Large commercial trucks—including semis, big rigs, and tractor-trailers—account for about 12.8% of all vehicles on the road. Truck accidents, unfortunately, are all too common, with the impact often devastating. As many as 112,000 large trucks were involved in accidents resulting in injury in 2018, with another 4,862 involved in fatal crashes.
While all types of motor accidents have the potential to cause severe damage, trucking accidents are by far the most catastrophic, given the sheer size of commercial trucks.
Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
If you have suffered an injury in a trucking accident, one of your first steps should be to seek the legal counsel of a personal injury attorney. Our experienced New York truck accident attorneys can help you establish liability and fight for your rightful compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation case review.
With over 40 years’ experience representing the community—and an enviable reputation to boot—we understand the challenges truck accident victims encounter, and the steps needed to recover losses from truck accidents.
Steps to Take Following a Truck Accident
Solid proof is the key to winning your claim. Here is what you can do in the moments following your accident to protect your right to fair compensation:
- Call 911 immediately—have someone call 911 for emergency help. The police will arrive at the scene as quickly as possible to write an accident report and record any factual details that will help determine liability for the accident.
- Document the accident and gather witnesses—use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene, as well as any injuries sustained. If there were any witnesses to the accident, note down their names and exchange contact information. This quick and straightforward documentation process will prove vital when you file your accident claim.
- Seek medical attention—see a doctor as soon as possible. Have the doctor assess your injuries and keep track of medical reports, expenses, and other relevant documents. Not only is this necessary for physical recovery, but it will also help strengthen your legal claim to compensation.
What Are Some Types of Truck Accidents?
Accidents involving commercial trucks commonly fall under one of these categories:
- Head-on and rear-end collisions—this occurs when a truck collides with another vehicle head-on. Rear-end collision is when the car drives into the back of another vehicle.
- Jackknife accidents—this happens when a truck brakes suddenly, and its trailers swing out to a ninety-degree angle. Jackknifing trucks can easily roll-over, which can be disastrous for anyone nearby.
- Blind Spot Accidents—blind spots are much larger in commercial trucks than in smaller vehicles. Semi-trucks, in particular, are notorious for having significant blind spots, where the driver loses sight of other cars.
- Underride accidents—one of the deadliest variations of truck accidents, they happen when a truck stops too quickly, and an approaching vehicle gets stuck under the tractor-trailer. Often, the top of the smaller car gets ripped off.
- Tire blowouts—while the tires of any motor vehicle can blowout, commercial trucks are much more likely to run into tire failure.
Who Is Liable in a Trucking Accident?
In our mission to provide you with the best legal representation, we will first need to establish liability. Who was the party at fault that must be held responsible for the accident?
It is important to note that cases surrounding truck accidents tend to be a lot more complicated than the average car accident. Typically, the following are the main parties we’ll investigate. Depending on the specifics of your case, the list may not be exhaustive:
- The truck driver –the driver, maybe directly responsible due to several factors, including distracted driving, substance abuse, fatigue, or any other factor that may impair judgment.
- The trucking company (employer) – It is possible that the trucking company was negligent regarding vehicle maintenance, by failing to follow standard loading and unloading conventions, or by hiring an unqualified driver.
- The manufacturer – the manufacturer of the truck may have installed faulty parts or failed to timely recall known defects.
- The cargo company – Often, the company owning the cargo is involved in loading and unloading issues, such as inherently unstable loads.
In a typical truck accident scenario, none of the potentially liable parties will be willing to accept liability for the injuries you sustained. Disagreements may further complicate this among all the likely responsible parties over which the insurer should pay out the damages. They could argue for months regarding this. To overcome such hurdles, it helps to have the best attorneys on your side, fighting for your interests.
What Kind Compensation Am I Entitled To?
Most people do not realize that they have a claim until they speak to a qualified truck accident attorney. When putting together your claim, we consider all compensable damages, both monetary and non-monetary:
Monetary damages may include:
- Medical expenses (current and future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Vehicle repairs
- Legal fees
Non-monetary damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical disability or disfigurement
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?
The insurer will contact victims early on and tempt them with a settlement offer. You would do well not to consider this offer until you speak to an attorney. Such offers are often far below what the injured victim deserves for the losses and pain they have had to endure. Even if the insurance company issues a veiled threat, do not feel compelled to settle. Let a truck accident attorney protect your rights and negotiate for a just settlement on your behalf.
New York Truck Accident Attorney: The Halperin & Halperin Difference
No matter the type of truck accident, we are here to help you.
At Halperin & Halperin, we have a wealth of experience from handling virtually all types of truck accident cases in New York. But we also understand that every case is different and requires additional work or resources to conduct proper private investigations, as well as collect all the material needed to put together a strong claim.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a truck accident, contact us today, and we will immediately get to work on your case. Call us at 212-935-2600 or fill out our contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.