New York Truck Accident Lawyer
Every day thousands of commercial big rigs, moving vans, delivery trucks, and produce trucks operate on state roads. These trucks must deliver goods and services to residents of New York. In addition, many travel through New York en route to their final destination on the East Coast. From the I-81 in Syracuse to the Brooklyn Bridge, these trucks often clog the freeways and highways in the area. Even worse, they cause serious and catastrophic accidents every single year.
If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a truck accident in New York, you may have many questions running through your mind. How will you recover from this? Who bears responsibility? How will you pay your bills if you can’t work? These are real concerns, fears, and questions that deserve answers.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we understand trucking accidents in New York and the complications and damages they cause. We know that injured truck accident survivors need a New York Truck Accident Attorney on their side who can fight large trucking companies and insurers while they focus on their recovery.
Our Experience Matters
We Help Injured New York Truck Accident Survivors
For nearly 50 years, our New York truck accident lawyers have helped injured trucking accident survivors across the state. From Albany to Brooklyn and everywhere in between, our lawyers continue to fight for injured accident victims and their rights. We know that insurance companies and large trucking companies do not play fair. We have seen it firsthand. As such, we work quickly to build a case to help our clients recover maximum compensation.
Our track record speaks for itself. Here are some of our most notable truck accident cases in New York.
- $5.7 million, bus accident. An eight-year-old suffered fatal injuries when a runaway Brooklyn school bus struck her. The child’s brother narrowly avoided injury.
- $5 million, truck accident settlement at trial. After a multiple vehicle accident caused our client severe injuries, 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 $5 million.
- $2.5 million, tractor-trailer accident settlement. A truck accident caused serious spinal injuries to our client. We settled the case before trial.
We know that past results do not guarantee future success. However, you can rest easier knowing that you have a team of experienced lawyers on your side with considerable success litigating and negotiating truck accident cases in your state.
Our lawyers want to meet with you to help you explore your legal options and learn more about your accident and injuries. To do this, we offer free initial consultations and reviews. We also have offices across the state and in virtually every borough in New York to better serve you. If you cannot come to our office, don’t worry. We can meet you at your home, your hospital room, or even virtually. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, at (877) 504-9075 or contact us using our convenient online contact form to schedule your free consultation.
Getting the Money YOU Need After a New York Truck Accident
How Much is my Case Worth?
One of the hardest questions to answer is “how much is my case worth.” No attorney can give you an exact number because many factors affect the overall outcome of your case and the amount of compensation you can receive. However, we can evaluate and investigate your case closely to determine the value of your case.
To do this, we will need to discuss your accident and injuries with you closely. One of the biggest factors affecting overall compensation is injury and the long-term effects of that injury. If your injury resulted in permanent disability or impairment, you would need significantly more compensation than someone who suffered mild injuries.
We will also need to establish all liable parties. While New York is a no-fault state, injured truck accident survivors often exhaust their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policies quickly. As such, they need to turn to responsible parties to file a claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Since the amount of compensation you can receive depends largely on the responsible party’s policy limits, finding all liable parties is key. After all, a large trucking company will have a much larger policy limit than an independent truck driver would.
Our New York truck accident lawyers will help you collect the money you need from all sources. In addition, we can ensure that you get compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings and benefits
- Pain and suffering
Truck Accidents in New York
Where do Truck Accidents Occur in New York?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), New York is among the top ten states for commercial truck crashes. Those states represent more than half of all of the commercial truck crashes and half of all of the fatalities in crashes involving a commercial truck.
More than 4,000 truck accidents took place in one recent year, resulting in more than 4,500 fatalities. Only 16 percent of those fatalities were the occupants of the trucks—a 4 percent increase from the year before. The rest of the casualties were occupants of other vehicles on the roadway, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Truck accidents in New York State increased over the last three years drastically. According to statistics, over 4200 truck accidents occurred across the state in 2018 alone. To reduce the number of truck accidents and harm done to pedestrians and other motorists, New York City has strict rules and restrictions on where commercial trucks can drive in the boroughs. For example, trucks and commercial vehicles are not allowed to travel on parkways in New York City.
Yet, despite these restrictions, truck accidents still occur at an alarming rate across Manhattan and the rest of the boroughs. In one month alone, more than 700 truck accidents occurred according to recent statistics from the New York Police Department.
Truck Accident Injury Statistics in New York State
While truck accidents can occur virtually anywhere in the state, some streets, freeways, and intersections seem more dangerous.
- Taconic State Parkway
- I-87 from New York up to Montreal
- Niagara Falls Boulevard
- Hempstead Turnpike
- Williamsburg Bridge
- Sunrise Highway
Understanding the Dangers of Big Trucks in New York
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, commercial trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times more than the average passenger car.
Their massive size presents many dangers to the occupants of other vehicles, including:
- More distance required for stopping. The bigger the vehicle, the more time it takes for the brakes to bring it to a complete stop. Commercial trucks take 20-40 percent further to stop than a passenger car. The space needed for stopping increases with speed, as well as on wet or icy roads.
- Significant blind spots. Most vehicles have blind spots on the side rear area of the vehicle. These are areas where the driver cannot see vehicles in adjacent lanes in their rearview or side mirrors. These blind spots are much larger in tractor-trailers and are present on all four sides of the vehicle, posing a danger to drivers who are traveling the roadway close to the truck.
- High centers of gravity. Tractor-trailers have a high center of gravity, which makes them top-heavy and prone to rolling over in accidents or when attempting to negotiate a sharp corner or turn.
- Wide turns. To maneuver the enormous truck through a turn, truck drivers must make wide turns. Every commercial tractor-trailer you see has a warning sign on the back of it to alert other drivers of these wide turns. Wide turns can trap drivers between the truck and curb. They can also result in the truck sideswiping a vehicle.
- High ground clearance. Large trucks sit high off the ground, which presents an extreme risk of other vehicles sliding underneath them and becoming trapped during an accident, even having the tops of those smaller vehicles sheared off—a phenomenon known as an underride.
What Causes Commercial Trucks to Crash?
There are many reasons why trucks crash, not all of which are the fault of the truck driver. The law holds truck drivers to higher safety standards than other drivers. This includes carrying additional insurance, undergoing regular drug and alcohol testing, performing regular maintenance of their vehicle, and complying with mandatory break times to decrease fatigue. However, truck drivers are hardly the only party responsible for truck accidents.
Some of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents in New York include:
- Fatigued driving. Even with the many federal regulations surrounding truck driver fatigue, many truck drivers are still working while drowsy. An FMCSA study revealed that about 13 percent of truck drivers who caused accidents suffered from fatigue at the time of the crash.
In addition to working long hours under stress, a large number of truck drivers also suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that causes interruptions in breathing while the sufferer sleeps, often leaving them still feeling tired even after they had a full night’s sleep. Extreme fatigue in drivers often presents similar deficits in the skills needed for driving as those experienced by drivers impaired by alcohol, including difficulties steering, scanning the roadway, controlling speed, and responding to hazards.
- Alcohol or drug impairment. Despite mandatory testing for alcohol use and some drugs, too many truck drivers indulge in their use while on the job. Additionally, drivers may not know how badly over-the-counter and prescription medication can impair their driving.
- Speeding. As previously mentioned, large trucks require more distance to come to a safe stop after the driver detects a hazard on the roadway. Speeding not only increases the distance needed but also decreases the time the driver has to perceive the danger and increases the severity of the impact when a collision occurs.
- Distracted driving. Truck drivers endure the same temptations as other drivers to multi-task. This means they have ample opportunity to become distracted by texting and other cell phone use, eating or drinking, smoking, and adjusting vehicle controls. Truck drivers also have many electronic devices, including GPS systems and logging systems, that assist them in doing their job but also may increase the distractions the driver must contend with while doing his or her job.
- Improperly loaded cargo. Truck drivers must train in the proper loading and securing of cargo. That said, cargo shifts are a major cause of truck accidents as they lead to an imbalanced load that makes the truck more difficult to maneuver and increases the likelihood of the vehicle rolling over. Improperly securing the load is a concern, as well, as it can result in the truck losing its load and dropping dangerous obstacles onto the roadway or striking other vehicles with the cargo it is carrying.
- Getting lost. Truck drivers are often expected to make deliveries in New York cities that they are unfamiliar with. This can result in the driver becoming lost while attempting to complete his or her delivery. Lost drivers are a hazard to others on the roadway, as it can cause them to enter a one-way street or ramp going the wrong direction or to make improper and dangerous lane changes to make a last-minute turn to get back on their route. Following navigation apps could take them off of truck routes and onto roads that were not intended for 18-wheelers, like the Sprain Brook Parkway in Westchester.
- Inclement weather. Inclement weather conditions, including wet or icy roads or poor visibility, puts the maneuverability issues surrounding large trucks on display as they struggle to make deadlines. One of the most alarming and well-publicized problems with large trucks operating in bad weather is multi-vehicle pile-ups on interstates around the nation, which are not only often caused by the trucks being unable to stop on icy roads but can also feature more severe injuries or even death if there are one or more trucks involved.
- Poorly maintained trucks. Commercial motor vehicles must undergo regular maintenance. If this maintenance is not performed or the individual conducting the maintenance procedures fails to recognize or correct a problem, it can lead to an accident. Some of the most common causes of accidents involving poor truck maintenance include faulty braking systems, faulty steering, and blown tires. Tire blowouts, while not at all unusual in the trucking industry, are especially dangerous as they often result in loss of vehicle control. Additionally, the pieces of the blown tire can create dangerous obstacles on the roadway for other drivers to navigate past.
- Defective truck parts. The manufacturers and distributors of the parts and systems that go onto a commercial truck have the responsibility to ensure that these parts—when used as intended—will not create hazards for the truck driver or other motorists.
- Corporate responsibility. Trucking companies are responsible for preventing crashes, hiring and scheduling drivers, and ensuring their trucks are safe. They often saddle their drivers with unrealistic expectations that encourage drivers to violate rules of service regulations and drive faster than the speed limit. They may not properly train or screen drivers, or discipline them when they violate the law or internal company rules. In these cases, you might hold a trucking company responsible when their drivers injure you.
Truck Accident Injuries in New York
We Help Injured Survivors Like You
The injuries sustained in collisions with massive vehicles are often serious and life-altering. Many of these injuries even result in death. The survivors of this type of accident may face injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputation or disfigurement
- Internal injuries
- Deep lacerations
- Exposure to caustic or toxic materials coming from the vehicles or as a result of the hazardous materials that the truck is carrying.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, our New York truck accidents help injured survivors like you. We know that injuries suffered in truck accidents are rarely cut and dry. They often require years of therapy and medical intervention and may result in permanent impairment and disability. Our lawyers work with your medical team to better understand the full extent of your injuries and how they will adversely affect your entire life and future. This is an important step towards collecting the compensation you need and deserve.
Finding Responsible Parties After a Truck Accident
Along with serious injuries, accidents caused by truck drivers often feature additional liable parties beyond the truck driver.
Some potentially liable parties include:
- The trucking company. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that the drivers who work for them and represent them don’t have a negative past driving history, are regularly tested for drug and alcohol use, and are properly trained in the safe operation of the vehicle. After a truck accident, your attorney will carefully examine the details of the case to see if there is a liability on the part of the company.
- The shipper. Companies who select a trucking company to transport their products must ensure that the company has the proper insurance and does not have a negative record. Shippers are also sometimes responsible for loading the cargo. If improper loading or securing of cargo was the cause of your accident, your truck accident lawyer will look to see who loaded the trailer and other possible sources of liability on the part of the shipper.
- Truck maintenance company. The individual or entity responsible for performing maintenance on the truck may share liability if they failed to maintain the vehicle properly or incorrectly.
- The manufacturer or distributor of defective truck parts.
- The drivers of other vehicles. Many accidents aren’t due to the two vehicles that collide but rather caused by the negligent actions of another motorist. This is particularly true when the accident is a chain reaction or pileup collision. Your truck accident lawyer will work to unravel all of the factors related to your crash to determine if another driver may have responsibility.
Call Jacoby & Meyers, LLP Today!
How Can Our New York Truck Accident Lawyers Help?
Your lawyer may also serve as a point of contact for you with insurance companies, may negotiate with these companies on your behalf, and may also represent you in court in a personal injury lawsuit. Finally, when you reach a settlement or award, your lawyer may assist you in the collection of these funds. It is important to choose an attorney who has experience with these types of cases, as they present your best opportunity for obtaining fair compensation for your injuries.If you’d like to speak to one of our experienced truck accident attorneys in New York, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, at (877)-504-9075 or contact us using our convenient online contact form to schedule your free 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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Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
39 Broadway Suite 1910,
New York, NY 10006