Liability in Truck Accidents
If you or a loved on are injured in a Bronx truck accident, the first issue that must be addressed, if you are to successfully hold the negligent parties responsible for your injuries, is identifying who is liable for causing the accident. Proper investigation, and a deep knowledge of the legal landscape applicable to Bronx truck accident cases, is essential to accomplishing this important task. Our team of expert Bronx truck accident lawyers has the knowledge and resources necessary to properly investigate every Bronx truck accident case to identify those responsible, find them and hold them to account in court if they have caused you or a loved one harm in a truck crash. It is also important to know that, in addition to the general “rules of the road” that apply to all vehicles that use New York City’s roads, additional safety rules apply to Bronx truck accidents. Our team of skilled Bronx truck accident lawyers will help you understand how to apply these special safety rules – found in the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, the New York City Department of Transportation rules and regulations, as well as in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the “FMCSA”) regulations – to hold the responsible parties to account if you are injured in a truck crash in the Bronx or elsewhere in New York City.
Given that Bronx truck accidents are quite often much more severe than garden variety car accidents due to the large size and weight of trucks, combined with the special rules that apply to truck accidents, local police, as well as federal authorities, often perform investigations of Bronx truck accidents. The results of these investigations can be very valuable in building a successful Bronx truck accident lawsuit. Our firm will gather these key reports and investigative documentation produced by the relevant authorities, will hire the right experts, and will employ state-of-the-art investigative and accident reconstruction techniques to identify the responsible parties and hold them to account if you are injured in a truck crash caused by negligence.Our Top Bronx Truck Accident Lawyers Know Who is Liable in a Bronx Truck Crash
When analyzing responsibility for a Bronx truck accident, skillful accident lawyers will start by looking to Section 388 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (the “VTL”), which provides that all owners and operators of most vehicles, including trucks and trailers, are “jointly and severally” responsible for a truck accident. The rule of liability in Section 388 of the VTL applies in the same exact manner to a truck crash as it does to any Bronx car accident or motorcycle accident case. In most truck accident cases, the responsible parties under Section 388 of the VTL will include: (i) the driver of the truck, (ii) the owner of the truck, and (iii) the owner of the cargo trailer attached to the truck. It is only in the rare Bronx truck accident case, however, that this is the end of the inquiry regarding liability.
Generally, a truck driver involved in a truck accident will have been operating the truck in the course of his or her employment for a company. In this common scenario, New York law provides that the employer – the company that hired the truck driver to operate the truck and transport whatever cargo he or she is carrying from place to place – is responsible for the negligent acts of its employees (in this case, the truck driver) if they cause accidents and injure others on the road. This rule of “vicarious liability” applies even if the employer had nothing to do with causing the accident. This particular type of “vicarious liability” is known as respondeat superior under New York law, and is an important tool that our skilled Bronx truck accident lawyers will apply to your case to ensure that you are fully compensated if a truck driver’s negligence causes you harm on the road.
Sometimes, employers of negligent truck drivers will attempt to avoid liability by claiming that the truck driver was not an “employee”, but rather was an “independent contractor” for whose negligence the employer is not legally responsible. In the context of truck accidents, New York courts generally ask whether the employer exercised a sufficient degree of control over the actions of the truck driver (e.g., by supplying the driver with insurance, by requiring the driver to wear a uniform, by paying taxes on behalf of the driver out of the driver’s paycheck, or by requiring the driver to make deliveries in a certain way) in determining whether the employer can be held liable for the driver’s negligent conduct in causing a truck crash. In addition, employers cannot escape liability simply by claiming that the negligent truck driver was an “independent contractor” where (a) a Bronx truck accident is caused by the negligence of the employer in selecting, instructing or supervising an independent contractor, (b) the work being performed by the independent contractor is “inherently dangerous”, or (c) where the employer is under a “non-delegable duty” to protect a Bronx truck accident victim from harm. If you or a loved one are injured in a truck crash, our expert Bronx truck accident lawyers will use these legal tools to identify the responsible parties and hold them to account in court.
Additionally, a Bronx truck crash may occur because a semi truck may have been loaded with cargo in a manner that makes the truck unsafe to operate. A truck driver may find, while operating an improperly loaded truck, that he or she cannot control the truck due to improperly loaded cargo that causes the truck to become unstable. This instability can cause a serious truck crash when it causes a truck driver to lose control on the road. In this circumstance, liability may fall to the owner of the trailer, the owner of the cargo itself, or to whoever loaded the truck in an improper manner. Our skilled Bronx truck accident lawyers will find out the truth, and help you obtain the compensation you deserve if you are injured due to improper loading of a truck that causes a serious truck crash.
Perhaps the most important reason that identifying all of the responsible parties involved in a truck accident is so important pertains to available insurance coverage. Generally, in any type of accident (unless a very large company, or a very rich individual, is responsible for an accident), the amount of available insurance coverage will dictate the limits of how much money can be recovered, no matter how grave the injuries or how great the expenses associated with a Bronx truck accident may be. The FMCSA mandates that trucks operating anywhere in the United States, including in the Bronx and New York City, maintain minimum amounts of insurance that are much higher than those required of cars and motorcycles.
However, because of the extreme severity of injuries often caused in truck accidents, even these heightened insurance requirements may not be sufficient to fully compensate you if you are the victim of a truck crash. In very serious cases, the only way to ensure full compensation is to hold the company that hired the truck responsible, thus increasing the total amount of insurance coverage – or money from any other source – that is available to pay for the harm done to you in a serious Bronx truck accident. If we accept your truck accident lawsuit, you can rest assured that we will maximize the available insurance coverage by identifying and suing the proper parties to give you and your family the best possible chance of obtaining full and fair compensation in court.Our Bronx Truck Accident Lawyers Will Help You Hold Negligent Truckers Responsible
At Jesse Minc Law Group, we invite you to contact us today for a free consultation if you are injured in a Bronx truck accident. As always, we offer you and your family peace of mind with our no-fee guarantee: You do not owe us a dime, in fees or expenses, unless we win your case. Call us today at (718) 354-8000, or contact us online, to speak to one of our expert Bronx truck accident lawyers. We will teach you about your rights to compensation if you are injured, and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive every dollar to which you are entitled if we accept your case.