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Category: Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Mar 24, 2017 - Articles

Clear that Vehicle: the Dangers of Ice Missiles

As Allentown car accident attorneys, following this most recent snow storm, we’ve been very cognizant of snow and ice flying off the back of moving vehicles. A dash-cam video shows how this dangerous this driving hazard can be. Seeing this, you too must have thought, “That should be illegal.” In some states, it is. On Christmas Day, 2005, Christine Lambert and her family were traveling through Carbon County, Pennsylvania, to visit relatives, when an eight-inch chunk of ice flew off the roof of a tractor-trailer. The flying ice chuck, broke through the windshield of the Lamberts’ sport utility vehicle, killing Christine. The police never identified the driver of the tractor-trailer. In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, allowing ice and snow to remain on the external surfaces of your car, truck or tractor trailer, can always lead to civil liability for causing injury to another vehicle, operator or pedestrian, but whether the police can issue you a ticket for failing to remove accumulated ice or snow from exposed surfaces on your vehicle, differs between the two states. In Pennsylvania, as a result of Christine Lambert’s death, legislation was passed to add criminal consequences to this behavior. See, 75 Pa.C.S. § 3720 Unfortunately, it only applies if the flying snow or ice actually injures someone or damages something. This would be like only issuing a speeding ticket, if the operator actually caused an accident. It doesn’t prospectively curb dangerous behavior. While this failure to remove ice and snow from the roof, trunk, […]

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Jan 16, 2017 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

The Impact of Winter Conditions on Commercial Truck Drivers

If you have been injured by a commercial truck driver contact us online or call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 to discuss your rights and options under the law.  An experienced Easton truck accident attorney can help you through the entire legal process and work to get you the compensation you deserve. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a report, Weather and Climate Impacts on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety, on commercial truck driving in winter conditions. According to the report: Heavy snow causes delays, road closures, loss of traction, loss of visibility and other truck driver control problems. Surface temperatures on bridges and ramps cool more rapidly than the surrounding roadbeds, producing hazardous local icing conditions that can result in crashes, fatalities, and property damage. Black ice and light frozen precipitation glazes roads as temperatures fall over a short period, which causes vehicles to lose traction. Winter conditions also place additional stress on commercial truck components, such as the cooling system, defrosting and heating equipment, wipers and washers, tires and chains, windows and mirrors, handholds and deck plates, radiator shutters and exhaust systems. Many states have imposed special laws on tucker drivers to help deal with winter conditions, such as requiring commercial trucks to carry and use tire chains as snow conditions warrant.  Midwestern and northeastern states are particularly susceptible to sever winter conditions and truckers using roads in these states must act responsibly to protect themselves and other drivers. Safety Steps for Commercial Truck […]

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Oct 28, 2016 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

TAXI ACCIDENT VICTIMS MAY NEED LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO FIND A REMEDY

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inCommercial Vehicle Accidents on Friday, October 28, 2016. Taxi accidents occur all over America, and Bucks County is no exception. People use taxis because they are a convenient one-phone-call solution to their transportation needs. With this in mind, taxi companies offer residents a valuable service while also providing employment opportunities for many individuals. It is probably safe to assume that most taxi drivers are responsible, cautious individuals, but this does not automatically guarantee an accident-free ride. Like other commercial vehicle accident victims, those who have been injured in a taxi accident may face many complications when seeking compensation. For example, who is the responsible party — the driver of the cab or the taxi company? What happens if the driver of another car is actually the person who caused the accident? What if the manufacturer of the taxi cab is the true responsible party? Our personal injury attorneys have handled many taxi accident cases and want to let you know that having legal assistance is important in emerging from your ordeal with the compensation you deserve. We are knowledgeable about the laws that govern common carrier and commercial vehicle accidents and can identify the responsible party or parties. We seek to help you win the maximum compensation allowed by the law. Whether your taxi accident was caused by reckless driving, poor taxi maintenance or irresponsible company operating procedures, you have options for relief at your disposal. We have […]

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Oct 27, 2016 - Articles

DRIVER FATIGUE AMONG LEADING CAUSES OF TRUCKING ACCIDENTS

Truck accidents are often devastating and can be caused by a number of factors, including fatigue, intoxication and illness. Getting into an accident involving a large commercial truck is probably one of the most terrifying types of automobile accidents someone would ever face. Because of the size and speed of semi-trucks, they can cause devastating injuries and worse. Usually, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are the ones bearing the brunt of the injuries in a crash like this. Trucking accidents are also not rare: There were 166 fatalities related to large truck accidents in Pennsylvania in 2012, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Today’s many commercial industries mean that a large number of trucks can be sharing the state’s roadways at any time. According to Insurance News Net, each year about 100,000 people are seriously injured and more than 4,000 killed across the country in truck crashes. These accidents have markedly increased since 2009. Common reasons for truck accidents State Farm reports driver fatigue as one of the most common ways for a truck driver to cause a crash, and it’s no surprise: The trucking industry is known for its long hours, with truck drivers driving as many as 82 hours in a week. There are, of course, other factors that can contribute to an accident. These include: Driving under the influence of alcohol, medications or illegal substances. Improper load distribution or vehicle problems. Poor weather or road conditions. Speeding or careless driving. Distracted driving, including texting or […]

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Jul 29, 2016 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

ACCIDENT STAT CHANGES IN A DECADE

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Friday, July 29, 2016. Looking at accident statistics on a yearly basis can help you see trends and understand if the roads are getting safer or not, but yearly stats don’t always tell the whole story. It can be more helpful to look at long-term changes to avoid being influenced by outlier statistics. Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration put together the “Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics” to help do just that. In 2002, there were 38,309 vehicles involved in fatal car accidents. Out of those, 4,183 were large trucks. There were also 1,929,000 vehicles involved in accidents that resulted in injuries, and large trucks accounted for 90,000 of them. Finally, there were 4,348,000 vehicles involved in accidents that merely resulted in property damage, and just 322,000 of them were large trucks. This clearly shows that large trucks are most likely to cause fatalities. Just 4.6 percent of injury crashes involved these vehicles, and just 7.4 percent of the cars in property damage accidents were trucks. However, 10.9 percent of the deadly accidents involved large trucks. You can then jump forward to 2011, almost a decade later. That year, 29,757 vehicles were involved in deadly accidents, including 3,341 large trucks (11.2 percent). 1,530,000 vehicles were involved in injury accidents, including 60,000 large trucks (3.9 percent). 3,778,000 vehicles were in property damage accidents, and 210,000 of them were large trucks (5.6 […]

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May 23, 2016 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

DELIVERY TRUCK DRIVER SUED FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT

By Drake Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Friday, May 23, 2014. A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, woman is suing a delivery truck driver and his employers for their role in a commercial vehicle accident. Attorneys representing the woman allege that both parties are responsible for causing a chain reaction car accident with a delivery truck. The lawsuit, which was filed at the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, says that on May 9, 2012, the defendant driver engaged in negligent behavior by speeding and not having proper control of his vehicle when he slammed into a car that was stopped at a red light. The suit also alleges that the owner of the company bears some liability for the accident due to his employment of the driver. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the force of the crash began a chain reaction of other cars smashing into each other until the impetus of the crash finally ended with a car being driven into the rear of her Honda CRV. The plaintiff and her daughter were injured. The series of collision took place on Main Street in Darby, Pennsylvania. Although the plaintiff is seeking damages totaling more than $150,000 for the commercial vehicle accident, she says that her daughter also suffered injuries in the crash that may affect her quality of life well into the future. The plaintiff says that she received permanent injuries to her back and spine. Additionally, the plaintiff states that […]

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Oct 7, 2015 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

MOST PEOPLE STILL DRIVE WHEN THEY’RE TIRED

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Wednesday, October 7, 2015. Studies have shown that the majority of Americans are willing to drive when they’re tired. When the National Sleep Foundation asked people in 2005 if they drove when they were currently feeling drowsy, a full 60 percent claimed they done it in just the past 12 months. At the time, that meant around 168 million people had driven when they were feeling tired. On top of that, the study found that 37 percent of those asked, or 103 million people, had even been so tired they’d nodded off, falling asleep at the wheel. About 13 percent had not only done this in the previous year, but continued to do it each month. This is a huge issue because one of the biggest reasons that commercial drivers are involved in accidents is because they’re too tired. The industry has set regulations for how often drivers can be on the job and how many hours they can work, but not all drivers follow these regulations. Additionally, some drivers are worried to tell their employers that they can’t drive because they’re too tired. They may have been threatened with termination if they don’t keep working. Therefore, some drivers will stay on the road even when they don’t want to, when they know that it isn’t safe, just because they feel they have to risk their own lives—and the lives of other drivers—in order […]

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Aug 20, 2015 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

CAN I STILL SUE IF I WAS INJURED IN A RIDE-SHARING VEHICLE?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Thursday, August 20, 2015. In case you haven’t heard by now, ride-sharing services are giving traditional taxicab companies a run for their money. High-tech firms like Uber and Lyft provide customers with similar point-to-point transportation services at a substantially reduced price. In fact, Lyft says that its services costs as much as 30 percent less than traditional taxicab fares. The problem that originates after an accident involving one of these vehicles is at the heart of how ride-sharing works in general. Typically, drivers for these services are considered independent contractors who work indirectly for their parent companies. These drivers operate their own vehicles and use proprietary software apps — usually via their smart phones — to put them in touch with potential customers. Those customers are also linked to the parent company through that same software program. A customer merely needs to open an app on their phone and request a driver to a specific location. Then the parent ride-sharing company retrieves the customer’s electronic payment information and routes an available driver to the customer’s location. The ride-sharing parent company later splits a share of that profit with the driver. Although this technology is relatively new, there has already been precedent set with regards to accidents and which party should incur liability. In one 2013 case, Uber has since tentatively settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought by family of a 6-year-old girl who had […]

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Apr 29, 2015 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

SOME COMMERCIAL VEHICLE CASES CAN CREATE COMPLICATED LITIGATION

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. When most people think of a commercial vehicle accident the first thing that comes to mind is a semi-truck or a tractor-trailer. However, it’s important to remember that just like their 18- wheel counterparts, the drivers of any “for hire” vehicle also require commercial driving licenses. These include taxi drivers and operators of commercial motor coaches, limousines and parcel delivery vans. The reason this is important is that many types of these commercial operations often have overlapping insurance arrangements. For example, the owner of a parcel service may have an insurance policy specifically for the driver. Simultaneously, that driver might have a separate policy for his or her vehicle. There may even be an insurance policy that covers the value of the parcels contained within the vehicle. You need to make sure that the attorney you choose to represent you in your legal action has the requisite experience to deal with these sometimes very complicated situations. Frequent readers of our online blog may recall a case of a food truck that exploded last summer. This is a good example of just how complicated these commercial truck accident cases can be. In that case, five victims received serious burn injuries and another seven were injured after a food truck exploded in Feltonville, Pennsylvania. You need a law firm that can deal with such a wide array of potential insurance disputes which […]

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Feb 19, 2015 - Commercial Vehicle Accidents

DOES A TAXICAB CRASH QUALIFY AS A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents on Thursday, February 19, 2015. When most of us hail a cab, we seldom give much thought to a taxicab driver’s training or qualifications. The majority of us are satisfied when we see the cab driver’s hack license presented prominently in the front of the vehicle. That’s because as riding customers, we have grown to expect that Pennsylvania authorities have demanded a thorough vetting of taxicab drivers before issuing those licenses. But what exactly does it take to get a taxicab driver license in Pennsylvania? In order to answer that, it’s first important to explain that Pennsylvania considers taxi drivers as for-hire, commercial vehicle drivers. As such, taxi drivers must undergo a strict protocol of background checks and training requirements that are designed to ensure public safety. The following are some of the more important aspects of those requirements: — Each applicant for a taxi driver certificate must first have a valid driver’s license and an alternate photo ID. — Each applicant must also obtain a criminal background report from the Pennsylvania State Police that is not older than 60 days prior to the application filing. Prior felonies are sufficient grounds for denial. — Applicants must also obtain a training certificate issued by the Commission and pass a thorough driver’s examination. This training is extensive and includes elements of defensive driver training, emergency aid, map reading and giving assistance to elderly or disabled customers. –The […]

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