Big trucks keep products moving and are essential to the economy, but unfortunately, they are hazards on the highways. Trucks are involved in a disproportionate number of fatal accidents every year in Pennsylvania.
Truckers must comply with numerous safety rules and restrictions to mitigate the danger these vehicles pose. However, sometimes a truck driver ignores the rules and engages in the irresponsible practice of texting while operating a big rig.
If a heavy commercial vehicle crash caused you to suffer injuries and you believe the driver was texting, the trucker and trucking company could be liable for your damages. A well-practiced semi-truck collision attorney could help you throughout the entire process of filing a civil claim. Contact a Johnstown texting while driving truck accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration bars truckers from using cell phones to text while operating a commercial vehicle. Fines could reach $2,750 for the trucker and up to $11,000 for a trucking company that allows or requires a truck driver to text while his or her rig is in motion. Truckers also could lose his or her commercial driving licenses for up to 120 days.
Pennsylvania state law 75 P.S. § 3316 bans texting while driving for all drivers. Although the penalties for a violation are not harsh, a driver who causes a collision because he or she was texting is negligent and likely will be at fault for the wreck. In this state, the at-fault driver is responsible for damages any other party suffered in a crash.
Anyone suffering injuries in a collision with an 18-wheeler due to texting while driving should immediately contact a Johnstown attorney. A seasoned legal professional could review the police report and witness statements to find evidence of negligence, including texting. If necessary, a proactive Johnstown lawyer could subpoena the cab video and driver’s cell phone records to confirm that he or she was texting when the crash occurred.
Someone who sustained injuries in a truck accident must prove that the trucker or trucking company was negligent. In most vehicle wreck cases, negligence means not using the same amount of caution a reasonable person would use in the same circumstances. However, because commercial trucks are common carriers under federal law, truckers must operate these vehicles with the utmost care.
When a trucker receives a citation for texting while driving, the violation of state law and federal regulations could be evidence of negligence per se. This term means that an injured person need not introduce any other evidence of negligence—the fact that a trucker was texting while driving is enough evidence to hold the driver and his or her employer liable.
A Johnstown semi-truck collision attorney must prove negligence if the trucker did not receive a citation for texting while driving. Evidence of cell phone use immediately before a crash indicates negligence. Even if the driver’s cell phone records are unavailable, a legal professional could present witness statements, surveillance video, the truck’s data recording device records, and other evidence showing the driver was distracted when the collision occurred.
A trucking company will usually be liable for an employee’s negligent driving. Trucking companies typically carry commercial insurance policies with high coverage limits, meaning that an injured person who can prove the driver’s negligence could expect a settlement to cover his or her losses.
Damages in a trucking accident should cover medical expenses and all treatment, equipment, therapies, and medications necessary to ease the injured person’s recovery. Damages include lost wages and diminished future earning capacity. In many cases, an injured person in Johnstown is also entitled to compensation for his or her reduced quality of life, including physical pain and emotional suffering.
Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule, meaning that an injured person whose negligence contributed to the accident can collect reduced damages. A determined lawyer could present evidence showing the trucker’s negligence was the primary cause of the crash, preserving the injured person’s right to collect monetary damages.
Texting while driving is a known danger and there is no excuse for it. A trucker who texts while driving must be held responsible for his or her recklessness.
A Johnstown texting while driving truck accident lawyer could provide vigorous representation in your case. Reach out to the dedicated team of attorneys at Marcus & Mack to schedule a consultation.