Southern Tier, NY Truck Accident Lawyer
Experiencing a car accident can be a traumatic experience for most victims. When the accident involves a large truck, damages and injuries to victims are usually more severe, life-threatening, or life-changing. Serious accidents involving tractor-trailer commercial trucks occur frequently in New York, including Southern Tier.
Often, the cause of a commercial truck accident is driver negligence. However, there may be other factors involved as well. Therefore, if you or your loved one has suffered injuries in a truck accident, our New York lawyers can review your case carefully and help you determine how to pursue compensation for damages.
Please contact Hill & Moin today at (212) 668-6000 to learn your legal options. Initial consultations with our local law firm are always totally free.
Differences Between an Auto Accident and a Commercial Truck Accident
Although both can result in injuries for victims, commercial truck accidents are considerably different from accidents that involve only passenger cars. The list below highlights a few of the differences between the two.
In accidents that involve only cars, it’s common that only one party may be found liable. However, with a big rig accident, proving liability can be much more complex.
Not only may the truck driver be found liable, but other parties may be at fault as well. These can include the trucking company, maintenance company, or loading company. Additionally, the manufacturer of the truck may be found liable if a faulty part contributed to the accident.
Extensive damages and injuries
Due to their size, commercial trucks produce much more force on impact than automobiles do. This results in catastrophic damages that usually involve multiple vehicles.
Truck collision victims usually suffer severe life-altering injuries that make the costly medical bills add up fast. Tragically, these accidents frequently end in multiple deaths to victims.
Laws and regulations
Not only must a truck driver follow the same state traffic laws as automobile drivers, but he or she must also follow the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The government provides these regulations to the trucking industry as a safety measure.
The law stipulates the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to drive, restrictions on weight, drug testing requirements for trucking companies, and other matters. Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the trucking industry may result in a truck driver being found liable for a collision.
Different from car accidents, which usually involve just two policies, commercial truck accidents may involve several insurance policies in addition to the trucking company. So the process of proving fault can be much more complicated than in auto accident cases.
Further, while car insurance policies tend to lower limits, trucking companies and truck drivers carry much higher limits because of injuries and damages that typically result from truck accidents. Victims could, therefore, receive higher compensation for suffering extensive damages.
Truck accident investigations are more involved than car accidents. Typically, after a motor vehicle accident, the process of exchanging insurance information, taking photos, and collecting police reports is usually relatively simple. After a big rig accident, extensive information must be gathered from various sources. Some of these include the truck’s black box, data logs, inspection reports, repair records, cargo information, witness statements, and previous trucking company drug test results.
These are some examples that show how dealing with the aftermath of suffering a truck accident can be drastically different from a car accident. This list is not extensive. Several other elements also come into play for pursuing compensation after a crash involving a truck.
Navigating this process alone would not be the course of wisdom. You need an experienced truck accident lawyer who is familiar with the insurance claims process and the tactics used by insurance companies to help you get a fair settlement for your truck accident claim.
Common Causes of Accidents Involving Trucks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that more than 1 in 3 drivers of commercial trucks had a serious crash during their careers. In New York, according to another source, 98 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2018.
There are several causes of big rig accidents, including the following:
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued
- Driving under the influence
- Aggressive driving (speeding, tailgating, etc)
- Distracted driving
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Faulty or defective parts
- Inclement weather/ dangerous road conditions
- Improper loading of cargo
Common Injuries from Heavy Truck Accidents
Victims of big rig accidents commonly suffer life-changing or even fatal injuries.
Common injuries can include the following:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): There are various types of traumatic brain injuries. TBIs require immediate medical attention due to the fact that they can be potentially life-threatening or fatal.
- Internal injuries: Due to the force of impact from the crash, organs can be crushed or ruptured by broken bones. Bleeding internally can also result from impact which can prove to be fatal.
- Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord is very serious since it’s the channel the brain uses to control body functions. Spinal cord damage can result in paralysis or even death.
- Loss of limbs: A person’s arms or legs may be crushed or trapped in a truck accident. This can result in amputation, which can be physically and emotionally devastating to the victim.
- Psychological injuries: Truck accident victims often suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and mood swings. In order to return to a relatively normal life, professional therapy is often needed.
- Wrongful death: Tragically, it’s not uncommon for a truck accident to result in the death of an innocent victim. This unexpected loss creates an incredible amount of pain and suffering for his or her family.
A wide range of injuries that can result from a truck crash, especially rear-end collisions, are not included in this list. If you or your loved one has suffered a truck accident, our lawyers who are familiar with the process of insurance claims can help you get through this difficult time.
Types of Compensation You May Be Entitled to Receive
If you or your loved one has been injured in a trucking accident – remember that you have rights. According to New York law, you have the right to be compensated for your personal injury and losses.
Compensation for loss and damages may include:
- Present and future medical bills
- Present and future lost income
- Household renovation for disability
- Pain and emotional suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Compensation for wrongful death
How a Truck Accident Attorney with Our Law Firm Can Help You
When you or your loved one suffers a personal injury, it only makes sense that the person who caused your injury, or his or her insurance, pays for your recovery. In the case of a big rig accident, liability may fall on several parties.
This is why it’s imperative to speak with a truck accident lawyer. The law firm that you choose to represent you will have a direct impact on the results of your truck accident claim.
A qualified truck accident lawyer with our firm can help arrange an investigation to make sure that you receive compensation for the personal injuries you sustained. Contact Hill & Moin LLP today at (212) 668-6000 for a free consultation with an attorney to learn your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.
Don’t wonder about your rights!