Most of us have had the experience of driving on a local road or highway, looking to the left and seeing the enormous tires or the tall cab of a tractor trailer truck. It can be intimidating and frightening to realize that you are sharing the road with vehicles that are twice or three times as big as you are. When a car is hit by a truck that weighs 20 or 25 times more than the car, the results can be catastrophic, and the injuries can often be fatal. You may wonder who would be liable for your injuries and damages in the event of an accident with a commercial vehicle.
In some cases, the truck driver would be held liable if it was found that the driver was doing something beyond the scope of his job. This is especially true if a commercial truck driver is an independent contractor and not an employee of the company. The company can be held liable if the driver was working within his scope of employment and the accident was unintentional, as is most commonly the case.
If you suffer injuries and damage due to someone else’s negligent actions, you have a good chance of recovering compensation. If there is someone to hold responsible for your injuries, you will most likely receive compensation for your losses. Approximately 200,000 people a year are seriously injured, and over 5,000 people a year die in large truck accidents.
About 90% of these accidents are caused by driver negligence. Operators of large commercial vehicles must have a Commercial Driver’s License and the rules and regulations relating to the safe operation of these vehicles are very different from regular vehicles. It is imperative to find an attorney who has specialized knowledge about this area of the law, including the rules, regulations and manuals of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the CDL manuals of the state the truck is registered in.
If the accident occurs in another state, the attorney should be knowledgeable about the laws, rules and regulations of that state and the ability to litigate in Federal Court or in state courts.
Different companies may own the tractor, trailer, container and cargo of the truck and sometimes the trucks are owned, operated and registered by out-of-state corporations. Given the complexity of these types of claims, the best course of action is to hire a law firm with decades of experience and extensive skills in commercial trucking accidents.
Contact the experienced trucking accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP NY to get the legal representation you and your family deserve.