NEW YORK – A string of recent accidents — including one that killed Kevin Flores, 13, of Queens — highlights the need for more stringent criminal penalties against drivers who are operating trucks without a license, but it also puts a spotlight on the companies that pay them to do it, neighborhood watchdogs say.
Police reports suggest that Philip Monfoletto, 28, was at the wheel of an oil tanker truck with a suspended license when the big rig slammed into Kevin Flores, who was riding his bicycle on Lewis Avenue in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn.
A New York truck accident lawyer says while unlicensed drivers often face criminal charges after accidents like the one that killed Kevin Flores, the companies that employ drivers may not be charged with anything; but they can be held responsible for an accident in civil court.
A wrongful death claim allows family members of truck accident victims to receive compensation from those responsible for their family member’s untimely death, including the company the driver was working for. This compensation can help families recover the costs associated with a truck crash:
- Medical bills
- Loss of companionship
- Expected loss in income of the person who died;
- Expected loss of care, which the person who died provided to his or her family
- Funeral costs
- Pain & Suffering
- And more
The law can be complex when it comes to filing a wrongful death or other personal injury claim, but a New York truck accident lawyer can help victims and their families get the best result possible from these claims. In fact, studies have found that when a New York truck accident lawyer gets involved in a case, the value of that case jumps by four times or more.
A wrongful death claim will not only seek financial compensation for a victim’s family — it can also spur more important changes to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.
Neighborhood leaders are already examining the hiring processes of some New York companies that had unlicensed drivers operating trucks and other heavy machinery. A successful lawsuit could force these companies to create new policies that would prevent dangerous drivers from getting the keys in the first place.
Many community leaders would welcome these policies, particularly after a heartbreaking accident that could have been prevented with simple background checks and training.
According to the Daily News, Monfoletto’s license has been suspended seven times, and he has a lengthy criminal history on and off the road. He currently charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle.