Dedicated Truck Accident Lawyers for Victims in New York
Many tractor-trailer accidents result from a driver’s inability to halt in time to prevent a collision. Since a semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, it may be challenging to stop the vehicle even under ideal circumstances. If a semi-truck is overloaded or poorly maintained, it can have a dramatic effect on a trucker’s braking ability. Due to the size and weight of an 18-wheeler, the victims of a truck accident often sustain serious harm. The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC has more than a decade of experience representing individuals in New York who were hurt in a preventable crash. Our compassionate truck accident attorneys provide tenacious assistance to injured individuals and their families in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
Factors that Affect Braking Ability
A fully loaded tractor-trailer can require twice the braking distance of other motor vehicles. Unfortunately, a commercial driver’s failure to stop in a timely manner can place motorists, pedestrians, and other individuals in danger of harm. For example, bad or uneven brakes may cause a semi-truck to jackknife or rollover onto a nearby car. In addition, a trucker’s reaction time and training may play a role in his or her braking ability. Speed, weather, tire inflation, tread wear, weight, and whether the cargo is properly secured can also affect a driver’s ability to control the vehicle.
The braking system of a semi-truck is complex and requires regular maintenance. As a result, federal regulations require a driver to conduct an inspection of the vehicle’s brakes and other safety equipment prior to making each trip. The law states that a commercial vehicle must have adequate brakes capable of stopping its full weight. Before transporting a load, a driver is required to ensure that the truck’s brakes are properly adjusted and are not missing any parts. An air braking system may not have an audible leak, and emergency brakes must be in good working order. Additionally, a trucking company is required by law to preserve a maintenance and inspection log for each of its vehicles and ensure that their braking systems are thoroughly inspected on an annual basis.
Seek Compensation Through a Negligence Lawsuit
In general, someone who was injured by an 18-wheeler with faulty brakes can pursue a negligence claim against the driver and the company that owns the commercial vehicle. To prove negligence, a victim must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care, breached that duty, caused foreseeable harm as a result of the breach, and forced the victim to incur quantifiable damages. To illustrate, a trucker is required to abide by federal laws governing the industry. If a driver was in a hurry to deliver a cargo load and failed to repair brakes that he or she knew or should have known were worn out, this probably was a breach of his or her duty to exercise reasonable care. If this trucker ultimately rear-ended a car because he or she could not stop, and someone in the car was hurt in the collision, the elements of negligence likely will be satisfied.
In some situations, a trucking company may be held responsible for a commercial driver’s actions if they occurred while he or she was performing regular job duties under the employer’s control. In addition, if a design or mechanical defect in a brake component caused a big rig accident, a victim may also have a claim against the manufacturer of that part.
Someone who is successful in a negligence lawsuit may be able to receive damages for his or her lost wages and benefits, medical expenses, pain and suffering, temporary or permanent disability, damage to a vehicle, and more. In certain situations, the personal representative of a victim in a fatal accident may be permitted to recover compensation for that person’s wrongful death. The period during which an injured person in New York may file a lawsuit is limited. This means that you should contact a knowledgeable attorney to discuss your case as soon as possible.
Seek Guidance from a New York Attorney Knowledgeable in Big Rig Crashes
The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC provides capable service to big rig crash victims in New York. If you were hurt in an avoidable 18-wheeler wreck, our lawyers may be able to help. To speak with a member of our experienced team, please give us a call toll-free at (877) 580-6636 or contact us through our website. We offer initial consultations at no cost to you.