Single- or double-car accidents on a major highway can be devastating for those involved, and have the potential to create huge traffic backups, much to the chagrin of fellow motorists. However, when a big rig is involved, such accidents can be especially devastating and affect many more people, as any car accident attorney in New York knows.
Recently, a tractor-trailer crashed on the Long Island Expressway outside of New York City, causing a series of car accidents. One person was killed, and 33 were injured; the driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured. In total, 35 vehicles were involved in the crash, and three of them, including the tractor-trailer and the first car the tractor-trailer crashed into, caught fire.
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People who have been injured in a car crash caused by another person may be able to recover from the person who caused the accident. Such accidents are governed by negligence theory. Drivers must use reasonable care under the circumstances when driving. If a driver fails to meet the required level of care, such as by failing to heed traffic signals, speeding or ignoring traffic conditions, that driver could be found negligent. Reckless drivers who cause injuries to other people may also be found liable.
Reckless driving may occur when a driver speeds or changes lanes excessively, or passes other vehicles improperly, such as by driving on the shoulder to pass. Recklessness generally involves a clear disregard for the probability that the driver’s actions may cause a car crash.
The cause of 35-car accident, which occurred on an isolated stretch of road in the middle of the day, has not yet been determined. Authorities have not yet filed charges.
Source: GoErie.com, “Truck causes NY traffic pileup; 1 dead, 33 hurt,” Frank Eltman, Dec. 19, 2012