Most people that drive commercial vehicles in New York take their jobs very seriously. After all, observing proper road safety rules is crucial to protecting oneself and others. Unfortunately, however, factors like inexperience and recklessness can cause some professional drivers to make very unprofessional decisions. One tractor-trailer driver was recently found guilty in a personal injury lawsuit filed by the family of a man that died as a result of the defendant’s poor judgment.
In the early morning hours of one fall day in 2009, the fatal accident victim was driving down a Pennsylvania interstate with another person in his car when a tractor-trailer pulled out in front of them unexpectedly. The victim’s truck struck the commercial vehicle and he and his passenger both succumbed to severe burns they sustained in the crash. The tractor-trailer driver caused the fatal accident when he attempted to merge back onto the road after being parked. He allegedly didn’t turn on his safety signals or check for oncoming traffic before commencing.
Later, the wife of driver killed in the accident file a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck company and driver involved in the incident. However, the case didn’t go to court until late last year. The truck company was accused of not properly training the driver or taking into account his lack of experience on the road. For his part, the truck driver was accused of not knowing how to use the communication equipment on his vehicle and not being familiar with his truck route.
Both defendants in the lawsuit were ultimately found guilty by the court. The truck driver and the truck company were held liable for compensatory damages to the victim’s family equaling more than $2 million each. Furthermore, the truck company was found to owe punitive damages as well.
Source: courthousenews.com, “Rookie Trucker Owes Millions for Fatal Crash,” Rose Bouboushian, Jan. 13, 2014