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Short haul truckers reveal a reason for a serious truck accident

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

It is likely that Pennsylvania customers do not ponder how that new appliance arrived on the showroom floor; they are simply pleased to have a selection to choose from. However, the majority of the goods available for purchase at retail stores arrived there via truck. Recently, a news journal highlighted some of the struggles that plague port truckers which can lead to a serious truck accident.

It is the short haul truckers who move the goods from the ports to warehouses. According to dozens of accounts, moving goods from the ports was once a lucrative undertaking. However, due to economic pressures on shipping companies, business practices were revamped and truckers were often forced into a lease contract for the vehicles they drove. In order to make those lease payments, drivers claimed they were forced to work many hours beyond those mandated by the federal government.

Regulations stipulate that drivers are not to be on the road more than 11 hours; then they are required to rest for a period of 10 hours whenever they worked more than 14 hours before resuming their routes. Federal safety agencies have pointed to the serious risks of a trucking accident whenever drivers are behind the wheel more than 11 hours at a time. Journalists purportedly found records that revealed hundreds of wrecks that involved these truckers -- including more than 20 that resulted in fatal injuries.

Dozens of these truckers reported that they were forced to falsify their logs in order to receive their pay. Many drivers stated they were required to work more than 20 hour shifts for their companies, which can lead to serious mistakes behind the wheel. Anytime a truck driver is on the road more than the mandated hours, other motorists are at risk of serious injury or death. Pennsylvania residents who have suffered both physical and financial harm from a truck accident are entitled to pursue a personal injury claim against those responsible for their pain and losses.

Source: USA Today, "Rigged. Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing.", Brett Murphy, June 16, 2017

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