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Category: Truck Accidents

Mar 8, 2019 - Truck Accidents

Unique Injury Risks Posed by 18-Wheelers

Bethlehem Truck Accident Attorney If you’ve been harmed in a Pennsylvania truck accident due to another party’s fault — such as a trucker’s reckless driving — then you may have a right to bring a lawsuit against the defendant and secure significant compensation for your losses. Effective strategies for litigating a claim vary depending on the details of the case itself.  In a case where the defendant’s vehicle was an 18-wheeler (otherwise known as a “big rig,” trailer truck, or semi-truck), there are a number of unique injury risks that may be useful to consider when moving forward with litigation.  Drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility not to expose others to an unreasonable risk of harm, and in doing so, they must be considerate of the inherent injury risks posed by their fleet of 18-wheelers. Let’s take a closer look. Large Blind Spots 18-wheelers have significant blind spots, making it more difficult for their drivers to identify whether they are going to cause a collision with a simple lane-change or other basic traffic maneuver.  Many people understand that 18-wheelers (and other large trucks) suffer from blind spot issues and make efforts to either fall back to a reasonable distance or overtake the 18-wheeler truck so as to avoid remaining in the blind spot. Maneuverability Challenges 18-wheelers can weigh up to 40 tons, making it nearly 15 to 16 times the weight of the average motor vehicle.  The significant weight of an 18-wheeler, in conjunction with its unique structural profile […]

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Feb 17, 2017 - Truck Accidents

Truckers and Unsecured Cargo

Trucks, and all other drivers, have a responsibility to secure all cargo being transported on public roadways.  Debris becomes extremely dangerous when falling from a vehicle, especially when the vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed. Why is Unsecured Cargo Such a Concern? According to a report published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, debris falling from vehicles causes significant damage on our roadways each year.  The report found that: Loads of sand, gravel, soil, and building debris were cited as leading causes of damage. Loads being carried on short trips were of concern. This is because the time and effort required to properly secure a load was deemed less necessary for short trips. Incorrect loading of heavy goods, such as steel girders and pipes, was found to be especially dangerous for vehicle occupants, as a shift could catapult a load forward onto the cabin. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report also found that unsecured cargo caused significant property damage, personal injury and even deaths every year. Contact us immediately if you or a loved one has been injured by unsecured debris that fell off a truck or other vehicle.  We can assist you through the entire legal process to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. What Should I Do if I Have Been Injured By Unsecured Cargo or Debris? Seek immediate medical attention if you have been injured in a vehicle accident of any kind.  A complete medical examination, conducted by a […]

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Feb 8, 2017 - Truck Accidents

Why is Drug Use of Particular Concern for Commercial Truck Drivers?

Multi-ton commercial trucks are difficult to operate in the best of circumstances.  Roadways are never the place to take unwarranted risks and this is especially true for commercial truck drivers.  Commercial trucks take longer to stop, they do not have the responsiveness that most vehicles do, and they often carry hazardous materials. Contact us immediately if you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a commercial truck driver. What Drugs are Commercial Truck Drivers Tested For? Federal laws require commercial truck drivers to be tested for the following types of drugs: Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates (opium and codeine derivatives), Amphetamines and methamphetamines, and Phencyclidine (PCP). Different drugs can impact truck drivers very differently.  Some drugs cause users to become anxious, hyper-sensitive, irritable, aggressive and willing to take unnecessary risks.  Other types of drugs may depress a user’s ability to react, inhibit concentration and or cause a lack of focus. Drivers should remain sober during the operation of their trucks.  Contact Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 today if you believe you were injured by a commercial truck driver who was operating his or her vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. What are the Consequences of a Failed Drug Test for Commercial Truck Drivers? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, failing (or refusing) a drug test will have serious consequences for commercial truck drivers. Positive test results, or a refusal to submit to a test, requires the driver to be immediately removed from […]

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Sep 16, 2016 - Truck Accidents

THE ATTORNEY AND CLIENT PARTNERSHIP IN TRUCK ACCIDENT CASES

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inTruck Accidents on Friday, September 16, 2016. Common sense will tell you that every person who takes to the road is at some risk of having a motor vehicle accident. However, there are the fender-benders we are all accustomed to and then there are crashes that result in serious injury or loss of life. Those who face off against large commercial vehicles typically lose the fight, and the consequences are often very severe. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident in Pennsylvania, you already know these things. Maybe you have even decided to take legal action against the driver and/or company that owns the truck. What you might not know is how important it is for you and your attorney to contribute equally in building an effective partnership. There are two factors that you and your lawyer have in common. You both stand to gain from a successful relationship and you both share a goal of making you whole again. As lawyers who serve Pennsylvania residents, we understand how crucial it is to work together, and we want you to understand that as well. If you have chosen the right attorney, he or she will be committed to you from the outset and will work hard on your behalf. Below are a few things you can do on your end to contribute to a successful partnership with your lawyer. As a […]

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Jul 23, 2015 - Truck Accidents

FREAK ACCIDENT INJURES 1 AFTER TRUCK CRASHES INTO HOME

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Truck Accidents on Thursday, July 23, 2015. On the morning of July 22, officials in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, reported a rather odd accident involving a commercial tractor-trailer and a house. According to Pennsylvania State Police and members of the Franklin County Emergency Services, a semi-truck traveling near the Foot of the Mountain restaurant somehow lost control and ended up crashing into a home in the 14500 block of Buchanan Trail West. At least one person received a minor injury in the 7:35 a.m. crash, prompting officials to speculate that the roadway would be temporarily closed for several hours. There are a few things you should know if you have been injured due to a preventable trucking accident. One of the most critical aspects of any large tractor-trailers is its ability to stop. Semi-trucks rely on air brakes as their principal means to decrease their speed. Although some drivers will claim that their brakes failed at a critical moment, these industrial air brakes are designed with multiple redundancies and rarely experience a complete loss of their braking power. More commonly, the trucking companies who own the vehicles are often at fault for overlooking or simply disregarding necessary periodic brake inspections and maintenance. One of the telltale indicators of this type of negligence is brake imbalance. In these types of cases, forensic truck crash experts can spot poor maintenance based on whether there are substantial differences in the brake force applied […]

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Jun 4, 2015 - Truck Accidents

WHY DRIVER LOGBOOKS ARE IMPORTANT IN YOUR TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWSUIT

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inTruck Accidents on Thursday, June 4, 2015. Like any other industry, the commercial tractor-trailer freight hauling business can often be very competitive. Many truck companies, both here in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, struggle to keep their costs down while also turning a profits. Unfortunately, time equals money in the freight hauling business. This is especially true for tractor-trailers that haul perishable goods over long distances. It’s not uncommon for many of these drivers to feel pressured to work long hours and drive fast in order to make speedy deliveries. The federal watchdog tasked with promulgating safety within the trucking industry is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA has long known about the dangers of drivers becoming overly fatigued due to long hours. For that reason, federal regulations now exist that attempt to limit driver fatigue in several ways. Here are some of the more important aspects of those rules: — 14-hour day maximum when also driving. We often assume that a truck driver is only working when they are behind the wheel. Not so. For example, a freight hauler may need to re-secure their loads or perform other maintenance duties. However, the FMCSA puts a cap on a truck drivers total daily work hours at 14 consecutive hours. It’s important to know that this can only occur if the driver has previously been off-duty for at least 10 consecutive hours. — Rest breaks. Although there […]

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Mar 20, 2015 - Truck Accidents

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF TIRES IN YOUR TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWSUIT

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Truck Accidents on Friday, March 20, 2015. We’ve all heard the phrase “where the rubber meets the road” used to describe a crucial aspect of an endeavor. That phrase holds special significance when you consider that most commercial tractor-trailers operate with 18 tires as they travel along Pennsylvania roadways. Just like your personal vehicle, trucking company fleet managers and maintenance officials have to keep their vehicle’s tires rotated every so often in order to maintain proper alignment. Improperly aligned vehicles can produce uneven tread wear that can sometimes lead to potentially hazardous situations to other motorists. Your Pennsylvania trucking accident attorney will look for any sign of mechanical problems in a vehicle involved in your accident. Uneven tire wear can be an indicator that responsible parties may not have observed industry standards with regards to their vehicle and tire maintenance. For example, your attorney can often review vehicle maintenance logs and determine whether truck maintenance on suspension systems components such as leaf spring or shocks may have affected the tires’ tread wear. Your attorney can also determine whether the tires on the truck involved in your accident were unsuitable for the road’s surface. Truck tires with excessive tread wear patterns sometimes fail to provide sufficient traction for driving during adverse weather conditions. Trucks with excessive tread wear may also affect braking distance when tractor-trailers engage their brakes when traveling down steep inclines. If you have been injured by […]

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Dec 24, 2014 - Truck Accidents

SAFETY ENFORCEMENT A PROBLEM IN MANY PENNSYLVANIA TRUCK ACCIDENTS

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inTruck Accidents on Wednesday, December 24, 2014. As any Pennsylvania motorists can attest, our roadways serve as an important corridor for commercial tractor-trailers. Pennsylvania’s proximity to the grain belt of the Midwest as well as the hyper-populated cities of the Eastern Seaboard practically guarantees a constant flow of semi-trucks throughout the state. The problem is that many of these commercial big rigs are not in compliance with federal and state safety regulations. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that one out of every six trucks on the road may fail to pass safety inspection to the point to where they would be considered unsafe for service. The traffic safety accident numbers reveal a grim pattern of neglecting safety standards. Since 2009, an estimated 14,000 people have been killed in accidents associated with semi-trucks. Some safety advocates estimate that perhaps a quarter of those fatalities involve vehicles with prior safety violations. One survey of truck safety looked at national truck accident statistics and compared the rate of truck accidents per every million miles traveled. New Jersey was found to have the worst accident rate: 0.53 crashes for every million miles of commercial tractor-trailer traffic. Although Pennsylvania was closer to the bottom of that list, we still came in with an incident rate of 0.18. Safety experts point to the irregularity of truck safety enforcement as a major contributing problem. For example, safety officials in Texas may […]

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Nov 20, 2014 - Truck Accidents

HOW DO “HOURS OF SERVICE” AFFECT TRUCK ACCIDENTS?

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Truck Accidents on Thursday, November 20, 2014. In a previous blog post, we discussed the serious consequences that sometimes result when truck drivers are excessively fatigued. In that post, we noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a driver who has been awake for 24 hours straight is equally impaired as someone who is legally drunk. In July 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implemented new regulations regarding the total hours of service in which commercial drivers are allowed to operate. These so-called “HOS Regulations” are meant to reduce truck accidents by preventing overly fatigued drivers from continuing to operate across America’s roadways. Truck drivers are now limited to driving for only 14 hours per workday but must stop for a break after 11 hours of continuous driving. The maximum allowable work hours per week for truck drivers has now been capped at a total of 70 hours. Truck drivers are also now required to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of their shifts. The new regulations contain a provision aimed at allowing a truck driver’s natural body clock to “reset” by resting for a specified period of time when the body most requires rest. Currently, drivers who have reached their maximum 70-hour work week limit are not permitted to resume driving until they have rested for 34 consecutive hours. Additionally, drivers must have rested during the hours of 1:00 […]

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Aug 15, 2014 - Truck Accidents

BICYCLIST SURVIVES DRUNKEN ROUTE 313 TRUCK ACCIDENT

On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Truck Accidents on Friday, August 15, 2014. In what could only be described as something close to a miracle, Pennsylvania State Police say that a bicyclist survived after being struck by a tractor-trailer operated by suspected drunk driver. The accident occurred in East Rock Hill Township, Pennsylvania, along Route 313. According to records of emergency police broadcasts, a call came in to police from a motorist at about 3:48 a.m. on Aug. 10. The caller was reporting finding a bicycle wheel on Route 313, which is also known as Dublin Pike, near North Fifth Street. Subsequent radio dispatches described how the bicyclist ended up off of the road after presumably being thrown over a guardrail. State police based at Dublin, Pennsylvania, responded to the scene of the truck accident and soon located a tractor-trailer situated roughly a mile away. Upon discovery of the big-rig, police found its driver whom they suspected was under the influence of alcohol. They arrested that defendant under charges of drinking and driving, although additional charges may be added pending the results of a toxicology test. Authorities have not yet released the identities of either party involved in the crash. However, it was revealed that first responders took the bicyclist to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania via ambulance. The victim’s medical status is described as critical. Commercial tractor-trailers are already dangerous enough due to their enormous weight and massive size. When […]

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