Commercial trucks from tractor-trailers or big rigs have an increased presence on highways and streets. While they remain a minority of vehicles on the road, crashes and collisions have an outsize impact. Due to the weight and size, multiple people in smaller vehicles may wind up seriously injured as the result of a collision, their lives permanently changed by disability. The driver may have insurance limits, making it crucial to look at all potential reasons for the accident. If you were injured as the result of crash or collision with a commercial truck in Upstate New York, you should call the seasoned White Plains truck accident lawyer Mark A. Siesel. In most cases, the defendants’ insurance adjusters and lawyers will not offer you what your case is worth. Instead, they will look for ways in which the accident was your fault so that they can limit their liability or avoid it altogether.Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can happen for many different reasons, including driver inattention, reckless driving, negligent supervision, negligent hiring, negligent loading, and manufacturing or design defects. In many situations, it is crucial to get an accident reconstruction specialist out to the scene to figure out all contributing causes of the accident.
In order to establish the liability of the truck driver who was involved, our White Plains lawyers would need to show it’s more likely than not: (1) the driver owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) the defendant breached the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. A truck driver may breach the duty to use reasonable care by speeding, driving recklessly, working beyond what the hours of service regulations require, drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs, distracted driving, failing to adhere to safety regulations related to inspections and maintenance, and using a cell phone while driving. When a truck driver is an employee, the employer, often a trucking company, may be held vicariously (indirectly) liable.
In some cases, a trucking company can be held responsible for its own negligence in supervising, training, or hiring an incompetent truck driver, or one with a past history of accidents and negligent misconduct. For example, if a trucking company encourages its interstate truck drivers to exceed the hours of service regulations in order to meet delivery deadlines, it may be liable for negligent supervising or training.
There are also situations in which a third party loading company or mechanic can be held liable for their negligence that results in serious injuries.
Finally, we’ll also look at whether a defective truck component, such as brakes, may have contributed to an accident.Damages
Often truck accidents result in catastrophic injuries, injuries such as paralysis or brain injury, in which people’s lives are dramatically changed. When our attorneys are able to establish liability, we can recover compensatory damages including medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, disfigurement, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of spousal services, and loss of consortium, which is an item of loss to make up for losing the enjoyments of married life, such as intimacy.
When the defendant’s conduct is egregious, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages against that party. Generally, these damages are proportionate to the defendant’s size and worth. An individual defendant who doesn’t have many assets, as some truck drivers are, are less likely to be subject to a huge punitive damages award. In most cases, large awards are reserved for misconduct by a corporation, such as a wealthy trucking company or third party loading company.Consult a Seasoned Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by someone else, even in part, you should discuss a potential claim with White Plains personal injury attorney Mark A. Siesel. Mr. Siesel has more than three decades of experience representing accident victims in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens, along with Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Sullivan, Rockland, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Please contact us at (914) 428-7386 or complete our online form for dedicated legal representation.