East Meadow Truck Accident Attorney
Since 1978, the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR) has collected truck accident data, including for the East Meadow area. Just last year, the East Meadow area alone recorded more than 1,700 incidents of accidents involving big rigs. Truck accident victims often face debilitating injuries and face immediate problems paying bills while recovering from their injuries. Sadly, some families are faced with the devastation of losing a loved one because of an accident involving a truck.
If you were involved in a truck accident, you need help from an experienced East Meadow truck accident attorney. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today toll-free at (877) 565-2993 for your free case evaluation and to speak with a skilled East Meadow injury attorney to determine your eligibility to seek compensation for your injuries.
Experience Matters in Truck Accident Cases
Let’s face it, when you need an attorney to protect your rights, you want to hire someone who has experience and a track record of winning cases for their clients.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, some of the recent successes that we’ve had with truck accident cases include:
- Multiple-vehicle collision on Van Wyck Expressway—case settled for $5,000,000
- Motor-vehicle and tractor-trailer collision—case settled for $2,500,000
An attorney can never guarantee results, and that past success is not always a precursor to future success, it helps to know that you’re working with an East Meadow truck accident attorney with experience working to maximize clients’ compensation.
The Severity of East Meadow Truck Accident Injuries
Trucks are enormous compared to a standard motor vehicle. We are accustomed to large commercial trucks driving on our roadways, and we depend on them to ship goods across the country. Unfortunately, when an accident involves a truck and a car, motorcycle, or van, the outcomes are seldom minor.
Some of the most common injuries suffered by East Meadow truck accident victims include:
- Spinal cord injuries – The leading cause of spinal cord injuries is a motor vehicle accident. Not only are these injuries severe, but they also often leave victims with life-long problems, including pain, difficulty breathing, and loss of mobility. Sadly, many victims of a spinal cord injury may never fully recover, which means their livelihood is at risk as well.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – Truck accident victims who suffer a brain injury often require long-term nursing care. TBI can cause victims to suffer diminished sensation, which can result in behavioral issues and impact cognitive functions.
- Shattered or fractured bones – While any traffic accident can result in a broken bone, when a car and truck collide, the victim will probably suffer more serious fractures. Our skeletal system is not designed to withstand serious impacts, which is why severe injuries often result in these types of accidents.
There are other injuries, including burns, soft tissue damage, internal injuries, and back injuries, which a victim of a truck accident can suffer. Unfortunately, even a minor fender bender can leave victims with serious injuries.
Determining Truck Accident Liability
When an injured individual wants to pursue compensation, the first step is to determine liability for the accident. In the case of a truck accident, this process often proves complicated.
Some responsible parties may include:
- Driver of the truck – Drivers who speed, fail to obey traffic signals, or act in other negligent manners are liable for their behavior following a truck accident.
- Owner of the truck – When a trucker borrows or leases a truck, and the trucker suffers defects and/or mechanical issues due to poor maintenance, a court may find the owner partially liable for your injuries.
- Maintenance coordinator – If a maintenance company is responsible for maintaining a safe fleet, that company may face liability for any failure that it should have corrected during a normal service inspection.
- Shipping company – Shippers are generally responsible for loading their trucks. If a big rig is improperly loaded, the imbalance can cause a truck to tip or the load to shift and an accident that leads to injuries. Courts may hold shipping companies liable for this negligent act.
- Driver’s employer – Drivers must undergo certain training to operate a big rig. Their employers have a duty to conduct thorough background checks to determine if potential drivers have problems, as reflected in their driving records. Employers also must ensure that truckers are aware and following Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) trucking requirements pertaining to driving and rest periods.
- Truck or part manufacturers – Blown tires, failing brakes, and other component defects can cause a truck accident on East Meadow roadways. When a defective part causes an accident, these manufacturers may face responsibility for poor quality parts.
- Government entities – Occasionally, accidents involve trucks operated by governmental entities. In other cases, issues with the roadway may contribute to an accident, including potholes that may cause truckers to lose control of their vehicles. In these cases, injured individuals may have to file a claim in the New York Court of Claims, and these cases operate under stricter deadlines and shorter timelines than typical personal injury cases.
Truck accident claims are complicated, and retaining an attorney to help handle your claim will likely help ease the process and increase your ultimate compensation. In addition to no-fault insurance rules in New York, the range of parties who may face responsibility is wide, and an attorney can help investigate your claim and make sure to hold everyone responsible accountable.
Collecting Damages for Injuries Following an East Meadow Truck Accident
The first issue you must stay aware of following an East Meadow truck accident is New York’s no-fault statute. This means you must initially file a claim with your own insurance company. Most drivers carry the minimum coverage required by state law, which is $25,000 per accident. In cases of serious injury, partially defined as substantial disfigurement, broken bones, or disabling injury resulting in your being out of work for at least 90 days, injured individuals may file a lawsuit to collect any out-of-pocket costs and damages over and above the limits of their own policies.
If you were injured in a truck accident, you should speak with your East Meadow truck accident attorney about the overall potential of collecting damages that your own policy failed to cover.
Additional compensation may include:
- Medical expenses – This is a broad category of expenses that includes modifications your home may need to accommodate you following a truck accident. Compensation is also available for medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, braces, hospital beds, crutches, and other durable equipment that you may need while you recover from your injuries. Doctor visits, including follow-up care, all tests, and any treatment for your injuries, are also included.
- Wage losses – During your recovery you will likely miss out on income while you can’t work. The difference between any disability payments you may get from your employer and your normal wages are compensable. Additionally, if you’re expected to miss work for the long-term, your attorney can help estimate your lost future wages.
- Lost future earnings – Unfortunately, some truck accident victims never return to the job they worked before their injuries. In addition to the potential costs of vocational therapy, you can request compensation for the difference in your anticipated wages from your new employment.
- Pain and suffering – Victims of a truck accident often face an arduous recovery process riddled with pain. This pain can last weeks or months and negatively impact your quality of life. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we will work with your medical team to determine your level of pain and use that information to help determine the value of your claim.
These damages are in addition to any compensation you may receive for the damage to your vehicle. Victims of truck accidents should have an open discussion about the value of their claims and the costs associated with treatment in the immediate aftermath of an accident as well as future treatment that may prove necessary to help them return to full health.
Insurance Companies and Liability Denials After East Meadow Truck Accidents
Perhaps one of the first hurdles to overcome is at-fault parties denying any liability for your injuries. This is one reason why victims of truck accidents often choose to retain legal representation. No insurance company wants to pay out claims; after all, these companies make money when their customers pay their premiums and lose money by paying claims.
Insurance adjusters will take every legal step possible to help their employers reduce the amount of compensation that you ultimately receive for any injury suffered in an East Meadow truck accident. You might find that the adjuster is friendly, appears earnest, and seems to empathize with you regarding your injuries, but this is usually part of the company’s strategy.
Oftentimes, an insurance adjuster will ask leading questions, like about how you are feeling, to generate certain answers. Adjusters may ask more specific questions about your overall activities to determine what should do following an accident. Make no mistake about it—this is to ascertain if there is a way to pay out less on your claim.
Another common tactic is to attempt to show your injuries occurred before the truck accident. To accomplish this, the adjuster may indicate that he or she is sending you a medical release form to get information about your accident-related injuries. This release is likely written to allow the insurance company to access your entire medical file.
Fortunately, there are a few simple rules to keep in mind when dealing with insurance companies and their adjusters:
- Never give a recorded statement
- Stay on guard for “friendly” questions that may result in answers that impact your injury claim
- Sign no documents without having an attorney review them
Every truck accident victim should seek immediate legal assistance after an accident and before speaking with an insurer. The last thing you want is to find out that the insurance company won’t offer you a settlement that reflects the true value of your claim because of how you answered one of their questions.
Weighing Legal Costs Following an East Meadow Truck Accident
Oftentimes, accident victims refrain from seeking legal assistance because they fear they can’t handle the additional financial burden of legal costs. Accident victims who contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP get a free, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our skilled truck accident attorneys. During your free case evaluation, we will review your case, explain your rights, and tell you what options you have regarding compensation.
Whether or not you retain legal counsel will likely have an impact on the amount of compensation you ultimately collect. Insurance companies always prefer to negotiate directly with victims because these companies know that victims frequently do not know how the law may affect their cases. Victims also may not realize whether they qualify to file a claim and pursue compensation.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury, and you are uncertain about your rights, you should contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP immediately to speak with an East Meadow truck accident attorney. You do not have to pay any legal fees if we can’t secure a settlement on your behalf. Our commitment to our clients remains solid. We are here to make sure that victims maximize the compensation that they receive for their injuries.
Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP toll-free today at (877) 565-2993 and let us help you deal with your claim. Letting us handle the legal work will allow you to continue your physical recovery without the added stress of dealing with insurers.
East Meadow Truck Accident FAQs
Nassau County experienced over 1,700 truck accidents reported last year. Victims of truck accidents, including bicycle riders, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and operators or passengers of other vehicles, often have many questions in the aftermath of an accident. If you have questions about your specific accident, you should consult an experienced East Meadow truck accident lawyer. For more simple questions, we’ve created a truck accident FAQ below. Read on for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are physically capable of maneuvering around the scene of the accident, and it’s safe to do so, you should:
- Verify that everyone involved is safe.
- Notify law enforcement immediately.
- Obtain the driver’s information, including license plate, driver’s license number, contact information, and insurance information.
- If there were witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information
- Take photographs of the scene when possible. Having evidence to prove the placement of the vehicles after the crash may help you later. Make sure to get photos of road conditions, road signs, and areas that may have traffic or surveillance cameras.
- Seek medical attention—even if you think you are not seriously injured, this is important because everyone reacts differently to an accident. You may suffer from shock, which could mask a serious injury.
Use caution when speaking with law enforcement, witnesses, and any involved drivers. You do not want to say anything that may give the impression that you were at fault for the accident.
In New York, if you’re involved in an accident that results in bodily injury or damage that exceeds $1,000, you must report it to the police as well as through the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You do this by completing a form MV-104. Because New York is also a no-fault insurance state, you should also contact your own insurance company and report the accident.
Every driver on the road in New York must carry a minimum amount of auto insurance, meant to protect individuals involved in an accident. Each person on the road must carry a minimum of $10,000 for an accident that involves only property damage, $25,000 for bodily injury when an accident occurs resulting in one person being injured, and $50,000 should an accident result in a fatality. Liability coverage must also include $50,000 bodily injury and $100,000 death if two or more people are injured or lose their lives.
Since a no-fault policy means you file a claim with your own insurance company following a truck accident, your maximum policy coverage would apply to your claim. For instance, if you carried the minimum required coverage, you could potentially claim up to $10,000 for the damage to your vehicle and up to $25,000 for your injuries.
Since a truck accident can result in devastating injuries, some of which may result in long recovery periods, serious bodily injury, and months out of work, your insurance coverage may not prove enough. This is why you need to talk to a car accident lawyer. While your no-fault coverage is the first avenue for a claim, there are situations where you can file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
To file a successful East Meadow truck accident lawsuit, you must demonstrate:
- Serious injuries, such as broken bones
- Injuries that result in your being disabled for 90 days or more
- Injuries that result in substantial disfiguring injuries (scarring, amputations, etc.)
- Injuries that cause substantial damage to internal organs or functions
As you can see, these claims may prove confusing and complicated. This is why you must seek assistance from a lawyer who has experience handling East Meadow truck accidents.
You may think that liability for your accident is clear, but until a thorough investigation is completed, you may not know for sure who is responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Let’s assume for a moment that a truck with an unbalanced load struck you. In addition to the truck driver facing liability for your injuries, the trucker’s employer and the company responsible for loading the truck may also share liability.
In the case of a poorly-trained truck driver, in addition to his or her liability, the company that hired the driver may also face responsibility for your injuries. Because truck drivers must undergo specialized training, have driving record checks, and take mandated breaks while driving, other parties beyond the truck driver may face liability. Hiring a driver without checking his or her record, for example, may constitute negligence and result in an employer’s liability.
There are also situations in which a parts manufacturer, such as the company responsible for the truck’s tires, brakes, or suspension systems may have some liability as well. If a part fails because of a manufacturing defect, the company responsible for manufacturing and selling the part may be partially liable. In the event of a mechanical failure leading to an accident, the company responsible for maintaining the vehicle is likely liable.
Never assume that just because a truck driver caused an accident that they are the only party liable for the accident. A truck accident lawyer will make sure to thoroughly investigate your case and to hold each responsible party accountable. A negligent big rig operator can share liability with several other parties, depending on the circumstances of your case. An experienced truck accident attorney can help uncover potentially liable parties in your case.
At the heart of every East Meadow truck accident case is the theory of negligence. For example, drivers are clearly negligent when they decide to drive while under the influence. Individuals pursuing compensation must prove negligence to prevail. The at-fault party must have owed the injured individual a duty of care and breached that duty.
The answer to this question depends on a lot of variables. Every accident claim is different in terms of how serious the injuries are, the circumstances of the injury, and the recovery times of the victim. Setting a dollar amount in a truck accident claim is only possible after taking some important steps first. Your attorney will need to know the extent of your injuries and how long they will last. Since you can claim lost wages as part of a truck accident claim, your lawyer will also need to determine your current lost wages and estimate future losses.
Since the specific details of your accident will determine what forms of compensation you may pursue, there is no simple answer as to what amount of compensation to expect. Your attorney will review the specifics of your case and help you understand what factors will play a role in determining the amount of compensation that you pursue.
You should allow your attorney to handle all communications with the at-fault parties and their insurance companies. There are several reasons for this, including that truckers have a vested interest in making sure that they aren’t found legally liable for your injuries. In addition to paying higher insurance premiums, negligently causing an accident will also place a mark on the driving record of truck drivers, which could impact their ability to secure employment in the future.
Even if it’s your own insurance company contacting you, remember that insurance representatives likely aren’t concerned with protecting your interests; rather, the representatives have an interest in protecting their companies’ bottom lines, which means convincing you to accept a settlement offer that doesn’t reflect the true value of your case.
No person is under any obligation to accept legal help for any truck accident. However, it is important to remember that the insurance company generally hopes you will not hire a lawyer when you have suffered an injury in an East Meadow truck accident. Insurance companies know that most laypeople do not know the law, nor do they always understand their rights under the law.
In nearly all cases, hiring an attorney early in the process can help you get a better settlement than if you tried negotiating on your own. Insurance companies will have their own attorneys working on their behalf and you want someone who will fight to protect your rights and your interests. This is why every person involved in a truck accident should hire an East Meadow truck accident attorney who has experience handling truck accident claims.
This question is complicated because it depends on what parties are involved in your claim. If the truck driver is the only one at fault, the overall process will likely proceed rather quickly, as the insurance company will probably want to settle the case quickly. If there are multiple parties, and you have significant injuries, the process could last longer. If you have questions about the average time to settle a claim, your attorney can discuss your various options, including settling your claim outside of court or litigating your case all the way to trial.
If you currently have employer-paid health insurance or private health insurance, you may continue to have them make the necessary payments for your care. If you are making co-payments and having challenges making those payments because you are out of work, you should speak with your providers and let them know that you intend to pursue a claim. You should speak with your attorney about any problems you are having getting your healthcare team to continue treatment for your injuries.
Losing a loved one under any circumstances is difficult. When you lose a loved one in an East Meadow truck accident that you feel was caused by negligence, you and your family may feel additional devastation knowing that the accident was preventable. Individuals who have lost a loved one understand that money cannot compensate for that loss. However, the financial consequences of the loss are often harmful to your family’s future security.
If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by negligence, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim. These claims are complicated, but in general, you can file a claim for the same damages that are associated with an East Meadow truck accident claim, as well as additional claims for funeral and burial expenses. An experienced attorney can help you determine your eligibility to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
How do I pay for your East Meadow truck accident attorneys if I am not working?
This is a valid concern of most truck accident victims as well as others who have suffered a loss due to someone’s negligence. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we offer free initial case evaluations. During your free case evaluation, we will review your case with you, discuss your legal options, and help you determine the best course of action.
Following your free case evaluations, you are under no obligation to hire our firm, but if you decide to move forward, you do not have to pay any legal fees upfront. Our firm works on a contingency basis, which means that unless we secure a settlement on your behalf, you will not be responsible for legal fees. Our fees come as a percentage of whatever settlement we secure on your behalf.
Truck accidents in East Meadow are devastating for everyone involved. Whether you are a motorist who suffered an injury or the loved one of a pedestrian who died, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP toll-free at (877) 565-2993, or join a confidential webchat with us and learn more about your rights following an East Meadow truck accident. We are committed to representing injured individuals and ensuring that they pursue justice and compensation for their injuries.
East Meadow Office
90 Merrick Avenue, Suite 601
East Meadow, NY 11554
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