Tractor-trailers are massive relative to other vehicles on the road, as a fully loaded truck can weigh nearly 30 times as much as a car. This discrepancy can lead to catastrophic injuries for victims involved in accidents with trucks as they often get the worst of such collisions. It is therefore important for truck drivers to use a heightened level of care in their actions to prevent such accidents where possible.
A truck accident recently occurred in New Jersey involving a semi-truck and an SUV. The truck collided with the SUV at an intersection, causing the vehicle to go over a retention wall and fall onto the highway below. The SUV fell approximately 14 feet after going over the wall. There were four children and two adults in the vehicle at the time of the accident. All of the children and one of the adults were able to walk away from the accident, while the other adult had to be removed by emergency officials. All six were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of their injuries.
If a commercial truck is at fault for an accident that leads to serious injuries, victims should be sure to identify as many possible defendants that may have liability to fully recover for the extent of their damages. In addition to the driver of the truck, trucking companies, employers and insurers may also have liability in such situations. A business entity may have liability if they are the employer of the driver. If a victim can show that the company had some control over the driver and the driver was acting within the scope of the employment relationship, the company may be liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior. If the truck in the case above is shown to be at fault for the accident with the SUV, the driver and their employer or contracting company may be liable for their damages.
The individuals in the SUV in this case endured a terrifying accident that could have resulted in much more serious injuries. For those who are seriously injured in a collision with a truck, it is important that they are aware of all defendants from whom they may recover.