Truck accidents are dangerous and often end with harsh injuries, damages and even fatalities. The size of the vehicle is often a reason for this. Even though drivers of smaller vehicles can easily end up crashing a truck, often these accidents happen because the truck driver wasn’t able to see the smaller vehicle, due to heavy load, vehicle or faulty parts, but also because of the long working hours.
If you were injured in such a crash or have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you should report the accident and seek legal assistance from a New York truck accident attorney.
The Trucking Industry is Controlled by State and Federal Laws
The huge size of these vehicles is a risk on roads for others but also for the truck drivers themselves. There are federal and state laws that regulate the trucking industry one to protect the public from such accidents.
Driver fatigue is one of the most common reasons for accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the federal agency involved with regulating and providing safety for commercial motor vehicles).
One of the FMCSA regulations put in recent years is the effort to lower the number of truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. The following are the most important parts of this regulation:
The hours of service rules refer to all interstate drivers of commercial motor vehicles weighing higher than 10,000 pounds, (gross vehicle weight or gross total weight, including trucks that carry hazardous materials).
For drivers that carry property, there is a window of 14 continuous hours to drive after an off-duty time of 10+ hours. During this 14-hour window, the driver may drive 11 consecutive hours.
After eight continuing hours of driving, the driver should take an off-duty break of 30 minutes.
Drivers should work only 60 hours every seven days (or 70 hours every eight days).
Drivers can restart their working hours during the week by taking an off-duty time of at least 34 continuous hours.
Collecting Damages in a New York Truck Accident Claim
No two truck accidents are the same therefore you can’t just get an answer that can fit your case. The amount you’ll collect will depend on your case.
The compensation covers economic and non-economic losses. The economic losses are the losses such as medical bills, surgeries, therapy, medicine, vehicle damages and any other expenses you had because of the accident.
Non-economic losses are harder to calculate and refer to pain and suffering. These losses include disability or disfigurement, lifelong disabilities or scars. All the things you go through such as trauma, pain and suffering after the accident will be covered with these damages.
The Severity of Your Injuries
How much you will collect from your damages will depend on the severity of your injuries. Since most truck accidents lead to severe injuries (especially if you were traveling in a car or a smaller vehicle) you can expect to collect a higher claim. However, your attorney will have to review your case before you can take this for granted.
For instance, if you have ended with a loss of limb, traumatic brain injury, damage to your spinal cord then it would be considered that you have had severe injuries.
If your injuries affect your life and working abilities (permanent disability) you can also ask a high coverage.
Your personal injury attorney will look at your injuries and prognosis and even the loss of future earning capacity; all of these will determine the value of your case. That is the dollar amount for damages a court might award.
So, before you decide to calculate the damages by yourself, or file a compensation claim and go into this process by yourself, keep in mind that these cases sometimes take longer and if you aren’t fully recovered, things may be very challenging. It’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible. Your attorney will not only advise you on the next step but will also answer every question you have.
These accidents aren’t minor and often leave people with many difficulties even after they heal.
It’s important to have a skilled and experienced attorney by your side because the insurance company may offer a lower amount (which many people would accept instantly). Your attorney will negotiate with the insurers until you get the best offer.
Our team at Cellino Law is here to help you with everything; contact our office today.