Tractor-trailers can cause severe injuries when involved in accidents due to their massive size. Due to this potential, it is important that operators of commercial trucks apply appropriate care in their actions to avoid creating unduly dangerous situations for other drivers and themselves.
A truck accident recently occurred in New Jersey involving a commercial truck and a dump truck that temporarily shut down the New Jersey Turnpike. The commercial truck was attempting to pass the dump truck in the early morning hours when it collided with the dump truck. The accident forced the dump truck off of the road, while the semi-truck jackknifed and remained on the road. The driver of the dump truck was removed from the scene by a medical helicopter.
Victims injured in collisions with commercial trucks may receive compensation for their damages if they can show negligence on the part of the truck driver or the driver’s employer. To do so, the victim must prove that the necessary elements of a successful negligence case are present. These elements are that the defendant truck driver or company owed a duty of reasonable care to the victim, breached the duty and the breach caused the victim’s injuries.
Unique considerations are invoked when commercial trucks are involved in accidents. These considerations include turning and jackknifing. Due to their length, commercial trucks require more space when making turns and drivers can be held negligent if doing so improperly. Additionally, trucks may jackknife on the road when turning improperly or attempting to stop quickly, creating a dangerous condition on the road.
In this accident, the tractor-trailer was attempting to pass the dump truck. It failed to do so properly, causing it to collide with the dump truck. The dump truck went off the road in the accident and the driver was injured as a result. The driver of the commercial truck may have improperly turned his vehicle while making the pass or failed to make sure that passing was safe at the time. His actions may constitute negligence in this case and the driver of the dump truck may be entitled to damages for his injuries from the truck driver or his employer.