Philadelphia Fatal Truck Accident Attorneys
Fatal Accidents From Truck Collisions
Pennsylvania has more than 9 million licensed drivers and over 12 million registered vehicles. However, in-state and out out-of-state drivers and vehicles travel the roadways and highways in the state. During rush hour, traffic and congestion can develop. Many drivers may become impatient or distracted during this time. Such driving behavior can lead to motor vehicles accidents.
Even when streets, roads and highways have low volumes of traffic, car accidents still occur. In 2020, Pennsylvania reported nearly 105,000 traffic crashes with more than 61,000 injuries. Many of the accidents are minor collisions with very little damage. The people involved may also have little to no injuries. In severe accidents, the automobiles may need extensive repairs or are totaled. The drivers, passengers or pedestrians in the crashes may have critical injuries that are possibly life-changing.
Of the 12 million registered vehicles in Pennsylvania, over 2 million are trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds. The owners and operators of the trucks use them for personal, recreational and commercial reasons. Depending on the purpose of the vehicle, the truck sizes range from small pick-up trucks to large18-wheeler trucks. Like in other types of vehicles, truck drivers may have accidents. A truck collision may involve another automobile, an object or person and can each result in death.
If your loved one was the victim of a fatal truck collision accident, contact an experienced Pennsylvania accident attorney at MyPhillyLawyer toll-free at (866) 352-4572 or in Philadelphia at (215) 227-2727.
Pennsylvania Driving Laws
Trucks drivers must obey the Pennsylvania driving laws regarding registration, driver’s license, insurance, vehicle condition and operation of a vehicle. The state laws are in place to help prevent and minimize motor vehicle accidents. When people violate the vehicle rules, legal statutes provide remedies for victims and penalties for the at-fault parties.
Distracted driving is common. Many drivers take their focus off of the road to attend to items or activities in the vehicle. While driving, some motorists eat and drink, talk to passengers in the truck, and adjust the radio. They may also operate a cellphone or other communication devices. Texting and driving is distracted driving. Pennsylvania law prohibits drivers from texting and driving. They cannot send, read or write text-based communications, including text messages, instant messages and emails.
While operating trucks and other vehicles, drivers must drive at a safe speed. Motorists must travel at the posted speed limits during good weather and road conditions. Additionally, drivers must maintain speeds considered safe under current conditions in dangerous weather or on hazardous streets.
Operating a motor vehicle requires attentiveness and clarity. Consumption of alcohol or controlled substances impairs a person’s ability to think clearly and slows down reaction time. Therefore, driving while intoxicated puts the driver, passengers and others in danger. Additionally, it is a violation of state law to drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Causes Fatal Truck Crashes
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation defines a fatal crash as one in which a person dies within 30 days of the collision due to the accident. The victim’s death may occur upon impact or within 30 of the crash due to their injuries. Causes of a fatal truck accident include:
- Distracted driving
- Dangerous weather
- Pothole and uneven road surfaces
- Driving while intoxicated
Legal Actions and Compensation for Fatal Accidents From Truck Collisions in Pennsylvania
After a fatal truck collision, the drivers involved must remain at the scene to provide their identification and vehicle information. If it is possible, the drivers must give aid to injured parties involved in the accident. The driver also must notify the police immediately when the accident involves the injury or death of a person. Failure to remain at the scene involving a death is a felony and could result in a prison sentence and a fine.
The driver at fault for the fatal truck accident is liable for the death of the victim. Although the victim died, the right to file a lawsuit for damages survives. Therefore, the victim’s estate can seek compensation for damages from the victim’s death in a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the wrongful act of another. In the lawsuit, the deceased’s beneficiaries – spouse, children or deceased’s parents – may recover for the damages entitled to the victim if they had lived. If there are no beneficiaries, the personal representative of the victim’s estate may bring the suit.
The beneficiaries may recover compensation for the deceased’s economic and non-economic losses. The economic losses are the financial damages such as medical bills, funeral expenses and lost wages. The non-economic losses do not have established monetary values. They include emotional and mental losses such as loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Hiring a Fatal Truck Accident Attorney
If your loved one was the victim of a fatal truck accident collision, contact an experienced Pennsylvania attorney at MyPhillyLawyer today for a free case evaluation. Call us toll-free at (866) 352-4572 or if you are in Philadelphia, call (215) 227-2727.