In the unfortunate event that you were injured in an accident caused by the negligence of others, you may be able to recover compensation for damages by filing a trucking accident lawsuit. We can answer important questions you may have such as:
Contact our experienced New York truck accident lawyers today to get your questions answered and begin your path to justice. We are just a call away.
Large trucks are inherently dangerous and can cause serious damage when they crash into other vehicles. Unfortunately, truck accidents are a common occurrence on our roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), truck accidents caused 3,921 fatalities and approximately 104,000 injuries in the U.S. during 2012 alone.
The State of New York is no stranger to truck accidents either. Data from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV) suggests that there were an estimated 11,452 large truck crashes in New York during 2013.
Many different types of trucks travel on the roads of New York each day. The size and design of a particular truck, as well as the cargo that it is carrying, can all factor into causing a truck accident. Additionally, these factors can also have an effect on consequential damages. A few types of trucks that are commonly involved in accidents include:
When it comes to truck accidents, it is by no means “one size fits all”. In fact, there are many different types of truck accidents that can occur. The type of accident that occurs can have a direct impact on the severity of the accident and can often help in determining the cause of the accident. Some of the most common types of truck accidents that we see include:
An 18 wheeler or semi-trailer truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. The massive size of large trucks combined with their high speeds can make for dangerous situations. With this in mind, it may not come as a surprise to know that passengers involved in truck accidents have a higher rate of injury compared to passengers in accidents that only involve smaller passenger vehicles. Furthermore, passengers in smaller vehicles are much more likely to suffer injuries than truck drivers and passengers of larger vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the 104,000 people injured in truck accidents during 2012, about 73% were occupants of smaller standard passenger vehicles.
Crashes involving commercial motor vehicles can cause a number of serious injuries. However, the unique dynamics most truck accidents make victims highly susceptible to specific types of injuries including:
After being involved in a truck accident, it is important to seek professional medical attention from a preferred doctor to assess for injuries. Sometimes injuries are difficult to detect right away and could surface months later.
Many truck accidents are caused by truck driver negligence or trucking company negligence. In the unfortunate event that you were injured in an accident caused by the negligence of others, you may be able to recover compensation for damages by filing a trucking accident lawsuit. Truck accident victims are often entitled to recover compensation for certain damages such as medical expenses, lost wages and loss of enjoyment of life.
When considering a personal injury lawsuit for a truck accident, one of the most important questions that must be addressed is: “what caused the accident?”. There can be several causes for any particular accident, however, negligence is often one of the main factors. Some parties that can be found negligent in a truck accident include:
Due to the dangerous nature of accidents involving large trucks, such as 18 wheelers or semi-trailers, drivers who operate Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) are held to much stricter safety standards and regulations compared to the average driver.
Technically, truck drivers operating under a CMV license are considered “professional” drivers because they are specifically trained and certified to drive very large vehicles safely, while the average roadway motorist is considered a “non-professional” driver. As with many other scenarios in life, the professionals on our roads are held to higher standards than the amateurs.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers disregard the stricter safety regulations imposed on them, or act negligently in some other way, endangering the lives of other New York drivers. When a truck driver does not follow standard procedures or behaves recklessly, we call this negligence.
Truck driver negligence is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents and can appear in many different forms. Some of the most common types of truck driver negligence which often lead to crashes include:
Operating small vehicles while intoxicated is dangerous enough, however, those dangers are compounded when operating large trucks. As a result, trucking laws restrict truckers to a much lower legal limit than average drivers.
Statistics suggest that truck driver fatigue caused 18% of truck accidents involving driver error in 2012. Many trucking companies actually encourage fatigued driving through incentives for quicker delivery times.
Reckless driving occurs when a truck driver operates a vehicle in a manner that shows a complete disregard for the safety of others. Speeding is a common type of reckless driving that can result in serious accidents.
A small lapse of attention can have serious consequences when operating a large vehicle. Truck drivers often cause serious accidents when they become distracted by the use of cell phones or other objects.
The FMCSA requires that a truck inspection report be completed by drivers of commercial motor vehicles each day. Additionally, periodic maintenance inspections are required as well. When proper inspection standards are not followed crashes can occur.
Generally speaking, it is the combined responsibility of truck drivers, trucking companies, and inspection companies to ensure adequate maintenance of vehicles. Unfortunately, many trucks on New York’s roads are under-maintained for various reasons.
The FMCSA sets regulations for the trucking industry which are designed to improve overall roadway safety in the United States, however many truck drivers do not comply with these regulations and endanger the lives of others.
In many instances, the negligence of motor carrier companies, commonly referred to as trucking companies, can cause serious accidents.
When victims are injured in a truck accident caused by the negligence of a motor carrier company, they may be able to sue to recover compensation for damages. Common types of trucking company negligence include:
It is often the responsibility of trucking companies to maintain their fleet of vehicles. Lack of maintenance on the part of a trucking company can cause serious crashes.
Motor carrier companies are required to comply with certain safety regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, however many disregard these regulations.
When trucking companies schedule routes that exceed Hours of Service regulations they endanger the lives of their employees as well as other New York drivers.
Many trucking companies do not take the required effort to ensure that a new or potential hire is qualified to operate its fleet of commercial motor vehicles. Additionally, some motor carrier companies knowingly employ under-qualified workers to operate their vehicles. These inexperienced drivers pose a threat to others each time they take the wheel.
Negligence is not just limited to drivers and carrier companies, but can also include a number of other parties such as the manufacturer of truck parts. Even when trucks are properly inspected, maintained and operated, there is still the chance that products or equipment can fail.
When a defective product or malfunctioning piece of equipment causes an accident, it is possible that the product manufacturer can be held responsible under a product liability claim.
Two types of defective products that frequently lead to accidents include brakes and tires.
Crashes from brake failure occur frequently on our roads.
Data from The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCSS) found that over 29% of all large truck accidents involved some sort of brake-related issue such as brake failure. When brake-related issues cause an accident, there are several parties who could be responsible including the truck driver or the trucking company.
However, complete brake failure is typically the result of a defective product and can be attributed to the manufacturer of the products.
Another product that commonly causes semi-truck crashes are defective tires. Bad tires can blow out or cause a truck to lose control by not providing the appropriate amount of traction.
When filing a defective product liability case for a bad tire, it is usually the producer that is pursued. But it’s also the responsibility of the truck driver to properly inspect each tire, so these accidents can also be caused by driver negligence.
Although defective brakes and tires are the most common product-related issues that cause truck accidents, there are hundreds of other pieces of equipment that must work together in order for a truck to operate safely.
When any of these products fail to perform as designed and cause an accident, the manufacturer may be held accountable for damages.
Due to the dangerous nature of accidents involving large trucks, operators of commercial motor vehicles are required to adhere to much stricter rules than the average driver.
One of the leading agencies that regulates trucking laws and industry regulations is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) whose primary goal is to prevent commercial vehicle-related injuries and fatalities.
The FMCSA sets several regulations for the trucking industry. These laws are intended to diminish the number of truck accidents that occur each year and ultimately the number of subsequent injuries.
One of the leading causes of truck accidents is fatigued truck driving. To improve the overall safety of our roadways, the FMCSA implemented Hours of Service Regulations which limit drivers of commercial vehicles to a maximum number of daily and weekly hours on the road.
Unfortunately, many trucking companies do not adhere to these regulations for various reasons such as faster delivery times. In the State of New York, truck drivers are required to log every hour of their work week, whether on or off duty.
When a truck accident investigation finds that logged time exceeds the regulations, or there is no record of logged time, there may be a case for negligence.
If you or loved one suffered an injury in a truck accident it is important that you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Many insurance companies will discourage victims from speaking with an attorney in an attempt to settle out of court. However, an experienced lawyer will assist you with gathering relevant information about your accident and will help you consider all of your legal options before making a rash decision. Unfortunately, many truck accident victims do not discuss their legal rights with an attorney and as a result, do not receive the maximum compensation that they deserve.
When it comes to truck accident lawsuits, time is of the essence. The statute of limitations in the State of New York allows victims of truck accidents to file a personal injury claim within three years of the date that the accident occurred.
If you suffered an injury in a truck collision you should contact the experienced attorneys at Banville Law as soon as possible. Although it may seem like there is plenty of time, truck accidents can be complex and it can often take a long time to build a good case. Contact our New York office today for a free consultation on your legal rights!
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to uncover negligence in a truck accident, much less prove that that negligence caused your accident in some way. Many truck accident victims are understandably overwhelmed by the thought of standing up to large trucking and insurance companies. As a result, victims who are entitled to fair compensation for their accident do not take legal action.
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