Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous and deadly collisions on the road because of the size and weight of the trucks involved. Truck crashes can result in devastating injuries and fatalities. There are many potential causes of truck collisions. One of the most common is driver error. If you suffered injuries in a truck collision because of another driver’s error, the attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP could help. Our New York Truck Accident Lawyers have experience handling truck accident cases caused by driver error. Using our skills and knowledge, we will vigorously fight for you to get your deserved compensation.
For a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys, contact us today at (212) 779-0057 or by filling out our online contact form.
Truck Driver Error
Driver error is one of the leading causes of collisions, which can result in serious physical, emotional, and financial injuries. Driver errors can include:
- Distracted driving: People usually think about texting and driving when they hear of distracted driving. While texting is one of the more common ways people become distracted while driving, anything that takes your eyes, hands, or focus from the road while driving results in distracted driving.
- Speeding: When truck drivers speed, they create hazardous situations. Due to the weight of their vehicles, they cannot slow down as quickly as a standard passenger vehicle. Some areas may have lower speed limits for commercial motor vehicles than others. Failing to abide by the posted speed limits, intentional or unintentional, is driver error and can cause severe collisions and injuries.
- Fatigue: Truck drivers are on the road for long periods, so they are at a greater risk of driving tired than the average driver. To reduce the chances that driver fatigue will occur, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted hours of service regulations. Under these regulations, drivers must take breaks and are limited to many consecutive hours they can drive. Failing to follow these regulations can lead to collisions for which the driver and the trucking company may be liable.
- Drug and alcohol use: In New York, the blood alcohol limit (BAC) for commercial truck drivers is 0.04. When a commercial motor vehicle driver has over 0.04 BAC, it is evidence of intoxication, which is driver error.
When a driver engages in these activities or otherwise fails to exercise reasonable care while driving, they put everyone at risk of serious injury or death. For example, when truck drivers are on their cell phones while driving, they may fail to see a car stopped before them, causing a collision that results in severe injuries and fatalities. Similarly, a truck driver driving under the influence may swerve or lose control of their vehicle, causing a devastating collision.
Legal Implications of Truck Crashes Caused by Driver Error
When driver error causes a truck collision, the driver and the trucking company could face legal consequences. Under New York law, drivers must exercise reasonable care while driving. Reasonable care includes following traffic laws and regulations. As a result, when the driver fails to meet their duty to drive reasonably and a collision results, they could be held personally responsible for losses resulting from the crash.
Additionally, the trucking company that employs the driver can be held liable for the injuries caused by the wreck. This is because, under the theory of vicarious liability, a party can hold an employer liable if their employee caused injury while performing their job. Therefore, if a driver acted within the scope of their employment at the time of the collision, you can pursue compensation from the employer.
Sometimes, employers are liable for their own negligence. This could be true if they hired inexperienced drivers or failed to supervise their drivers. For example, if a trucking company hires a driver with a history of drunk driving, it could be liable for its negligent hiring practices if that driver caused a crash that injured someone.
Recoverable Damages in Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Error
You can pursue compensation when you suffered injuries in a collision caused by truck driver error. The compensation you can seek may include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Property damage
You might be eligible to obtain punitive damages and an award covering your injuries and expenses. Punitive damages are rarely awarded. They’re intended to punish drivers and trucking companies for their negligent or reckless behavior. To obtain punitive damages, you must prove that the negligent party’s behavior was so extreme that it qualifies as willful and wanton.
It is important to note that punitive damages are only available in a personal injury case if it goes to trial. Therefore, if you settle outside of court, you will not obtain punitive damages.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
In New York, you usually have three years after the collision date to file your personal injury lawsuit. The timeframe may vary depending on the specifics of your case. However, failing to file your lawsuit before the statutory period expires may result in you being barred from recovering any compensation in your case.
As a result, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your collision to get guidance on your case and preserve your legal rights.
Contact the New York Truck Accident Lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we understand that being injured in a truck crash can be extremely overwhelming and scary. Our goal is to ease your fear by providing the representation you need to pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP have a track record of fighting for our client’s best interests. Let us do that for you, too.