Erie Truck Accident Lawyer
A big rig accident is something no one ever forgets.
Truck accidents are typically catastrophic and result in serious injuries or death. After a truck accident it is best you contact an experienced Erie truck accident attorney to handle the process of investigating the crash and handling your case.
Truck accidents are different than collisions between two cars or other smaller vehicles. Accidents with trucks can involve state and federal laws as well as multiple jurisdictions, different trucking companies, insurance companies, lawyers, truck manufacturers and mechanics, the truck driver, and other contractors. Determining responsibility in truck accidents is difficult. Often, if a personal injury lawsuit is filed, it names many defendants.
In Pennsylvania in 2018 there were 7,336 accidents involving big rigs. Those wrecks resulted in 136 deaths. Moreover, seriously injured accident victims had a long road to recovery. Most of the accidents, according to PennDOT, are the result of equipment malfunction, tire blowouts or driver error.
A commercial truck can be a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, or semi, tanker trucks, freight trucks or delivery trucks. Other common causes of accidents are power train failure, insecure trailer, suspension failure, improper towing of cargo and steering system failure. Nationwide, there are about 2.3 million large trucks on the road that are employed by 500,000 companies. Roughly 80 percent of those firms have 20 or fewer trucks.
Data provided by PennDOT indicates that of the number of fatalities resulting from accidents with trucks, only 1.8 percent of those killed 2018 were driving the truck. The other 98.2 percent were occupants of the passenger vehicle or pedestrians.
Pennsylvania Rules Governing Truck Companies
Pennsylvania has specific rules and laws that govern commercial trucks. Some of those rules and regulations include:
- Drivers and trucking firms are responsible for monitoring driver traffic citations.
- Those in the industry and on the road are required to follow hours of service regulations.
- Licenses can be suspended as a result of certain statutory violations e.g., leaving the scene of an accident or DUI.
- Post-accident, the driver, their experience, character and qualifications must be investigated. What role did the company play in supervision and training of the trucker.
Despite the law, trucking companies and the entire trucking industry encourage drivers to go faster and further and adhere to unrealistic work schedules. While companies do not voice these suggestions, driver deadlines frequently force drivers to skip breaks and mealtimes.
Collisions with big rigs are often more complicated than a crash between passenger vehicles. Truck accidents differ from car crashes because:
- Truckers may only drive a limited number of hours a day.
- Trucking companies are required to run a background check pre-hire. They are also required to evaluate driver over the course of their employment.
- Truckers must meet higher standards of road safety than a passenger vehicle.
- Commercial trucks are governed by multiple federal regulations because they carry commerce across state lines. Passenger vehicles have no federal regulations.Trucks must have more insurance coverage than passenger vehicles.
- Load and equipment safety are issues that apply in truck accidents more often than crashes involving passenger vehicles.
The Erie truck accident lawyers from Melaragno, Placidi & Parini have your back. If you have been involved in a truck accident and wish to discuss filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, Melaragno, Placidi & Parini stand ready to help you navigate the legal process and obtain the equitable compensation you deserve.
Mr. Parini has been a consummate professional.
He represented us in an unusual case, but provided clear and effective advice. His strategy worked out very well and we were offered a fair settlement very quickly.
Truckers Do Not Always Cause the Collision
Truck accidents are not always caused by the truck driver. Often drivers of other vehicles cause the accidents. Factors like distracted driving, tailgating, driving in the “no go zones,” stopping abruptly in front of a truck or slowing down unexpectedly, and improper lane changes can result in serious and often fatal crashes.
After a truck accident, it is best to contact the Erie truck accident lawyers at Melaragno, Placidi & Parini. The firm's attorneys can gather evidence which will help your case. The lawyers can check proper licensing, find available CCTV or security camera footage, interview and vet witnesses, locate the truck black box among other things.