Understanding Liability When a Queens Trucking Accident Caused by a Sick Truck Driver Causes Serious Personal Injuries
Health is all over the news with the current pandemic of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus. It is also cold and flu season which has been particularly strong this year. While some people are able to stay home from work, most sick truck drivers that stay home do not earn the money they need to support their family. Often times a sick truck driver will continue to work, even when it becomes dangerous to do so. This can create significant risk for others because a sick driver could have decreased reaction time and increased fatigue. When a Queens trucking accident caused by a sick truck driver results in catastrophic personal injuries or the wrongful death of an innocent person, victims and family families turn to Queens trucking accident lawyers for answers.
At Cohen & Cohen Law Group, P.C., we have the answers that victims and their families are searching for after a devastating trucking accident. Our experienced Queens trucking accident lawyers know how to prove the liability of a negligent truck driver who was sick or ill but continued to operate a commercial truck. We will make sure that both the truck driver and the trucking company are liable for your personal injuries, lost wages, and medical bills.
Federal Regulations Prohibit Truck Drivers From Driving While Sick or Ill
Since the trucking industry is an interstate business, meaning that it occurs through many different states, a federal agency has created regulations and rules which must be followed by truck drivers no matter what state the driver or trucking company is from or where the truck started, is in, or is traveling to. These regulations set the minimum requirements and rules which must be followed by all truck drivers working in the United States.
This agency is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, which provides under 49 CFR section 392.3 that an ill or fatigued truck driver is prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle. Specifically, this section provides the following:
“No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle. However, in a case of grave emergency where the hazard to occupants of the commercial motor vehicle or other users of the highway would be increased by compliance with this section, the driver may continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle to the nearest place at which that hazard is removed.”
When a truck driver operates a commercial vehicle while sick or ill, it can result in a violation of this regulation. That violation may be used by a Queens trucking accident lawyer to establish liability against a truck driver or trucking company.
Proving Liability When a Sick Truck Driver Causes a Queens Trucking Accident
When a violation of a regulation results in serious personal injuries to an innocent person, that violation may be used to establish “evidence of negligence.” This is done through the use of an important legal doctrine known as the doctrine of negligence per se. This doctrine provides that the violation of a statute or rule which is meant to protect a person from harm is violated and causes that person such harm, the violator may be found negligent.
If the violation is a statute, which is a law made by formal bill marking processes with the Legislature, the violation causing injuries automatically constitutes negligence.
If the violation is a regulation, which is a rule promulgated by an agency such as the FMCSA, the violation is evidence of negligence—not an automatic finding.
Injured by a Sick Truck Driver? We Can Help
Even though a truck driver may appear sick at the scene of an accident, this is not always easy to prove. Sometimes the truck driver will not tell responding officers about his or her illness. Other times the officers may not notice, especially if you were seriously injured. When it comes time to bring a claim, a truck driver may deny being sick and may obviously not be sick anymore. This makes proving negligence more difficult.
That is, unless you do not have the experienced Queens trucking accident lawyers at Cohen & Cohen Law Group, P.C. We understand how to prove liability and obtain damages for your personal injuries when a sick truck driver causes your New York trucking accident. Learn what rights you have under New York law during a FREE consultation with our legal team. Call us today by dialing 800-247-8164 for a free case evaluation or use our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here to get started.