In past weeks, we've discussed numerous recent truck accidents that occurred in Pennsylvania and the serious consequences that often ensue. But, what do we mean by a "commercial truck?" Why can they cause so much destruction to other vehicles on the road? What remedies might a truck accident victim have?
A commercial truck is a vehicle used in the course of business to transport commercial goods. Commercial trucks are usually much larger and heavier than vehicles, like cars, vans and pickup trucks. Common examples of commercial trucks include semi-trailer trucks, tanker trucks, cement trucks and delivery vehicles. Because they are much larger and heavier than pickup trucks and passenger vehicles, among other reasons, commercial trucks must be operated in Pennsylvania by drivers with commercial driver's licenses.
A commercial truck's large size and mass is key to its potential destructive power. A typical commercial truck operating under a full load can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This contrasts with the weight of an average passenger car, which is around 3,000 pounds. Obviously, in a truck accident involving a passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicle and its occupants will usually emerge in worse condition than the commercial truck and its occupants.
If another person is injured in a truck accident where the truck driver may be at fault, the injured party may be entitled to adequate compensation from the truck driver and truck company. Depending on the facts of the case, the injured party could be compensated for lost wages, pain and suffering, hospital bills and more.