A white Lexus convertible crashed into the back of a semi-truck on Route 309 near Center Valley Parkway seriously injuring the driver of the Lexus. According to police at the scene, the driver of the Lexus was unable to stop and rear-ended a stopped semi-truck sending the Lexus under the back of the trailer.
The accident happened Wednesday, February 6, 2019, around 7:30 p.m. and authorities at the scene called it a miracle that the driver survived. He was taken to a local hospital in serious condition, and the driver of the truck was not hurt.
An empty semi-truck weighs around 35,000 lbs., and when fully loaded, it can weight as much as 80,000 lbs. This vastly outweighs the average passenger car with is around 3,500 lbs. This is bad news for the driver of a car whether the car smashes into the truck or the other way around.
In traffic, semi-trucks and other big rigs pose problems for drivers as they have larger than normal blind spots, and they don’t maneuver very well. The can take a long time to stop, and many drivers don’t give semi-trucks the proper respect.
Commercial Trucks and Liability
Though this might not be an issue in the above-referenced accident, when a semi-truck is involved in an accident, there is a question if there is going to be enough coverage to pay for the losses caused by a semi-truck.
Trucks do more damage than passenger cars, and they are also larger and more likely to be involved in a multi-car accident. Thus the question of the sufficiency of funds to cover a person’s losses comes up.
Most states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey require that the drivers licensed in that state have automobile insurance. Commercial trucks have the same requirement, and because of the damage they can to, their minimum policy requirement is significantly higher than passenger cars, in most states.
The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration sets the minimums based on the type of cargo.
Type of Cargo Minimum Insurance Limits
Non-hazardous freight under 10k lbs $300,000
Non-hazardous freight over 10k lbs $750,000
Other hazardous freight $5,000,000
Most freight companies and private independent contractors carry much more with the average coverage for non-hazardous freight being over $1,000,000.
Who is at Fault?
The question of fault comes up quite often in crashes involving a semi-truck. The bottom line is that each driver is required to operate their vehicle with due care so that others around them may proceed in safety.
Because of the size and weight of a semi-truck, the driver is going to be required to use a higher level of care. This is because of the dangers surrounding semi-trucks. A truck driver is going to be responsible for not only the operation of their truck, but also the load it’s hauling and how securely that load is tied down.
For example, let’s say the truck driver is not at fault for a collision because the other driver rear-ended the truck. Normally, the fault is going to be on that driver. But let’s say the collision caused the load to shift and then the truck tipped over and killed the driver of the vehicle that ran into it. If the load wasn’t’ secured properly, then the truck driver can bear some of the liability as well.
Do I need an Attorney?
If you are involved in a crash where there were injuries and damage involving a commercial semi-truck, you should definitely talk to an attorney. Determining negligence can be complicated especially if there are more than one other vehicle involved. You should at least speak to an attorney who can give you unbiased advice regarding your unique circumstances.
Call an attorney to get a free consultation where you can get unbiased legal advice and have your specific case evaluated. Call the Pearce Law Firm, P.C. at (215) 557-8686 or text at (215) 880 6164. You can also send them a message online by clicking here. They have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you.