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How To Determine Liability in a New York Truck Accident

Published July 10, 2024 by TGR TGR
How To Determine Liability in a New York Truck Accident

Some careless truck driver has run you off the road or rear-ended your car; naturally, you want compensation. Still, the process of suing that trucker seems daunting. Maybe you’re wondering, “How can I determine liability in a New York truck accident?”

Below, our truck accident attorneys explain how to determine who is liable for the collision. You will also learn the steps involved in proving negligence.

Determining Liability in a New York Truck Collision

To determine liability for your truck accident, your attorney must investigate and consider the evidence, which may include:

  • Pictures and video of the accident scene: You’re in an excellent position to take pictures immediately after the crash, and you should do so promptly before a road crew cleans the wreckage. If your lawyer thinks traffic cameras may have captured the accident on video, they can request the footage from the camera owner. They can also subpoena dash cam footage from the truck company.
  • The police report: Shortly after a truck accident, the police will come to take statements and make a report. This report can yield clues to help your lawyer determine liability.
  • The accident reconstruction report: If it’s difficult to tell how the accident happened, your lawyer might request an accident reconstruction report. Accident reconstructionist use advanced computer simulations to recreate the accident from beginning to end.
  • Truck black box data: Commercial trucks have a black box that records information about the trucker’s driving habits.

Parties That May Be Liable for the Accident

If you’re wondering, “How can I determine liability in a New York truck accident?” consider that multiple parties may be involved. You might assume the truck driver is to blame, but you may be able to seek compensation from other liable parties.

Trucking Companies

Trucking companies are responsible for accidents their drivers cause while on duty (this concept is called “vicarious liability”). A driver’s employer may be liable for the collision if:

  • It didn’t conduct a background check on the driver
  • It allowed the trucker to work despite failing recent drug and alcohol tests
  • It didn’t train the driver properly
  • It ignored maintenance and repair recommendations
  • It didn’t ensure that the driver took legally mandated breaks

Truck Mechanics

If the truck’s mechanic missed a major issue that caused an accident, you may be able to hold them and the mechanic shop liable.

Truck Manufacturers

The truck manufacturer may be liable if it was aware of a defect but refused to fix it or issue a recall. For example, in March 2024, a major truck manufacturer was forced to recall more than 100,000 trucks over a loss of communication between the transmission and the gear shifter. Had the manufacturer ignored the problem, they could have faced a costly lawsuit.

Cargo Loading Companies

Sometimes, cargo loading crews stack boxes into trailers haphazardly or fail to secure the load. Unsecured loads can fall off the backs of trucks and into the path of oncoming traffic. If this has happened to you, you can hold the cargo loading company liable.

Proving the Elements of Negligence

If you’re injured in a New York truck accident, your truck accident lawyer must prove that:

  • The trucker had a duty of care to you.
  • They breached this duty in some way.
  • The breach of duty caused an accident.
  • You suffered injuries and other compensable damages.

Contact an Experienced Attorney From Our Law Firm

If you’re wondering, “How can I determine liability in a New York truck accident?” contact us online or call Cantor, Wolff, Nicastro & Hall LLC at (716) 848-8000 for a consultation.

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