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New York Truck Accident Attorney in NYC
Each year in the United States, approximately 5,000 people are killed and nearly 150,000 are injured in trucking accidents on our nation’s roadways. One in four passenger vehicle deaths in multiple-vehicle crashes involve a large truck, and large trucks are involved in multiple-vehicle fatal crashes twice as often as passenger vehicles.
Although drivers and truck owners have an obligation to operate their vehicles in the safest manner possible, mistakes do happen. Several things can go wrong that warrant attention from a New York truck accident attorney, including drivers falling asleep (truck driver fatigue), truck freight shifting, loads improperly anchored, and more. To discuss whether you have the basis for an injury claim, contact Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. to request a free consultation today.
Types of Truck Accidents in New York
When many people hear the term ‘truck accident,’ they often think of the huge 18-wheelers that regularly travel on the streets and highways in New York. While these are some of the most common types of trucks involved in accidents, there are others as well, including:
- Dump trucks
- Garbage trucks
- School buses
- Cargo trucks
- Fuel trucks
- Box trucks
- Tow trucks
- Concrete trucks
- Sweeper trucks
- And more
Any time you are injured by one of these large trucks, it is important to speak to an experienced New York truck accident lawyer who can help with your claim.
Common Causes of New York Truck Accidents
Just like car accidents, truck accidents occur for a variety of reasons. The most common causes of truck accidents include:
Some truck drivers think that using alcohol or drugs will help them stay awake behind the wheel and help them meet their tight deadlines. Of course, impaired driving is always very dangerous, particularly when an impaired person is responsible for controlling a large truck.
Many people think that distracted driving only applies to texting while driving or talking on the phone when behind the wheel. Anything could cause a distraction though, and truck drivers have many more distractions than other drivers. For instance, they often eat in their truck so they do not lose time—and they talk on a CB radio with other drivers to learn about detours, accidents, and other factors on the road that could hold them up.
Even though federal law regulates how long truck drivers can be on the road at one time, truckers do not always abide by them. Truck drivers want to stay on the road for long periods, because they are under a great deal of pressure to meet their deadlines. This results in truckers driving while they are fatigued, which can easily result in a crash.
Trucks take much longer to slow down and come to a full stop than other vehicles. This is even more of a problem when truck drivers speed. When drivers do speed, there is an increased chance that they will crash into a car in front of them.
When cargo is not loaded onto a truck properly, it can shift during transport and throw the entire truck off balance. Truckers often cannot control their trucks when this happens, and they may end up involved in a collision as a result.
It is not always truckers and trucking companies who cause accidents. Poor road conditions can also contribute to these crashes. Deep potholes, steep shoulder drop-offs, and faulty designs are just a few examples of faulty roads. When a faulty road is to blame for a crash, accident victims can hold a government entity liable.
It is critical for accident victims to determine what caused their crash so they know who to hold accountable for compensation.
How Do Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents?
Truck accident claims are vastly different from crashes involving only passenger cars. Some factors that make these cases so much more complex include:
Commercial trucks can weigh up to 10,000 pounds when they are empty and as much as 80,000 pounds when they are carrying cargo. Due to their immense size and weight, trucks cause much more damage when they are in a collision, and the resulting injuries are much more serious. Prior to filing your claim, you must understand the full extent of your injuries so you can ensure you seek the proper amount of compensation.
Most truckers work for a trucking company. Immediately following the crash, the trucking company will visit the accident scene, conduct an investigation, and perhaps even hide evidence to make it look as though the crash was your fault. The priorities of trucking companies are to protect truck drivers and the company, not to protect the rights of accident victims.
Usually after an accident involving two small vehicles, one of the drivers is at fault for the crash. Truck accidents, however, can have many potentially liable parties. These may include the truck driver, the trucking company, companies that loaded the cargo, companies that inspected or maintained the truck, and manufacturers that installed or supplied parts of the truck.
The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal government. Trucking companies must meet certain standards for the inspection, repair, and maintenance of their truck, and truck drivers must abide by the hours of service rule. These are just two in a long list of regulations and requirements. Most people are not aware of these rules, so they have no way of knowing when drivers or trucking companies have violated them.
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the ways in which trucking accidents are so much more complicated than collisions involving smaller vehicles. An experienced NYC truck accident attorney will understand what the complexities are and how to overcome them.
Investigating Truck Accidents
Like all crashes on the road, truck accidents require an extensive investigation to determine who was at fault. Most people are not familiar with how these investigations work, which is just one reason the help of a lawyer is so valuable.
A truck accident lawyer will start by collecting evidence at the scene of the crash. A lawyer will take pictures of the accident scene and obtain video surveillance from nearby businesses. Using this evidence, a lawyer will identify witnesses and locate them to obtain statements that back up your claim. Using pictures from the scene, a lawyer will also work with an accident reconstruction expert to determine how the accident happened.
A lawyer will also contact the trucking company to obtain the driver’s log book, route schedule, time card, trip sheet, manifests, and other documents. These pieces of evidence can establish the inexperience or incapability of the truck driver, or show that the truck had not been properly inspected or maintained. Trucking companies often do not want to give up this information, because they know it will be used against them. A lawyer can issue a subpoena so trucking companies are forced to provide these documents.
Get Legal Help Today
At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, PC., our New York truck accident attorneys have been very successful in settling claims against trucking companies. This provides the injured parties with the financial resources they need to seek health care and maintain their quality of life. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, please contact our truck accident lawyers today to request a free consultation.