The Tappan Zee Bridge is part of I-87, I-287, and the New York Thruway. It crosses the Hudson River at its second largest point and connects New York City to the North, eventually leading to New England. Its seven lanes make it one of the most popular ways to cross the Hudson River and get to New England, and so, it has plenty of traffic every day.
The bridge also opened sixty-one years ago, and is part of some of America’s most decaying infrastructure. While there are plans to replace the bridge with a New Tappan Zee Bridge, that is still not expected to open until 2018. Until then, trucking companies increase the dangers drivers face on the Tappan Zee Bridge, every day. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a truck on the Tappan Zee Bridge, you should contact Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team for a lawyer who will fight trucking companies to get you the help you need.
Why are Trucks so Dangerous?
Trucks are often owned by large companies that use many trucks and many drivers to get products shipped around the country. Sometimes, the trucks themselves are owned by the operators who drive them, as an incentive for higher pay. Because the trucking business is based on how much freight can get moved in a period of time, companies and drivers both have incentives to use dangerous practices to make more money.
Truck drivers are often on the road for long periods of time. Many of them are working to provide for themselves and their families, and sometimes make poor safety decisions in seeking higher wages. There is a history of truck drivers using and abusing caffeine or other legal drugs, as well as illegal drugs, in order to stay alert on long drives. Even though there are legal limits on how much driving a truck driver can do in a given period of time, the promise of higher pay is a big incentive for truckers and companies to ignore these rules. Even if drugs are not involved, the sheer exhaustion truckers face may be as dangerous to other drivers as drugs or alcohol.
Though trucks are built to last, its parts may not be up to that task. Manufacturing errors, or mistakes in service, may make a truck a danger waiting to happen. Especially since trucks are often taken to mechanics, then places back into service as quickly as possible, these mistakes may be overlooked in the hurry. Truckers may fear missing deadlines or losing wages if they stop to have their trucks examined, so people may continue to drive dangerous or failing big rigs.
Financial Compensation for Victims of Trucking Accidents
Trucks are enormous compared to the average passenger vehicle. Rig rigs often weigh a few tons without cargo, so adding cargo just increases that weight. This makes stopping, starting, maneuvering, and staying in a straight line so much more dangerous, especially if the truck is improperly loaded. Because of this, accidents involving trucks can not only impact many cars at once, due to the size of trucks, but are often fatal or lead to terrible injuries for drivers of cars.
When a car is hit by a truck, there is a possibility for many severe injuries. Neck, back, head, and brain injuries are common in catastrophic crashes. Many of these injuries can leave a victim with permanent injuries, such as brain damage, paralysis, chronic pain, loss of limb, or even death. People are lucky to survive something as scary and dangerous as a truck accident. Truck crashes on bridges can be especially dangerous, since there is less room to avoid the crash.
Luckily, most truckers carry insurance. This means that, if you or a loved one is injured, or a loved one has been killed in a crash with a semi, insurance may be able to pay for injuries or death benefits. There is a stereotype that truckers themselves do not have much money, and so suing the individual driver may not be a good way to get reimbursed for medical bills and lost wages. Instead, you can often sue the company who hired the driver, under a legal principal called respondeat superior, and get the compensation you deserve.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Serving New York State
Ultimately, if you or a loved one was injured, or a loved one was killed in an auto accident with a truck, there are many ways to be reimbursed. Medical bills, lost wages due to injury, continuing care for injuries, death benefits, funerals, and even monetary awards to punish trucking companies who ignore safety rules may be available to you.
If you or a loved one was in a car crash with a truck on the Tappan Zee Bridge, or anywhere in the country, contact Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team. Our team helps clients across the country who have been injured or killed by big trucking companies. For help with your case, call (215) 246-9000.