Pennsylvania Trucking Accidents usually result in the most serious injuries and harm.
When litigating Pennsylvania truck cases, you need attorneys who have experience in litigating truck cases, and experience in understanding the regulations of the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
Flaherty Fardo has experience handling the following cases:
You need to act immediately when you or a loved one has been a victim of a truck or tractor trailer accident. If you do not, you risk losing key evidence about your case.
Most commercial trucks now are equipped with what is known as the qualcomm system. Qualcomm is basically a satellite truck tracking system. The importance of qualcomm is two fold. First, it can help pinpoint the approximate speed at the time of the accident. Commercial truck drivers are often under deadlines and often exceed the posted speed limit. Second, it is crucial evidence in understanding whether a driver has violated the Federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. The Federal Motor Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted the HOS regulations to protect Americans against driver fatigue. You need to act immediately in truck accident cases, because qualcomm records are often expunged after 30 days and key evidence can be lost forever.
Truck accident lawsuits can be quite different than regular auto accident lawsuits. There are specific federal regulations in the trucking industry that set these cases apart. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented the Federal Hours-of Service regulations (49 CFR Part 395).
The Hours of Service (HOS) basically places limits for when and how long commercial motor vehicle drivers may drive. The goal of the HOS regulations is of course to limit driver fatigue of commercial truck drivers. These laws have changed recently over the years, and having experienced truck accident attorneys is crucial in these types of cases.
Commercial truck drivers are notorious for fixing or doctoring their log books. We have had cases, where the Hours of Service regulations and understanding false log books has been crucial in obtaining large settlements for our clients. Commercial drivers are required by federal law to keep logbooks to ensure that they are not operating trucks and tractor trailers for longer periods than the law allows. At the same, most commercial drivers only get paid when they drive. Hence, their is a monetary incentive for truck drivers to break the law.
The log books are the best evidence of driver fatigue. Driver fatigue for commercial truck drivers is commonly referred to as the number one cause of truck and tractor trailer fatalities. According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), the percentage of crashes due to fatigue increases substantially the longer commercial drivers remain on the road. There is nothing more dangerous than a tired commercial truck driver behind an 18 wheeler at 70 mph on a Pennsylvania interstate. A fatigued driver significantly increases the risks to others by losing reaction time when fatigued and even possibly falling asleep.
Another reason you need experienced truck accident lawyers is understanding how the insurance industry handles these large commercial freight carriers. Trucks are required and supposed to carry levels of auto insurance higher than regular automobiles. The reason being is that accidents involving trucks, tractor-trailers and buses, are more likely to cause more severe property damage and injury.
However, trucking companies make a lot of money and often play corporate shell games to protect their assets and reduce their premiums. We had a case recently where we obtained the insurance policy of the defendant trucking company, and just 12 months prior to our specific trucking accident, the defendant trucking company reduced the insurance policy limits from 10 Million Dollars to 2 Million Dollars. You need to be a detective in these cases, and after reviewing thousands of documents, we were able to establish that the companies net worth was over 100 Million Dollars. This research helped us obtain a favorable settlement for our client.
Pennsylvania law allows an injured person to hold the employer responsible for negligent hiring, negligent retention, and negligent supervision of an employee truck driver. This is very important, as many of the truck drivers are not wealthy, and you need to often find additional defendants with deeper pockets. Employers are responsible to ensure that they hire safe drivers. Trucking companies have a legal duty to make certain that the drivers they hire do not have a history of accidents, tickets or other legal violations. Trucking companies also have a responsibility to test drivers for drug use.
If you have any questions about a trucking accident in Pennsylvania, Flaherty Fardo offers free consultations. Consultations can be done on-line or by calling our offices at 412.802.6666.
Our representation for Pennsylvania truck accidents cases, tractor trailer accidents, bus accidents and all personal injury cases is based on a contingent fee structure. There is absolutely no fee unless we obtain recovery for you. We advance 100% the costs and are only reimbursed from the client’s share if we win.