Interstate 81 cuts through 183 miles of New York and runs from the southeast border of the state north to the Canadian border. This road has several important junctions with other highways including:
- Interstate 81 at the Pennsylvania State line
- Interstate 86
- Interstate 88
- Interstate 90
With the number of people who use this road every day in addition to the unpredictable weather that is common up in the northern part of New York, it is easy to see why an accident may happen on Interstate 81.
To schedule a private, no-cost evaluation, call the law offices of Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team at (215) 709-6940 or contact us online.
Factors Leading to Accident’s on Interstate 81
After an accident it can be hard to determine what the exact cause of the accident was and who is to blame, that is because there are normally many factors that converge together to cause an accident. However, over the years we have noticed that many accidents with truck drivers can be attributed to reckless and careless driving. However, to complicate matters further, it is not always immediately clear who is to blame. While it may seem obvious that the driver or drivers who caused the accident should be held accountable for their actions when there is a commercial vehicle involved there are often other entities who can be held accountable for an accident. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Driving and driver errors – Driving a large truck takes an incredible amount of concentration as well as training. Yet many drivers on the road engage in dangerous and aggressive driving practices that can potentially put other drivers at risk of an accident. Drivers who engage in risky and dangerous driving practices such as following too closely, making sudden lane changes, and ignoring traffic patterns can all lead to accidents
Truck drivers that take risks, ignore the right-of-way or break safety laws put everyone on the road in danger. Speeding, following too closely or making last-minute lane changes are all common causes of commercial vehicle accidents.
Human errors – Not only do other drivers on the road need to be concerned with driving errors but drivers on the road need to be concerned about avoidable human errors that many truck drivers engage in. Commercial drivers have an arguably higher duty to comport themselves as professionals on the road, in fact, there are numerous state and federal laws and regulations that require a commercial driver to rest and to not drive while they are under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. However, it is a sad reality that many drivers do commit human errors even before they get behind the wheel of their vehicle.
Environmental factors – The environment has a direct impact on the road and how cars behave when on the road. You are probably familiar with the concept that when ti is raining it will take our vehicle a longer distance to come to a complete stop. However, when the environment and weather conditions are less than ideal it can spell disaster for a truck driver, as they may be wholly unable to bring their vehicle to a complete stop when the road is wet. However, there are numerous other environmental factors that can cause accidents including high winds, snow, ice, sleet, heavy rain, and fog.
Mechanical failures or defects with the truck – Trucks and other commercial vehicles are vastly complex machines that require regular care, inspection, maintenance, and outright repair. However, in an effort to keep their vehicles on the road, trucking companies may not engage in a thorough inspection of their vehicle which may mean that braking systems, notorious for failing, can be left uninspected. Tires can be left on the cab or the trailer with little to no tread and underinflated, or the hitch to the trailer may be worn and ill-fitting. All of these potential mechanical defects are largely avoidable, yet every day there are accidents with trucks that can be attributed to a mechanical failure or defect.
Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team has the resources and knowledge to locate and retain qualified and impartial expert witnesses. One of the benefits of working with a team of attorneys who have been representing truck accidents victims for decades is that we have the resources and the knowledge to help determine who was at fault for an accident. Often selecting the right expert witnesses who can explain the science, medical basis, and other factors behind the accident are what helps build winning cases.
Who is Liable for an Accident on Interstate 81?
Determining who is liable for an accident often requires an intensive investigation into the accident. All too often large trucking companies will engage in suspect behavior in an effort to cover their own wrongdoing. Additionally, trucking companies will often employ their own investigators who will come to the scene of the accident and regularly report that their vehicle was not to blame for the accident despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Still, other companies will be silent because many drivers forget that not only can the truck driver themselves potentially be held liable for an accident, but also the trucking company may be held liable. In addition, there may be other parties liable for an accident including:
The commercial vehicle owner – When the driver is an owner operator they often are the party who is solely liable for an accident as they generally are not under the direction of a company, or if so they are contracted for their services.
The freight owner – Accidents can often be caused because the trailer was not properly loaded, or was flat out overloaded. If an accident occurs because the owner of the freight contributed to the accident, then they may be held liable in addition to the driver.
The employer – Employers can be held liable for their driver’s accidents when on the road. Furthermore, if the company has failed to maintain their vehicle or has done some other act that could lead to a mechanical failure they may be held liable for the accident in addition to the driver.
Vehicle or equipment manufacturers – If a mechanical failure leads to an accident – such as the malfunction of a lever or gear on a flatbed truck – the manufacturer could be held responsible for the accident.
Our personal injury attorneys will work with you to help identify all those who may be liable for your accident and injuries. We are not intimidated by the large trucking companies and will aggressively fight for you.
Injured in a Truck Accident on Interstate 81? Trust Our Truck Accident Lawyers
To schedule a private, no-cost evaluation, call the law offices of Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team at (215) 709-6940 or contact us online. If the statute of limitations expires, your window of legal opportunity will close and you won’t be able to pursue a claim.