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What Pennsylvanians need to know about commercial truck law

Each year, countless Pittsburgh motorists are involved in tragic truck accidents on the highways. Commercial vehicles are considerably larger than the average person's vehicle and can cause severe damages when involved in an accident. For this reason, commercial trucks are regulated by federal and state laws. These laws ensure that truck companies and their drivers follow standard protocol when operating one of these trucks.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are the two main agencies responsible for regulating the trucking industry. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations covers most of the federal trucking regulations. State regulations are implemented by the state's department of transportation.

These regulations cover just about anything related to the trucking industry. For example, the rules limit the number of hours a driver is allowed to drive without a break. The regulations also deal with quality control, and determine the maximum weight a truck is allowed to carry dependent on the size of the truck. Trucks carrying hazardous waste materials have their own set of regulations developed by the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety.

If you were involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, it is possible that the truck driver and his employer were not adhering to these regulations. If you decide to file a lawsuit against the driver and trucking company, you will need to prove that they are liable for your injuries.

Proving that the driver or trucking company broke the law can automatically prove negligence under "negligence per se." If you build a strong enough case, you may recover damages to help you move forward from the accident.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Truck Accident Law: What You Need to Know," accessed on Feb. 28, 2016

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