Western Pennsylvania’s geographic location makes our roads susceptible to the effects of bad weather, such as snow, ice, and heavy precipitation. We live in a mountainous region with steep grades, and that often leads to precipitation pooling dangerously on our roads, which could cause hydroplaning. This pooled water can also result in unexpected patches of ice. Individuals involved in Johnstown bad weather truck accidents could benefit from reaching out to a qualified truck accident lawyer.
Trucks often have difficulty handling poor weather because they are top-heavy, and carry significant loads upwards of 80,000 pounds at a time. Truck drivers may also travel over secondary roads that are narrow with winding curves, making the vehicle susceptible to tipping or sliding off the road.
Weather is not a valid defense for the defendant in a truck wreck case. Everyone on the road is required to drive in a reasonable manner and is required to account for all conditions, including not just heavy traffic and nighttime conditions but also bad weather.
A truck driver must have control over his or her vehicle even if there is reduced traction on the road from snow or ice. This typically requires driving at a reduced speed and allowing more distance between vehicles to account for the increase in required stopping distance, as it may take longer to bring a vehicle to a stop if there is snow or ice on the road.
A victim is entitled to recover both economic damages and non-economic damages in a dangerous weather truck accident. Economic damages are quantifiable losses like past lost wages, future diminished earning capacity, medical bills, the projected costs of future treatment, out of pocket expenses, and the costs of making changes to the victim’s home to accommodate for his or her injuries.
Non-economic damages are intangible losses like pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of life’s pleasures, recovery for scarring or disfigurement, and a decreased quality of life. There can also be claims for loss of consortium, which allows a victim’s non-injured spouse to recover for any damage caused to the marital relationship because of his or her injured spouse. These damages can be very “real” when the balance of a relationship is altered by the negligence of an at-fault truck driver. In many relationships, each spouse has certain responsibilities. An accident can change that dynamic in many ways.
Evidence that may be used to prove that weather conditions were the cause of a truck accident in Johnstown can include documenting the location of debris on the roadway itself. Individuals might also use certified weather reports to prove what the weather conditions were at that time. Certified weather reports show temperature, the amount of precipitation, and the timing of the precipitation. Additionally, an experienced truck wreck attorney will hire the appropriate expert witnesses such as engineers that are qualified to reconstruct how a collision occurred. These experts are able to determine such things as the speeds of vehicles at the time of a collision. Additionally, many vehicles and heavy commercial trucks are now equipped with “event data recorders” which are sometimes referred to as “black boxes”. These recorders contain a wealth of information that can be vital to your collision case. An experienced truck wreck attorney will, when appropriate, obtain the information contained in those event data recorders.
A dedicated lawyer could help victims of truck accidents caused by poor weather conditions ensure that all their damages are accounted for and proven, including present and future bills, wage loss, and treatment, as well as various non-economic sources of harm.
Building a plaintiff’s claim as completely as possible is the primary role of any dedicated attorney. Contact us at Marcus & Mack to speak with a personal injury lawyer experienced with Johnstown bad weather truck accidents and learn more about the steps you could take toward obtaining financial recovery.