Do I have the right to sue both the truck driver and the truck owner after an automobile accident in New York?

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Pat James Crispi - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Pat James Crispi

Located in New York, NYKeogh Crispi, P.C.

New York, NY
Phone: 212-818-0600
Fax: 212-818-0180

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There may be many parties who are responsible for contributing to the cause of the automobile accident that left you injured. This is especially the case when the accident was caused by a semi, 18-wheeler or other type of large commercial vehicle. An effective personal injury attorney will examine all the parties who could be potentially liable for your injuries.

Our firm conducts thorough investigations to identify all potential sources of compensation after an automobile accident. Any party who in anyway contributed to the cause of the accident needs to be held accountable and contribute to compensating you for your injuries. In many instances a truck driver and trucking company may both have some level of responsibility for the accident:

  • Truck driver – The truck driver may have been driving longer hours than he or she was legally allowed to drive. Exhaustion may have impaired his or her ability to safely operate the vehicle. The truck driver knows or should know his or her obligation to obey the law and ensure he or she is safely operating the vehicle. Failing to do so and then causing an accident creates liability on his or her part.
  • Trucking company – The trucking company may have required the driver to adhere to an unrealistic schedule that could only be accomplished by staying behind the wheel past when it is safe or legal. If this is the case, then the trucking company is responsible for helping create the conditions that caused your accident and we would pursue compensation from them as well.

One complicating factor about accidents involving semis and other large commercial vehicles is that there may be many parties that contributed to causing the accident, including:

  • Vehicle manufacturer/parts manufacturer – A defective part can cause a vehicle to fail on the road causing an accident that the driver may not have been able to prevent through even skillful operation. If the accident was caused by a defective part, the company that supplied that part should be held accountable.
  • Vehicle maintenance contractor – Some trucking companies may outsource the maintenance of their vehicles. If that company does a poor job and fails to properly repair or maintain a vehicle and that failure causes an accident, we would pursue compensation from that business as well.
  • Truck loader – Even a task as simple as loading a truck can cause accidents if it is not done properly. A fully loaded semi may weigh 80,000 pounds. If the load shifts during transit, the driver may lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident. If that is the case, we would pursue compensation from that company additionally.
  • Department of Transportation – A poorly designed or constructed road can also cause accidents. If there is an indication that road design or construction played a role in the accident, we will investigate that.

It is crucial that the law firm that you work with after a trucking accident looks at all potential parties who may have contributed to causing it. We conduct thorough investigations and we understand how to identify all potentially responsible parties. Accept nothing less from the law firm you choose to work with.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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