Accidents involving larger semi-trucks can result in devastating consequences for those inside smaller passenger vehicles. These incidents occur in a wide variety of ways, and they can be the fault of either the traditional car driver, the truck driver, the trucking company, or various other parties. Here, we want to describe some of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.
Truck Driver-Related Causes of Accidents
When looking at common causes of semi-truck accidents in Philadelphia, we have to look at the actions of the truck driver. All commercial truck drivers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are responsible for following various state and federal regulations to remain safe on the roadways. Unfortunately, if truck drivers fail to uphold their duty of care, this negligence can lead to catastrophic accidents. When examining some of the most common truck driver-related causes of accidents in Philadelphia, we see:
- Failure to abide by FMCSA hours of service requirements (driving while fatigued)
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescription)
- Fatigue caused by improper diet
- Operating too fast for conditions or speeding
- Using poor judgment while behind the wheel
- Failing to obey traffic laws
- Allowing the cargo to be overloaded or improperly loaded
- Operating while distracted by phones or other devices
Determining truck driver negligence can be challenging, and a skilled lawyer will work to gather various types of evidence after an incident. This includes video surveillance or photographs taken at the scene of the incident, the electronic control module (ECM) for the truck, and the driver’s electronic logging device (ELD).
Truck Company-Related Causes of Accidents
In most situations, the trucking company will ultimately be held responsible for the actions of the driver. Additionally, trucking companies have significant responsibilities on their own to ensure that these vehicles remain safe on roadways. Trucking companies could be held directly responsible for a crash if they:
- Do not conduct background checks on prospective drivers
- Do not provide adequate training for new drivers
- Encourage truck drivers to operate beyond the federal hours of service
- Impose strict or unrealistic time constraints on truck drivers
- Fail to inspect and maintain each vehicle regularly, per state and federal regulations
In some cases, there are other parties involved in the overall operation of a truck. This can include third parties such as maintenance teams, companies that load cargo on the truck, and more. These other parties could be held liable for accidents. For example, if brakes are not installed properly on a truck, the maintenance team responsible for the vehicle could be held liable. If a third-party cargo loader does not adequately secure the cargo in the truck bed in an accident occurs, they could be held responsible.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company in Philadelphia, turn to an attorney immediately. A skilled Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can investigate the causes of the incident, handle all negotiations with other parties, and work to recover total compensation for your losses.