All companies that employ commercial drivers in interstate transport, and trucks that do intrastate trucking in Pennsylvania, are governed by the Pennsylvania and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) Regulations. The primary mission of the FMCSA is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. The rules require that a trucking company properly screen its drivers before hiring them, train them properly, and then constantly supervise them following certain rules like the “hours of service rules”. It also mandates the ways in which the truck must be maintained and what safety devices, such as reflective tape, are installed on the truck.
The purpose of these rules is to limit driver fatigue. The hours-of-service regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can drive/work per day and per eight hour period. These rules are put in place to ensure that drivers will stay awake and alert while driving and on a continuing basis to reduce the possibility of driver fatigue. According to Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a nationwide census educating the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Congress and the American public, in 2016 an estimated 68,769 crashes are caused by drowsy or fatigued drivers.
We will help guide you to get the right medical treatment, preserve evidence such as vehicles and black box information, obtain video from dash cams or other sources, interview witnesses, photograph and measure the scene, recreate the cause of the wreck with accident reconstruction experts, discover and prosecute the trucking company for its safety rule violations with the help of trucking experts, and prove your damages with the right medical, vocational and economic experts.
Yes. The results can be far more devastating because the amount of force generated, and injuries caused, by vehicles in excess of 26,000 pounds is so much greater. Trucking companies and their insurance carriers vigorously defend these cases. Unlike in car accident cases, the trucking companies and their insurance carriers are on the scene of the accident immediately taking photos of the property damage and the scene, interviewing witnesses and coordinating their activities with investigating police officers. You need a lawyer capable of investing great resources right away to preserve evidence that can otherwise be manipulated or lost.
BRB handles all trucking accident cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that the attorney is paid only he or she wins money damages for you. This allows anyone to hire the best possible attorney for your situation. It allows everyone equal access to justice, allowing you to compete fairly on the same battle ground with insurance companies and transportation companies. After a wreck with a tractor trailer your injuries may be life threatening, the medical costs might be overwhelming, you might be disabled from work, and you may not be able to get back to life as you knew it before the wreck. You need an aggressive advocate and trusted advisor.
What are some of the common causes of truck accidents? Aggressive driving, speeding, driver fatigue, distracted driving, impaired driving, failure to inspect the truck’s tires and brakes, parking on the shoulder of a highway without properly marking the truck, failing to ensure the truck has safe reflective tape, etc.
In contains information regarding the truck at the time of the crash. Recently, in a case involving a truck which rear ended our stopped client, the trucker maintained he was braking for 8 seconds before the crash but that a dusty, dirty road caused the tires to slide into the rear of our client’s vehicle. The black box information helped us prove that the trucker was lying, that he had applied his brakes just 1.7 seconds before the crash and he was traveling 40 mph at the time he applied the brakes. Black box material is vital, but may be difficult to obtain. It will not be voluntarily offered to you by the truck company and it may be destroyed. It is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in truck accident cases and knows what must be done to preserve and obtain this vital information.
An insidious consequence of tort reform efforts has been to make victims feel guilty about pursuing justice. Many of our clients tell us that they are not the kind of people who pursue lawsuits, as if seeking justice for the damages someone carelessly caused you is wrong.
You have every right to seek money damages for personal injuries caused you by another’s negligent conduct. We only take cases in which our investigation shows the defendant acted negligently to cause your harm. Your decision to seek justice, to hold the careless person accountable, makes the world safer for everyone else. It also places the responsibility for payment of damages on the bad actor, not society, not other people and not your family.