You don’t need anyone to tell you truck crashes can be devastating. The massive size and weight of these vehicles makes them truly dangerous. Drivers are far more likely to suffer injuries if they collide with a truck than with a car. But that’s not the only way truck accidents are different.

Determining where the fault may lie

In auto crashes, it’s relatively easy for the courts and insurance companies to determine fault. You have two drivers, and the fault usually lies with one or the other. Or each may be assigned a certain measure of the blame.

With truck crashes, the question of fault becomes trickier. You still might have two drivers, but fault can go beyond the drivers:

  • Trucking company’s failure to follow rules and regulations
  • Faulty truck parts
  • Poor maintenance
  • Dangerous route planning
  • A combination of factors

How do this play out in real life? A study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found the most common risk factors for trucks and truck drivers included:

  • Bad brakes
  • Sudden changes to the traffic flow
  • Speeding
  • Prescription drugs
  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Fatigue

Fatigue is especially notable because there are rules to keep drivers from overextending themselves. But some companies try to game the system. In the wake of an accident, this means people need to look in more places to get the full picture of fault.

But isn’t Pennsylvania a no-fault state?

If you have no-fault insurance, you need to file your claim against your insurance. You can seek compensation for your pain and suffering only if the crash led to someone’s death, dismemberment or a serious impairment of body function.

Pennsylvania is a “choice no-fault” state, and you can opt for full tort coverage. The premiums are slightly higher for full tort coverage, but it allows you to file your claim against the other driver in the case of an accident.

Additionally, the law makes several exceptions for limited tort—or no-fault—option holders. They might file claims like full tort holders if the accident involves:

  • A drunken driver
  • A vehicle registered in another state
  • Intentional harm
  • An uninsured driver
  • Problems with a vehicle’s production or maintenance

Get the facts

If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck crash, you need to act quickly. In order to achieve a fair outcome, crash victims need strong legal representation.