Operating an 80,000-pound big rig or tractor-trailer requires a truck driver to have tremendous skill and training. Simply making a wide turn is a complicated act. All truck drivers need to know how to do it safely, but unfortunately, not all truck drivers do know. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a wide turn accident, you should retain an experienced Syracuse truck accident attorney. Often, the insurers of truck drivers and trucking companies look for ways to prove that an accident victim was at fault to reduce the damages owed. This is so even when liability seems clear, making it imperative to consult an attorney who is familiar with how to gather evidence in these types of complex cases.Injuries Caused by Wide Turns
If a wide turn is not done properly, a trucker can crash into a car in an adjacent lane, sometimes crushing the car between the truck and the curb in a squeeze play. In a wide turn, a truck driver swings wide before making the turn, sometimes traveling into another lane and confusing the other drivers and pedestrians around them.
Truck drivers may cause these accidents due to inadequate driver training, distracted driving, driver fatigue, intoxication, a failure to check blind spots, a failure to use turn signals, or an unfamiliarity with the road and traffic there. For example, if the truck driver does not use the turn signal to warn other drivers that they will be turning, a driver may move into the space by the curb without realizing that they are about to be crushed. For example, if a tractor-trailer driver is talking on a cell phone and does not check his blind spots, and there is a car in that blind spot, when the driver swings back to make the turn, he may crush that car. Generally, if a driver is fatigued or intoxicated, he is less likely to use the appropriate level of caution and skill when making a wide turn.
To prove a truck driver's negligence in making a wide turn, your lawyer will need to show duty, breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. The truck driver's breach of duty could be something as simple as failing to check a blind spot or answering a text instead of paying attention to changing road conditions.
When looking at your case, we will also consider whether we can establish the liability of the trucking company. In most cases, the insurance coverage for an individual driver is not as substantial as the insurance coverage for a trucking company, making it useful to turn to more than one source if possible.
A trucking company can be held directly or vicariously liable. A trucking company may also be held vicariously liable for a truck driver employee's negligence in the course and scope of employment. Vicarious liability is sometimes known as the master and servant rule, or the doctrine of respondeat superior. The idea behind it is that the employer gets the benefit of the employee's services, so it should also bear any liability created by a negligent employee. Often, an employer, such as a trucking company, has more resources and insurance than an individual driver.
The direct liability of a trucking company may be shown through a theory of negligent hiring, training, or supervision. Generally, trucking companies owe a duty to the public on the road to make sure that drivers are adequately trained in executing wide turns and know how to respond if it becomes difficult to make the turn. However, too often, a trucking company fails to ensure proper training of truck drivers and simply puts them on the road with minimal qualifications and skills.
Although trucks usually make turns at slow speeds, catastrophic injuries can result. These may include spinal cord injuries, amputations, neck and back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and broken bones.Explore Your Options with a Truck Crash Lawyer in Syracuse
If you are harmed due to a wide turn collision, our attorneys may be able to help you prove the cause of your crash and recover damages from responsible parties. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents people injured in truck accidents in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, and Lyons. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.