When Trucks Kill: Drivers and Trucking Companies Often at Fault Entitling Victims to Damages
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, more than 11,000 large truck crashes occur in the state in a typical year. In 2011, 89 of those crashes involved a fatality. But Statistics fail to convey the tragedy of the Truxton, New York crash at the end of May 2013, when seven passengers in a mini-van perished from a runaway trailer that slid across a two-lane road into oncoming traffic. Four of the victims were children under the age of 7.
This crash, which happened between Syracuse and Cortland, illustrates the sheer power of large trucks in an accident. And while some trucks are allowed by law to weigh up to 80,000 pounds, including contents-dwarfing the average 3,000 pound passenger vehicles. The firm whose truck was in the Truxton crash had been found by a Department of Transportation inspector to be 4% over the weight limit only two months earlier.
In all likelihood, the survivors of the crash will pursue compensation for damages, including wrongful death. In that process, their attorneys will conduct a forensic investigation to determine the cause of the crash. Most damning in a lawsuit (and in a criminal court, if police determine that the laws were broken) would be if the driver of the vehicle was impaired by drugs or alcohol, or was speeding or driving inattentively. Also, the owner of the trucking firm might be found to have been negligent in maintenance or to have allowed the truck to carry a load that exceeded legal limits.
In addition in states like New York, the owner of a vehicle is vicariously liable for the negligence of the driver. Truck drivers and trucking firms are frequently at fault for catastrophic accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, a truck accident law firm can help you recover for wrongful death, physical injury, property damage, medical costs, loss of income and for pain and suffering. Contact a vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident in order to capture evidence that may otherwise diminish with time