A truck accident can result in significant property damage, injuries, and even death. When a truck accident occurs, determining liability for the accident is crucial to hold the appropriate party accountable.
Truck accidents in New York City can be incredibly challenging due to the high traffic volume and complex laws. Determining liability can be complicated and may need the expertise of a truck accident lawyer. Various factors contribute to liability in a truck accident.
Here are some of the factors that contribute to liability.
Negligence refers to the failure of an individual to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to another person. These actions or inactions can result from the truck driver, trucking company, or other parties involved in the truck operation.
Driver negligence can be due to driving under the influence, violating traffic laws or even distracted driving. Meanwhile, the trucking company can contribute to negligence in several ways too. These include failing to administer proper training to the drivers or maintaining their vehicles.
Mechanical failure refers to the malfunction of a component or system of a truck leading to an accident. In the event of a mechanical failure, the trucking company or the manufacturer of the faulty equipment may be held liable for the accident.
To prove liability in mechanical failure, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the cause of the loss. It can be a manufacturing defect, lack of maintenance, or improper component use.
This is the failure to balance, secure, or distribute the weight of the cargo in the truck, thus leading to an accident. Improper loading can also result from exceeding the maximum weight capacity. In an accident caused by improper loading, the company responsible for loading the truck may be liable.
Identifying the cause of the accident can include inspecting the truck, cargo, and any equipment used to secure the load. It may also involve interviewing the loading team and any witnesses to the accident.
Weather conditions can play a significant role in truck accidents. Inclement weather can make roads more dangerous and increase the risk of an accident. In these cases, the truck driver may share liability with weather conditions.
These weather conditions include heavy rain and fog that may reduce the driver’s visibility. Also, snow and ice can make the roads slippery, thus increasing the risk of skidding. Strong winds and high temperatures can cause the truck to sway or tip over and cause tire failure.
However, if the truck driver fails to take appropriate measures, they may still be liable for the accident. For example, if the driver fails to reduce speed, they may be responsible for causing the accident.
Federal and State Laws
Federal and state laws heavily regulate the trucking industry. They govern everything from how long drivers can spend on the road to how often officials must inspect vehicles. Determining whether the driver or company violated any of these regulations can be used to establish liability.
This can involve reviewing the driver’s logbook and inspecting the vehicle and its maintenance records.
Proving liability on these laws may require the expertise of an attorney with knowledge of the trucking industry.
Poor road conditions can make it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles and increase the risk of an accident. In these cases, the driver and road contractor may share liability.
These conditions include potholes, lack of proper signage, poorly maintained bridges, and overpasses.
Investigation into this considers the driver’s actions before the incident and the company’s protocol for driving on poor roads.
Determining liability in a truck accident involves identifying the factors that contributed to the accident. A variety of factors can influence liability. Each of these factors can be unique and require a thorough investigation to determine the cause.
You may need the expertise of an attorney with knowledge of trucking industry regulations to determine liability in a truck accident.