Brooklyn Truck Accident Lawyers
As a Brooklyn motorist, you must accept heavy traffic as a daily challenge. At 10,000 plus pounds, large trucks present an immediate danger. They’re in traffic everywhere, and their size and weight give them the power to cause devastating damage. Tractor-trailers transport commercial goods to Brooklyn businesses. Garbage trucks haul away Brooklyn trash. Dump trucks carry materials to Brooklyn construction sites. Moving vans relocate Brooklyn residents from one location to another. In an accident, any one of these big trucks easily causes extensive damage and disabling injuries.
When a large truck crashes into a car or a pickup, the smaller vehicles’ occupants have little protection. Despite steel reinforcements, airbags, seatbelt, and other safety devices, private passenger occupants remain vulnerable when a big truck loses control. While truckers frequently walk away with minimal damages, vehicle occupants often sustain serious, catastrophic, or fatal injuries.
Those who survive a large truck crash often deal with a new reality. Victims often endure long term treatment, recovery, and rehabilitation. They incur costly medical bills and lose income due to temporary and permanent disabilities. Often, they live with physical, financial, and lifestyle changes that last a lifetime. If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in a truck accident, consult our Brooklyn truck accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP as soon as possible.
We Believe That Brooklyn Trucking Companies Must Pay for the Damages They Cause
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we believe that negligent people, companies, and organizations must take responsibility for their actions. Since 1972, we have dedicated our practice to that single goal. We have always believed that every injured person should have access to the legal services they need. We’ve provided those services, and we’ve done everything within our power to recover the damages to which our injured clients were entitled.
Our attorneys have always understood that large truck accidents were often uniquely complicated. In addition to complex liability and legal issues, we have dealt with multiple negligent parties, contractual relationships, and other complex concerns. We’ve investigated our clients’ cases, determined all responsible parties, and taken actions to hold them accountable.
Our attorneys have seen, first-hand, how truck accidents changed our injured clients’ lives. We have met their families and followed their recovery progress. We’ve witnessed their struggles as they have worked their way back from catastrophic injuries. We’ve understood that settlement couldn’t diminish our clients’ physical and emotional struggles, but we’ve seen how they helped provide resources for a better future.
Our Firm’s Case Results
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we’ve resolved each case with the idea of getting the best results for our injured clients. When possible, we’ve resolved injury claims through informal means. Our attorneys have negotiated with responsible parties, their insurance carriers, and their defense attorneys. Where advisable, we’ve relied on mediation and other alternative dispute resolution forums. When we could not avoid litigation, we’ve presented our clients’ evidence in a courtroom and let a jury decide.
Each accident and injury is unique. We can’t promise a specific outcome, but we confidently share our case results. We believe they demonstrate our firm’s dedication and our ability to produce results.
- $5 million, truck accident settlement at trial: Our client sustained multiple severe injuries in a multi-vehicle highway accident. The case involved liability questions, but we successfully tried the issues in the liability portion of the trial. During the trial’s damage segment, the defendant’s primary and excess liability insurance companies settled for a total of five million dollars.
- $2.5 million, tractor trailer accident settlement: Our client was a passenger in a stopped vehicle when a truck’s tires struck his vehicle while turning. The trucker left the scene, but the client caught up with him. Our client delayed medical treatment. Eventually, his physician fused two discs and surgically implanted a spinal cord stimulator to reduce the pain. We settled the case without going to trial.
- $5.7 million, bus accident wrongful death jury verdict: Our client’s 8-year old daughter sustained fatal injuries when a runaway Brooklyn school bus struck her. The child’s brother narrowly avoided injury.
Brooklyn Truck Accidents Injuries
Brooklyn truck accident victims often sustain serious and catastrophic injuries. Size and weight are the primary factors that contribute to this dynamic. The National Highway Transportation Administration defines a large truck as having a gross vehicle weight rating that exceeds 10,0000 pounds. The NHTSA’s most recent Large Trucks Traffic Safety Facts explains that 75 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal accidents weighed over 26,000 pounds. A passenger car’s average weight is 4,000 pounds. During a crash, the weight difference becomes a distinct disadvantage.
Brooklyn garbage trucks, dump trucks, utility service vehicles, and many other commercial trucks weigh in at over 10,000 pounds. These large trucks usually operate locally. They rarely achieve highways speeds, but when they crash into a smaller vehicle, their weight enables them to cause serious damage and injuries.
When a truck crashes into a smaller vehicle even moderate speeds, its weight and mass generate a deadly impact. Of the victims killed in large truck accidents nationwide during one recent year, 75 percent were in the other vehicle. During that year, large trucks were in 98 fatal accidents in New York.
A truck’s size and weight aren’t the only factors that contribute to horrific crashes. Truckers engage in the same risky driving behaviors as other motorists. They operate large trucks under the influence of drugs and alcohol. They drive distracted and drowsy due to inadequate sleep. Even at low speeds, their actions have devastating consequences for the people they harm. Most of the damages and injures they cause is preventable.
When Brooklyn truck accident victims survive a crash, they often sustain spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other disabling conditions.
- Traumatic brain injuries: TBIs often affect the injured person’s physical, emotional, and cognitive abilities. The National Data and Statistical Center reports that vehicular accidents cause 50 percent of all TBIs.
- Back and spine injuries: Injured victims often sustain back injuries even in low-speed crashes. While all back and neck injuries present medical challenges, spinal injuries often cause varying degrees of permanent disability. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that vehicular accidents cause 38.6 percent of spinal injuries.
- Severe soft tissue injuries: When a truck strikes a private passenger vehicle, the soft tissue injuries are often disabling. In some cases, people with serious soft tissue injuries require long term treatment and surgical solutions.
- Multiple fractures: Truck crash victims sometimes sustain multiple fractured and crushed bones. The most serious breaks require reconstruction or surgical fixation with metal pins and plates.
- Internal damage: Large truck crashes often jar and overwhelm the body, causing serious external and internal damage. Fractured bones sometimes push against or puncture internal organs and reduce normal functioning.
- Severe burns: A serious crash sometimes causes a post-accident fire fueled by the vehicle’s gas reserves. Victims experience third, fourth, and fifth-degree burns with damage that sometimes extends to skin, fat, muscle, and bone.
Who Is Liable for a Brooklyn Truck Accident?
Under New York’s Civil Liability statutes, Title 3, Article II, §388, a driver is responsible for damages caused by their negligent operation. However, it’s not quite that simple when a driver is operating a large truck or another commercial vehicle.
Multiple entities often share legal responsibility for an accident.
- Driver: Truckers often cause or contribute to an accident because of negligent actions and risky driving behaviors. They sometimes have liability exposures due to inadequate or improper truck maintenance and inspection. Truckers often have accidents due to drowsy driving, usually due to a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service rule.
- Employer: When a trucker is performing his job duties, his transport company/employer is vicariously liable for his actions. Employers share liability for negligent hiring, supervision, and entrustment. They’re also responsible for installing a mandatory Electronic Logging Device in company trucks.
- Truck owner: When a transport company leases or borrows a truck, the owner potentially shares liability for maintenance issues, defects, or contractual obligations.
- Shipper: Improper loading can result in a load shift that triggers a truck accident. A shipper or loading contractor shares liability for damages when they load a trailer improperly.
- Maintenance contractor: A maintenance contractor or business shares liability when a negligent repair or service causes or contributes to an accident.
- Truck manufacturer: Manufacturers share responsible for damages caused by a vehicle or component defect.
- Government entities: A local government is responsible for accidents caused by its garbage trucks, service equipment, and other government-owned large trucks. Injured victims must seek damages through the New York Court of Claims.
What Damages Can a Brooklyn Truck Accident Victim Recover?
A personal injury settlement usually includes two primary components: economic damages and general damages. Courts award punitive damages in rare instances.
Your truck accident lawyer can easily calculate economic damages based on the costs you incurred. When treatment or disabilities remain ongoing, a settlement also includes estimated future damages. An economic expert often projects the future costs of an economic damage settlement.
Economic damages often include:
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Physician fees
- Hospital costs
- Mobility devices and structures
- Physical and mental therapy
- Medical transportation
- Home care and services
- Funeral and burial services
General damages consider an injured person’s non-economic losses. These include the injured person’s subjective emotional, psychological, and lifestyle issues.
General damages often include.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss related to spousal and family relationships
- Loss of bodily functions
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disabilities
Courts award punitive damages only when a plaintiff’s evidence proves that a defendant caused an injury due to a wanton and reckless or malicious act.
What Defenses Do Liable Parties Allege?
When a trucker causes serious injuries, it’s not always easy for the victim to obtain a fair settlement. Because of the potential for high-dollar exposure, insurance companies often proceed cautiously, even when cases involve clear liability issues.
When an insurance company attempts to settle an injury case, they often negotiate with the intention of paying the lowest possible amount. They do this for several reasons. Low settlements help reduce loss ratios and preserve company profits. Commercial insureds often have large self-insured retention limits. A large portion of the money an insurer pays eventually comes out of the insured’s financial resources. Claim department tradition often sets the expectation of paying less than the claim reserve.
Litigation Discovery Strategies
When insurance companies want to push a plaintiff to settle for a low amount, they often ramp up their discovery requests. They submit lengthy plaintiff interrogatories and seek multiple depositions. They request narrative medical reports and make comprehensive record requests. The goal is to weigh down plaintiffs with costly, burdensome requests that motivate them to settle quickly.
Insurance companies are known for their “deep pockets.” They can afford to spend money on defense costs. Still, they sometimes rely on salaried staff counsel to defend their liability cases. This allows them to participate in excessive discovery while paying only non-attorney expenses. They realize that some plaintiff’s attorneys can neither afford to pay excessive discovery expenses nor devote all of their time to a single case. Plaintiffs sometimes surrender to this strategy to avoid excessive spending that eventually diminishes their potential settlement.
Some insurers, commercial entities, and their attorneys push catastrophic cases to trial. They hope that a jury will give them a verdict that’s less than the plaintiff’s settlement demand.
In seeking a win, they plead a variety of defenses.
- No negligence: Despite clear liability, defense attorneys often proceed as though their driver did nothing wrong.
- Comparative negligence: Defendants seek to diminish the damages based on New York’s pure comparative negligence statute
- No defect: Manufactures plead no defect and force plaintiffs to prove that a defect caused or contributed to an accident.
- Damages: Defendants with few liability defenses sometimes seek to reduce the damage award. They allege that the plaintiff is claiming pre-existing injuries or that the damages aren’t as serious as claimed.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have relied on our firm’s resources and thorough case preparation to overcome aggressive defense strategies. Our Brooklyn truck accident attorneys have reviewed the evidence, examined the liability issues, and assessed our clients’ injuries. We have evaluated our potential for success long before entering a mediation or trial. We have always understood that conscientious case development was critical to achieving optimum results for our injured clients.
Call Our Brooklyn Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in a truck accident, consult our Brooklyn truck accident attorneys as soon as possible. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we are proud of our track record in truck accident claims. Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients. Let us determine if our lawyers can help you. Call us at 1-877-565-2993 or complete our contact form to request a free case evaluation or virtual consultation.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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8701 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209