You’ve survived an accident with a large truck, but you didn’t escape unscathed. Now you need a truck accident lawyer in New York to help you file a truck accident claim or file a personal injury lawsuit against the appropriate negligent party. Learn how a truck accident lawyer can help your case.
How Is a Truck Accident Different from a Car Accident?
Trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, compared to approximately 4,000 pounds for a regular passenger vehicle. Trucks have much more inertia and produce more force in a collision than passenger vehicles. Essentially, trucks can’t brake as quickly, so they often hit other cars at high speeds with the force of a heavy load.
Even a minor accident with a truck can cause severe injuries to drivers and passengers in smaller cars.
What Rules Do Truckers Need to Follow?
Interstate truckers must adhere to strict drive-time regulations set in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations include limitations such as:
- Limiting drivers to 11 hours of driving after 10 consecutive hours off-duty
- Limiting drivers to 14 hours on-duty after 10 consecutive hours off-duty
- Requiring a half-hour break after driving for 8 cumulative hours without a 30-minute break
- Requiring a 34-hour break between 6/7 days on-duty in a 7/8 consecutive day period (either 6 days on-duty in a 7-day period or 7 days on-duty in an 8-day period, depending on length of drive-time in the days on-duty)
There are reasonable exceptions for adverse driving conditions, sleeper splits, and short-haul exceptions, but the hours must fall within the FMCSA regulations.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Truck Accident
New York is a no-fault state, meaning you must file a claim with your own insurance company for your injuries through your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. However, because truck accidents are often severe, you may qualify to file a personal injury suit against any liable parties for your injuries if your medical expenses and related costs exceed your policy limits.
Be aware that insurance companies don’t like paying claims, even for their own policyholders. Your insurance adjuster will look for any possible reason to devalue your claim. You should be extremely careful when speaking with your insurance company not to say anything that could incriminate you as partly responsible for your injuries.
Who Can Be Liable for a Truck Accident?
Determining liability in a truck accident is a complex matter. Drivers for commercial trucks, trucking companies, and truck manufacturers each have their own insurance policies and insurance companies to fight claims against them. The insurance company will try to pass blame to other potentially liable parties to minimize damage to its policyholder and the company.
If you were injured in an accident involving a truck, your truck accident lawyer will study the evidence closely and determine who is liable so that you can file an accident claim or personal injury suit. The statute of limitations in New York is three years from the date of the accident, so acting promptly is essential.
In a truck accident case, you may be able to hold multiple parties liable for your injuries, including:
- The truck driver
- The truck company
- The manufacturer of a defective truck part that caused the accident
- Another driver who caused the truck driver to crash
- The cargo loader who failed to load the truck properly, leading to the accident
When several insurance companies are trying to lay the blame on each other to avoid paying for your medical care when you are in pain, you should have an experienced trucking accident attorney on your side.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
Your truck accident lawyer will take several steps to gather evidence for your case, help you determine liability, and ensure that you can file a lawsuit for your injuries before any deadlines. Experienced truck accident lawyers can:
- Speak with insurance adjusters on your behalf
- Gather witness statements from witnesses at the scene of the accident
- Look for video footage of your accident from nearby businesses, dash cams, and cell phones
- Have an accident reconstruction engineer recreate the events of your accident in a simulation
- Determine the cause of the accident to hold any negligent parties liable in a lawsuit
- Request and review medical records from before and after the accident
Your truck accident lawyer can help you pursue economic and non-economic compensation for your injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and more.
Contact a New York Truck Accident Lawyer if You Suffered Injuries in a Truck Crash
You need a truck accident lawyer for your case. Learn more about how an attorney helps with your auto accident claim or any other personal injury claim. When you are ready to pursue a claim or lawsuit to cover your expenses as you recover from your injuries after a truck accident, turn to our law firm at Sattler Law Group, P.C., in New Rochelle, New York.
Call us today at Sattler Law Group, P.C., at (914) 239-4900 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a truck accident lawyer for your case.
What are the qualities of the best truck accident lawyer?
A good truck accident lawyer understands that several parties may be liable for your injuries in a truck crash and won’t waste time chasing after the wrong party for liability. Additionally, your New York truck accident lawyer can represent you directly with your insurance company so you don’t mistakenly give information that could lower the value of your claim.
Should I get a lawyer after a truck accident in New York?
You should hire a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance companies are looking for any reason to devalue your claim. By having your attorney speak with the insurance company on your behalf, you have a better chance of getting a decent settlement before taking your claim to court. If the insurance company still doesn’t offer an appropriate settlement, your attorney can file suit.