On average, there are about 4,000 accidents every year involving large
trucks and busses. In 2016, the most recent year with statistics available,
there were 4,440 crashes involving busses and large trucks, according to the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the government agency that regulates the trucking industry.
Even though approximately 4,000 crashes a year is minor compared to the
number of vehicle accidents with passenger vehicles,
truck accidents still lead to fatalities and thousands of injuries every year in the United States.
Truck Driver Negligence
Truck drivers are not special. They aren’t necessarily better drivers,
especially if they’re inexperienced. They’re human, which
means they make mistakes behind the wheel just like everybody else. But
the problem is that if a trucker makes a mistake, it can be extremely
dangerous for fellow roadway users.
Common forms of truck driver negligence that leads to truck accidents:
- Speeding or tailgating
- Driving while fatigued
- Texting while driving
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Driving a poorly maintained truck
- Driving an overloaded truck
- Taking a turn too fast
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
So, the question is, if a truck driver is obviously at-fault for a truck
accident, who’s liable? The truck driver or the trucker’s
employer? It depends on whether the trucker is classified as an “employee”
or an “independent contractor.”
If the truck driver is an employee, the employer will be liable for the
accident. Large trucking companies carry sizeable insurance policies in
the event of accidents and they also assume their employees will make
mistakes here and there. After all, businesses know that mistakes are
inevitable, and that’s just a part of the cost of doing business.
But if the trucker is an independent contractor and found to be at fault,
he or she would be legally responsible for the accident. So, whenever
we take on a truck accident case, the first task is to ascertain if the
at-fault truck driver is technically classified as an employee or an independent
contractor for claim purposes.
Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Claim in NY
To file a truck accident claim in Suffolk County,
contact our firm today.