Truck accidents present additional challenges and difficulties than are found in ordinary car accident cases. Because of the large size of many commercial vehicles, a crash often results in significant damage and devastating injuries. When the accident involves a massive logging truck, victims are not only contending with the massive vehicle – they could also be struck by thousands of pounds of timber and logs. The medical costs for emergency treatment, surgery, and physical therapy could be staggering. Because of the size of the trucks and the weight of the cargo, accidents involving logging vehicles are often deadly.
Personal injury lawsuits arising from truck accidents are complicated. To ensure your rights are protected, you need an experienced firm working on your behalf. The Pennsylvania log truck accident attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm specialize in complex litigation. Our office has the staff and resources to investigate your accident, document your medical treatment, and gather evidence to build a negligence case against the truck driver, the trucking company, or other responsible parties.
Logging truck accident victims should focus on their medical treatment and improving their health. Let our team of experienced attorneys handle your legal case. Whether negotiating with an insurance company or filing a lawsuit, we are dedicated to maximizing your compensation. Call our law offices at (215) 709-6940 to discuss your case and legal options.
How Pennsylvania Logging Truck Accidents Happen
On the turnpike and interstates crisscrossing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, logging trucks are not an unusual sight. Unfortunately, these large commercial carriers are sometimes involved in accidents. While truck accidents share some common characteristics, each is unique. When an accident involves a truck hauling massive tree-length logs, there are additional challenges. Below, we examine why some of these catastrophic accidents happen.
Log Truck Driver Error or Negligence
Many commercial trucks are large. Logging trucks are massive and are also transporting tens of thousands of pounds of cargo. Logging truck drivers must receive special training and follow specific regulations because of the danger they present to other motorists. Nonetheless, driver errors occur. A logging truck driver is not immune to the negligent conduct exhibited by other drivers, including driving while distracted, under the influence of alcohol, or recklessly.
Ordinary passenger cars sometimes experience a mechanical failure or system breakdown. While this is a dangerous situation, a driver is often able to regain or maintain control of their vehicle. However, when a huge logging truck has a critical failure, it will likely result in a devastating accident. The loss of brakes or steering in a commercial truck could turn deadly.
Few trucks carry cargo that presents a more dangerous hazard to other motorists than logging trucks. Logging trucks in Pennsylvania carry enormous lengths of trees weighing tens of thousands of pounds. If these massive wooden logs are not properly secured, they could fall off and destroy any nearby vehicles.
Other Negligent Motorists
Not every truck crash is the fault of the person operating the commercial rig. In some cases, another motorist’s conduct could cause a truck driver to overcorrect to avoid a collision – resulting in a catastrophic accident.
Regulations on Logging Trucks in Pennsylvania
Trucks that transport logs and timber across the county must be specially designed to handle their unique cargo. This means that the vehicles are equipped with bolsters, bunks, and stakes to safely cradle the logs. These features prevent the logs from rolling when the truck is in motion.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the logging truck industry. For example, there are specific regulations regarding the securement of tree-length logs. The exact requirements that are applicable depend on what type and size of timber the truck is hauling. For instance, there are different requirements for packaged lumber, dressed lumber, and other timber products.
Generally, logs must be secured against the bunks situated on the trailer. The bunk must be higher than the center of the highest log. In addition, the cargo must be tied down to further secure it to the trailer. The truck driver must regularly inspect the trailer and logs to ensure that the load is adequately secured.
Liability for a Logging Truck Accident in Pennsylvania
To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit involving a commercial logging truck, a plaintiff typically must establish that another party was negligent. Who could be held liable in a log truck accident depends on the circumstances surrounding the crash. In some instances, there is more than one potential defendant. Our Pennsylvania log truck accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate a crash to ensure all possible responsible parties are included in your lawsuit.
The Truck Driver
In many logging truck accidents, the obvious negligent party is the truck driver. If the truck operator was texting, speeding, or otherwise exhibiting careless or reckless conduct, they could be held liable if an accident occurs. In some situations, a truck driver’s failure to act could constitute negligence. For instance, a logging truck driver could be held accountable for any injuries if they failed to regularly inspect their cargo.
The Trucking or Logging Company
It is not uncommon to hold the trucking or logging company liable for truck accidents caused by their drivers. If a trucking company allows an inadequately trained driver to operate a massive logging truck, it could be held responsible if the inexperienced or poorly trained driver causes an accident. Furthermore, failing to repair or maintain its fleet of vehicles could also open the trucking company to liability. Our experienced Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers will investigate the business practices of any company associated with the accident.
The Truck Manufacturer
Truck owners have an obligation to regularly inspect and repair their vehicles. However, some trucks suffer from a design flaw or manufacturing defect. When a malfunction occurs because of an inherent defect in the truck, the manufacturer could be held liable for any damages.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Logging Truck Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Truck accidents rarely result in minor injuries. Logging truck accidents are no exceptions. If you have been hurt in a crash involving a large commercial logging vehicle, you need a team of attorneys who know the law and the federal regulations that govern the trucking industry. At the Reiff Law Firm, our Pennsylvania log truck lawyers have the experience to handle the most challenging cases. Call (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free appointment.