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Falling Debris

New York Attorneys Skilled in Truck Accident Claims

Tractor-trailers are designed to carry large quantities of cargo. Although many of the materials that they transport may not be inherently dangerous, they can cause an accident when falling from a vehicle that is traveling at a high speed. In addition, unstable cargo can make it hard for a driver to maintain control over a big rig. For safety reasons, such vehicles are required to comply with federal laws related to securing any loads. Unfortunately, other motorists often pay the price when truckers choose to ignore these rules. For more than a decade, the Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC has represented New York residents who have been harmed in a truck accident caused by careless conduct. Our veteran lawyers provide diligent assistance to individuals who were injured and the families of those who have lost their lives in these devastating events.

Hazards Created by Falling Debris

Most tractor-trailer accidents that result from loose cargo are preventable. Regulations created by the nation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration require commercial drivers to prevent items being transported in interstate commerce from shifting on or falling from a vehicle. Under the North American Cargo Securement Standard, tie downs and other devices used to secure cargo must be sufficient to prevent unnecessary load movement and inspected to ensure they are in acceptable working order. Moreover, goods in a tractor-trailer may not strike another vehicle or have a negative effect upon the driver’s ability to maintain control. The law applies to the transport of all cargo except items that lack a fixed shape and are transported inside a structure affixed to the truck.

Seek Compensation from a Negligent Big Rig Driver or Company

Logs, rocks, equipment, and other falling debris can pose a serious hazard to people in their vicinity. A truck driver or trucking company that fails to properly secure cargo or violates other safety regulations may be held liable for the damages suffered by the victim of a resulting crash. To recover financial compensation for any harm sustained in an accident that was caused by an 18-wheeler, an injured person must demonstrate that one or more defendants was negligent. To establish negligence, someone who was hurt by falling debris will generally be required to prove the trucker owed him or her a duty of care, that the duty was breached, that the breach caused an accident, and that actual damages were incurred.

To illustrate, a tractor-trailer driver is required to comply with state and federal trucking laws. If he or she fails to properly secure a load of logs, and someone is harmed when one of the logs falls off the truck and onto a car, the driver likely can be held liable for negligence. In some cases, a trucking company may also be called to account for its driver’s negligent actions through the doctrine of vicarious liability. This allows an employer to be held indirectly responsible for careless actions by an employee in the scope and course of the employment relationship.

Despite regulations designed to protect against shifting and falling loads, accidents caused by falling debris still happen. Too often, the victims of a crash that was caused by a negligent trucker suffer long-lasting or even permanent injuries, such as head or spinal cord trauma. An injured person may be eligible to recover for his or her lost earnings and benefits, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and a variety of other damages. In addition, the personal representative of someone who was killed in a tragic accident may also be entitled to receive compensation related to the individual’s wrongful death.

The timeframe during which a crash victim in New York may file a lawsuit is three years from the date of his or her injury. In contrast, a wrongful death action must be brought within two years.

Contact an Experienced Tractor-Trailer Crash Lawyer in New York

When a trucker fails to comply with state or federal trucking laws, his or her behavior can place many other people in danger. Located in New York City, the Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC provides personalized client service to the victims of tractor-trailer crashes in New York and surrounding communities. Our attorneys also help injured individuals across Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island pursue the damages they deserve. If you sustained harm in an accident that was caused by a negligent truck driver, give us a call toll-free at (877) 580-6636 or contact us online.

The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph