Articles Posted in Tractor-Trailer Accident

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A personal injury suit was commenced against a tractor-trailer and the employer of the driver after four adults and one infant, while passengers in an automobile, sustained injuries as a result of a truck accident. The Staten Island driver of the automobile in which they were passengers died as a result of his injuries. A collision occurred between the passenger car and a tractor trailer. The tractor trailer was under lease. This case was tried by the court without a jury and the question of contributory negligence is resolved in favor of the plaintiffs. The defendants appealed.

According to records in court, the trailer truck was without load and deadheaded westward bound from Clinton, New Jersey, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It had been raining for some time prior to and at the time of the accident. The road surface was wet and visibility was fair. The accident occurred in the early morning about one o’clock. The sources said there was failure in the tractor trailer’s engines and the passenger automobile struck the tractor which rested in its pathway.

Under the Pennsylvania law, the presence of a vehicle on the wrong side of a highway is prima facie evidence of the driver’s negligence and the skidding or sliding of a vehicle of itself does not constitute negligence of the driver. It is thus incumbent upon the plaintiffs to prove that the skidding or sliding of the vehicle was due to the negligence of the driver. The operator of a motor vehicle is bound at all times to exercise reasonable care in its operation. As sliding or skidding of itself does not constitute negligence, something additional must be shown to justify a finding of negligence.

Applying these principles to the case at bar, the Westchester court found negligence in the operation of the trailer truck. The court noted that it is apparent that the trailer tractor failed to keep traction while proceeding up the grade necessary to remain in its lane. Although its first sliding may not have been anticipated, after its driver had straightened out and gained control of the vehicle, since the highway was then free of other traffic, he should have reasonably attempted to ascertain the cause of the slide in order to avoid its repetition, the court said. This he failed to do, and there was no explanation given for the second sliding of the trailer truck.

Accordingly, the court found that the tractor-trailer driver failed to exercise reasonable care in the operation of the trailer truck.

The court also found the employer of the tractor-trailer driver chargeable with the negligence. The lease covering the tractor-trailer provides that the tractor-trailer is solely and exclusively under the direction and control of the lessee.
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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.

The electric company believes it is an ‘organization’ with potential liability to the landscape gardner’s estate ‘because of his acts or omissions in handling the truck.

In this case, the court found that the pertinent claimed faulty acts by the electric company, negligent maintenance and control of the high tension wires, are remote and unrelated to the named insured’s loading operation, except in temporal occurrence alone. The electric company, the court ruled, is in no way part of the loading process of the tractor trailer. That both claimed acts of negligence, by the electric company and by the insurance company, may have coincided in time happenstance does not establish the critical functional nexus to use and loading of the truck so as to bring the electric company’s possible contributive causation within those activities covered by the insurance policy.

The electric company contends that any organization is insured with respect to its liability occasioned because of acts or omissions of an insured. The court believes that the words “because of” imply a relationship connecting the culpable acts of persons using the vehicle to liability of another, who then becomes an “insured.” The phrase appears to include persons or organizations held in by way of vicarious liability for derelictions of the landscape gardener’s employer, its employees, or a consensual user of the vehicle.
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The Bronx complainant is pleading the Court to release an Order which grants summary judgment on his favor pertaining on the subject of liability. The defendant, however, is in contradiction with his particular appeal.

This specific action is based on the 18-wheeler crash in Long Island Expressway that happened last April 10, 2008. The said Complainant’s vehicle was described as a flat-bed truck, while the offender’s vehicle is said to be that of a tractor-trailer type. It is a good thing that the Complainant’s driver was not hurt in the said accident; however, the defendant who was then driving the tractor-trailer passed out in the event of the said commercial truck ACCIDENT. He was immediately brought to the hospital for medical assistance by the ambulance that arrived just in time.

The complaint was asking for $19,200 total of claims for the alleged rental fees incurred when he opted to rent a truck for a determined period of time while the truck which was damaged due to the accident was still being repaired. No Personal Injury claims were made by both parties as a result of the truck accident.

It was duly established that the road was safe and dry at the time the accident took place and that it was conducive for traveling. Both drivers were also heading eastbound or at the center of the highway. There seemed to be a contradiction between the claims of the two drivers with regard to the traffic condition at that time though. The complainant pointed out that there was just medium traffic; while the defendant claims that there was heavy traffic at that time of the 18-wheeler crash accident.

It was described that the complainant was actually driving behind the defendant’s vehicle for around 5-10 minutes before the accident happened. Then the defendant’s truck suddenly pulled to a stop and supposedly glided to the right of the plaintiff’s vehicle and hit the guard rail which prompted the truck to motion forward in a horizontal direction across the right lane of traffic which hit the center passenger lane of the truck. The complainant’s truck was said to be still heading eastbound towards the center lane at the time of collision which rendered the defendant unconscious immediately right after his vehicle smashed the guard rail.

The defendant who was hurt, bleeding, and unconscious was unable to control his truck so that his truck halted horizontally which subsequently blocked the right lane of traffic. After the said impact, the complainant’s driver still continued to maneuver forward and then consequently pulled over to stop at the side of the road.

It is of standard exercise that summary judgment is only given after due examination of the underlying circumstances as well as establishment that there is limited or no such material issues of fact that could further inhibit one from being entitle summary judgment. This is also evaluated in such manner that is most favorable to the non-moving party; which in this particular case is the Brooklyn defendant.

A party who wants to be entitled to summary judgment should be able to prove a Personal Injury case by presentation of substantial evidence that there is no material issues of fact involved in the accident. It should be further established that there is no evident factual contradiction as to determining the defendant’s liability in account of the said accident.

As a general rule, one has no responsibility towards protecting someone under extraordinary circumstances which has been successfully substantiated by the Plaintiff in this context that there are indeed extraordinary circumstances involved in this particular accident. This was further supported by the driver’s deposition testimony as well as the deposition testimony of the defendant which further stresses that the defendant had some shortcomings during the accident. The defendant admitted that he was not wearing a protective seatbelt at that time. The plaintiff also stressed out that he was driving at a standard speed of around 40 mph and that the first instance that he noticed the defendant’s vehicle was swerving and was having some problems, he applied on his brakes instantly but was still cautious so as not to lose control of his own vehicle.

The burden of proof now rests on the defendant. He pointed out that the car in front of him suddenly stopped and that prompted him to immediately jam on his breaks to prevent collision but he was unable to control the motion of his truck and made him hit the plaintiff’s vehicle. He also further proved that he was neither under medication or alcohol nor was he using any radio or cell phone prior or during the mishap.

Based on the proof submitted by both parties, the jury was able to reconcile the differences and has come up to a decision that there are indeed substantial or material issues of fact pertaining to the truck accident. Thus, the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment was denied.
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A wrongful death action was filed arising from a car accident which occurred in New York during a early morning in March. Involved in the truck accident was a tractor-trailer driver in the employ of a trucking company. According to sources, due to an electrical problem, the tractor-trailer stalled in traffic in the center lane of the Expressway. The driver got out of the tractor-trailer, walked to the front of the vehicle, and got down on the ground under the truck. While the driver was under the truck, a truck owned by a truck rental company pushed the tractor-trailer forward and onto the tractor-trailer driver’s chest, thereby causing his death.

As a result of the truck accident, the truck rental company filed a property damage claim with its insurance carrier. The insurance company paid the claim and instituted arbitration proceedings against the insurance company for the tractor-trailer trucking company seeking reimbursement for the property damage claim. The tractor-trailer driver’s widow instuted a civil action for wrongful death against driver of the truck and the truck’s owner. The Bronx driver and the Brooklyn truck owner, in turn, filed a third-party action against the owner of the tractor-trailer seeking contribution and indemnification.

The truck company who owns the tractor-trailer sought to dismiss the complaint based on the doctrine of collateral estoppel. The truck company said the doctrine bars the truck driver and the truck owner from seeking indemnification and contribution because its responsibility for the accident was previously litigated in the property damage arbitration proceeding instituted by the rental truck company’s insurance carrier. The tractor-trailer truck company said the truck driver and the truck owner are bound by the finding of the arbitrator that the tractor-trailer was not negligent, and, therefore, not liable for the accident.

The court explained that the equitable doctrine of collateral estoppel, or issue preclusion, gives conclusive effect to an administrative agency’s quasi-judicial determination when two basic conditions are met: (1) the issue sought to be precluded is identical to a material issue necessarily decided by the administrative agency in a prior proceeding; and (2) there was a full and fair opportunity to contest this issue in the administrative tribunal.

In this case, the court held that although there may have been an identity of issues in the two proceedings, there is no evidence that insurance carrier vigorously represented the truck driver or the truck owner’s interest, or that the truck driver and the truck owner were in privity with the insurance carrier. The court said it was the insurance carrier that had control and involvement in the arbitration litigation. The court said the truck driver and the truck owner had little or no interest in the property damage arbitration and thus, no direct stake in its outcome.
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One of the two fire engines severely damaged in a truck accidentthis past January is set to return to duty by late June. The trucks were damaged when a tractor trailer crashed into them on an icy interstate. The fire rescue vehicles were parked on the highway in a staggered position to protect rescue workers responding to a car crash.

The incident occurred during a snowstorm at about 8:30 p.m. Six firefighters were injured. They were brought to Bridgeport Hospital where they were treated and released.

Engine 1 and Engine 5 were damaged so severely, that the common thread of thought in the days right after the crash was that they’d have to be scrapped. They had been hit simultaneously by two tractor trailers while parked on the interstate in a standard protection formation.

Engine 1, the 2008 Smeal pumper, was the department’s newest apparatus. It is the one returning in June.

The fire chief reported that Engine 5, the 2000 Pierce Saber pumper, is expected back sometime this fall.

With the damage to these two engines, the fire department was left scrambling for fire trucks. Two backup engines were pulled out of storage, but they both needed considerable maintenance. One had bad brakes and the other had a transmission issue.

So, two other fire departments were asked to loan engines to the severely crippled fire department force. The Shelton and Milford departments each loaned one.

The cost to replace the two engines would be almost $1 million. This cost is not as high as the cost of the lives they were positioned to protect. The ‘staggered’ configuration is used to direct traffic away from a crash scene. One truck is parked in the center lane and the other in the lane that car wreck is in, leaving the last lane for traffic to flow through. Had the trucks not been in positioned, countless lives may have been lost. This type of accident is common in Westchester but less so in NYC.

A Lawyer says that according to official reports from the Center for National Truck Statistics at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, traffic accidents is actually one of the more significant risks of a firefighter’s job.
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A crash involving a tractor trailer injured the police chief of Ozark, Arkansas. The new chief had been in pursuit of a Franklin County escapee.

A bystander who was eating with his family across the street from the truck accident says he could tell the vehicles involved in the wreck could not see each other. “I looked up across the street and I seen the police car…. and I seen that truck, and that truck – he just didn’t see it,” he said.
The chief’s police car ran under the tractor trailer as he was in pursuit of an escapee.

The eyewitness reported that the chief didn’t speak and was shaking. He appeared to be in shock. Just before he was airlifted to St. Ed’s in Fort Smith, the assistant police chief told others he had started talking again. The chief was released a short time later.

A sergeant investigating the accident said that it appeared that as the police chief was approaching the junction of Airport Road and Highway 219, an 18-wheeler was pulling off the interstate into the truck stop.

The 26-year-old escapee was still on the loose with the county sheriff and deputies in pursuit.
The man had apparently escaped during a transfer from the jail to the courthouse. The sheriff reported that “Since we’re just a block away, we will transport them by walking them across, and he broke free from the bailiff.” Within a minute of the escape, the deputies were in pursuit.

The accused man stole a vehicle from an area business, and police were forced to follow him in chase. The man was apprehended again on Stagecoach Road.

For safety reasons, areas schools were locked down until the inmate was captured.
A rep says it’s a widely adopted practice to shut down schools when a convict is loose.

Children are of the highest priority and if keeping them sequestered inside during a chase gives them any extra chance to avoid injury, the school officials are doing the right thing.

Referring back to the police chief’s injury a source says the accident was most likely the chief’s fault. He may have been new to the area and not quite familiar with the common exits of truckers at that particular junction. It appears that the chief was just in a hurry and didn’t have time to see and react to the tractor trailer’s presence.

Queens and Staten Island have the same concerns.

While the cause was just, the outcome is unfortunate.
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A 53-year-old male was killed in a truck accidentthat occurred just after midnight last Thursday, Texas highway officials report.

Responding to the emergency call placed by the rig driver, the police department and a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety arrived on the scene and found EMS medics attempting to resuscitate an unresponsive male at the side of the road.

The 55-year-old tractor trailer driver was seemed heavily disturbed as he spoke to police. He received no physical injuries. He told police that he was driving southbound in the outside lane going approximately 50 mph when he noticed someone “come out of nowhere and crouch in the road.” Attempting to miss the person, he immediately swerved into the inside lane, but the pedestrian stood up and was struck by the truck.

After hitting the pedestrian, the truck driver pulled over as quickly as he could and ran back to check on him. The victim was laying unresponsive in the roadway. The truck driver also saw a brown dog lying in the road. It is currently unknown if the dog belonged to the victim or not. It’s possible the man was trying to save him.

The truck driver from Nassau and Suffolk called 911 and told the dispatchers that he was going to drag the body off the roadway and onto the shoulder to keep himself and the injured man safe from other passing vehicles.

EMS medics reported that the man had no signs of life when they began to work on him upon their arrival. According to a witness, the pedestrian was later pronounced dead at the scene. His death was due to “massive physical trauma caused by the crash.”

The Justice of the Peace was at the scene and did not order an autopsy. He also did not request a blood sample from the driver.

The truck driver volunteered his blood, though. The blood sample was taken at a nearby hospital. The results of the testing will go to the Department of Public Safety. Officials at the DPS say they do not expect any negative findings in the blood test.

A source says that the trucker possibly saved himself from future litigation worries by volunteering his blood. If the family of the man had any concerns about the man driving under the influence but hiding that from the authorities at the scene, he will lay those worries to rest. Troopers said the veteran driver showed “no indications of any type of driver impairment.”
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A 24-mile section of Interstate 70 closed last November due to a rock slide that left boulders imbedded 6 feet deep into the roadway.

The detour prescribed by officials tending to the road closure was a 220-mile route through the western mountains.

The expected road closure is to last at least a day, as Department of Transportation workers clear the debris from the estimated 100 foot by 10 foot rock slide. Some of the boulders cleared were as large as a van.

Severe damages were inflicted on the surrounding area. Two bridges had holes punched through them, guardrails were damaged, and two wall panels on the westbound lanes toppled. Engineers were called to check the bridges.

At the time, geologists had no firm idea on what caused the slide.

A source based in Manhattan, NY, said no one was injured in the rock slide because the roadway had already been closed earlier that morning with a tractor trailer accident
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The night before, a semi-truck driver attempted to exit the highway but lost control of his large vehicle while negotiating a curve. The truck skidded 242 feet before colliding with the median barrier. After toppling to its side, it slid for another 442 feet.

The truck accident closed the same stretch of highway affected by the following day’s rock slide.

The 48-year-old driver had to be treated at a local hospital for minor injuries only. He was released and cited for careless driving.

Road crews from Long Island were actually getting ready to re-open the highway when the rock slide happened about a mile away.

A witness said there were well over 200 fatal rockslides worldwide in the first 6 months alone in 2010, before the official “Landslide Season” had even begun. With the ferocity of this slide, lives could easily have been taken by the geological forces, but thankfully they weren’t.

In cases of natural disaster, the only recompense that can be made is if you suffer more damage because of shoddy craftsmanship or construction negligence.
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A tractor trailer driver is in jail on drunk driving charges after his truck overturned and caught fire just of a highway in Miller County, Georgia.

According to reports, both the driver and the Long Island passenger safely exited the vehicle.

First responders to the Saturday evening crash were police and firefighters. They stayed on the scene until Sunday afternoon when they could finally remove the wreckage.

Near a residential home close to the highway, the trailer veered off the road and careened a few houses down before crashing into a ditch.

What neighbors said sounded like explosion rocked the neighboring homes as the tractor caught fire. “I heard the booms, and it sounded like it was exploding in my house,” a neighbor exclaimed. When this neighbor raced outside and saw the flames, she dialed 911.
A Lawyer applauds the watchfulness of the citizens and their later helpfulness as one of the primary reasons more damage wasn’t done to the grounds and home of the closest house.

Grass near the homes was on fire, and according to fuel marks, the flames had come within feet of reaching the nearest home that had a family inside. “It looked like the flames were on the porch,” said another neighbor.

Those close by used their garden hoses to keep away the flames until firefighters arrived. The top of the trailer had to be cut off by firefighters to fully extinguish the flames.

A Manhattan policeman congratulates the efforts of the neighbors for working together and helping one another escape serious property loss.

It took rescue crews more than 16 hours to remove the wreckage.

The truck driver was an employee with Wiley Sanders Truck Line out of Troy, Alabama, and was hauling home goods and other items. The company did not comment on the wreck or its employee.

The tractor trailer’s passenger said she was asleep when the wreck occurred. She was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.

Big semi-trucks easily cause a ton of damage to personal property when their drivers act negligently behind the wheel.
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A young man died Monday morning in Plant City, Florida, when his 2004 Honda Civic drifted in front of tractor trailer.

The 25-year-old lost control of his vehicle on Paul Buckman Highway (State Route 39) in the early morning hours. Just two hours after midnight, the Florida Highway Patrol was called to the scene.

The car’s driver was going north on the state road. Near the intersection with Varn Road, the car drifted into the southbound lane. State troopers said the small Civic hit the tractor trailer’s cab and trailer before being rebounded back across the northbound lanes. The car came to rest on the outside shoulder of the north lanes.

The young Bronx driver was wearing a seatbelt, but he still suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 53-year-old semi driver was unharmed.

The highway was closed for several hours by the Florida Highway Patrol while the truck accident was investigated by troopers.

At the time, alcohol was not believed to be at fault.

It’s highly likely the young man fell asleep at the wheel, reports a witness. In fact, the United States Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about 100,000 reported collisions are caused by drowsiness or fatigue. Of that 100,000, it’s estimated that as many as 1,500 fatalities and 71,000 injuries occur.

When thinking about how often people report falling asleep at the wheel, it’s really amazing that the carnage isn’t worse. A source reveals the findings of a recent survey by Farmers Insurance in Brooklyn . They said that more than 10 percent of drivers admit to having fallen asleep at some point behind the wheel. More than 20 percent of drivers say they have momentarily dozed while driving.
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