Blind spots or "no-zones" are locations around a commercial truck that a driver cannot see when simply looking at a rear view mirror or one of the side view mirrors. Generally, commercial trucks are huge, so they have larger blind spots than passenger cars do. Blind spots are located right in front of the cab, behind the trailer, and all along the sides of the truck. Even if a driver turns to check those locations for vehicles, it can be challenging to see a motorcycle or car there. If you were injured in a blind spot accident, you should consult the Syracuse truck accident attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.Accidents Caused by a Failure to Check a Blind Spot
Blind spots are much bigger for commercial truck drivers than for passenger car drivers. The blind spot on the right side may extend behind a trailer and more than one lane to the right. There is also a blind spot directly in front of the cab, and this blind spot extends farther forward than you might realize. Sometimes an entire car is hidden in a blind spot to the right, to the rear of the trailer, or in front of the cab.
A person traveling in a truck's blind spot may face devastating consequences for a truck driver's failure to check a blind spot. Someone traveling to the rear of a truck that stops suddenly or that does not have working brake lights may face catastrophic injuries or a wrongful death in an underride accident. Similarly, someone traveling to the right side of the cab could face catastrophic or fatal injuries if the truck driver suddenly tries to switch lanes and hits him.
It is not enough for a truck driver to check his mirrors. Truck drivers must look over their shoulders before changing lanes or passing, and they should never rely only on their mirrors when preparing a lane change. Bicyclists and motorcyclists are at particular risk due to their small size.
If you are injured in a blind spot accident, you may have a basis to sue a truck driver for negligence. Your injury lawyer will need to show that it is more likely than not that the truck driver owed you a duty of reasonable care, and there was a breach of the duty of reasonable care, actual and proximate causation, and actual damages.
In some cases, a trucking company may be held vicariously liable for a truck driver's negligence in the course of employment. Vicarious liability is indirect liability, and you do not need to establish any independent action or omission by the trucking company that was negligent in order to recover damages from the trucking company. In addition, you can hold a trucking company directly liable for its independent negligence through a negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent training cause of action. For example, if a trucking company did not conduct the appropriate background check and drug and alcohol testing on a truck driver, and the truck driver moves into a blind spot because he is drunk, the trucking company may be liable under a theory of negligent hiring.
Most drivers are unaware of how large a commercial truck's blind spots are. While the truck driver is required to be vigilant about vehicles that might be in their no-zones, some truck drivers and their insurers may raise the defense of comparative negligence when faced with a personal injury lawsuit. In that case, they will bear the burden of proving that you failed to use reasonable care. For example, they may argue that you drove for too long in a truck's blind spot. Our trucking accident lawyers can help you fight back against this strategy and preserve your right to the full scope of the damages that you deserve.Hire a Knowledgeable Truck Crash Attorney in the Syracuse Area
Blind spot accidents can cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a blind spot accident caused by a careless trucker, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages from the responsible parties. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents people in Syracuse, Rochester, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oswego, Canandaigua, Utica, Wampsville, Oneida, Lowville, Watertown, Herkimer, Delhi, Cortland, Norwich, Elmira, Auburn, and Binghamton. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.