A man is dead after a tractor-trailer reportedly rear-ended his car on the New York State Thruway. The crash took place in DeWitt, New York. According to witnesses and New York State Police, 24-year-old Christopher Stuhlman, of Whitesboro NY, temporarily lost control of his vehicle on the wet surface because it was raining. He managed to regain control of the vehicle and come to a stop. At that moment, however, 60-year-old James Sachs, of Rochester, came upon the scene from behind and was unable to stop. Sachs reportedly plowed into the parked car.
Stuhlman was later pronounced dead at the scene, while Sachs was uninjured in the auto accident.
Authorities do not expect to press charges at this time.
Truck Crashes on New York Roads
Fully loaded large trucks weigh at least 80,000 pounds. The sheer size of these vehicles makes it difficult, or even impossible, for drivers of any skill level to stop quickly or maneuver in emergencies. So, although a smaller vehicle may have been able to avoid the rear-end crash in DeWitt NY, the operator of the large truck simply could not avoid the parked car. These kinds of truck accidents become even more likely on wet roads due to poor traction.
Additionally, due to the size of these vehicles, the injuries that victims sustain in truck accidents are typically very serious. Such injuries may include:
- Burns: Since gasoline burns at a different temperature than diesel fuel, truck accident victims often suffer serious third degree burns or fourth degree burns. Moreover, these wounds nearly always require skin grafts.
- Head and Neck Injuries: Due to the extreme force of impact in truck collisions, even properly restrained vehicle occupants can suffer severe whiplash-type injuries that often mean permanent paralysis.
- Wrongful Death: Auto-truck crashes have one of the highest death rates of any type of vehicle collision, except for perhaps motorcycle wrecks.
Because of the serious injuries, truck crash victims and their families are often entitled to significant compensation for their economic damages, such as lost wages, and noneconomic damages, such as loss of enjoyment in life.
Contributory Negligence in NY Truck Accidents
In some cases, both vehicles are at least partially as fault. For instance, in the recent DeWitt truck accident, the car driver may have been speeding and the truck driver may have been following too close.
New York is a pure comparative fault state that divides damages strictly according to the percentage of fault. So, if the damages were $100,000 and the jury divides fault 50-50, the victim would receive $50,000. However, across the border in New Jersey, the victim would receive nothing under similar facts because the Garden State has a 51-percent liability threshold.
Truck crashes often raise complicated factual and legal issues. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Manhattan, contact Proner & Proner today. We’ll take care of your legal issues and make sure your medical bills are covered so that you can concentrate on your recovery.