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Stopping Distance

Syracuse Lawyers for Truck Accidents

Commercial truck accidents can result in devastating injuries due to their weight and size. If a trucker failed to leave sufficient stopping distance and rear ended your car, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries by suing in court. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our seasoned Syracuse truck accident attorneys may be able to help you. Insurance carriers for the truck driver, trucking company and any other parties are likely to take your claim for damages seriously if you are represented by a reputable law firm who they know is willing to take your case to verdict.

Stopping Distance

Trucks require a lot of time and distance to come to a complete stop. Truck drivers must leave significant space between themselves and the vehicle ahead of them so that they can brake safely. A truck driver may fail to leave sufficient stopping distance due to improper training, misjudgment in the amount of time needed to stop, failure to pay attention to factors like weather, distractions like cell phone calls or texts, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, faulty brakes, tailgating, reckless driving, road rage, or an unpredictable situation, such as the driver of a vehicle unexpectedly cutting in front of the truck driver on the freeway.

To hold a truck driver liable for an accident, you will need to show negligence. This can be proven by demonstrating that (1) the truck driver owed you a duty of care, (2) his actions departed from the duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. When truck drivers collide with the vehicle ahead of them because they failed to leave sufficient stopping distance, the court may view this as negligence. However, truck accidents sometimes involve multiple accident victims, all of whom may bring claims against the other drivers. In such a case, your lawyer may need to retain an accident reconstruction specialist so the cause of the accident and the identity of the parties responsible may be fully understood.

Others who may bear responsibility for such an accident include the trucking company, mechanics, brake manufacturers, a third-party loading company, and other drivers on the road. For instance, a trucking company may be vicariously liable for its employee’s failure to leave sufficient stopping distance while delivering goods for the company. It could also be held directly liable for its negligent hiring, training, and supervision of the truck driver if it hired a truck driver who had previously been in two rear end accidents, and then the truck driver got into a third one that injured you. The trucking company may bear direct responsibility for the truck driver being on the road. A third-party loading company may be partly responsible for overloading a truck, which could then result in the truck driver failing to leave enough distance to account for the longer distance the truck would travel to come to a complete stop upon braking.

Comparative Negligence

The defendants, their insurers, and their attorneys will scrutinize your conduct on the road to determine whether you were partially to blame for the truck accident. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, the court may reduce your damages by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. The jury will look at the conduct of everyone involved in the accident, including yours.


If you can establish liability, you may recover compensatory damages for your injuries. These damages are meant to put you back into the position you would have been in had you not gotten into the truck accident. They can include lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment. The nature and amount of these damages will depend on your particular injuries.

Consult an Experienced Syracuse Lawyer

If a truck driver left insufficient stopping distance and collided with your vehicle, call us to discuss whether you have grounds to sue for your injuries. We represent truck accident victims across upstate New York in Syracuse, Rochester, Watertown, Lowville, Oswego, Auburn, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Ithaca, Lyons, Oneida, Cooperstown, Utica, Elmira, Herkimer, and Binghamton. Complete DeFrancisco & Falgiatano’s online form or call us at 833-200-2000.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY