Drivers of two tractor-trailers were taken to a local hospital with serious injuries following a major crash on Route 1 around 4:30 a.m., Monday, June 3, 2019. According to the Pennsylvania State Police, one driver was trapped in his truck and the other was ejected from his.
One of the semi-trucks turned over on its side, and the other was upright, but its front end sustained major damage. State troopers had to close off Route 1 for several hours while the site was investigated and then cleaned up. The crash is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed yet.
Tractor-Trailers and other large commercial trucks dot the highways delivering goods to stores, businesses and people across the U.S. These vehicles are necessary but pose a danger to everyone on the road, including other large trucks. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds which vastly outweigh most other vehicles.
If two of these trucks collide, then all that weight and mass makes the collision that much more violent. When this happens, those injured wonder who is going to pay for their injuries and financial losses.
Commercial Trucks and Liability
Most people have an auto-insurance policy and it’s no different for trucks. However, there are state and federal rules that require commercial trucks to have certain amount of insurance in case they are at fault in an accident.
The national average for a required minimum automobile insurance policy is around 35,000. However, because of their size, mass and cargo, commercial trucks are required to carry much higher policy minimums.
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
Truck drivers come in two broad categories, company drivers and independent contractors. A company driver is an employee of a larger company, and if the driver is at fault, the company is liable for all the damages.
Other drivers are independent contractors who work for themselves and are paid by a company to haul freight. Most companies carry over $1 million in coverage while most contractors carry up to $500,000. This is to ensure that if there is an accident, their insurance will cover the damages so their business will be protected from the courts.
Who is at Fault?
In all accidents, the at-fault driver is the one who was negligent in the accident. This means that he or she didn’t use the care due to others on the roadway which caused an accident. However, with tractor-trailers it’s not always that easy.
For example, a load might have shifted which caused the driver to jackknife or lose control. In this case, the fault might be with the person or company who loaded the truck. The injured driver might not know this and sue the truck driver only to find that the driver didn’t do anything wrong.
A good attorney would know to make a claim against anyone who might have had some responsibility in the accident.
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.
You need to talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer today to go over your case and find out how best to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Don’t talk to a cookie-cutter one size fits all firm, but get help form a firm that has a track record of helping those injured in truck accidents. Talk to the attorneys at Pearce Law Firm, P.C. at (215) 557-6868 or text at 215 880 6164, and start getting someone in your corner. You can also contact us online by clicking here.