When on the road, you must be on the lookout for other drivers. One driver who is hard to miss is a trucker. Trucks, sometimes called tractor-trailers or eighteen-wheelers, are incredibly large vehicles that carry all kinds of cargo across the state and country. Accidents involving trucks can be dire as smaller vehicles are no match for something so huge. If you are injured in a truck accident, your damages may be extreme.
Truck accidents often lead to severe injuries for other drivers. Trucks are so large that other vehicles are often totaled or even crushed under the trucks massive bulk. Your injuries may be quite serious and very expensive. Truck drivers should be held responsible when their negligence causes others to get so seriously hurt. How your truck accident happened will influence the direction and outcome of a possible lawsuit.
Our Westchester truck accident lawyers have handled numerous trucking accident cases, and we are prepared to assist you in any way we can. Contact The Martello Law Firm to talk about your accident in a free legal consultation with our team. Call us as soon as possible at (646) 396-0236.
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident in Westchester?
After a truck accident, you may have several possible defendants you can name in a lawsuit. It is important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney to name appropriate defendants who can cover your damages. Generally, truck accident victims look to truck drivers as their primary defendants. However, you could also sue the trucking company that employs that driver and any other drivers who contributed to the accident.
The driver may bear much of the blame for a truck accident. Many accidents are caused by driver error, such as inattentive driving, intoxication, or fatigue. The driver may be held liable for your damages if we prove they were at fault for the accident. However, drivers are private individuals who may not have the means to cover your damages. In such cases, it may be necessary to name the driver’s employer as a defendant.
The Trucking Company
A truck driver’s employer may be held liable for your accident under a few different legal theories. The theory of respondeat superior, a type of “vicarious liability,” holds employers liable for the negligent behavior of their employees that occurs on the job. Under this theory, a trucking company could be held liable for an accident caused by their employee’s negligent driving. However, an employer can only be held liable for behavior within the scope of the employee’s job duties. For example, if an employee drove the truck without their employer’s permission or went off-route, the employer might not be liable.
You may also attempt to hold the driver’s employer directly responsible for their own mistakes. Trucking companies are often responsible for maintaining the fleet of vehicles, so equipment problems could be their fault. Similarly, the trucking company could be liable for hiring a driver they knew or should have known had a history of accidents or drunk driving.
It may also be possible to sue other drivers who contributed to the crash. For example, suppose another car cut off a speeding trucker without using a turn signal to change lanes, and the trucker reacted by slamming their brakes. The driver of the other car and the trucker could both be partially liable for the resulting collision. Our Westchester truck accident attorneys can help you determine who the best defendants are for your case.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Westchester
Any number of different factors may cause trucking accidents. Driver error and equipment failures may play a role in your accident. Road and weather conditions can also be determining factors in your truck accident case.
Even in perfect conditions with fully functioning truck equipment, accidents may still occur. Driver error accounts for numerous trucking accidents across Westchester and may leave both a driver and their employer liable for your damages. Driver error may include fatigue on long-haul drives with little sleep, inattentiveness, intoxication, and speeding. It is not uncommon for multiple instances of driver error to be present in a single truck accident case.
Even when drivers are paying attention and driving as safely as they can, equipment failures or other aspects of the truck itself can still cause an accident. Trucks have very large blind spots. The trailer behind a truck is often very long and wide, making it nearly impossible for truck drivers to see who is behind them or next to them. If you get caught in a blind spot while a truck turns or changes lanes, an accident could occur.
Equipment failures could include brake failures that prevent a truck from stopping in time. Trucks are extremely large and heavy. If the brakes cannot withstand the force of the speeding truck, the truck might not be able to stop before striking another vehicle.
Driving conditions may also be a significant factor. Driving on wet or icy roads requires a greater degree of caution from drivers and other cars. If these conditions are disregarded, a truck could slam into other cars or run off the highway. Similarly, driving at night when visibility is poor may also increase the odds of an accident.
What if Someone Died in a Truck Accident in Westchester, New York?
Truck accidents can be very severe. Not all people involved in truck accidents survive. If your family member was killed in a truck accident, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim against the truck driver and their employer.
Wrongful death cases are different from ordinary personal injury lawsuits because the person at the center of the case is deceased. According to E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1, a wrongful death suit may involve any claims the deceased person could have brought themselves had they survived the accident. Issues like medical bills and any pain and suffering. Funeral expenses and burial costs are also commonly awarded in wrongful death cases.
Your family may also claim the loss of financial support, consortium, and parental support that would have been provided by the deceased. Our Westchester, New York truck accident attorneys can advise you on your legal options if a wrongful death lawsuit is necessary.
Contact Our Westchester, NY Truck Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in a truck accident, the truck driver and their employer should be held responsible for the harm they caused. Our Westchester truck accident lawyers know how to get compensation for truck accident victims. Contact The Martello Law Firm for a free legal consultation. Call our offices at (646) 396-0236.