A Recent Fatal Car Crash in Harrisburg, PA Shows Just How Many Parties May Be Liable for a Truck Accident
In a recent accident, more than just the truck driver can be held liable for a truck accident. Read on to learn more about how this can be the case in an accident.
On October 12, a truck driver failed to stop as traffic slowed in front of him, causing a 12-car crash on I-83 NB near Union Deposit Road in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Two men and a 16-month-old girl were killed. According to police, the truck driver was driving under the influence (he admitted to drinking five double-shot margaritas and two or three beers at a Mexican restaurant before getting behind the wheel), and his CDL license was suspended.
The wife of one of the deceased men and mother of the baby girl has filed a lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company he worked for, as well as the construction company responsible for the project on I-83 that may have caused the initial slow-down of traffic the night of the crash. Let’s look further at holding all these parties liable for contributing to this tragic accident.
Truck Driver & Trucking Company Held Liable
The truck driver who made the choice to drink and drive is the most direct cause of this accident. (Indeed, he’s facing criminal charges.) However, a trucking company and a construction company are also named in the lawsuit for contributing to the conditions that put the truck driver behind the wheel in hazardous circumstances. Regarding the trucking company, the driver’s CDL license was suspended, yet he still had access to a truck, and he was driving across state lines. (The Mexican restaurant was in New Jersey.) Was he continuing to work for the trucking company with a suspended license?
Trucking companies may be held responsible for the actions of their employees while on the job under a legal doctrine called “respondeat superior.” Therefore, if the truck driver was working for the trucking company when he caused the accident, the company may be held liable for the truck driver’s negligence. The trucking company could also have been negligent in and of itself, such as by hiring the driver without doing a thorough background check or failing to perform alcohol and drug tests.
Construction Company Accountability for Auto Accidents
Regarding the construction company, it’s being held accountable for causing traffic to slow down, which created the situation where the truck driver needed to stop quickly. If the construction company was negligent in some aspect of establishing and maintaining its worksite, such as failing to give ample warning of road construction to motorists or requiring motorists to negotiate too sharp a turn, it may be liable for causing or contributing to hazardous road conditions.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, drunk driving accident, or any type of auto accident, please contact the Benedum Law Firm in Chestnut Hill, PA. We’ll look at your case from every angle to hold the right parties responsible or liable for your injuries and damages.