Aggressive Defense For Trucking And Transportation Liability Claims
For more than 30 years, The Law Firm of Connors & Connors, P.C., has defended thousands of personal injury claims brought against the country’s largest car and truck rental and leasing companies. As experienced insurance defense lawyers, we are intimately aware of the strategies and techniques used to effectively defend such claims.
In New York state, Section 388 of Vehicle and Traffic Law made the owner of a permissively operated vehicle vicariously responsible for its negligent operation. As a result, our clients, as renters and lessors of motor vehicles, were often “target” defendants for plaintiffs in personal injury claims.
However, Section 388 was preempted by The Transportation Equity Act of 2005, a comprehensive transportation bill which included the Graves Amendment, now codified at 49 U.S.C. § 30106. The section entitled, “Rented or leased motor vehicles safety and responsibility” states in pertinent part:
An owner of a motor vehicle that rents or leases the vehicle to a person (or an
affiliate of the owner) shall not be liable under the law of any State or political
subdivision thereof, by reason of being the owner of the vehicle (or an affiliate of
the owner), for harm to persons or property that results or arises out of the use,
operation, or possession of the vehicle during the period of the rental or lease, if –
(1) the owner (or an affiliate of the owner) is engaged in the trade or business
of renting or leasing motor vehicles; and
(2) there is no negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner
(or an affiliate of the owner).
49 U.S.C § 30106(a).
In short, this federal statute bars vicarious liability action against professional lessors and renters of vehicles so long as the owner is engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles and there is no negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner, i.e., negligent maintenance of the leased or rented vehicle.
If you have been in a semitruck accident or need legal assistance with a trucking and transportation liability claim, contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with a qualified insurance defense attorney. Call us today at 718-619-4601.
Our Detailed Approach To The Law
The retention of professional engineers trained in the field of accident reconstruction and physicians/engineers trained in both medicine and the mechanics of dynamics is often invaluable in the defense of trucking and vehicle rental cases.
In addition, lease agreements often present obligations on behalf of the lessees who insure to the benefit of the lessors regarding the defense and indemnification of personal injury claims.
At The Law Firm of Connors & Connors, P.C., we pride ourselves on our ability to assist our clients in defending the sometimes-exaggerated claims being asserted against them, including distracted driving defense. Early intervention, prevention of “spoliation,” diligent discovery, retention of expert witnesses and surveillance of all weapons used to protect our clients where the plaintiff “targets” them. That experience includes a great deal of work in federal court as many of our clients are not domiciled in New York.