A commercial vehicle is involved in the transportation of goods, materials or even free passengers. They might be trains, school buses, airport shuttles, 18-wheelers, beer trucks, bread trucks or even fleets of corporate vehicles. When commercial vehicles are involved in accidents, absolute tragedies can occur. A commuter train might collide with a Shuttle Bus, or a van full of travelers being taken to a hotel or car rental agency might collide with a fully loaded asphalt truck. In either case, there’s a strong risk of multiple severe injuries or fatalities.
If you were seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, or if you lost a family member in such a crash, our Philadelphia County commercial accident lawyers can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
The Commercial Driver’s License
Given the size of commercial vehicles and the hazards that they present on roadways, the driver of any such vehicle is required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). In order to obtain a CDL, you must satisfy the following basic requirements:
- Have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license.
- Provide certification that you’re in agreement with Pennsylvania motor carrier regulations.
- Provide a medical report confirming your fitness for driving a commercial vehicle.
- Provide satisfactory proof of identity and proof of Pennsylvania residency.
- Provide a valid social security number.
- Pass both a written test and road test.
Increased Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Philadelphia County
More than 1.5 million people live in Philadelphia County. It’s the sixth largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States. The population of the county isn’t growing, but commercial vehicle accidents here are increasing dramatically. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2012, the county had 580 commercial vehicle accidents. Those were followed by 590 in 2013, 614 in 2014, 687 in 2015 and 741 in 2016.
Here are some of the factors that appear to be associated with the increases:
- Speeding and driving too fast for traffic or weather conditions.
- Distracted driving like talking on a phone, texting or inputting data into an infotainment center.
- Impairment from prescription drugs, street drugs or alcohol.
- Brake failure and tires blowing out.
- Drowsy driving or falling asleep behind the wheel.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Aside from the driver of a commercial vehicle, his or her employer could be liable too. Other entities that might contribute to a commercial vehicle crash include cargo loading companies, repair and maintenance facilities or even a government entity that failed to properly construct, repair or maintain a road. Our objective is to maximize any compensation that you might receive for your injuries. If our investigation reveals that more than one person or entity is responsible for your injuries or the loss of a family member, that person or entity will be included in our claim or lawsuit.
Sorting out liability issues can be complicated, and it requires detailed knowledge of the law of negligence. It also requires a complete understanding of Pennsylvania and federal commercial vehicle statutes and regulations. Those have been put in place for purposes of the protection of others on or about the roadway along with the commercial driver himself or herself. If it has found that the driver violated one or more safety statutes or regulations, we’ll use those violations against him or her for purposes of establishing legal fault for the crash.
Assuming that liability is firm, we’ll push toward either settling your case with the opposition, or a trial when a jury decides on the issues of liability and damages. Damages might typically consist of past and future medical bills, past and future lost earnings, any permanent disfigurement or disability, pain and suffering and diminished quality of life. Other significant damages are available in the event of a wrongful death.
We deliver the diligence, compassion, meticulous preparation and courtroom skills that are necessary to obtain maximum compensation for the damages that you and your family have suffered. Don’t let one or more opposing insurance companies take control of your case when you or your family member was the innocent victim. Rather than fielding phone calls from any opposing insurance companies and giving them the information that that they need to defend against you, contact our offices right away to arrange for a confidential free consultation and case evaluation. We’ll take as much time as you need in order to listen to you carefully, answer your questions and advise you of your legal options.