Commercial driving requires long hours on the road, so it is not surprising that drivers might seek to find ways to keep their minds occupied. However, driving a semi-truck safely requires the truck driver to focus all of his or her attention on the road at all times.
Distracted driving truck accidents in State College are often fatal, and survivors usually are left with severe, debilitating injuries. Fortunately, a State College truck wreck attorney could help you seek full and fair compensation from the negligent driver responsible for your harm.
How Do Truck Drivers Get Distracted?
Any motorist risks causing an accident if he or she drives without giving his or her full attention to the road. However, due to the significant size and weight of commercial vehicles, distracted driving could result in devastating losses. Unfortunately, truck drivers in State College still engage in distracted driving by eating or drinking, smoking, engaging in conversation with passengers in the cab, reading or watching videos, or using their cell phones to speak, text, or browse social media.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) bars commercial drivers from using cell phones while driving on interstate highways. Pennsylvania law also bans all use of hand-held electronic devices to send, read, or receive written messages or information while the vehicle is in motion. While using hands-free devices to speak is not prohibited, such usage could still be indicative of distracted driving or negligence.
Proving a Truck Driver was Distracted
A person in State College who suffered injuries in a collision involving a distracted truck driver could seek damages from the driver and his or her employer, under the theory of vicarious liability. Engaging in distracted driving violates Pennsylvania state law and federal regulations governing truckers. Therefore, evidence of distracted driving may be used as evidence of negligent driving.
Furthermore, a distracted truck driver’s employer could be found negligent if he or she:
- Did not properly train the truck driver about the hazards of distracted driving
- Hired a driver with a history of distracted driving or other moving violations
- Required the truck driver to engage in activities that might distract him or her from driving safely, such as using an onboard computer system while the vehicle was in motion.
A diligent attorney in the area could investigate the circumstances of the distracted driving incident to pinpoint all liable parties.
Comparative Negligence in State College
Pennsylvania follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. 42 P.S. §7102 states that a negligent plaintiff can collect reduced damages as long as a court finds him or her no more than 50 percent responsible for the crash. Plaintiffs who hold 51 percent or more of the fault for an incident cannot collect any damages under Pennsylvania law.
Seek Compensation from a Distracted Truck Driver with a State College Attorney
Liability for vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania is complicated, and truck crash cases are especially difficult. Commercial transportation companies fight hard to limit their liability. It takes a knowledgeable and confident advocate to achieve justice for an injured claimant.
If you were hurt in a distracted driving truck accident in State College, call the office of Marcus & Mack to speak with a hardworking attorney. Our team could investigate your case and represent your best interests in and out of court.