Trucks are a common sight on the roads and highways of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hauling huge loads between cities, delivering products to homes and businesses and even picking up the trash. Although trucks have lower accident rates than other types of vehicles, a crash involving one of them can be far more serious than the average traffic accident. The victims of truck crashes will probably require financial compensation, but they will need proper representation to ensure that they are treated fairly under the law. A personal injury lawyer with experience in truck accidents can help such victims obtain the compensation to which they may be entitled.
Understanding Truck Accidents
Pennsylvania experienced nearly 6,600 truck accidents during 2014, the latest year for which statistics are available. More than half of these crashes took place on state highways, although many of the 136 accidents that involved fatalities occurred in urban areas.
The obvious safety issue with trucks is related to the size and weight of the vehicles, with some reaching 40 tons when fully loaded. Trucks traveling at high speed can be particularly dangerous to smaller vehicles, largely due to their longer stopping requirements. Even at slower speeds, trucks can represent a traffic hazard, especially when making turns. Problems related to driver visibility can also make trucks a threat to motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.
Many big rigs on the road are not properly maintained, with tire defects a factor in a large number of truck accidents. Additionally, the drivers may experience fatigue due to their long hours or late shifts. Some truck drivers have been known to take illegal stimulants to help them stay awake, creating additional risks.
After a Truck Accident
Determining the cause of a truck accident and thus culpability for damages may not be an easy task. Responsibility may be divided among several parties, including the owner of the vehicle and of the cargo being transported. Establishing the cause may require a careful examination of the vehicle itself and a review of the driver’s background.
Insurance companies representing truck owners or drivers are often eager to seek an out-of-court settlement, one that does not adequately cover medical costs or other expenses stemming from an accident. An attorney is knowledgeable of the legal system and will use this knowledge to seek the best possible outcome in any civil case. This is why the victims of truck accidents in Pittsburgh or anywhere else in the state should consider seeking the services of a personal injury attorney, who can help them obtain the justice that they deserve.