We all share the roads with tractor-trailers, and we’ve all imagined how terrifying it would be to be struck by one. Sadly, truck accidents happen often in New York, and people suffer serious injuries as a result. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in New York, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC to learn more about your legal options. Our team knows how to deal with trucking and insurance companies to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
How Kaplan Lawyers PC Can Help Truck Accident Victims
When you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you might be facing several challenges, including medical bills, lost income, reduced work capacity, property damage, pain and emotional trauma. We represent New York truck accident victims to get them payment for all these costs, along with any other costs stemming from the crash.
In the days, weeks and months that follow your crash, you’ll have several opportunities to maximize the payment you will receive, so that it reflects the damages you’ve experienced. Without the proper guidance, you’ll also be more likely to make mistakes that hurt your chances of getting a fair deal.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we handle the day-to-day aspects of your truck accident claim. We keep you informed on the progress of your case and answer any questions you might have. We know how important a successful claim is for our clients, and we are dedicated to getting them the result they deserve.
Passenger Car Occupants are Usually the Victims in Large Truck Accidents
Tractor-trailers play a vital role in the shipment of goods throughout the country. However, the size of these trucks and the amount of commercial traffic on our roadways present a tremendous risk to other drivers, especially if the truck driver makes a serious mistake. For the occupants of passenger vehicles, crashes involving large trucks can be some of the deadliest on our roads.
The New York truck accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC have helped a countless number of victims who have been injured in truck accidents. We have the skill and experience necessary to help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Large Truck Crashes
There are many possible reasons for a crash involving a tractor-trailer, and one single crash can have multiple contributing factors. However, many of these factors come in the form of human error. Here are a few examples of factors that could lead to a truck crash:
- Traveling Too Fast for Conditions. Speeding leads to a large percentage of trucking crashes. In 2014, 990 large truck crashes in New York were caused by unsafe speeds. Many trucks are equipped with devices that limit the speed at which a truck can travel, though that doesn’t necessarily prevent a driver from exceeding speed limits on smaller roads.
- Drowsy Driving (or Driver Fatigue). Truck driver fatigue is a major concern in the trucking industry and the center of much debate. The Federal Motor Carrier Administration says that nearly 30 percent of drivers could have some form of sleep apnea, a condition which disrupts sleep, decreases daytime alertness and leads to fatigued driving.
- Driving Inappropriately for Road Conditions. Whether driving in a crowded city or on an icy road, most truck drivers are experts at navigating the random conditions they encounter on the job. However, some drivers, especially young drivers, might fail to adjust their driving habits according to the demands of the weather or traffic conditions.
- Impaired Driving. Impaired driving among truck drivers has decreased greatly over the past few decades but, just like any other subset of drivers, some still get behind the wheel of their automobiles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Driver Inexperience. Veteran drivers have been through almost every imaginable scenario on the road, but younger drivers are more likely to make mistakes, and those missteps can be costly for other motorists. New York City is a very challenging environment for truck drivers to navigate. For drivers who lack experience driving a commercial vehicle in New York, these challenges can be overwhelming.
- Distracted Driving. Every driver, including truckers, must be completely present behind the wheel. Diverting attention to mobile devices, stereos or other passengers even for a moment can lead to catastrophic and fatal traffic crashes. In 2014, nearly 2,000 large truck crashes in New York involved driver inattention and driver distraction.
Most serious commercial truck accidents occur in rural areas — 61% according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 2018 safety fact sheet. There are several reasons for this.
- Speed limits aren’t enforced as strictly as in cities and on interstates.
- This leads to truckers (and motorists overall) driving faster.
- They’re also less attentive and subject to more distractions.
- And when driving after dark, all these factors can be amplified, which is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tells us more truck accidents occur at night.
Investigating the cause of a trucking accident is complicated and requires a specialized skill to determine the liable party. There may be multiple parties involved — the driver, the owner, the company that leased the truck, the company that loaded the truck, or even the truck manufacturer. Our New York truck accident lawyers have the experience and knowledge to confirm who was at fault and to hold them accountable.
Defective Products Also Cause Serious Trucking Accidents
Not surprisingly, sometimes defective parts on a commercial truck break and cause a serious accident. Manufacturing defects can occur when low-quality materials or parts are used to lower costs. Though they may be in compliance with federal minimum safety standards, they still could pose significant safety risks. In addition to law enforcement and your attorney, federal transportation officials are likely to be involved in the accident investigation. So it is possible the manufacturer, in addition to the trucking company (and/or driver), may share the blame and liability for compensating all accident victims.
Consequences of Truck Accidents
When a large truck collides with another vehicle, it is typically the occupant of the smaller vehicle that is injured, due in large part to the size and weight of the tractor-trailer. For this reason, the injuries sustained in these types of crashes can be some of the worst of all crash types. They include:
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries are often permanent and debilitating. They can lead to paralysis and a lifetime of medical treatment and ongoing care.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries cause many problems for vehicle accident victims. They can impair motor functions, memory and the ability to interpret or use language.
- Internal damage. Internal injuries can be difficult to detect immediately following a crash. They may also cause the failure of several bodily functions and lead to death.
- Multiple bone fractures. Fractures to wrists or ankles, or hip fractures, can be painful, costly and impact a person’s ability to do their jobs and perform basic, everyday tasks.
In addition to these injuries, victims can face incredible pain, suffering, medical bills, ongoing medical care, loss of income and loss of work capacity. When crashes turn fatal, surviving family members also encounter devastating consequences resulting from the loss of their loved ones. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact the NYC truck accident lawyers at Kaplan Lawyers PC.
We understand the complex issues that stem from insurance coverage and the role of each defendant, and we will see to it that you receive compensation for your damages. The New York truck accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC have decades of experience and are here to help. Our consultation is free and there is no charge to you unless we win your case.
Truck Accident Cases Aren’t Simply Big Car Accident Cases
- Trucks and truck drivers are subject to specific state and federal laws. These laws are generally stricter than the rules other motorists must follow. Trucking laws introduce a level of complexity that isn’t an issue in car accident cases. While a client won’t need to worry about the nuances of trucking laws, it is vital that they find an attorney who is well-versed in these matters.
- Accidents involving large trucks tend to cause greater injuries than crashes involving two passenger vehicles. The more significant the injuries involved in a claim, the more important it is for an injured person to hire an attorney that has experience with claims involving serious injuries. You want to be sure you aren’t leaving compensation on the table, and that means hiring an attorney that will fight to get you the payment you truly need.
- Trucking companies know that their drivers are inevitably going to be involved in collisions with other vehicles. Trucking companies and their insurance companies often have tactics to lessen the amount of money they pay a claimant. It’s not unheard of for these companies to deploy a representative to the scene of a truck accident to ask for a statement or a signature from another driver to mitigate their liability. They also have legal teams ready to handle any lawsuits they’ll face.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we know how to deal with trucking companies and insurance drivers. We’re prepared to take our clients’ cases all the way. The other side always knows that we mean business. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in New York, then you should know you have an ally in Kaplan Lawyers PC. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Trucking Accident and Wreck FAQs
What is the difference between a crash involving a large truck and crashes involving two passenger vehicles?
How do large trucking companies approach these cases?
What should I do if I am involved in a crash involving a large truck?
Should I speak to representatives from a trucking company?
Are all truckers considered employees of a trucking company?
Do I need an attorney to handle my claim?
How long do I have to bring a claim?
Can I bring a claim even if the other driver wasn’t 100% at fault?
Do I have to pay any legal fees if I lose my case?
How much is my case worth?
How long will it take to settle my case?
How will my medical bills get paid?
Does No Fault pay for anything else?
Why does my insurance company have to pay the bills if the other driver caused the accident?
Why would the insurance companies want that?
What is the legal definition of a serious injury?
How will I know if my injuries will be considered serious?
How can I get my truck fixed?
Fast Facts About Large Truck Crashes
- On average, there are more than 3,500 deaths on U.S. roads in large truck crashes every year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- Nearly 85 percent of fatalities in large truck crashes are either occupants of a passenger vehicle or pedestrians.
- Over 80 percent of fatal large truck crashes happen on interstates, freeways and other major roads.
- In 2014, there were 11,848 crashes involving large trucks in New York.
- Of those large truck crashes in New York, 3,760 resulted in personal injury and 74 were fatal.