Articles Posted in Big Rig Accident

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The records of the case relate that a Nassau landscape gardener who owned a tractor trailer ring was electrocuted when loading boom on the tractor trailer, which he was driving, stuck high tension wires owned by an electric company and located on the property of a certain resident. The administrator of the estate of the landscape gardener sued the electric company and the landowner for personal injuries and wrongful death.

The complaint is premised on the Suffolk electric company’s liability upon faulty maintenance and safety control of the high tension wires. The parties have stipulated that the wires were maintained by the electric company and that the conduct of the tractor trailer truck was not for the electric company’s use or benefit. The electric company was not a lessee or borrower of the tractor trailer. Significantly, it was agreed that the power for the tractor trailer came from that unit itself, and it was not connected to the electric company’s equipment for any power source.

Both contenders rely on the policy language, which provides that the insured includes the named insured, any partner or executive officer of the named insured, any other person while using an Owned automobile or a Hired automobile with the permission of the Named insured, and any other person or organization but only with respect to his or its liability because of acts or omissions of an insured.

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On October 24, 2009 at approximately 4:15 a.m. a Nissan was north bound on the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway when the driver, the son of the owner, saw a license plate in the roadway and attempted to avoid hitting it. The Nissan swerved, lost control and then struck a concrete divider wall. The operator of the vehicle stated that following the one car accident, he collected the license plate and called a tow truck to come remove his vehicle.

Following the accident, the Suffolk operator of the Nissan discovered that the license plate had come from a vehicle that had been involved in an accident on the opposite side of the expressway six days earlier. He filed a lawsuit claiming that the tow truck company that had removed the driver’s vehicle from the first accident had not removed the debris from the roadway properly according to Traffic Law § 1219 (c ).

Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1219 (c ) states that “[a]ny person removing a wrecked or damaged vehicle from a highway shall remove any glass or other injurious substance dropped upon the highway from such vehicle”. Several precedent cases were discussed with varying degrees of applications to the accident in question. Ultimately the question at hand deals with the liability of the tow truck driver or the owner of the vehicle from the previous accident to be responsible for any debris that was left in the roadway that could and did cause an additional accident.

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A wife, on behalf of the estate of her late husband, commenced an action against the owners of the Westchester company employing the husband, a truck company and a steel company, to recover money damages for the wrongful death and conscious pain and suffering of her husband.

According to sources, the husband was severely injured in the course of his employment during tree cutting and removal operations when he was struck by a tree trunk which was suspended from a crane and wire rope, which were designed, manufactured and sold and distributed to his employee by the defendant companies. He died as a result of those injuries. The husband’s employer, a business involved in the storage and transportation of bleachers, was clearing property leased by it from the couple to create storage space for bleachers.

The New York Labor Law imposes a non-delegable duty on owners and contractors to provide reasonable and adequate protection to workers making them “responsible for a breach of the requirements of the statute irrespective of their control or supervision of the work site.” While the duty imposed by the law may not be delegated, the burden may be shifted to the party actually responsible for the accident either by way of claim of apportionment of damages under certain rules or by contractual language requiring indemnification by the injured worker’s employer.

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This case is fairly straightforward. It involves a truck accident which happened in the afternoon of October 1958. A panel truck was parked at the curb between an X-ray mobile truck parked in front of it and an unoccupied car parked behind it.

As the Nassau driver of the panel truck maneuvered to drive away from the curb, he first backed the truck for a distance of several feet. The right rear bumper of the truck accidentally caught onto the left front bumper of the car behind it so that as the driver drove the truck forward, the car was pulled along and propelled into the rear of the X-ray mobile truck in which the complainant was waiting to be X-rayed.

The Suffolk complainant requests the court for a summary judgment against the owners of the truck and its driver (who however died before the summons and complaint could be served to him). They also request for immediate assessment of damages by a jury. The owners of the truck, the defendants, moves that the plaintiffs be prevented from presenting a bill of particulars to the jury since they failed to provide this before initiating the demand.

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On August 26, 2005, a passenger car and an 18 wheeler crashed at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and Van Dam Street in Queens, New York. The driver of the car advised that she was on Van Dam Street and was making a left turn onto Queens Boulevard, which has three westbound lanes. An 18 wheel commercial truck was in the lane to her right. The driver of the car stated that when traffic began to pull forward, the commercial truck began to merge in front of her vehicle. She said that she stopped and remained stopped in traffic while the truck struck the front passenger side of her vehicle and proceeded to pull of her bumper. The front seat passenger advised that the passenger car that she was in was at a complete stop in the left most lane when the last wheel of the commercial vehicle struck the right front bumper and crushed the passenger side of the vehicle inward trapping her inside the car.

The driver of the commercial tractor trailer stated that he was making a left turn onto Queens Boulevard from Van Dam Street in the right lane and was moving into the center lane, which was reserved for trucks only. The driver stated that before merging, he looked in his mirrors and did not see anything in the center lane where he was merging. The driver of the truck stated that he was about halfway into his turn when he felt the vehicle make contact with another vehicle. He later testified that he did not see the passenger car prior to the accident, but did see the passenger car hit his tire. The Westchester truck driver stated that when the contact occurred, both vehicles were moving and that the passenger car was moving faster than his truck. After the accident, the truck driver stated that the driver got out of the passenger side of the moving car and approached the front window of his truck. The driver of the passenger car has asked the court for a summary judgment to find that liability for the accident rests entirely on driver of the truck and does not rest at all on her. Both the driver of the commercial vehicle and one of the passengers in the passenger vehicle, ask that the summary motion be denied because there are more issues of fact that need to be decided.

There is clearly a conflict of testimony in that each driver states a completely different account of the accident than the other. The driver of the truck is maintaining that either the passenger vehicle was trying to pass him on the left hand side while he was making a left hand turn, or that the passenger vehicle was trying to change lanes in front of his vehicle. The driver of the truck further maintains that the center lane of the roadway is reserved for trucks and that because his vehicle makes wide turns, the passenger car would have had to move into on-coming traffic in order to pass his truck. The truck driver also states that the driver of the passenger car was not actually driving her vehicle at the time of the accident. He states that the alleged passenger of the vehicle was actually the driver of the vehicle. He stated that the woman who identified herself as the driver of the vehicle, but who did not have any identification on her at the time of the accident had a tattoo on her left bicep of a scroll. At her deposition, the alleged passenger of the car had a tattoo on her left bicep that was a scroll. Also, the driver of the passenger car had a tattoo on her left arm of a cross. There is also dispute about if the passenger door was operable after the accident.

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A man was sitting in his truck at a stop light when he was struck in the rear by a commercial rental truck causing substantial injury to his vehicle and to him. He and his wife filed a lawsuit against the driver of the rental truck, the business that hired him, and the rental company that leased him the vehicle.

The Long Island rental company appealed the Supreme Court’s first decision because they should not have included it in the issue at all. They advised that they hold no liability in the course of this accident because all they did was lease the truck and that the truck had been maintained in good working order. They advised that there was nothing wrong with the truck or the truck’s brakes which would cause it to strike the vehicle in front of it without driver error.

The driver of the rental truck had made a deposition earlier in which he had agreed that there was nothing wrong with the rental truck or its brakes and that the accident was driver error. The Westchester driver was using the rental truck in the course of his business and was working for that business at the time of the accident. The business concurred that he was working for them and that it was their business.

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In March of 1974, the Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department heard an appeal in reference to a commercial truck accident. The commercial truck was accused of being illegally double parked on the side of a one way street in New York City. An eight year old girl was playing on the sidewalk and darted out into the roadway. She was struck by a passenger car that was driving down the roadway. She stated that she had not been able to see the car coming because her line of vision was blocked by the commercial oil tanker truck. Her account of the incident was corroborated by seven witnesses and her brother in law. The witnesses were playmates and neighbors. The oil tanker company stated that they did not have a truck there at that time on that date. The driver for the oil tanker company who normally works that area stated that he was not on that street on that date.

The Queens police officer who was first on the scene, pulled up behind the passenger car that hit the child, and blocked the roadway. The detective that responded to the scene took copious measurements and drew a detailed crime scene sketch which was later copied onto a more formal diagram. Even though he did not copy all of the measurements that he originally made onto the final formal diagram, those that were on the diagram were exactly the same as the ones that he had on his informal sketch. The measurements that the officer took show that the collision occurred within 15 feet of the sidewalk. A normal lane of traffic is 12 feet. The information on the measurements with the vehicle in place and the skid marks on the roadway, clearly show that there was no room for a commercial vehicle to be double parked on the roadway. If a vehicle of any size had been located where the witnesses claimed the vehicle was located, it would have been struck by the passenger car as it swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid the child. However, even if the truck had been there, it would have had no bearing on the accident itself.

The Staten Island child darted out in to traffic in the middle of the block. The child was not in a crosswalk and had no legal reason to be in the roadway at that particular spot. The question of liability in this case which was brought up in court was misleading at best. In the original trial, there was a tremendous amount of time and testimony given to the issue of the commercial oil tanker truck. So much testimony was given to the issue of the commercial vehicle, that negligence of the passenger car driver who struck the child took second place. In fact, the Supreme Court stated that the issue became so blurred as it concerned the commercial vehicle, that it was impossible to determine if the driver who struck the child was guilty of any negligence at all. The Supreme Court decided that the only issue that should have been dealt with in the first trial should have been the negligence or lack thereof in the case of the passenger car driver who actually struck the child. The Supreme Court further stated that it did not matter if the truck was there or not since the child was not in a crosswalk, the responsibility to cross the road safely fell entirely to her. The Court felt that even at eight years of age, she had the responsibility to look both ways and to ensure that she was able to cross the road in safety. Further, since the girl came off the curb and out into the roadway from between two parked vehicles, the court feels that it is possible that there was no fault at all on the part of the passenger car driver that hit her. A person darting out into traffic is not given the right of way in the roadway. In this case, the passenger car had the right of way when she entered the roadway. Only by showing some form of negligence on the part of the driver of the passenger car, can the child or the child’s parents as the case may be put liability on someone else. In other words, the driver of the car that hit the child would have to have been speeding, making an illegal lane change, losing control of his vehicle, or going the wrong way on the one way street in order for the accident to have been his fault. Since none of the above situations were shown, then it is doubtful that the driver of the passenger car is at fault in this accident.

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On September 30, 2011, a woman submitted a charge against Nassau County for negligence in conducting its sanding/salting operations. She alleged that the operations were done in an unsafe manner, therefore causing the truck accident that injured her.

According to reports, County truck number 3124 was removing snow and salting the streets in Hempstead, New York. The woman said that she was standing between two parked cars in the street when suddenly, the truck threw a “metal projectile” that hit her left hand and forehad. During the hearing, both parties referred to the “metal projectile” as a reinforcement bar.

Because of the injuries she sustained, the woman charged Nassau County with negligence. The County then submitted a motion to the Court for a summary judgment to dismiss the woman’s complaint. To support this, the County brought forth as a witness the Equipment Supervisor and Acting Highway Maintenance Supervisor of the Hempstead Garage. The Supervisor had been an Equipment Operator before and had sanded, salted, and plowed the town roads. He said that although clogs sometimes occur in the opening to the funnel where the salt leaves the vehicle, the clogs are just frozen chunks of salt. He also said that there was never a time when a driver had reported a clog in the funnel from that wasn’t frozen salt. After seeing the piece of metal that hit the woman and injured her, he said that it looked like a reinforcement bar used in construction. However, it did not resemble any of the truck parts and he had no idea where it came from.

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A case was filed raising the issue of whether the collapse of forms used for framing poured concrete foundations, stacked on top of a flatbed truck that killed a 40-year old man falls within the provisions of the New York City’s Labor Law or common law negligence.

One day in March of 2006, the man was fatally injured while standing on a flatbed truck when a bundle of concrete forms lying on the floor of the truck fell on him, causing him to fall to the ground below. The decedent was employed by a subcontractor to the owner of the premises where the accident happened. The subcontractor was to perform demolition, excavation, and foundation work in the construction of house.

The project where the demolition was done called for the construction of several three-family and two-family homes. The decedent had been working on the site loading concrete forms onto a flatbed truck. The forms were used in pouring the concrete foundation and were then removed. The forms were then stacked in groups of fifteen, bound together, and lifted by a Caterpillar 320 machine out of the foundation hole and onto the flatbed truck. There were six bundles of concrete forms that had to be lifted. Each bundle contained 15 concrete forms that were tied with two metal straps on each side. The truck accident occurred with the fourth bundle.

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In the morning of October in 1969, a 40-year old woman was involved in a car accident and sustained serious personal injuries while operating her automobile eastbound on New York State Route 17. According to sources, the automobile struck a cement brick located on the roadway.

The Staten Island woman filed an action against a company manufacturing split limestone alleging that it had negligently loaded concrete building blocks upon a truck that it owned or controlled, with the result that one or more of these blocks fell on to the pavement of Route 17 and caused the unfortunate automobile accident. The manufacturing company has a policy of liability insurance.

An investigation on the accident was held and showed that prior to the day of the accident, the truck, while heading eastbound on Route 17, broke down a short distance to the east of Binghamton on Route 17. The truck was carrying split limestone, for delivery. The truck was towed to another location and the manufacturer borrowed another truck from a car leasing company. The borrowed truck was the one involved in the accident. The borrowed truck was also insured.

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