Tractor-trailers face unique challenges when it comes to making deliveries and picking up shipments in Brooklyn. The long trailers attached to the cabs make it difficult to make tight turns on narrow streets or come to quick stops in heavy traffic. Tractor-trailer drivers must exercise great care to keep themselves and other Brooklyn road users safe. If you suffered injuries in Brooklyn in an accident caused by a tractor-trailer, the responsible parties should pay your damages.
Brooklyn Truck Routes
Certain special rules apply to tractor-trailers and their travel within New York City. The standard size of a trailer attached to a cab is 53 feet. According to the New York State Department of Transportation, a tractor-trailer driver making pick-ups or deliveries in any five boroughs must use specific routes.
The New York City Truck Route Network is a system of local and through truck routes. These routes outline paths commercial trucks may take to deliver and obtain shipments.
Drivers unfamiliar with these special truck rules applicable to Brooklyn may fail to observe truck route requirements and venture into Brooklyn, creating unsafe circumstances. Their careless actions may cause a serious accident. If you suffered injuries from a tractor-trailer driving on a Brooklyn road where they were not allowed to be, you may hold them and their employer responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
Causes of Brooklyn Tractor-Trailer Accidents
As noted New York tractor-trailer drivers must use the Local Truck Route when traveling to make a delivery or to pick up a shipment within a specific borough. If they fail to do so, a tractor-trailer driver may create hazardous driving conditions and lead to accidents.
A tractor-trailer driver must also hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). With this license comes training and requirements designed for safe travel and operation of the tractor-trailer. Tractor-trailer drivers who fail to obtain a CDL may be insufficiently trained and pose a danger to Brooklyn road users.
Tractor-trailer drivers are also susceptible to the same follies that lead to accidents in the case of other drivers.
- Drunk driving: While the blood alcohol content (BAC) level for drivers in New York is .08 percent, it is 0.04 percent for those with a CDL.
- Distracted driving: Navigational devices, smartphones, and distractions outside the cab can place others at risk for serious harm from a distracted tractor-trailer driver.
- Drowsy driving: Lack of sleep can impair drivers in a way similar to alcohol. Sleep deprivation is common in the trucking industry, in which truckers work long hours and are placed under significant time pressures.
- Aggressive driving: A truck driver who becomes angry and engages in speeding, quick lane changes, or other aggressive driving behaviors is likely to lose control and harm others.
These are just some of the many potential causes of tractor-trailer accidents. But what they all have in common is that they tend to create danger so quickly that it is sometimes impossible to avoid a collision.
Mechanical issues are also sometimes to blame for tractor-trailer accidents. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), brake issues are a common factor in poor truck maintenance. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh around 80,000 pounds. The stopping distance for such a truck is the length of two football fields in normal conditions and at normal speed. When a truck’s brakes fail and they collide with another road user, the results are catastrophic and sometimes fatal. Truck brakes may fail due to a manufacturing or design defect, or because a trucker and their employer failed to perform adequate maintenance.
Passenger vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians are no match for a tractor-trailer. Whatever the cause of an accident with a tractor-trailer in Brooklyn, the consequences for victims are likely to be tragic and life-changing. If you were in an accident in Brooklyn with a tractor-trailer, due to no fault of your own, contact an experienced Brooklyn auto accident attorney to explore your options for legal recourse.
Brooklyn Tractor-Trailer Accident Injuries
If you or a loved one experienced a traumatic injury in a Brooklyn tractor-trailer accident, the road to recovery is often long and hard. Serious injuries require a long recovery period, involving intensive treatments and therapies, and some may result in lifelong medical expenses.
Pursuing compensation for these and other injuries is where an attorney can help you. While there are no guarantees, an attorney can give you the best shot at recovering the compensation you need to move on with life after a Brooklyn tractor-trailer accident.
The rising cost of medical care makes pursuing compensation for your damages all the more important. Unfortunately, there is no way to know what medical complications you may experience in the future due to a tractor-trailer accident.
Among the more expensive injuries sustained in tractor-trailer accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury: A severe brain injury disrupts normal brain function, making everyday tasks difficult or even impossible. You or a loved one may require continuous care in a specialized nursing facility. Such facilities normally cost thousands of dollars per month.
- Spinal cord injury: Damage to the spinal cord disrupts communication with the brain essential to movement and sensation. The expense for frequent re-hospitalizations, special medical equipment, and other costs associated with spinal cord injuries can escalate to millions of dollars.
- Internal injuries: A tractor-trailer accident may leave you with significant injuries affecting internal organ function. These types of injuries are uniquely dangerous because they may at first present no outward signs or symptoms. Internal injuries, such as internal bleeding, require immediate medical attention.
- Broken bones: Severely broken bones may demand immediate surgery, a long recovery, and extensive rehabilitation. Physical therapy and other appointments can cause you to miss significant time from your job.
Many other costly injuries may occur in a tractor-trailer accident. In addition, these injuries can forever change your relationships, career, and your ability to complete daily tasks. You should always talk to an attorney about your right to compensation after a tractor-trailer accident in which you experienced injury due to no fault of your own.
How a Lawyer Can Help You in Your Brooklyn Tractor-Trailer Accident Case
Large insurance companies and lawyers protect trucking industry companies. An insurance adjuster from the trucking company’s insurer may offer you a settlement after a tractor-trailer accident. The amount may seem substantial, and the immediate compensation may be tempting to take. Anxiety regarding your ability to work—now or in the future—due to your accident injuries may make it even more difficult to reject the quick offer as your medical bills begin to mount.
But tractor-trailer accident victims are typically unaware that the first amount offered is almost always unfairly low. By offering accident victims a small amount, insurance companies aim to settle and close claims quickly and to pay victims as little as possible.
A Brooklyn commercial vehicle accident lawyer understands how insurance companies operate, and about the full extent of your legal right to compensation. If you don’t hire an attorney, you may be duped into accepting a settlement offer that won’t cover all of your accident-related expenses.
Your lawyer can protect your best interests in a Brooklyn tractor-trailer accident in many ways, especially in negotiating a fair settlement. A skilled personal injury lawyer has the knowledge and experience to handle insurance companies when they are reluctant to pay what victims deserve.
While most tractor-trailer accident cases settle, some have to go to court to get victims the compensation they deserve. If you decide to take your case to trial, your attorney will be there with you to advise you of the process and represent you in all of the proceedings. Having someone to handle this complicated process on your behalf can take a huge weight off your shoulders.
Statute of Limitations in Brooklyn Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Many tractor-trailer accident victims, understandably, are overwhelmed after their accident and unable to even think about starting the process of pursuing compensation. But it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible, as victims do not have forever to file their lawsuits in court. Whether it is a personal injury or wrongful death case, New York imposes what is called a “statute of limitations,” which limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit.
The sooner you contact a Brooklyn attorney regarding your case, the faster they can get to work for you. Time is of the utmost importance when it comes to investigating the accident and filing your civil lawsuit. It’s not only important for purposes of filing within the pertinent statute of limitations, but also for purposes of launching an investigation of the accident while the evidence is fresh and getting settlement negotiations started with an insurance company to recover compensation as soon as possible.
Time passes quickly after a traumatic experience like a tractor-trailer accident. Do not miss your chance to fight for compensation. Hire an attorney to represent you in your Brooklyn tractor-trailer accident case.
Fatal Brooklyn Tractor-Trailer Accidents
A fatal Brooklyn tractor-trailer accident can leave a family with tremendous grief and unexpected expenses. The news of your loved one’s tragic death turns your world upside down and can leave you anxious about your financial future.
If your loved one was a primary income-earner, the stress of figuring out how to manage everything is only compounded. If you lost a close loved one in a tractor-trailer accident caused by a reckless truck driver, truck company, or both, a wrongful death attorney can help you.
The average cost of a funeral is thousands of dollars and more than most people have available funds to pay.
Families of a person killed in a tractor-trailer accident often incur other significant expenses and impacts, including:
- Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
- Medical expenses for the deceased between the accident and death
- Loss of companionship and consortium
These and other damages may be available to a family by bringing a wrongful death action. Clearly, money cannot replace your loved one, but it can lift financial obligations and other burdens your family should not have to bear.
In the wake of a fatal tractor-trailer accident, you should be spending your time grieving and processing the loss of your loved one with your support system, not with fighting aggressive insurance representatives or legal processes. A wrongful death lawyer can take care of the claim process while you focus on your family.
You Are Not Alone: A Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
A traumatic accident is a frightening and sudden event. You may suffer Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) from your injuries or loss. Seeking the emotional support you need is important for dealing with your experience. You also need someone to fight for your legal rights while you recover.
The last thing you need when experiencing the mayhem following a tractor-trailer accident is an aggressive insurance adjuster pressuring you to accept a low-dollar settlement. Hiring a Brooklyn personal injury lawyer to manage the adjuster removes this particular stress from your shoulders.
Tractor-trailer accident cases tend to be complex. For instance, they may involve several liable parties, all of whom you should identify so that you can recover maximum compensation. An experienced Brooklyn tractor-trailer accident lawyer can fully investigate the case to identify all such parties and proceed with legal action accordingly. Your lawyer will also readily know where to look for evidence to support your case. The faster you collect pictures, contact information for witnesses, and police reports, the sooner you can recover compensation.
Most tractor-trailer accident attorneys offer free case evaluations, which means you have nothing to lose by calling. Furthermore, should you and your lawyer decide to move forward with them representing you, you typically will not pay legal fees unless and until they win your case.
A Brooklyn tractor-trailer accident can forever change your life. A debilitating injury with a long recovery period, a permanent disability, or the loss of a loved one can traumatize you more than anything in life. A reckless truck driver or a company that fails to hire and manage its drivers to ensure safety, resulting in such impacts, must face accountability for their negligence. These events were most likely preventable, had others exercised reasonable care. Get an attorney and fight for the compensation you need and deserve.