Trucking companies are frequently accountable for their drivers' negligent behavior, which means you can sue them for a big rig accident caused by one of their employees. However, your injuries must be classified as serious under the law and meet particular requirements. Furthermore, in some circumstances, rather than the trucking firm, the driver or a third party must be prosecuted directly.
Because of New York's no-fault insurance statutes, you can only sue a negligent party if the victim suffered serious injuries. Otherwise, you must file a claim with your own insurance company to assist cover your crash-related expenses and losses.
To clarify who has grounds for a lawsuit, ISC § 5102(d) defines what constitutes a serious injury. According to it, the following could be considered serious injuries:
An injury that interferes with daily life for over 90 days
Loss of bodily organ, member, function, or system
Limitation of a bodily function or system
Loss of a fetus
Limitation of a bodily organ or member
If you or a loved one sustained any of these injuries, or you lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be able to sue the driver who caused the accident. The trucking firm that employed the driver who caused the crash is most likely liable in this case.
The type of damages you can collect is one of the advantages of pursuing an accident lawsuit. While no-fault insurance allows you to recover the basic costs of medical bills and lost income, it does not compensate for the personal and emotional upheaval caused by the accident; only a lawsuit can give non-economic damages.
As a result, if your injuries are considered substantial, you may be entitled to compensation for:
Pain and suffering
Loss of consortium
Reduced earning capacity
You may be compensated for changes to your activities, lifestyle, and relationships, as well as considerations for the income you may lose throughout your life as a result of your injuries. In other words, lawsuits do more than just pay your bills; they acknowledge the agony, worry, and injustice of a car accident.
You can usually sue the trucking firm if the driver was an employee of the company. The truck driver is, in essence, a representative of that company, and the company is liable for its employer's activities.
If you bring a case against the trucking company, you must be able to demonstrate that the company's driver's negligence caused your significant injuries. This suggests the driver was careless, causing you injury.
Examples of negligent behavior include:
Driving under the influence
Ignoring signs or signals
Following too closely
Texting while driving
Each situation may have its own nuances. Large commercial trucks, for example, big rig trucks, must drive at a slower speed or leave wider intervals between vehicles if the road is wet. Even in the absence of rain, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration claims that a truck must travel at least the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop from 65 mph. Negligence is defined as failing to leave a suitable distance or reducing speed to fit the conditions.
Your big rig accident attorney can discover the negligent behavior that holds the trucking firm liable for their driver's decisions. They can also determine if you should pursue the trucking firm or whether another person should be held accountable.
While you can sue a transport company for an accident caused by one of their drivers, this is not always the case. For example, if any of the following factors led to the crash, you could submit a claim or lawsuit against the responsible party:
Car or tire designer
City, county, or state
If the driver was not an employee of the trucking firm but rather an independent contractor, you may have to seek compensation from the driver directly. Similarly, if the crash was caused by faulty equipment or design faults, you might seek compensation from the manufacturer or designer. Your big rig accident lawyer may even look into whether a city, county, or state is responsible for bad road upkeep.
Don't be disheartened if the trucking firm manages to avoid liability for your accident. Your attorney may analyze all of the variables that contributed to your accident and uncover any other parties who were negligent.
You can learn more about whether to sue a trucking company for an accident caused by their driver by calling for consultation with a big rig truck accident lawyer. They can evaluate who can be held liable for your injuries and help you pursue compensation.