Staten Island Truck Accidents
Large trucks zoom around Staten Island at all hours of the day, connecting Staten Island with the rest of New York City and indeed the rest of the country. Without these trucks, we would enjoy far fewer products on our store shelves, and our economy would be very different.
Unfortunately, these large vehicles cause unimaginable damage when they collide with lighter trucks and cars. Weighing up to 40 tons, 18-wheelers and semi-trucks can flatten vehicles and cause permanent or life-threatening injuries to occupants. Those involved in a wreck might never be the same but struggle with a lifetime of pain.
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, please call The O’Connor Law Firm today. Our Staten Island truck accident lawyer will happily review your case. Based on the evidence we hear, we might recommend filing a claim for compensation or even a lawsuit in court.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Trucks crash for many of the same reasons that other motor vehicles crash, including:
- Negligent driving
- Texting and driving
- Driver distraction
- Fatigued driving
- Reckless driving
- Truck defect
- Unbalanced loads
- Poor maintenance
- Hazardous roads
Our Staten Island truck accident lawyer will carefully sift through the evidence to better understand what caused the crash. Once we know how the accident unfolded, we can pinpoint the party at fault.
Types of Truck Accidents
We have helped accident victims in every type of truck accident imaginable. Some of the more common include:
- Jackknife. The trailer in a semi-truck can swing out at an angle and slam into nearby cars. Jackknife accidents often stem from sudden braking, unbalanced cargo, and poor road conditions.
- Rollover. The trailer can roll onto its side and flatten vehicles in adjoining lanes. Rollovers often stem from sudden movements or cargo that shifts around.
- Override. A truck can slam into a car in front of it, often because it couldn’t brake in time. In horrifying accidents, a truck will ride up onto the car in front.
- Underride. Smaller vehicles can slide under the trailer and get lodged there. The edge of the trailer often causes serious damage.
- Tire blowout. When tires blow, a large truck is hard to control and accidents are inevitable on busy roads.
- Drunk driving. Too many truckers are chemically impaired. They drive recklessly as a result and are responsible for a crash.
If you were hurt in a collision, call us. We can review your legal right to compensation.
Trucks Involved in Crashes
We can assist anyone struck by a large truck:
- Dump trucks
- Sanitation vehicles
- Box trucks
- Moving vans
- Cement trucks
- Tow trucks
- Other commercial vehicles
These trucks have several things in common. First, they tend to be larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road. Second, they are often difficult to drive. Many require a commercial driver’s license to operate, which protects public safety. But anyone might rent a U-Haul or similar box truck, which is much harder to maneuver than smaller cars. We see inexperienced drivers make mistakes which cause collisions.
Suing for Compensation
We fully investigate a case to identify who to sue for your accident. The at-fault parties will depend on the circumstances but might include:
- Truckers. A trucker who drives negligently or recklessly is responsible for a collision.
- Trucking companies. A trucking company is usually automatically on the hook for compensation if their employee injures someone while on the job. Employers might also have independent liability for negligent hiring, supervision, or training.
- Loading companies. Some companies load cargo into a trailer. But if the load is unbalanced or improperly secured, it can shift.
- Mechanics and maintenance contractors. These individuals must properly identify problems with trucks and fix them using reasonable care. Shoddy, careless work can lead to truck failure and collisions.
- Truck manufacturers. A defective truck is dangerous and can collide due to a design or manufacturing defect.
- Municipalities. Governments must keep roadways free of hazards and dangerous defects. If a defect leads to a collision, then we might sue the municipality responsible for the road.
Truck accidents are complicated events. Sometimes more than one person or entity is to blame. To help you recover from your injuries, reach out to an attorney. The O’Connor Law Firm will review the records of the crash to determine fault and let you focus on getting better.
Damages for a Truck Accident
The injuries our clients suffer are often life changing. Many will need years of physical or occupational therapy to try and return to something resembling their former life. Others will require surgery and months at home. These accidents cost considerable sums of money—money accident victims simply don’t have.
Our clients are often eligible to receive compensation for the following damages:
- Property damage, like damage to your car
- Past and future lost wages or lost income
- Hospital bills
- Surgical costs
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and disability
If your spouse was injured in a truck accident, you might qualify for loss of consortium. This type of claim compensates for negative changes to a marriage, like loss of companionship or sexual intimacy.
Truck Accidents & Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, hundreds of people die in truck accidents each year. Their family members need to pick up the pieces and demand answers for what happened.
New York allows certain family members to bring wrongful death claims. These lawsuits are somewhat different from typical personal injury cases. For one, the victim has died. But family members retain a right to pursue compensation for certain losses they have suffered.
In New York, the personal representative of the estate must file the lawsuit within two years of your loved one’s death.
Evidence in Truck Accident Cases
One reason to hire an experienced Staten Island truck accident lawyer is to build your injury case properly. Certain evidence exists that is helpful, but you need to know how to access it. Our legal team is committed to immediately begin gathering evidence. If you call us, we will try to get to the accident scene before the trucking company’s investigators arrive.
We can also request information in possession of the trucking company. For example, they might have:
- Electronic records
- Bills of lading
- Drug test results
- Disciplinary records
Any of this information is helpful when analyzing an accident. For example, federal law restricts the number of hours a trucker can be on the road on any given day. Other laws require pre-employment physicals and drug tests, as well as drug tests after certain accidents. A trucking company might cut corners and not test its employees or allow a trucker who failed a test back on the road.
Deadlines for Filing a Lawsuit
Generally, New York gives accident victims three years to bring a personal injury lawsuit. This law is found in the statute of limitations. We strongly encourage truck accident victims to reach out to a lawyer soon after the collision. If you go over this deadline, you’ll lose the ability to sue at all.
Other deadlines can apply if you need to sue the city or state for poor roads. Typically, you’ll need to submit a claim shortly after the accident which gives the city a chance to investigate. Again, if you miss this deadline, bringing a lawsuit is much more complicated.
Call Our Staten Island Truck Accident Lawyer
The O’Connor Law Firm is proud to help the Staten Island community when one of our own is injured. We have negotiated with large trucking companies and are unafraid to demand fair compensation for our clients. To learn more, reach out to schedule a free consultation.