Our Mercer County commercial vehicle accident attorneys know that accidents involving commercial vehicles can be complicated and intimidating. These accidents do not end like a lot of regular passenger vehicle accidents with drivers showing each other proof of insurance, exchanging information, and going on their way. Commercial vehicles are subject to many regulations and are sometimes regulated by multiple authorities. An experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney will review records and examine evidence to determine whether or not the commercial vehicle complied with applicable rules and regulations. Violations and non-compliance are often used to show that the defendant was negligent.
Injuries can be extremely severe in commercial vehicle accidents, especially when large commercial trucks are involved. Physical recovery may take a very long time involving medical appointments, surgeries, and physical therapy. There are multiple parties that may be liable in these types of accidents, which means that multiple insurance companies and their attorneys may be involved as well. Insurance companies often look to settle quickly for as little as possible which is why you need a commercial vehicle accident attorney to negotiate with insurance companies and ensure that you receive a settlement that will fully compensate you.
What is a commercial vehicle?
Commercial vehicles are generally classified as any vehicle that transports goods or passengers for compensation. This does not include rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft. Commercial vehicles are generally taxi cabs, limousines, buses, and trucks transporting goods.
Who regulates commercial vehicles?
It depends on the type of motor vehicle and whether it is involved in interstate or intrastate commerce. There are approximately ten different regulatory agencies that are responsible for regulating commercial vehicles in Pennsylvania and some vehicles may be regulated by more than one agency.
What regulations are commercial vehicles subject to?
Different types of vehicles are subject to different regulations. Some common regulations relate to the following:
- Hours of service requirements that limit the number of hours and consecutive days that a driver may drive
- Vehicle maintenance, repair, and inspection
- Driver safety training
- Transportation of hazardous waste
- Weight limitations
- Driving record
- Required equipment for safety such as fire extinguishers and warning devices
Who is liable for a commercial vehicle accident?
There are a number of people that could be liable in a commercial vehicle accident. Liable parties may include the commercial vehicle driver, driver’s employer, vehicle owner, those responsible for vehicle maintenance, or a third party driver who caused the accident. As mentioned above, commercial vehicle accidents often involve more than one defendant and their insurance companies.