New York Truck Accident Lawyer
When the Unimaginable Happens
Almost every day in New York and across the tri-state area, there are news reports of deadly car, bus, and truck accidents. Truck accidents can be particularly dangerous and can affect many people at once. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, 4,761 people died in crashes involving trucks. New York State claimed 121 of those deaths.
While highway crashes decreased overall, from 2007 to 2017, large truck accidents increased by 12 percent. Of all those who died in these accidents, 72 percent occupied other vehicles.
There is no doubt of the destructive power of large trucks. All drivers hope the truck driver we encounter on the highway is trained, wide awake, and ready to react well in a crisis. Unfortunately, it only takes one mistake to devastate lives.
Victims of truck accidents are often seriously injured, and the top priority is medical attention. But even if a victim manages to sustain minor injuries or if an individual is investigating legal action for an injured love one, there are vital steps to take after a truck accident:
- Call 911- After an accident, call 911 and secure assistance. The dispatcher will route the call to the police and emergency medical services. Tell the dispatcher how many people are presumed injured. Even if the damage and injuries seem minor, the police report provides documentation of the accident, which is essential if you need to file a suit against a trucking company for damages.
- Seek Medical Care- Adrenaline may prevent accident victims from feeling the full extent of any injuries. It is better to be certain than sorry, so seek medical attention as soon as possible. If injured parties wait too long, medical professionals may find it difficult to link the injury to the accident. Some personal injuries, like traumatic brain injuries and internal bleeding, are difficult to detect without assessment and treatment.
- Document the Scene- Accidents are by their very nature shocking and traumatic, but it is important to keep your wits about you after you have been in one. Try to remember to document the accident by taking photos. In fact, anyone who is not gravely injured after a truck accident should take as many photos as they can. Take photos of any weather conditions, skid marks, or road hazards. Insurance companies also offer apps that guide people through taking vehicle damage pictures.
- Secure Names and Contact Information- Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses. Also, collect information from the other drivers, including their names, home addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, insurance information, driver’s license numbers, and plate numbers. For the truck driver, get their name, contact information, employer name, and trucking company. Document the commercial truck’s license plate number and other identifying information.
- Say Little- It is normal to feel angry, especially if there are injuries. But this is the time to play it cool. Except for requesting or providing information, say nothing. Definitely do not admit fault or liability. Many personal injury cases die or settle for less than they are worth because of behavior or statements made at the scene. Never share any accident details or feelings on social media.
- Appraise your Vehicle- Just as with people, vehicles hide damage, and only a skilled body shop estimator can find it. Do not order the repairs at that time; receive an estimate, so you have the information for your claim.
- Call a Truck Accident Attorney- You may feel overwhelmed after a big accident. . Recovering from an injury demands energy and takes time. At the same time, you will have to deal with the drivers’ insurance companies, the trucking company’s insurance companies, and your own medical providers. You may also be worried about returning to work and keeping a regular paycheck. Truck accident lawyers like The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm understand these competing concerns and can help follow through on some of these steps so that an accident victim can just concentrate on getting better and getting back to work and everyday routines. We work hard to win and/or settle cases to ensure maximum compensation, including pain and suffering, lost income, and medical expenses.
The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm represents victims in New York City who sustain serious injuries through no fault of their own. We offer free consultations to help determine whether you have a claim that we can help you pursue.
Typical Truck Accident Cases Handled By Our Firm
Truck accidents take several forms, including:
- Big rig and 18 wheeler crashes
- General commercial truck crashes
- Tractor-trailer or semi-truck accidents
- Garbage truck and municipal truck crashes
- Truck and passenger car accidents
- Truck and pedestrian accidents
- Accidents between trucks and other types of commercial vehicles
- Crashes between trucks and bicyclists
- Tow truck crashes
- Cargo and box truck accidents
- Sweeper truck crashes
- Fuel truck accidents
- Truckers driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
When our legal team takes a case, we conduct a thorough investigation. Our attorneys have extensive experience and knowledge regarding traffic laws and trucking regulations. As clients focus on injury recovery, lawyers interview witnesses, review photographs of accident scenes, obtain and review surveillance video, and collect medical records. Lawyers also track medical bills and other expenses, so clients do not have to worry about that task.
From the trucking company, lawyers request logbooks, trip sheets, route schedules, and time cards, along with all driver manifests and records. If the legal team suspects mechanical issues with the truck, they may also secure maintenance records, inspection reports, and driver checklists.
Some people sustain head injuries that leave them with no memories of the accident. Some victims are hospitalized after large accidents and may be processing mental trauma. When that occurs, our law office hires accident reconstruction engineers to help confirm facts. Engineers use evidence like vehicle damage and skid marks to recreate the accident and its circumstances.
The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm has decades of experience obtaining records and getting to the bottom of accident liability in trucking accidents. While clients recover and feel better, we uncover the truth of the matter and prepare a case for maximum recovery.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in NYC
In 2018, large trucks made up four percent of the 268 million vehicles driving on the road every day. However, they cause one in 10 highway deaths in motor vehicle accidents. Common causes of these accidents include:
- Impairment due to fatigue, alcohol, illness, or drugs
- Careless or reckless driving
- Mechanical failure
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the proper right of way
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers suggestions to stay safer when driving around trucks. These tips include:
- Avoid Blind Spots. Trucks and busses have blind spots on all four sides. They include 20 feet in front of the truck, two lanes over from the right side for the truck’s length, one lane on the left side for half the truck length, and 30 feet behind. Caution is key when driving close to trucks and busses.
- Pass with Caution- If car operators cannot see the truck driver in the vehicle mirror, the trucker cannot see the car. Do not pull in front of a truck until it is visible in the rearview mirror. Also, avoid passes on downgrades since trucks pick up speed in those spots. When trucks pass, stay in the right lane and slow down, giving extra space when trucks change lanes or merge.
- Do Not Cut Off Trucks- Trucks do not stop quickly, and many accidents result when cars cut off large trucks. Never move in front of a truck quickly. Wait until the truck is visible in the rearview mirror and signal before moving into the lane.
- Avoid Tailgating- Tailgating any vehicle is unsafe. It is especially dangerous with trucks because they can roll back on upgrades, or smaller cars can slide under trucks. Maintain a stopping distance of at least 30 feet to stay safe.
- Give Room for Turns- Trucks do not have a good turning radius and need extra space for turns. Wait until a truck finishes a turn before moving into lanes next to it.
However, even with an abundance of caution, a catastrophic tractor-trailer accident can still occur due to negligence on the part of truckers and their trucking companies. A New York truck accident attorney helps truck accident victims navigate these accidents, narrow down the accident’s cause, and hold the correct parties responsible.
How Long Do I Have To File a Truck Accident Claim?
Actions against a party for truck accident injuries must be filed within three years. Injury claims filed after the three years are not allowed to continue in the court system. For truck accident cases ending in the wrongful death of a loved one, survivors and the personal representative must file the claim within two years of the death.
General guidelines for filing a personal injury claim include:
- Certain potentially responsible parties, including driver names, their employers (if the accident involved a commercial truck), and contact information.
- Seek medical care and secure a firm assessment of any injuries
- Do not speak to insurance companies or witnesses; leave that to an attorney.
Our personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and skills to conduct a thorough case evaluation and ensure timely filing of court actions.
How Can I Be Compensated If I Have Been the Victim of a Truck Accident?
Personal injury law allows compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical bills
- Future medical care expenses in cases of disability or grievous injury
- Lost income or reduced earning capacity due to disability or disfigurement
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages in cases of negligent or intentional injury
Our New York City truck accident lawyers will help you seek damages based on objective evidence and client reports on pain and limitations on daily life activities. Possible evidence in personal injury claims include:
- Accident and police reports
- Diaries documenting each day a client suffers pain or anxiety due to injuries
- Comparative paystubs showing lost income
- Vocational counselor reports documenting limitations suffered by clients after injuries
- Medical bills
- Doctors’ reports explaining injuries, future medical treatments, and an itemization of those costs
- Medical records
- Testimony from friends and family members regarding life after injuries
- Pictures and estimates of property damage
Speak With our NYC Truck Accident Lawyers Today
A truck accident is frequently a traumatic event for many people. Contact the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm at 212-869-3500 for a free consultation and case evaluation if you or a loved one suffered injuries or wrongful death due to a truck accident. We offer our services in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and throughout New York state.
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