Due to their size and weight, accidents involving trucks can be catastrophic. In many cases, victims are left with severe and debilitating injuries — tragically, truck accidents can also be fatal. While a trucking accident victim may be entitled to compensation from the party responsible for the accident, establishing liability can be complex. Whether you were in a collision with an 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, garbage truck, cement truck, or flatbed truck, proving liability is much more complex than in a typical car accident.
What Causes Trucking Accidents?
Many factors can contribute to a trucking accident. Because trucks are so large, they can be challenging to maneuver and require specific training to operate properly. Critically, many trucking accidents are caused by human error, negligent driving behavior, and failure to observe. However, accidents can also arise due to mechanical malfunctions, faulty brakes, and other problems with the truck itself.
Common causes of accidents involving trucks can also include driver fatigue, driving under the influence, distracted driving, speeding, or aggressive driving. Additionally, poor road conditions, reduced visibility, falling debris, and lack of experience can all contribute to trucking accidents.
Who Might Be Liable for a Trucking Accident?
There are several parties that could be held liable for a trucking accident, depending on the facts and circumstances. Importantly, even if the accident was due to the driver’s negligence, the trucking company can still be held vicariously liable if the driver was acting within the scope of their employment.
Potentially liable parties in a trucking accident can include the following:
- Truck driver — A driver might be held liable for their own carelessness, recklessness, or negligence in failing to operate the truck safely.
- Trucking company — The trucking company may be held accountable if the accident arose as a result of its failure to properly train drivers, conduct thorough inspections, or adhere to safety standards.
- Municipality — Sometimes, a city, town, or village may be responsible for a trucking accident if there was a defect in the road that it knew about but failed to repair in a timely manner.
- Truck manufacturers — If a mechanical defect caused the accident, the truck manufacturing company may be liable.
- Cargo loading company — Some truck accidents involve cargo. If the cargo was not loaded properly or secured, the cargo can fall off and cause a crash.
- Other drivers — In some cases, a trucking accident involves multiple vehicles. In addition to the truck driver and trucking company being held liable, other drivers on the road may share responsibility for your accident-related injuries.
Often, multiple parties may share responsibility for a truck accident and can be joined in a lawsuit. In the event that someone else was responsible for the collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your accident-related injuries.
Compensation for Trucking Accidents
If you sustained injuries in a trucking accident caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, you might be entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury action. Economic damages include the monetary losses you suffered, including unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs incurred in connection with your medical treatment. Non-economic damages cover the pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life you experienced due to your truck accident injuries.
You may also be eligible to receive compensation if you lost a loved one in a trucking accident by filing a wrongful death action. In these types of claims, the personal representative of the victim’s estate may bring a lawsuit to recover funeral costs, medical expenses related to the accident, wages the victim would have contributed to the household, and other damages. While a family cannot recover compensation for their own grief, they may be entitled to monetary recovery for the conscious pain and suffering the victim experienced prior to their death.
Contact a Knowledgeable New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a truck accident, it’s essential to contact a personal injury attorney immediately who can advise you concerning your legal rights and remedies. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. provides dedicated counsel and diligent representation for truck accident victims and helps to ensure they receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland County, and on Long Island in Nassau County and Suffolk County. Contact us for a consultation.