A common cause of motor vehicle collisions involving trucks is a commercial driver failing to maintain a safe stopping distance. Due to the size and speed of a moving truck, without a proper stopping distance, it may easily crash into a preceding vehicle. If you or a family member has been involved in an accident due to the failure of a driver to maintain a safe stopping distance, our Queens truck accident lawyers can assist you. At The Cassisi Law Firm, we understand the nature of personal injury lawsuits and have represented victims in their pursuit of compensation from negligent drivers and their employers.Holding a Negligent Trucker Accountable for Damages
Due to their heavy weight, a proper stopping distance for a commercial truck is more than what is needed for other, smaller vehicles. Additional space allows for safe braking and other actions that may be necessary. A proper stopping distance also requires that a safe distance match weather conditions, traffic, and visibility. If there is rain, ice, and snow, the proper stopping distance increases to allow for potential issues when the brakes are applied.
While truck drivers must comply with regulations and training requirements, inevitably some drivers fail to provide a proper stopping distance. If a truck driver has been following the vehicle in front too closely, that driver may be found to have been negligent. Legally, negligence is the term for a failure to act as a reasonable person would have behaved under similar circumstances. After an accident, a victim may bring a negligence claim against the defendant truck driver on the grounds that their carelessness caused injuries and damages.
To demonstrate negligence, the plaintiff must show the following four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Generally speaking, a commercial driver has a duty to drive their vehicle with reasonable care. The company and the driver are also required to follow regulations designed to protect the safety of others on the road. A victim who can show that a truck driver was following their vehicle too closely may be able to show a breach of the duty of care. For example, if a victim were rear-ended by a truck that did not follow at a safe stopping distance, this probably would be evidence of a breach.
Causation, the third element in a negligence claim, is demonstrated by showing that the accident would not have happened but for the negligence of the driver. If the driver had in fact maintained a safe stopping distance, in other words, the accident would not have occurred. The truck accident must also be seen as a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the breach in order for the plaintiff to prevail.
Lastly, the plaintiff must show evidence of damages that are directly linked to the accident. The types of damages that may be recovered in a negligence action often include pain and suffering as well as more objective costs like hospital and medical bills.
In certain cases, the defendant truck driver may allege that the plaintiff was also partially responsible for the collision. New York uses a system of comparative fault, which allows a victim to recover damages in proportion to the defendant’s responsibility for causing the crash.Seek Guidance from a Queens Lawyer after a Truck Accident
Victims who are pursuing compensation through a personal injury lawsuit may benefit from the guidance of a Queens truck accident attorney. Due to the various regulations governing truck drivers and their companies, there may be many ways to show a defendant’s negligence. At The Cassisi Law Firm, our motor vehicle collision lawyers have represented injured individuals from the Bronx and Brooklyn as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Our office provides a no-obligation, free consultation and can be reached through our online form or by calling (718) 441-5050.