Commercial trucks have the capability of causing more serious injuries than other vehicles. Their extreme size and sometimes dangerous cargo can present increased danger to those involved in accidents with them. Truck drivers must use appropriate care in their driving to avoid accidents. In certain cases, however, those involved in accidents with trucks may contribute to their own injuries.
A truck accident recently occurred in New York involving a male pedestrian. The man was attempting to cross a street when he was hit by a tractor-trailer. The pedestrian was walking in between cars when he entered the roadway. He died at the scene of the accident. An investigation into the accident is currently underway.
For a victim injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, or their family if the victim dies, to recover for any damages suffered, they must prove that the required elements exist in their case to show that the truck driver was negligent. These elements are that the driver owed the victim a duty of care, that they breached this duty and the breach was the cause of the victim's injuries. However, in cases involving pedestrians, the pedestrian may be liable for contributory negligence for their own injuries if certain circumstances are present. These circumstances include failing to use marked crosswalks and darting in front of a vehicle, among others. In the case above, the pedestrian victim is alleged to have walked between parked cars when entering the roadway. This may indicate a failure to use a crosswalk when crossing the street and also darting in front of the truck, as the nearby cars may have prevented the truck driver from seeing him. Therefore, the pedestrian's actions may show contributory negligence for his own injuries and lessen or negate the truck driver's liability.
Truck drivers, their employers and trucking companies may be exposed to significant liability if they cause injuries or the death of another in an accident. Those involved must be aware of the circumstances that led to the accident to assess their potential liability or rights to compensation.