and the volume of trucks involved. Large coal trucks used at fracking sites also cannot stop quickly at high speeds, so these trucks are more likely to crash if traffic becomes congested.
Proving Liability in Fracking Truck Driver Wrecks
Someone injured in a fracking truck crash may be able to file a claim to collect damages and to hold those accountable who have caused these accidents. However, he or she must be able to prove the following elements of a negligence claim to be awarded damages:
- A duty of care is owed to the injured party
- There was a breach of that duty
- The breach resulted in the accident
- The accident caused damage to the injured party
A skilled local attorney could assess an injured party’s claim and establish all elements required to sue those liable in the truck crash.
Who is Liable in Fracking Truck Collision?
Fracking truck accidents can be complex due to various parties who can be held liable. Aside from the truck driver, those involved may include the fracking company, the truck manufacturer, and those responsible for maintaining the roads in Johnstown.
The driver of the fracking truck could be liable if he or she acted negligently or recklessly while driving the vehicle. This includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, using excessive speed, failing to follow traffic laws, and aggressive driving.
Johnstown follows the principle of vicarious liability, which holds an employer liable for the acts of its employees while the employee acts within the scope of his or her employment. Thus, the fracking company can be held responsible for an accident involving one of its fracking trucks, including wastewater and coal transport trucks. A fracking company can also be held negligent for failing to train drivers properly, hiring unqualified drivers, or improperly maintaining the trucks.
The fracking truck manufacturer can be held liable in an accident under the theory of products liability. This occurs if the wreck occurred due to defective parts, faulty manufacturing processes, improper transport of the trucks, and failure to advise on essential truck maintenance.
The rural roads on which fracking trucks drive are not designed for such heavy trucks and the multitude of trucks that drive on these roads. If the roadway is poorly maintained, has improper signage, or narrow lanes that cannot accommodate the fracking truck and other drivers, those in charge of the roads can be held liable.
Reach Out to a Johnstown Fracking Truck Driver Accidents Attorney Today
Johnstown fracking truck driver accidents where toxic spills and explosions occur are catastrophic. While no amount of money can fix the devastating effects of a fracking truck crash, damages can help cover your mounting medical bills and any other expenses related to the pain and suffering you are enduring. Contact the office of Marcus & Mack today to get started.