Interstate 76 is a highway that stretches across Pennsylvania, running through three of the commonwealth’s major cities, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia. This concrete artery is traveled by all types of vehicles, included large commercial trucks and tractor-trailers. Unfortunately, the combination of congestion and speed increases the risk of accidents. When a commercial truck is involved, the sheer mass and size of the vehicle often results in catastrophic injuries.
A severe injury impacts a person in several ways, physically, emotionally, and financially. If you are hurt in a collision with a large commercial vehicle, contact our I-76 Pennsylvania truck accident attorney today. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free consultation.
Who is Liable for a Pennsylvania Truck Accident on 76?
Accidents on I-76 in Pennsylvania involving commercial trucks or tractor-trailers could have one or multiple liable parties depending on the circumstances surrounding the crash. Trucks are large, complex pieces of machinery that are more difficult to control than an average car. However, determining who is a fault when an accident occurs is not always straightforward. Additionally, in many cases, the fault lies with more than one party.
Negligent Truck Drivers on I-76 in Pennsylvania
The most obvious party that at fault when a commercial vehicle crashes is the truck driver. There are many mistakes or choices the operator of a truck could make that could result in an accident.
Distracted driving is a common cause of accidents for every type of motorist, including truck drivers. Failing to pay attention to the roadway, especially when operating a large commercial tractor-trailer, could easily result in a loss of control or a collision with a smaller vehicle.
Even though truck drivers drive for a living, they can still commit acts of reckless or aggressive driving. Often, to complete their route faster, a truck driver will drive at an excessive speed or recklessly switch lanes. Sometimes, to accomplish the same task, a truck driver might operate their vehicle for more hours than they legally should, driving without necessary rest or sleep.
Truckers might also take drugs or drink alcohol to artificially fight off drowsiness, which impairs their mental and physical abilities behind the wheel.
Trucking Companies and Liability for Accidents on Interstate 76 in Pennsylvania
Many truck drivers work for trucking companies instead of working on their own as independent owner-operators. Under certain circumstances, the company could be held responsible for any injuries caused in an accident. Investigating and proving liability against a trucking company requires an experienced and skilled attorney, such as our Pennsylvania I-76 truck accident lawyers.
When a trucking company fails to inspect or maintain its fleet of trucks, they could be held accountable if the truck malfunctions. Also, inexperienced drivers tend to make more errors than seasoned truckers. If a trucking company does not provide a driver adequate training, it could be held liable if the driver causes an accident.
Trucking companies are motivated by profits, so it is not uncommon for a company to encourage their drivers to operate their vehicles longer than federally allowed, often creating unreasonable or unrealistic schedules or expectations.
An improperly balanced truck is harder to control. If a truck’s cargo is not properly secured within the trailer, it could create an unreasonably dangerous situation for the driver and others on the highway. The responsibility for loading the truck could fall on the trucking company or the party that hired the commercial vehicle for the delivery.
In some cases, the owner of the truck is not the trucking company or the driver. If that is the case, the responsibility for inspecting and maintaining the vehicle will rest with them. This is common when fleet vans and other delivery trucks are rented. When examining the circumstances surrounding a truck accident, our Pennsylvania truck accident attorney will thoroughly review every possibility.
Truck and Equipment Manufacturers
Trucks are complicated pieces of machinery, and a malfunction in any one of its delicate systems could result in a loss of control or an accident. Faulty brakes, a blown tire, or another mechanical failure could contribute to a devastating crash. If these malfunctions are because of a manufacturing or design defect, then the company that made the part could be held accountable for any damages a truck accident victim suffers.
Comparative Negligence and I-76 Pennsylvania Truck Accident Lawsuits
Pennsylvania follows the “comparative negligence” doctrine for personal injury lawsuits arising out of truck accidents. Under this legal doctrine, damages are portioned out among the parties depending on their percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to have contributed to the crash by 20%, then any damages awarded to you would be reduced by that percentage of fault you caused. Likewise, if there are multiple defendants, the damages they each pay will be equal to the percentage that their conduct contributed to the accident.
Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations for Lawsuits Arising from Truck Accidents
Every state has a legal deadline for filing a lawsuit, including Pennsylvania. Known as “statutes of limitations,” these time limits are in place to protect potential defendants from being sued years after an incident occurred. In Pennsylvania, you must file a truck accident lawsuit within two years of the incident. However, it is essential for an injured victim not to wait the full two years to contact our Pennsylvania attorney. The longer a person delays, the chances increase that valuable evidence will be lost or unavailable.
Call Our Pennsylvania Interstate 76 Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
Commercial truck accidents in Pennsylvania often result in devastating and debilitating injuries. People hurt in a collision with a large vehicle could be facing overwhelming medical expenses, extended hospitalization, and a significant loss of income. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, contact our Pennsylvania I-76 truck accident attorney. The Reiff Law Firm has attorneys and staff with over 40 years of experience fighting for those who were hurt through no fault of their own. Call (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free consultation to review your case and legal rights.