Sharing the road with a large truck in Manhattan is difficult, and often an intimidating experience. When a truck’s load shifts or a driver takes too fast a turn, the truck may roll over, with often catastrophic and deadly results. You can fight for compensation for your Manhattan truck rollover accident injuries or the death of a loved one. Read on for more information about Manhattan truck rollover accidents and about how victims can recover.
Contributing Factors in Truck Rollover Accidents
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 78 percent of rollover accidents result from driver error. Research further finds that speeding is the main contributor to large truck rollovers, followed by driver inattention.
Cargo tankers are of special concern when it comes to large truck rollover accidents. Nearly 94 percent of rollover accidents result from partial, not full, loads. The slosh and surge of a partial liquid load can suddenly shift a truck’s center of gravity, creating the momentum necessary for a rollover accident.
Distractions both inside and outside a commercial truck cab are a significant cause of drivers losing control of their trucks and trailers and rolling over.
Other factors that can contribute to these especially dangerous accidents include truck drivers:
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Engaging in road rage with another driver
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Failing to rest, often in violation of the FMCSA hours-of-service regulations, leading to drowsy-driving
From curves to sharp-turns on straight city streets, the slightest error of a commercial truck driver can shift a load and cause a rollover accident. If you or a loved one experienced serious injuries in a Manhattan truck rollover accident caused by driver negligence, there are important steps to take to ensure you recover the compensation you need.
Important Steps Following a Manhattan Truck Rollover Accident
There are critical steps to take immediately following a Manhattan truck rollover accident. Failing to take these steps can mean the difference between recovering enough to cover your injuries and receiving nothing.
These steps include:
Call 911: If you can, call 911, or have someone close by call to obtain immediate medical attention and get New York law enforcement on the scene. Do not assume that a witness or bystander will make the call.
Take photos of the accident: Smartphone tools and apps make it easy to collect photos and videos instantly. Any photos or videos you take of the accident could be valuable evidence in the event you bring a lawsuit. Do not post photos or videos on social media.
Do not speak with the truck driver: Avoid speaking with the truck driver, except to obtain insurance or contact information. Avoid any other conversation, which could end up being used to establish fault on your part.
Ask witnesses for their contact information: Collecting names and phone numbers from witnesses can help your case later should you need witness statements or testimony to verify your account of the accident.
Accept medical transport to the hospital: Regardless of how you feel, you may feel fine —accept medical transport to the hospital.
There are two major reasons why:
- Medical professionals may discover serious injuries that are not immediately apparent.
- Your visit establishes a medical record for injuries related to the accident, and hedges against a defense that you contributed to your injuries by not seeking medical attention.
Refrain from sharing information with others: Family and friends are likely to have a genuine concern for you following a truck rollover accident. However, sharing details with them could have implications for any lawsuit you may want to bring. The sharing of such information, especially on social media formats, could harm your case for compensation.
Contact a Manhattan truck accident lawyer: One misstep can complicate your ability to recover compensation in a Manhattan truck rollover accident. An experienced Manhattan truck rollover attorney can guide you to take the right steps, and avoid the pitfalls, toward recovering all the compensation you deserve under the law.
Refer insurance adjusters to your lawyer: One particularly important reason to hire an attorney is to have someone deal with the insurance companies who are likely to be the primary source of compensation. Referring an insurance adjuster to your lawyer takes the pressure off you and allows you to focus on other important tasks that ensue after truck rollover accidents, including simply taking time to heal.
Without an attorney, an insurance adjuster representing a large trucking company may feel emboldened to take aggressive measures to force you into accepting a settlement offer that is less than you deserve.
Rest and focusing on your medical recovery is the priority following a truck rollover accident. The legal process involved in filing a claim with an insurance company only adds to exhaustion and stress. And, while hiring a lawyer may at first seem like just another expense among the bills piling up, having legal representation often results in getting higher offers from insurers that you could get on your own.
Manhattan Truck Rollover Injuries
Truck rollover accident injuries can be especially severe, leaving you or a loved one unable to return to life as it was before the accident. Manhattan truck rollovers are not only dangerous because of the danger of their greater size and weight, but also because large trucks often carry volatile cargo, such as tankers carrying flammable liquid may catch fire in a rollover accident.
For other drivers and their passengers, the results of colliding with such a truck are catastrophic. The severe burns that follow sometimes require costly care in a specialized burn center. Burn center staff monitor risk for infection, skin grafts, and plastic surgery. Relocating to a burn center can remove accident victims from their families, making it difficult for them to visit.
Additional Manhattan truck rollover injuries often include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
The impacts of a truck rollover accident can lead to a lengthy recovery or a permanent disability. Adjusting to major changes in your life is difficult enough without the financial stress of your situation.
The career you built or the activities you once enjoyed may be cut short by a truck rollover accident, limiting your ability to work or even your most basic mobility.
Why Fighting for Compensation in a Manhattan Truck Rollover Accident is Important
Bringing a claim with insurance or a civil lawsuit following a Manhattan truck rollover accident is important to hold those responsible accountable and to recover the financial compensation you’ll need to handle the expenses and impacts to come. Those who cause these accidents are often negligent, meaning they failed to use the same care a usually careful person would use in a similar situation. You should not have to bear the full cost of injuries that are due to someone else’s wrongdoing.
A negligent truck driver who makes unsafe decisions that lead to a rollover must face civil accountability. Even if they are criminally charged for their actions, their conviction will do nothing to pay your mounting medical expenses. Regardless of whatever criminal action is brought, you may still pursue a civil claim and lawsuit if your case qualifies for such action. Consulting with an experienced Manhattan truck accident attorney is the best way to find out what avenues of recourse you have and what you are likely to recover. Attorneys will often offer free case evaluations so that you can get a better sense of the strength of your case before retaining the attorney’s full services.
Filing a claim with an insurance company is the typical alternative to filing a civil lawsuit in court. Attorneys can help with this process too. Your lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurer representing the truck driver and their employer. This process is critical and requires skills and knowledge you likely do not have time or ability to acquire while you are in the midst of medical recovery and all of the other hectic changes that come after a truck rollover accident.
Insurance companies are generally aggressive in getting victims to settle for less, and may be especially so with victims who lack legal representation. What may seem like a large amount of money offered may, in fact, come woefully short of covering the expenses of treating your injury and adjusting to a new life. An attorney will know if the offer is insufficient, and can push the insurance company toward a fair settlement.
If you end up needing to file a lawsuit in your Manhattan truck rollover case, an attorney can make sure you follow the legal process and get your day in court to present your case before a judge and jury. An attorney can collect evidence, call witnesses, and give you the best chance to recover a damages award that will cover the extent of your costs.
The extensive costs for medical treatment that often follow Manhattan truck rollover accidents—exacerbated by an inability to work and earn money to pay for said costs —are a tremendous burden to bear. Those responsible for causing the rollover should pay for your damages.
Manhattan Truck Rollover Accidents and Wrongful Death
Some Manhattan truck rollover accidents result in the especially tragic outcome of the death of a loved one. The expenses of medical treatment are replaced by the knowledge that nothing can be done to bring back your loved one. This time of mourning is the wrong time for insurance companies to pressure you to settle.
Filing a wrongful death claim and a lawsuit may apply to your case if you are the spouse, parent, or child of the decedent in a truck rollover case. A wrongful death lawyer can assist you in determining if your relationship qualifies you for such legal action.
Planning a funeral and burial can be a stressful and expensive process. The average cost of a funeral is between $7,000 and $12,000, an expense that catches many by surprise. The loss of a spouse can impact a family financially if the decedent contributed to the household income. Funeral expenses and lost wages only add to the stress and impacts on a family.
In addition to compensation for funeral costs and lost wages, wrongful death compensation in Manhattan truck rollover accidents often includes:
- Final medical expenses for a loved one
- Lost future earnings of the decedent
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional trauma damages
None of these can replace someone lost in a truck rollover accident; they were invaluable to your life. Still, you should be compensated as much as possible for your loss. A lawyer can help express the significance of your loss to a court. Non-economic damages, which are harms that are not as readily quantifiable, but no less real to victims, are an important component of your recovery.
Need to Act Soon After a Manhattan Truck Rollover Accident
If you are leaning toward filing a lawsuit for your own injuries or on behalf of a loved one following a Manhattan truck rollover accident, you must act quickly. New York State law requires accident victims to pursue a truck accident case within three years of the date of injury and within two years for a wrongful death action.
While two to three years may seem like a lot of time, it goes by quickly in the hectic events following such a rollover accident, especially if you start by trying to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company before filing a lawsuit. The time immediately following your accident can pass in a blur, and failing to file within the applicable statute of limitations can dash your efforts to ever financially recover. Gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and other important steps following a truck rollover accident take time. Furthermore, these become harder to do as time passes. An attorney must start building your case as soon as possible.
An Attorney on Your Side in a Manhattan Truck Rollover Case
The truck driver responsible for a rollover accident will have their insurer and its lawyers on their side. You, too, deserve someone on your side, protecting your best interests. Don’t be dissuaded by presumptions about how much an attorney costs. Many Manhattan truck accident lawyers do not collect a fee unless they win your case, requiring no payment upfront.
When you or a loved one have been through an ordeal as burdensome as a truck rollover accident, you need all the help you can get. An experienced Manhattan truck rollover attorney can be there with both compassion and understanding and the skill and resources to fight for your fair recovery. These attorneys know the legal process and how to deal with insurance companies that would otherwise use tactics to confuse and underpay accident victims.
In a matter of seconds, a Manhattan truck rollover accident can change a life forever. You have the right to seek compensation for your damages, and a lawyer at your side through the process can help.