According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding represents a contributing factor in 26 percent or more of fatal accidents, resulting in more than the loss of more than 13,000 lives across the United States each year. Many people assume that only high rates of speed will increase accident risk; however, in many cases, even traveling at a speed only slightly more than the posted speed limit can increase the risk of an accident. The faster a vehicle travels, the greater the accident risk. Nevertheless, many people continue to push the speed limit, including driving at speeds too high for the current road conditions. If you or a loved one has been injured or involved in an accident with someone speeding get to know the experienced Philadelphia car accident attorneys at The Levin Firm today.
Most people who choose to speed when driving do not consider it a significant problem. They feel that they simply pushed the vehicle a little faster, hopefully getting to their destinations sooner. Many drivers imagine that the worst thing that could happen includes getting a speeding ticket. Unfortunately, in reality, speeding can cause a number of problems for drivers.
In addition, most of the time, speeding does not help the driver reach his destination any faster than traveling at a normal rate of speed. Traffic patterns may allow a driver to speed up briefly, only to force slower speeds a matter of seconds later. Red lights, stop signs, and traffic signals may also slow down the rate of travel, making speeding a poor way to use your time behind the wheel.
Did you suffer serious injuries in a traffic accident? If so, then you may want to attempt to prove that the other driver chose to speed, especially if those excess speeds contributed to the circumstances of the accident. While the driver’s speeding does not change the compensation you may receive from your accident, the driver may face other penalties as a result of speeding. In some cases, proving that the other driver chose to speed can also help prove that they caused part or all of your accident.
Summoning the police to the scene of the accident will result in a police report of the accident. When you have a police report on file, it may help to establish fault in the accident. The responding officer may issue a citation regarding the other driver’s speed or simply choose to note it in the police report; however, as long as the officer chooses to record it, that speeding citation becomes part of the record for the accident.
Take a look at security footage of the accident, if you can locate it. In some cases, you may find traffic cameras recording the area around the scene of the accident. Timing the distance it took a car to travel between two cameras can help determine their rate of speed compared to other drivers. You may also check the footage and observe how the driver was moving compared to other drivers around him. If you cannot find traffic cameras in the vicinity of the accident, you may check security footage from local businesses, especially those with parking lot cameras or cameras posted close to the road.
In some cases, looking at the damage caused to your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, and any other vehicles or objects involved in the accident can help you better see whether the other driver chose to speed at the time of the accident. Because accidents at high rates of speed cause more serious damage than accidents at lower speeds, excessive damage to the vehicles involved in the accident could indicate higher rates of speed at the time of the accident.
Did anyone else witness the accident? Witnesses can help determine whether a driver was speeding at the time of the accident, especially if the driver chose to travel at a very high rate of speed or engaged in other dangerous driving behaviors. Often, other drivers on the road at the time of the accident can help put together the events that led to the accident, including a driver who may have raced by them shortly before colliding with you. Witnesses can also give other useful information about the accident, including whether the driver chose to engage in dangerous behaviors like checking his cell phone while driving or displaying signs of inebriation.
Many attorneys, including the attorneys at The Levin Firm, have access to accident reconstruction specialists, including speed reconstruction experts who can help piece together what happened during the accident. By working with an attorney to help file a claim following the accident, you can get access to those accident reconstruction accidents, which will help you get a better picture of exactly what occurred at the time of the accident.
Many drivers, on learning about the dangers of speeding, take steps to keep their speed down, but ultimately find their rate of travel creeping up anyway. How can you keep yourself and your passengers safe from excessive speeding on the road, including both your speed and that of other drivers? Try some of these important strategies.
Speeding makes serious impacts on many drivers, especially if they suffer accidents as a result of those high rates of speed. If you suffer injuries in an accident with a speeding driver, make sure you contact a Philadelphia car accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
No one likes going for a medical checkup but, unfortunately, it is important to your overall health to do so. It is good to check in with a trusted medical professional on a regular basis to discuss any changes in your health or other concerns. Physicians should know how to best spend time with patients to identify any health issues and advise patients on how to lower the risk of developing certain conditions.
When you think of medical malpractice, you likely think of doctors making grave errors during surgery, the birth of a child, or other dramatic circumstances. However, medical mistakes can happen when you least expect it at a routine doctor’s appointment. Often, you may go in for a checkup with a general physician, OBGYN, ophthalmologist, or other doctors thinking that everything is completely fine. Some patients later discover that they have suffered an unnecessary injury because their doctor made a serious error during that appointment.
Doctors can make errors without being liable for medical malpractice. Malpractice happens when a doctor breaches the medical standard of care, which is providing the care that a reasonable and similarly trained doctor would provide in similar circumstances. For example, if your OBGYN makes an error, the following may be true:
Often, identifying instances of medical malpractice requires analysis by other medical experts. In the above example, another OBGYN expert can review what happened and the conduct of your doctor and give their opinion whether your doctor met the standard of care or not. Each case will need to be closely examined based on the specific circumstances. However, the following is some additional information about common instances of medical malpractice that may occur during routine medical exams.
Most people do not go into a regularly-scheduled check up asking for a doctor to diagnose a condition. Instead, they may make a separate appointment if they suspect they have an illness or injury. That being said, part of a routine examination is for a doctor to question a patient about anything out of the ordinary and assess whether these may be indications of any new medical issues. In addition, a doctor should physically examine you and should be able to tell when something doesn’t feel or look right. In addition, doctors should perform the expected tests, review the results, and diagnose any abnormalities or illnesses.
If a doctor does not properly diagnose a condition that should have been apparent, the patient can be deprived of the treatment they need and may suffer preventable complications of their condition. In such cases, a patient may have a strong case for medical malpractice.
There are some tests that doctors will routinely perform with every patient. Furthermore, doctors should recognize when a patient has a higher risk of developing certain conditions and perform any additional tests as appropriate. Risk factors can include age, weight, family history, medical history, taking certain medications, and more.
For example, once adults reach a certain age, they should undergo tests such as a colonoscopy, mammogram, prostate exam, or similar tests that identify conditions more common in middle to older age. If a patient’s mother and sister both had breast or ovarian cancer, the patient should likely undergo regular cancer screenings earlier than patients with no genetic history of cancer. These are only a few examples of situations in which doctors should order certain tests for certain patients.
Failure to recommend such tests can lead to a significantly delayed diagnosis of any conditions. If a patient did not undergo appropriate tests based on their risk factor, their condition can worsen and may even become life-threatening. Negligent doctors may be held liable for the losses of such patients.
In some cases, doctors may order the right tests but may misread the results and, therefore, miss an important diagnosis. This can be true with many tests, including blood tests, x-rays, MRIs, biopsies, and many more. Reading the results correctly is an essential part of any medical test and if a doctor does not closely review test results in light of a patient’s medical history, they can fail to diagnose a condition and cause unnecessary injuries to a patient.
Many doctor’s appointments end with a physician handing a patient a prescription to have filled at a pharmacy or even giving a patient a sample medication to take home. Deciding which medications are appropriate is a huge part of any doctor’s job, though many harmful mistakes can happen during this process. Doctors may make the following errors, among others:
Prescription errors can cause serious problems for patients and often require additional medical care.
At The Levin Firm, we know that medical malpractice can happen in any medical setting – even a routine doctor’s appointment. We also know how complicated the resulting legal case can be. Our firm has experience representing patients who have suffered serious injuries at the hands of physicians and other doctors they should have been able to trust. Doctors often try to avoid liability for malpractice and the losses of their patients, but the right attorney will know how to stand up for your rights. Please call 215-825-5183 or contact our office online to discuss a possible claim today.
Accidents involving large commercial trucks are inherently dangerous because of their massive size and weight. However, they can also be dangerous due to the cargo they carry. Sometimes the cargo itself can cause accidents and injuries to other motorists.
A recent tragedy in Philadelphia illustrates how cargo can cause crashes. According to news reports, a semi-truck was transporting watermelons when it overturned. The watermelons came loose and spilled across three lanes of South I-95. One of the watermelons flew into the air and struck a Honda HR-V. The driver of the HR-V lost control and went off the road, trapping the two occupants inside. Though they both were transported to the hospital for treatment, the 61-year-old passenger did not survive. This fatal accident occurred without the car colliding with the truck at all. When cargo comes loose, even ordinarily non-hazardous produce can have devastating results.
There are innumerable types of products carried by commercial trucks. Traditional tractor-trailers carry goods ranging from foodstuffs to furniture and everything in between. Trucks with specialized trailers carry cars, livestock, and other cargo that needs customized securement. Flatbed trucks haul oversized or oddly-shaped cargo, such as large timber, heavy machinery, or even houses. Tanker trucks carry liquids and gases, including fuel and toxic chemicals.
Almost any kind of cargo can cause serious injuries if it spills. Smaller products can fall into the path of traffic and either hit cars directly or cause chain-reaction crashes if cars collide with the cargo. Obviously, larger cargo such as cars or lumber can create chaos scene if they fall onto the highway. Toxic cargo poses special hazards. If the tank of a tanker truck is punctured, it can release flammable or toxic substances, causing fire, explosions, or widespread exposure to toxins.
When a truck rolls over or otherwise crashes, cargo can spill even if it was properly loaded and secured. However, sometimes, cargo spills due to improper loading – and these spills can happen even in the absence of a truck crash. In some situations, improper loading can actually cause a truck accident.
Each type of cargo has its own requirements for loading and securement. Proper securement is so important that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues regulations that truckers must follow by law. When cargo loading crews violated these rules or otherwise act carelessly, accidents may happen. If cargo shifts while a truck is moving, the trailer can become imbalanced, causing the driver to lose control or the truck to jackknife.
Accident claims involving cargo spills can be complicated – specifically, determining who should be held liable for the injuries or deaths of motorists. If the cargo spill happened because the truck initially crashed, the driver and/or the trucking company may be liable. An attorney can help to identify whether the driver or company was negligent and gather evidence to prove a negligence claim. Common acts of negligence that can cause a truck accident include:
On the other hand, if improper loading was the original cause of the crash, you need to determine who was responsible for loading the cargo. Sometimes, trucking companies may have their own crews. Often, warehouses will have dedicated crews, in which case the company that employed the crew may be held liable.
It is likely that any accident victims will be dealing with an injury claim against a business entity, whether a trucking company, cargo loading company, or a manufacturer. This can be beneficial, as companies often have substantial insurance policies that may fully cover injury or wrongful death losses. However, insurance claims against companies can also be complicated, so you should always have the proper legal representation from the very start of your claim.
Insurance companies will try to avoid liability whenever they can – for both themselves and their commercial policyholders. There are many tactics insurance adjusters use to limit, delay, or deny valid claims, which include:
When you do have a truck accident attorney on your side, your chances of receiving full compensation for your losses improve. The right lawyer can help you with a truck accident claim in several ways, including:
At The Levin Firm, we know from experience how technical and complex commercial truck accident cases can be. The trucking company will not make it easy for accident victims to obtain evidence or to pursue a successful insurance claim. If you are dealing with serious injuries, the last thing you need is the stress of battling against a commercial trucking company and its insurer. Instead, call our highly skilled truck accident attorneys and let us help navigate the process for you. Please call 215-825-5183 or contact us online for a free consultation today.
The scene after a car accident can be chaotic. Often, people are getting out of their vehicles, inspecting the damage, taking inventory of any injuries, or even trying to rescue people who may be trapped in a vehicle. Even after you calm down, you may spend a substantial period of time waiting for law enforcement to arrive, talking to officers, getting information from people involved or witnesses, and more. What you may not realize is that the risk of injury does not end after the collision is over. Too often, injuries can happen to people waiting at the scene of an accident.
Recent Injuries on the Side of I-95
Recently, Philadelphia firefighters were part of an emergency team that responded to the scene of an accident on I-95.1 While law enforcement officers were tending to the two-vehicle crash scene, the firefighters parked their large ladder truck to block the path of traffic and prevent any drivers from hitting the motorists or responders who were at the scene. Despite the presence of this large truck “buffer,” another serious impact occurred.
A commercial truck driver was approaching the scene of the accident when he claimed he suddenly lost control of the tractor-trailer. The trailer jackknifed, which means it swung out perpendicular to the tractor. Jackknifes often result in a near-complete loss of control of a truck driver and the trailers can take out any vehicles in their path. In this situation, the jackknifed truck struck the fire truck, which held five Philly firefighters inside. The semi-truck forced the fire truck 250 feet down the highway and during this time, all five firefighters suffered injuries.
While the firefighters were – thankfully – treated at nearby medical centers and released with non-life-threatening injuries, the collision at the scene of the accident could have been much worse. For example, if the fire truck had not been there to act as a buffer, the jackknifed truck could have hit any people or smaller vehicles that were on the side of the highway, which likely would have resulted in fatalities or life-changing injuries.
Pedestrians around the scene of an accident are at a particular risk for injuries. People are difficult to see, especially at night and especially if there are flashing lights or other conditions that can draw a driver’s attention away from people who may be in the road.
Holding Drivers Liable for Injuries Caused at the Accident Scene
In many cases, the initial collision may not cause any serious injuries. However, a subsequent collision while you are at the scene of the accident may result in severe injuries. In such cases, the driver that caused the second collision would likely be held liable for the medical expenses, lost income, and other losses that resulted from the crash. You would have to prove that the driver was negligent in some way when they crashed into the accident scene in order to recover. Some common examples of negligence that may cause this type of accident include:
However, the situation gets more complex if you suffered injuries in both the initial collision and the second collision. First, it is important to help determine which injuries were caused by what accident in order to decide which driver was responsible for which injuries. Often, if you were out walking around at the scene of the accident, it is likely the initial accident caused only minor injuries and your severe injuries were a result of the subsequent accident. However, if you had been loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher and the second car hit the ambulance, your serious injuries may be attributed to both collisions. Deciding the amount of fault that should be attributed to each negligent driver can be complex and these complicated cases require the help of a very experienced auto accident lawyer.
Consult with a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible
The car accident attorneys at The Levin Firm know how to handle cases involving shared fault when multiple parties may have caused your injuries. Please call for a free consultation at 215-825-5183 today.
Car crashes can occur in many different ways, with drivers often crashing into the rear or side of other vehicles. One of the most dangerous types of crashes is a head-on collision, which happens when the front of one vehicle collides into the front end of another vehicle. These collisions tend to happen when both vehicles are in motion and often at high speeds. For this and other reasons, head-on collisions can cause some of the most catastrophic and often fatal injuries. According to a report by the Department of Transportation (DOT),1 an estimated 18 percent of crashes outside of intersections involve a head-on crash.
Cars have many safety features to try to reduce the risk of injuries in a head-on collision and other types of car crashes. Crumple zones, bumpers, seatbelts, and airbags are all intended to keep motorists inside of the vehicle and to absorb most of the impact of the crash. However, despite all of these standard safety features, many victims sustain life-changing injuries in head-on collisions.
Many head-on crashes occur because a driver or another party acted in a negligent manner. If a negligent party caused your accident, you have the right to hold that party accountable and receive compensation for your losses.
Head-on crashes can happen for many different reasons. The following are only some examples of why these extremely dangerous accidents may occur:
Drunk driving — Drunk drivers are notorious for swerving back and forth, often leaving their designated lane. If a drunk driver swerves too far to the left, they may cross over the center yellow line and collide with an oncoming car. Head-on crashes can also happen if a drunk driver is going the wrong way2 down the highway or a one-way street.
Fatigued driving — Fatigued driving can affect a driver’s concentration and they may stray from their intended lane. In addition, very fatigued drivers may completely fall asleep while driving, which often results in them unknowingly turning the wheel and driving into other lanes. Sleeping drivers can cross double lines or medians and can cause head-on accidents.
Distracted driving — Often, if you see a driver swerving in a lane, it would not be surprising to pass them and learn that they were texting or otherwise using a smartphone. Unfortunately, many texting or distracted drivers do depart from their lanes and into oncoming traffic lanes, which often results in hitting another vehicle head-on.
Improper passing — Every driver should know that a double yellow line means that you should not pass another driver. However, many impatient drivers think they are fast or experienced enough to pass cars on a two-lane highway regardless of a double yellow center line. Too often, the passing driver does not have the visibility to see oncoming cars in the passing lane and often cannot brake or get back over in time to avoid a head-on crash.
Rural roads — Statistics show3 that almost half of all head-on collisions happen on rural highways. Rural highways are often two narrow lanes traveling opposite directions. These roads are often winding with many hills that can make it difficult to see oncoming traffic. In addition, because of the lack of law enforcement officers on rural roads, many people are prone to traveling these already dangerous roads at high speeds. All of these circumstances can easily lead to cars straying into the other lane and hitting an oncoming car.
Third party drivers — In some cases, a third car that was not actually involved in the crash can cause the crash to happen. Imagine that you are driving in the left lane and, all of a sudden, a car tries to change lines right where you are driving. You may jerk the wheel to avoid crashing into that car, however, you may then cross over into oncoming lanes and can be involved in a head-on collision through no fault of your own.
Road hazards — Potholes, cracks, improper lane markings, objects in the street, and other hazards can cause a driver to either swerve or lose control of their car, which can regularly lead to a serious head-on crash.
If you have been injured in a head-on crash, you should not hesitate to discuss your legal rights with an experienced car accident attorney in Philadelphia. Call The Levin Firm at 215-825-5183 to discuss your case today.
With a new school year just a few weeks away, many people in the area are preparing to send their child off to start a brand new academic year. The start of the school year often involves many new experiences: new friends, new teachers, new subjects to learn, and sometimes even an entirely new school. Unfortunately, it may also expose your child to the risk of injury during their commute to school, particularly if they are starting a new school or are at an age when you feel that it appropriate and safe to allow them to get to and from school on their own.
Fortunately for parents, there are certain things that you can do to make sure that your child’s walk or bike ride to school is as risk-free as possible. These include the following:
Unfortunately, accidents are bound to happen even under the best of circumstances, and it is impossible to reduce the risk of injury for anyone who commutes anywhere to zero, no matter how much want to. In the event that your child is injured on the way to or from school, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that his or her legal rights to recover compensation are protected. Some of these include the following:
If you or your child has been injured in an accident that you think may have been caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you should speak with an attorney as soon as you can. In many cases, victims are able to recover compensation for a variety of losses, including their medical bills, lost income, loss of future earning potential, property damage, and physical and emotional pain and suffering, among others. To learn more about how a skilled Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can help you, call The Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or send us and email through our online contact form.
Research estimates that 80-85 percent of an individual’s perception, learning, cognition, and activities are mediated through vision. It can be challenging, therefore, for anyone suffering from vision issues after a brain injury.
In general, 20-40 percent of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience related vision disorders. Some vision-related issues can be permanent while others resolve quickly. The extent and nature of the vision disorder is based, in part, upon the unique brain injury. Vision can be broken down into the following:
eye tracking ability, shifting gaze quickly from one point to the other, focusing, eye alignment, eye teaming, and depth perception.
There are various techniques and strategies to help people with vision problems after TBI. They can include the following:
The effects of a brain injury can be dramatic especially when it includes vision related problems. If you have vision difficulties after suffering from a brain injury, it is necessary to speak to an experienced Philadelphia brain injury attorney at the Levin Firm. We know how to evaluate your situation based on the facts of your case and to investigate what type of claim can be made on your behalf. Please call 215-825-5183 to schedule a free consultation today or call our toll free number at 877-825-8542.
The Clover Hill Swimming Club was a swim club in the Millington section of Long Hill Township in Morris County, New Jersey. The club operated in the 1960s in the suburban New York City metropolitan region. The club first opened in 1963; members were required to buy a $350 debenture bond and pay an annual fee of $150. The club ranged over 170 acres, offering recreational facilities for lake swimming, tennis, skating and golfing.
In 1966, the Clover Hill Swimming Club was involved in a court case with Robert F. Goldsboro, an African American veterinarian.
In October 1963, Dr. Goldsboro claimed that he had been refused membership in Clover Hill because of his race. At the time of Goldsboro’s application to join the club, 250 families held membership with the maximum capacity of membership being 400 families. Goldsboro completed and sent his application to join the club, but upon not hearing back, called the club and was told that his application would be acted on unfavorably. Then, the club claimed that they had lost the application and sent him new forms.
After Goldsboro sent the second set of forms, the club rejected his request on the grounds that Goldsboro’s references did not know him socially. Bishop Rath, the leader of Goldsboro’s congregation, testified that he had received a call from the club to elaborate on the reference, to which Rath vouched for Goldsboro’s character. However, the club asked if Rath had known Goldsboro socially, “had dinner together and cocktails together and played cards together.” Two other members of Bishop Rath’s congregation were accepted into the club. In addition, other club member applicants testified that they had received personal interviews after submitting applications while Dr. Goldsboro had not.
The Clover Hill Swimming Club returned a statement that since they were a distinctly private facility and therefore exempt from coverage by the Law Against Discrimination. However, the court ruled the club to be a public accommodation because it advertised to the public. The court also ruled that any establishment declaring itself as a “club” cannot be an indication of being “distinctly private.” As a result, the Director of the Division on Civil Rights (Division) directed the club to admit Goldsboro, to delete from the application the request for information containing church activities, and to refrain from violating the Law Against Discrimination. The Clover Hill Swimming Club appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, where precedent was held.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey. Clover Hill Swimming Club, Inc. v. Goldsboro. 4 Apr. 1966.
Justia US Law.
Wolcott, Victoria W.. Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters: the Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America.
While the link between asbestos and serious health problems like mesothelioma has been well established, many employees still have questions concerning asbestos such as the following:
Below are some answers to your questions relating to asbestos.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring, fibrous material that has been used in many industries and occupations for decades. But, long before its popularity in industry peaked, asbestos became linked to health problems, and over the years thousands of workers have developed a deadly asbestos-related disease called mesothelioma. Asbestos has been classified as a cancer-causing substance.
Everyone breathes in trace amounts of asbestos each day, but because asbestos fibers can be inhaled, even short-term exposure to high levels of asbestos while on the job can lead to breathing problems, coughing, and shortness of breath. It comes as no surprise that the most severe health risks come from long-term exposure to asbestos on the job. In many instances, older people who may have spent decades in the workplace before safety measures were developed to protect employees from asbestos exposure are at even greater risk.
Serious health problems related to asbestos exposure include:
Exposure to asbestos is still quite common in some lines of work. Here’s a list of occupations and industries that have traditionally seen workers exposed to significant levels of asbestos:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other workplace safety agencies were established to carefully regulate and monitor asbestos exposure on the job. So more than likely your employer is legally required to take certain steps to protect you and your coworkers from any health risks involving asbestos.
Depending on the industry you work in and the specifics of your job, you may be legally entitled to receive the following protections from asbestos exposure while on the job:
If jobs you have held involved working with or around significant amounts of asbestos, you may have questions about lawsuits regarding exposure to asbestos. Generally speaking, if an employee suffers from health problems that are caused by asbestos in the workplace, a lawsuit would be filed against some or all of the following parties:
At The Levin Firm, we understand that representing workers’ compensation claimants requires particular types of skills and knowledge, as well as ability to understand your rights as an employee. We understand these issues, and work with our clients, their friends and family, as well as their doctors, psychologists, long-term care planners, and others – to ensure that our clients receive not only the finest legal representation, but also the finest support and medical care.
Workers’ compensation claims are complex, and require attorneys who understand how to navigate the system, and who are willing to explain the status of your case to you every step of the way. At The Levin Firm, we investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.
When you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or New Jersey personal injury attorney to represent you, a family member or friend who has been injured at work, contact The Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183. We represent every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case.
Commercial truck drivers are charged with operating extraordinarily large tractor-trailers, flatbed trucks, tankers, and other commercial vehicles at high speeds alongside small cars and other passenger vehicles on a regular basis. When a collision occurs, commercial trucks can cause catastrophic and often fatal injuries to motorists in smaller vehicles. Because of the significant risks of these collisions, it is critical that every commercial driver is in the appropriate mental state every time they get behind the wheel.
Despite the importance of proper mental health, many commercial drivers continue to work operating large trucks even though they know they suffer from emotional or mental conditions  that may affect their concentration, judgment, and other important faculties. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that, instead of seeking professional assistance, many truck drivers try to mask their mental health issues through self-medication. These drivers use alcohol or illegal controlled substances to regulate their thoughts and moods. Instead of stabilizing mental health, substance abuse often makes a person’s mental state even worse.
There is no excuse for commercial drivers to put other motorists at risk because they continue to drive with mental health issues and without seeking a proper mental health evaluation. Anyone who has sustained injuries in an accident due to a negligent truck driver should discuss their situation with a Philadelphia truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Commercial truck driving is not an easy job. It involves controlling large vehicles for long hours alone on often monotonous strips of highway. Because the job conditions can cause boredom and loneliness, it is understandable that certain drivers may develop mental or emotional conditions. The National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a study that indicated that a substantial number of drivers of commercial vehicles suffer from mental health conditions, including the following:
All of the above have the potential to affect a driver’s judgment, focus, decision-making abilities, and more. Additionally, some mental health issues can lead to recklessness or even aggression on the road, which can be highly dangerous.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has medical requirements  to ensure that all individuals are in adequate health to operate a large vehicle before they can get or renew their commercial driver’s license. Drivers must undergo a thorough medical exam conducted by a medical professional approved by the FMCSA. In addition to looking for any dangerous physical health problems, these examiners should also look for any potential mental health issues, as well. Doctors should consider the mental and emotional effects and demands of truck driving when determining whether to sign off on a particular driver’s health. A driver may need to undergo a psychiatric evaluation in order to meet these requirements. If a driver does have a mental condition but is taking the proper medication to regulate it and the medication does not impair their other faculties, a driver may still be approved depending on the other circumstances present.
Even if a driver initially passed the medical exam, they still need to report if they begin suffering from any mental health issues and should always seek proper treatment. Furthermore, if a trucking company believes that one of its drivers is having problems with their mental or emotional health, the company should require the driver to be evaluated and to receive any recommended treatment for a mental health diagnosis before they can continue driving. If a truck driver or their employer continues to allow the driver to operate a commercial vehicle knowing that mental instability may exist, they should be held liable for all injuries and losses that result from an accident.
There is no excuse for a truck driver who is operating a commercial truck with a mental or emotional problem that may hider their ability to safely drive the vehicle. Doing so is extraordinarily dangerous and puts the safety of everyone else on the road at risk. Following an accident, it is important to consider the health of the driver to determine whether that could have contributed to or caused the collision. At The Levin Firm, we understand the many possible causes of truck accidents and will investigate to identify any possible negligent acts in your case. Please call for a free consultation at 215-825-5183 today.
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