Commercial trucks are much larger and significantly heavier than passenger vehicles. This is one of the reasons why large truck accidents often result in catastrophic or fatal injuries for individuals traveling in smaller passenger vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Negligent (careless) truck drivers tend to cause a number of these accidents and are accordingly identified as the responsible party when a victim files a personal injury lawsuit and seeks compensation. However, it is important to remember that there may be a number of other parties who can be held accountable for the accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
There are several individuals and/or entities who may bear all or part of the responsibility for a truck accident.
The truck driver: The truck driver may be held liable in situations where he or she was engaged in some form of reckless driving such as speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, or driving while sleepy or fatigued. Drivers may also be held accountable when they engage in other reckless behavior such as running a stop sign or a red light, making unsafe lane changes, making illegal turns, etc.
The driver’s employer: The employer can be held liable for the negligent (careless) hiring and/or retention of the truck driver because he or she was on the job at the time of the incident. They can also be held accountable for the following negligent (careless) actions, if applicable:
• Failure to conduct a thorough background check to ensure that the driver had a safe driving history.
• Failing to properly train a driver regarding safety practices.
• Failure to monitor the driver’s actions on the job.
• Failure to conduct routine drug and alcohol screening tests.
• Not properly maintaining the vehicle including carrying out routine inspections.
• Allowing or requiring the truck driver to work long hours that led to the driver becoming fatigued.
• Ownership of the truck.
Loading company: In many instances, commercial trucks are loaded by third parties. This is an important function because if the cargo is not loaded properly, it may potentially fall out of the back of the truck and hit other motorists on the roadway. Or in some cases, it may cause the truck to overturn. In other situations, the load can shift and cause the trailer to become unstable, and this in turn may cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. This often happens when a truck is overloaded.
Manufacturer of a defective product: If the accident was caused by the faulty manufacturing or poor design of a component in the commercial truck, then its manufacturer can also be held liable. Examples of defective parts may include tires, brakes, steering columns, axles, etc.
Maintenance company: If a third party is contracted to complete routine truck maintenance such as repairs or adjustments to the brakes, engine, tires or trailer, any negligence (carelessness) on their part may play a part when you file a lawsuit. If a third party in charge of maintenance neglects to do their job properly or files fraudulent repair records, they may be held liable for the crash as well.
The process of establishing liability involves gathering evidence to prove that the at-fault party’s actions caused or contributed to the accident. An experienced New York truck accident lawyer can help gather the necessary evidence and demonstrate liability in such cases.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Victims who have been injured in truck accidents may be able to 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 accident victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as lost future income, funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent or careless 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 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. 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. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
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.
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