Do You Sue the Truck Driver or Company After an Accident in New York?
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck or tractor-trailer, you might have the right to seek financial compensation. However, one of the first considerations you will have is who could be held liable for your damages. Do you file a lawsuit against the truck driver, the trucking company, or another party altogether? The answer will depend on the circumstances surrounding your particular accident.
Accidents involving large commercial trucks are often devastating. The sheer size of these massive vehicles leaves drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles suffering the most severe consequences. The medical costs and other financial losses associated with a catastrophic injury could be as life-altering as the injury itself. When you are seeking monetary compensation, you want to ensure you include all potentially liable parties, including the driver and the trucking company.
Whether you sue the truck driver or the trucking company, you will be facing resistance throughout the process. It could come from the insurance companies trying to deny or lower your claim or a defense attorney who will try to place the blame for the accident on your shoulders. The Bronx truck accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm will fight to maximize your award. Call (718) 841-0083 to review your case.
Suing the Truck Driver After a New York Accident
In some situations, suing a negligent truck driver makes the most sense. This is especially true if the truck driver was operating as an independent contractor and not affiliated with a trucking company. The key factor is determining the working relationship between the driver and a trucking company. Generally, trucking companies, as with other employers, could be held liable for the conduct of their employees. However, independent contractors are not necessarily considered employees under the law.
For example, if a truck driver owned their truck, paid their expenses, and was paid per job, they were likely operating as an independent contractor. Even if a trucking company employed a commercial truck driver, there are situations where you would have to sue the truck driver instead of the company. For instance, the driver might have been using the truck for purposes unrelated to their job duties, was engaged in illegal conduct, or intentionally caused the accident.
Suing a Trucking Company After a New York Truck Accident
Many injured truck accident victims would prefer to file a lawsuit against the trucking company. Generally, the company will have deeper pockets and more extensive insurance coverage. Fortunately, companies could be held responsible for the conduct of their employees if the conduct was unintentional and occurred while the driver was reasonably engaged in the scope of their job duties.
In addition to the driver’s conduct, a trucking company could be held liable for its conduct. For example, a truck accident victim might be able to hold a trucking company liable if it failed to properly train a driver or did not perform a reasonable background check.
In other cases, a trucking company could be responsible for any injuries or damages if it failed to maintain the vehicles in its fleet. Trucking companies have a duty to ensure that any trucks used in the business operation are inspected, repaired, and in a roadworthy condition.
Federal and state laws exist to protect other motorists on the road from the dangers large commercial trucks pose. For instance, the hours a trucker is permitted to drive during one shift are limited. Trucking companies are required to keep records of inspections and maintenance performed on their vehicles. If an injury occurs and any of these rules and regulations are violated, the trucking company could be held liable.
Other Liable Parties in a New York Truck Accident
There is a financial benefit to suing a trucking company. However, if both parties could be held liable, it is usually important to include both in your lawsuit. Part of the job of our Long Island truck accident attorneys is to determine what parties are potentially liable.
When a truck driver causes an accident, they are the most likely candidate. However, filing a lawsuit against the trucking company usually means reaching a larger insurance policy. In many cases, if possible, it is advisable to include both in a personal injury lawsuit.
However, the list of possible defendants does not stop at two. In some situations, an important system in a truck malfunctions, resulting in an accident. While poor maintenance could have contributed to the malfunction, in some cases, the part was defective or there was a design flaw. Under these circumstances, it could be possible to hold the manufacturer or another entity in the distribution chain liable.
Truck accidents occur for many different reasons. Sometimes, a driver will lose control or commit a seemingly irresponsible act to avoid an accident with another reckless driver. When this happens, an injured victim could have a claim against the other driver.
You should not hesitate to call our Brooklyn truck accident lawyers if you were in an accident. The sooner we can begin investigating the crash, the sooner we can gather evidence to hold the responsible party or parties liable.
New York Truck Accident Lawyers Offering Professional and Aggressive Legal Representation
At The Carrion Law Firm, our lawyers and staff fight for our clients. Truck accidents often result in complicated and challenging legal cases. Unfortunately, these massive machines also leave a wake of injuries in their path. Our Queens accident lawyers are dedicated to holding the responsible party financially liable for the harm they caused, whether if it was the driver, the trucking company, or another entity. Call (718) 841-0083 to speak with one of our experienced New York commercial vehicle accident attorneys.