Distracted driving seems more common than ever in the smartphone age. Driving with a smartphone means constant distractions, from emails to texts to phone calls. Drivers also divide their attention when they do things like drink coffee or eat a fast food burger while on the road. Truck drivers are no exception. When tractor trailers are operated by distracted drivers, the results can be tragic and expensive.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS FOR COMPENSATION?
By default, insured New York drivers injured in a traffic accident can be compensated through no-fault benefits. These benefits cover up to fifty-thousand dollars of monetary expenses regardless of who was to blame. But with truck accidents, these limited benefits don’t normally cover all the damage. Luckily, drivers that satisfy certain conditions can go outside the no-fault system–by filing a lawsuit.
HOW DOES THE LAWSUIT APPROACH WORK?
Filing a lawsuit is basically telling the court that someone was careless in a way that caused an accident, and that they should be held responsible for your expenses. Distracted driving truck accident lawsuits are complicated for many reasons. Some of these challenges are well illustrated by Yao versus World Wide Travel.
In this case, a World Wide Travel bus was driving tourists from a Connecticut casino to Manhattan when it crashed into the guardrail on Interstate ninety-five. Tragically, fifteen passengers were killed, while another seventeen were injured. Predictably, lawsuits followed.
One challenge was deciding who could be held liable. The passengers sued the driver, the bus company, and the travel agency that sold the tickets. Ultimately, the bus company was held responsible because of
the concept of vicarious liability. This concept holds that an employer is responsible for its employee’s bad acts if they are done within the scope of employment. World Wide Travel was held vicariously liable because they were the employers of the bus driver and the crash happened while the bus driver was working. Similarly, in a truck accident lawsuit, you must first figure out who can be held responsible and who it makes sense to sue.
Another challenge was actually proving the bus driver’s distracted driving caused the accident. Proving distracted truck driving usually takes thorough investigation requiring an attorney’s experience and resources. To prove the bus driver’s fault, the passengers relied on expert testimony. The bus driver said he crashed because a truck cut him off, but an expert used event data recorders showing the vehicles’ speeds to prove the bus wasn’t cut off. These electronic logging devices are installed on busses and trucks to record speed and braking. Their relative speeds showed the truck could not have overtaken the bus. The expert also used the narrow angle of the tire marks left at the scene. They said gradually veering off the road at this angle is more consistent with distracted driving than someone swerving off the road because they were cut off.
Distracted truck driving is the height of irresponsibility. Recovering compensation after these accidents is likely but proving a case can be complicated. At Rosenblum Law, we have the experience, resources, and know-how to make sure our clients receive the compensation they deserve. So if you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident caused by distracted driving, contact Rosenblum Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation.