If you have been injured in a large truck accident, it is often not easy to determine who should be held liable for the resulting injuries and losses. These types of cases are made more complex by the fact that there are multiple parties that may be held responsible for causing and/or contributing to the accident. So, it can be challenging to determine who is responsible for the injuries and damages sustained. The services of an experienced New York truck accident lawyer here will prove to be invaluable as they will thoroughly examine all aspects of the case and determine who should be held accountable.
Truck Driver Versus Trucking Company
One question that is often asked in the aftermath of a truck accident is: Who should be held liable for the accident? The truck driver or his or her employer, the trucking company? And more often than not, the answer is: Both. Truck drivers have a responsibility to operate the vehicle safely. They are required to follow federal regulations relating hours of service (HOS) that limits the amount of time they can be on the road.
The goal of this federal law is to ensure that truck drivers get sufficient rest and don’t become fatigued on the road. Truck drivers are required under the law to keep electronic logs detailing the number of hours worked. In addition, truck drivers are prohibited from texting while driving or using a hand-held cell phone. Like all commercial drivers, they must not operate a truck with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or higher.
Trucking companies also have a number of responsibilities. For example, they are required to hire competent as well as experienced truck drivers with clean driving records. If a company hires a driver, for example, who is in poor health and the driver causes a crash due to his health condition, the company can be held liable for negligent hiring and/or retention of the employee. Trucking companies also have a duty to make sure that their fleet of trucks is in good working condition. Worn-out or failing parts must be replaced right away. In some cases, such as when trucks are overloaded or improperly loaded, both the truck driver and the trucking company can be held liable.
Who you name in your truck accident lawsuit may also depend on whether the truck driver is an employee or an independent contractor. If a truck driver has the power to refuse an assignment, set his own hours or work for other customers, he might be an independent contractor. If the truck driver uses company-owned trucks, is on the company’s payroll and wears a company uniform, he or she might be a full-time employee.
While it should not matter whether a truck driver is an employee or an independent contractor, often times, trucking companies and their insurance companies will attempt to place total blame on the truck driver claiming he is an independent contractor. It is important to remember that even though a truck driver is an independent contractor, there are cases where a trucking company can also be held liable.
Contacting a Truck Accident Lawyer
Injured victims of truck accidents can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased victims can also seek compensation by filing what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 47 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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