If either you or a family member was injured due to a truck accident, the lawyers at Cellino Law are ready to assist you with your compensation claim against the trucking company, the truck driver, or both. We also can help you identify other potential defendants who might be held liable for your injuries. In an average truck accident claim, you must prove the driver was acting negligent and prove they have broken a law or acted in a way that a reasonable driver would not have done.
You also can file a claim against a trucking company based on the negligence of their employees, since they are considered to act on the behalf of their employer. If the company failed to enforce or implement a safety policy, such as conducting comprehensive checks on the driver’s records before they are hired, then the trucking company may be considered to be negligent. That means the company can be liable for your injuries. Usually, these trucking companies have insurance policies with large limits. That can make negotiating your settlement faster and easier. Our personal injury lawyers in The Bronx will help to determine what the best option is for your case.
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How Are Truck Accidents Different From Auto Accidents?
Crashes that involve trucks have a tendency to be much more complex compared to passenger car crashes. That is why it is critical for the accident victim to speak to a truck accident attorney who is experienced in handling similar cases.
What Make Truck Accidents More Complex?
When a truck is empty is can weigh as much as 10,000 pounds and when loaded, can weigh over 80,000 pounds. This large difference in size and weight from the average car is why truck accidents have a tendency to be worse. There is a great deal of physical evidence that must be evaluated following an accident.
Truck drivers have their employers backing them up. Trucking companies have investigators and legal teams who look to protect their company and drivers from any responsibilities of the accident.
When cargo is hauled in New York, more than a single party is involved in truck operations and the liability of the accident may need to be shared between two parties or more.
When investigating a truck accident, it is very important to thoroughly understand the regulations covering the trucking industry as a whole, and that includes reports and records that need to be maintained by both drivers and companies.
When working with us, our Cellino Law attorneys will start the process quickly and make sure that relevant evidence and records are not tampered with at all. We will get a court order to obtain access to the documents about the wreck. We also will ask the trucking company to provide us with the “black box” or Event Data Recorder. It contains information on the truck’s operations prior to the accident. We also will obtain access to dashboard video systems and other information.
We will interview trucking company employes as well as other third parties that can help us obtain additional information regarding actions that contributed to your accident.
If it is a complex accident, we will need help from forensic specialists and accident reconstruction consultants who can help determine why and how the accident occurred. They will develop comprehensive reports based on engineering and physics. They also can help to provide witness testimony and CGI animation to give the court a better overall view of what has occurred.
What Are Truck Accidents Commonly Caused By?
There are a number of different factors that need to be considered when a truck accident is investigated. They include the following factors:
Truck driver negligence
Car accidents and commercial truck accidents are similar. Usually, they are caused by a driver failing to do something or doing something wrong. Some truck drivers cause accidents when they perform a maneuver that is unsafe or illegal like improperly changing lanes, failing to yield the right of way, or running through a stop sign. It could also be a driver who does not look closely or long enough before they make a turn.
Truck driver negligence can include the following common acts:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that the leading cause of all truck accidents is speeding. This is the organization that is responsible for regulating the truck industry. When a truck driver drives too fast it makes it difficult to stop in certain conditions like congested traffic and bad weather. The driver cannot slow the truck down enough to avoid getting into an accident. When tailgating and speeding are combined, it can result in trucks being involved in rear-end collisions.
The FMCSA refers to this as “inattention or distraction. It is the second leading cause of truck accidents. Texting and other types of distracted driving is a very serious problem. The dangers of texting while driving have been thoroughly documented and some regulations have been instituted to deal with this problem. However, it is still a widespread problem. Inattention refers to when an individual is thinking about something or daydreaming, and that causes the driver to neglect to operate their car properly which can an accident to happen.
Fatigued or Drowsy Driving
This is a side effect that happens when a driver drives for too long without taking a break and resting. This violates the FMCSA’s Hours of Services Laws. In some cases, itis the driver who decides to drive for overly long hours. In other situations, the employer directs the drivers to stay out on the road in order to meet a deadline. That makes it difficult for a driver to take breaks when they need to.
Drugged driving: in truck drivers, this can become even common than drunk driving since drivers are required to undergo strict testing for the consumption of alcohol. Many truck drivers in accidents have been found to have been under the influence of meth, cocaine, and amphetamines. They take those substances to drive for very long hours and stay awake. Some truckers take prescription or over-the-counter drugs that can impair their ability to drive or make them drowsy, and some are not even aware of it. Although it is rare, there are also some truck drivers involved in drunk driving cases.
Whenever there is a rollover accident or a truck jackknife (where the cab and trailer of a ruck look like a folded knife due to the sliding), investigators will first try to determine whether or not the cargo shift may have caused an accident. When cargo is not secured well or is loaded improperly is can break fee or move around. That can change the truck’s center of gravity. It can cause a jackknife accident or rollover due to the truck losing control and crashing.
Whenever shifting cargo spills or breaks fee, it can pose a threat to other divers since they can end up being hit by falling cargo or cause them to swerve their vehicle to try to avoid hitting a truck which can result in them being involved in an accident. A great deal of damage is caused by hazardous materials spills, which include personal injury and fouling waterways.
Although the factors that relate to the truck are much less when compared with human error, they do still happen. Accidents may occur whenever there is a failure of coupling systems, lighting, wheels, power trains, tires, brake systems, etc. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety cited a 2020 study that showed that over half of trucks involved in an accident had a mechanical problem that violated FMCSA’s regulations and over 30% had a problem that should have resulted in the truck being taken off of the road. An accident may be caused by a truck when there is faulty manufacturing of systems or pats, or when maintenance is ignored.
When the road has a faulty design or the road has not been properly maintained, it can cause an accident. If there is vegetation or trees at an intersection that obscures a pothole or causes a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Local contractors and the government are responsible for the road and they can be held liable for an accident.
Faulty Work Zones
Whenever contractors are maintaining a roadway or working on construction there are certain design protocols they are required to follow, such as offering drivers a warning and enough time for them to slow down, along with plenty of space between the workers and traffic. There should be barriers put in place as well. Some things that need to be considered when setting a work zone include how much time a truck needs to slow down, highway speeds, and traffic congestion.
A personal injury case may be pursued in order to seek compensation from the truck driver, the trucking company, and/or a third party such as a contractor that loaded the cargo, the distributor or manufacturer of defective truck parts, or the government.
Cellino Law will provide you with a team of skilled and experienced truck accident attorneys who can investigate the accident and help to identify who the liable parties are.
Truck Accident Injuries
A truck and car cannot be compared based on weight and size. A car weighs around 3,000 pounds while a loaded semi-truck may weigh more than 80,000 pounds. That is why in accidents that involve a truck and a car, the car’s occupants are usually the ones who sustain the most severe injuries, and they can be fatal at times. Since severe injuries can be caused by trucks, trucking companies have been required by law to obtain insurance policies with high policy limits.
Cellino Law has provided legal representation to truck accident victims over the years who have suffered serious injuries such as:
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Fractured or broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Facial injuries
- Emotional trauma
- Back injuries and spinal cord damage
- Burns from explosions
- Brain injury and traumatic bleeding
- Head injuries, which include concussions
People who have sustained these kinds of injuries need to have specialized treatment, long-term care, and rehabilitation. Our lawyers will do whatever they can to ensure you as well as your family receives the maximum amount of compensation that will cover your injuries and whatever damages you suffered due to the accident.
What Are The Federal Regulations For Tractor-Trailers?
Usually, tractor-trailers are large and more power and can pose more danger to other drivers. That is why the government has instituted strict regulations that trucks and operators are required to follow. A truck’s load limit is 80,000 pounds. There is a limit as well on how many hours a truck driver can drive consecutively, as well as in a day and in a week. Owners of trucks are required to do maintenance checks on their trucks regularly and perform repairs when the truck has a problem. The regulations have been put into place to protect other users of the road and truck drivers.
Unfortunately, there are many trucking companies that do not follow the rules. They encourage their truck drivers to bypass the regulations to maximize their profits and beat their deadlines. Some of these illegal practices include:
- Truck drivers not taking their required breaks
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving in weather that is dangerous
- Driving for more hours than the law allows
- Overloading trailers
What Should You Do After A Truck Accident?
If either you or a family member was in an accident that involved a commercial vehicle or large truck, there are certain things you should do to ensure you and your suit or claim for compensation are protected.
If you were in a truck accident, it is very important to inform the police about the accident, whether or not you have sustained any injuries. That will ensure that an official report gets made and can prove to be quite important whenever you begin the process to pursue compensation via a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. Whenever you call 911, emergency and the police will come out to the accident scene.
Seek Medical Care
Victims can become severely injured in a trucking accident. That is why you should be checked by a paramedic, or you can go to the emergency room following the accident. An entire body exam will be conducted since you could have injuries that may not be visible such as brain injuries and internal injuries.
Document the Accident Scene
If you can, take videos and photos of the accident scene. That will help you document the damage to the surrounding property and your vehicle. It also can help to document any injuries you may have suffered.
Exchange Contact Information
Ask the truck driver to give you their contact details and name, as well as their employer’s contact information and name. It is also very important to obtain insurance information. Give them your contact information as well.
Seek Out Witness Information
If anyone stopped to provide help or there were witnessed that saw the crash, try to get contact information from them. Your attorney will contact them to obtain statements from them.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Inform your insurance company as soon as you can. Be sure they are aware that it is a truck accident.
Call a Truck Accident Attorney
If you were in a truck accident in New York, the best thing to do is to speak to an experienced attorney who handles these kinds of cases. A truck accident attorney in The Bronx, NY, that can help you with your personal injury case.
Why Should You Hire A Bronx Truck Accident Attorney?
According to the DMV, every year, more than 5,000 individuals lose their lives in New York state due to accidents that involve large trucks. Accidents that involve trucks are very serious due to their size and weight, and that is why they leave greater damage compared to the damage inflicted by small vehicles. If you have been injured as a result of a truck accident, an attorney can help you pursue compensation for your damages. They include the following:
- Current and future medical bills, due to injuries suffered in a truck accident
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress and mental anguish
- Vehicle and home modifications, which include lifts and wheelchair ramps
- Injury, property damage or loss, and permanent disability
- Loss of career or income, which includes loss of earnings due to missing time from work
What Damages Can You Claim In A Truck Accident?
It will depend on your specific situation. There are two different kinds of damages that an individual can pursue. They are compensatory and punitive. You will probably pursue compensatory damages where the responsible party pays for the expenses that you incurred due to the accident. It involves both intangible things such as pain and suffering as well as tangible things such as lost earnings and medical bills.
If either you or a family member has serious injuries, you may be able to pursue punitive damages. Those damages are intended to punish the party who is responsible for their reckless or negligent actions, and that is why most suits do not include them.
Is The Driver Or Truck Company Liable If An Intoxicated Truck Driver Causes An Accident?
When a truck driver has a 0.04%or higher blood alcohol content, they are not allowed to drive. If either you or a family member was injured due to an accident with a drunk driver, the trucking company and the truck driver will be liable for the injuries and the damages that were the result of the truck accident.
Who Is Liable If A Malfunction Causes A Truck Accident?
Depending on the situation, the truck owner, the driver, and the trucking company can be held liable. If either the employer company or truck owner failed to inspect the truck correctly, they may be held liable. If there were any defects with the truck drivers, the manufacturer may be held liable for your damages.
Should I Contact A Lawyer Before Speaking To An Insurance Provider?
The best way to communicate with insurance companies is to inform them you have legal representation. You should tell your Bronx car accident lawyer that the insurance company s attempting to contact you. Never sign anything unless you have an attorney with you since you could end up limiting how much you receive in compensation. Your attorney will handle the communications with the insurance company for you.
How The Bronx Truck Accident Lawyers At Cellino Law Can Help You
Cellino Law has a skilled team of attorneys with extensive experience handling truck accident cases. Our lawyers will build a very strong case for you by uncovering the evidence that is needed. We will work with experts in reconstructing the accident scene, obtaining video surveillance of the truck accident, photograph the scene, and interview witnesses.
There are certain documents that must be obtained. That includes the Route Schedule, the truck driver’s Trip Sheet, the Log Book Time Card, and also the manifests, logs, and other documents that have been prepared by or for the truck driver over the past 30 days prior to the accident.
Our personal injury firm in The Bronx will obtain inspection reports as well, and that includes inspection reports of any trucks that were involved in an accident, a checklist of the truck following the incident, and the inspection report from the day that the accident occurred. Our attorneys have the necessary knowledge and skills to identify the documents that can effectively help your case.
Injuries that are caused by truck accidents can devastate the lives of the people involved. That is why they are eligible to receive financial compensation. It should not be necessary for you to bear the burden of another person’s or entity’s recklessness or negligence in a truck accident where you were not at fault. Filing a personal injury lawsuit is what can help you obtain the financial assistance that you need to pay for your damages, medical bills, and lost earnings.