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New York Lack of Driver Training

In order to drive a large commercial truck such as a tractor trailer or semi, special training and certification is required. Because such trucks are often over 3 times the size of a passenger vehicle such as a sedan, weigh well over 10,000 pounds, and have complicated mechanisms not found on passenger vehicles, it is not enough for a truck driver to have the standard type of training needed to get a regular driver’s license. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued regulations specifying the training required for truck drivers. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing those who are not properly trained get behind the wheel and drive a large truck. Because of the massive size of semis and other large trucks, when a truck accident occurs serious injury is likely. Victims of such accidents often suffer serious injuries such as a brain injury, contusions, broken bones, internal injuries, amputations, paralysis, or spinal cord injury. Sadly, many victims of truck accidents do not survive. If you were injured in a car accident or a truck accident that was caused by the negligence of a truck driver, it is important that you immediately contact a New York Lack of Driver Training Lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering through a personal injury claim. Furthermore, if while treating you for your injuries your doctor makes a mistake resulting in a medical malpractice claim, the truck driver may be legally required to compensate you for that as well.

Trucking Company Responsibility

While a truck driver who causes an accident because of driver would be legally liable, the trucker’s employer may be legally liable as well. Federal law requires that trucking companies hire truck drivers that are competent and qualified. This means that truck drivers must be properly licensed, pass background checks, and have the physical capabilities to perform the job’s duties.

Driving test: Each truck driver must be properly licensed after completing and passing the required commercial truck driving test.

Background tests: Trucking companies must check the background of truck driver applicants before agreeing to hire them. If a company fails to do so and there is information in the applicant’s background that would tend to show that the driver would not be a competent driver, then the company would be legally liable should the driver cause an accident. At a minimum an employer should check the driver’s references from previous employers as well as the driver’s driving record.

Physical capabilities: Even if the driver passed the test for a commercial truck driver’s license, if the driver is physically unable to perform the job, then he or she should not be behind the wheel. For example, a driver who has serious vision problems not corrected by lenses, should not be allowed to drive a truck.

Pursuing a Claim

Truck accidents can be devastating to a victim as well as to the victim’s family. Because of the size and weight of large trucks, even low-impact, low-speed accidents can have catastrophic results. Truck accidents can lead to devastating injuries such as a spinal cord injury, broken bones, brain injury, amputation, paralysis, and all too often, death. New York law allows an injured truck accident victim to sue the poorly trained truck driver whose negligence caused the accident. In addition, the victim may also pursue a claim against the trucking company. The victim must show that:

  • The truck driver and trucking company owed a duty to the victim;
  • The truck driver and trucking company breached that duty; and
  • The truck driver’s and trucking company’s actions were a cause of the victim’s injuries.

The victim may be able to recover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If your injury was the result of a work-related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. New York's workers' compensation laws state that injured parties are entitled to compensation if they sustain a work-related injury. Compensation often comes in the form of medical expenses, lost income and benefits, loss of ability to earn, and more. However, it is important to know that worker’s compensation benefits are limited. Just because the accident occurred at work does not necessarily mean that you are limited to the benefit available through workers’ compensation.

New York Lack of Driver Training Lawyer

If you were seriously injured in a truck accident it is important to immediately contact an experienced truck accident attorney since the rules that apply to a truck accident and in many ways different from those that apply to a car accident. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC to discuss the details of your case. Our staff is experienced in handling claims resulting from truck accidents, as well as SUV accidents, car accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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