Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer

Semi-truck drivers have the heavy responsibility of delivering goods to their destinations safely and on time, often traveling long distances over several hours. Driving while drowsy can dull a driver’s sense of awareness and slow his or her reaction time down. It only takes a split second for a truck driver to doze off or get distracted and lose control of the vehicle, but the damages may last a lifetime.

Cellino Law provides quality legal representation for victims of semi-truck accidents. If you or a family member has been injured in a large truck accident, our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you understand your rights and seek justice for your injuries.

We understand the laws that govern trucking accidents and we use our extensive resources to litigate for our clients’ best interests. If you have questions about your accident, talk to one of our semi-truck accident lawyers for reliable answers you can trust.

Call us at (888) 888-8888 to schedule a free case evaluation and find out how we can help you.

What is a Semi-Truck?

A semi-truck is a heavy-duty vehicle that has many different names such as semi, semi-tractor, semi-trailer, and sometimes “18-wheeler,” although not all semi-trucks have 18 wheels. A semi-truck is a combination of two parts; the tractor unit which holds the engine, and the detachable trailer unit that carries the freight. Generally classified as a Class 8 vehicle, some semi-trucks can measure between 70- and 80-feet long, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) exceeding 33,000 pounds.

What Are Some Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents?

Semi-truck drivers are often under a lot of pressure to transport goods efficiently. The government requires commercial truck drivers to get adequate sleep before they get behind the wheel. This ensures that truck drivers stay awake and alert while driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also regulates the Hours of Service (HOS) for truck drivers which limits the driving time of a commercial truck driver.

Unfortunately, due to tight deadlines or unreasonable expectations from the trucking company, some truck drivers work longer hours than they should, leading to driver fatigue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 697 drowsy-driving-related deaths in 2019. Getting behind the wheel when you are tired, combined with adverse driving conditions, can greatly increase the risk of a collision. Sometimes there are several reasons for a truck accident. Common situations that can cause a semi-truck accident might include:

Types of Semi-Truck Accidents

Like all motorists on the road, semi-truck drivers are required to obey all traffic laws and drive in a reasonably safe manner. Yet, due to their large size and heavy loads, semi-trucks have specific commercial carrier laws they must follow to maintain safe driving practices. When regulations are ignored, accidents can happen, leaving people with painful injuries.

Truck crashes often leave much more damage than your typical auto accident. The sheer force and power of semi-trucks can create a path of devastation if involved in an accident. There are many types of truck accidents, some more dangerous than others.

Blind spot collisions

Most semi-trucks have multiple blind spots for the driver. If a truck driver relies solely on the mirrors and fails to check the blind spots before turning or changing lanes, he or she may hit another vehicle, cyclist, or pedestrian.

Displace cargo or spill accidents

Improperly loaded cargo may cause the load to shift and sway. If the cargo becomes displaced, the truck may be thrown off balance and finally roll over. If the truck is carrying hazardous materials, a cargo spill could become extremely toxic and dangerous for the surrounding area.

Head-on collision

Head-on collisions occur when a driver crosses the center line on the road and collides with another oncoming vehicle. There is usually not much time to react or slow down, so head-on accidents with a truck tend to be deadly.

Jackknife accidents

A jackknife accident can be extremely dangerous. This type of accident occurs when the two separate parts of the semi-truck, the tractor unit and its attached trailer, fold into each other. A jackknife accident can happen when the attached trailer is out of control and swings around, sometimes into oncoming traffic.

Rear-end collisions

Semi-trucks take much more time to slow down than smaller vehicles. If a truck driver is unable to stop in time, the truck might hit the rear of the vehicle in front and possibly cause a multiple car pile-up.

T-bone accidents

T-bone accidents occur when a vehicle runs a red light or a stop sign at an intersection and hits another vehicle on its side. It is called a T-bone accident because of the T-shape the accident creates.

Tire blowout accidents

Tire blowouts occur when there is a sudden loss of air pressure in the tire. This can happen due to an overloaded trailer, insufficient tire tread, or roadway hazards. When a tire blows out, the truck driver may lose control of the vehicle and the attached cargo.

Truck rollovers

If a truck driver misjudges a turn, drives too quickly on a curved road, or the load is not properly secure, the truck may become unbalanced and start to sway or roll over. Semi-trucks have a higher center of gravity, which means they are at a greater risk of rollover than smaller vehicles. In a severe crash, a truck may roll over multiple times.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Semi-Truck Accident?

Many are quick to look to the driver when investigating liability, yet there are many factors that must be considered when determining who is responsible for a semi-truck accident. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, multiple parties may be held liable for the resulting damages.

Semi-truck accidents can be very expensive due to the destruction they often cause. Some trucking companies try to evade responsibility by claiming the truck driver was an independent contractor, in effect trying to remove themselves from the equation. A qualified semi-truck accident lawyer can review all the facts to determine which parties are liable for your damages.

Potentially liable parties for a truck accident may include the:

  • Truck driver
  • Truck owner
  • Trucking company
  • Truck maintenance company
  • Truck parts manufacturer
  • Freight broker
  • Shipping and cargo loading company
  • Other drivers involved in the accident

Establishing Negligence for a Semi-Truck Accident in New York

To recover compensation for damages caused by a semi-truck accident, you must first prove that the at-fault party acted negligently. Negligence refers to when a person fails to behave with the standard of care that is reasonably expected by law. To file a claim based on negligence, the State of New York requires the following elements to be established:

  1. Duty of care – The defendant owed a duty of care
  2. Breach of duty – The defendant breached this duty
  3. Causation – The defendant’s actions or failure to act caused injury to the plaintiff
  4. Damages – The resulting injuries caused damages to the plaintiff

If multiple parties are involved, each party may owe a different type of care. Our lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and resources to thoroughly investigate and establish who is at fault. At Cellino Law, we are not only aware of the laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry, but we also understand the methods big trucking companies and insurance providers use to minimize their share of the blame. We can help you seek justice for your injuries and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Trustworthy Legal Advice for Your Semi-Truck Accident

Cellino Law has been making a difference in New Yorkers’ lives for over 60 years. We have helped our clients recover over $2 billion dollars in settlements. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a semi-truck accident, we want to help you get the justice you deserve. If you decide to hire us, you can be confident that we will keep your best interests in mind and aggressively advocate for your rights. See what our clients have to say about our legal representation and decide for yourself.

Cellino Law is a law firm serious about helping people. We intend to use our combined knowledge and resources to assist accident victims in recovering compensation for their pain and suffering. If you have questions about your semi-truck accident, take advantage of our free no-obligation consultation with one of your dedicated attorneys. We are available 24/7 to offer injury victims a free case evaluation.

Call us at (888) 888-8888 to schedule a visit and we can arrange a time to come out and meet you.

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  • Cellino Law was a great company to work with. From the beginning they came out and met with my uncle and myself and assured us that everything would be taken care of from beginning to end our lawyer state and constant contact with us to make sure that everything would go smoothly and it did. I would definitely recommend anybody to go to Cellino Law for whatever help they need. And specifically please ask for the lawyer that we had Mr. Alan Silverstein. He was amazing and his staff was always attentive. Please go with them for your next law needs.

    Eshaunda

  • This letter is to thank Ms. Diane D’Andrea, assistant to Mr. George Gridelli, Attny for all the hard work, dedication, and attentiveness she showed during the representation of my case. She was always cheerful and ready to help in whatever way she could. All messages left for Mr. Gridelli were always relayed and Mr. Gridelli always promptly returned our calls. She was a very competent assistant. Cellino Law has proven to be a model of what legal representation should be. Throughout the 6 ½ years of this case, I have heard many horror stories from people with “bad lawyer stories.” We consider ourselves to be very lucky to have chosen Cellino Law and will always recommend you to those looking for good, honest representation with a personal touch.

    Joseph

  • Thank you for your help in settling the case of my father's accident. I could always count on you to answer my questions honestly and in terms I could understand. If all lawyers at Cellino Law are like you, I understand why they are an A-1 law firm.

    Bedner

  • Choosing the right attorney to represent you after an accident can make all the difference. This is no cliche. I recently experienced these words to live by first hand. After a tractor trailer rear ended me at high speed in 2017 I retained Allan Silverstein to handle my case. I quickly realized that bringing a lawsuit rapidly snowballs into a mountain of details that can make or break your results. Documents, case histories, doctor visits, bills, and lots of phone calls all need to be accurately kept track of if a successful outcome it to be attained. To complicate matters I reside in New York and the incident took place in New Jersey. Luckily, Allan was licensed in multiple states. I was fortunate to find Allan to handle this matter from the New York area. Armed with an accurate account of the facts Allan went to work on the difficult job of negotiating with the defending insurance company as well as my no fault carrier in order to obtain the best possible outcome for my set of circumstances. In a lawsuit communication is key and and events can be of a timely nature. Allan never failed to return my calls - usually the same day! He fought skillfully and respectfully to get me the best possible settlement. He is easy to deal with and a likeable down to earth guy. He always listened with compassion and respect to my issues. He guided me with objective understanding as well as a realistic analysis of the merits of my case. When we finally settled Allan got me a fair agreement beyond my expectations and negotiated with my doctors to make sure all my bills were paid. It was a great experience having Allan represent me. Quality work in any aspect of life is hard to find. Quality is what I got with Allan Silverstein. I highly recommend him if you find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney.

    Theodore

  • Thank you for your efforts on my behalf. I am very pleased (and surprised) at the amount of the settlement. We will use the funds to help pay down the debt on the truck we had to purchase after ours was totaled. Thank you again.

    Linda

  • I can only say great things about my attorney Allan Silverstein. He is professional, he calls back right away, he keeps me informed, and makes me feel comfortable as this entire ordeal is stressful. I have total confidence in his ability to handle whatever comes his way. He is no nonsense and very good at his job. Thank you Allan... he is a true asset to the team!

    Mrs Steward