New York City Truck Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving large commercial trucks, including big rigs, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers, involve more complex laws than typical motor vehicle accidents. Due to their large size and heavy weight, the damages caused by truck accidents can be devastating. These factors make it crucial that truck accident victims are adequately represented in order to get the full compensation they deserve. At The O’Connor Law Firm, injury victims can get help from an experienced New York City truck accident lawyer who understands the nuances of these laws and has the resources necessary to determine all possible causes of your truck accident and hold the liable party responsible for your injuries.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a trucking accident, call our office today at 212-566-4868 or 718-948-3500 and let us help you get the compensation you deserve. We help clients throughout the 5 boroughs with offices conveniently located in Manhattan and Staten Island.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were an estimated 531,000 large trucks involved in police-reported traffic accidents in 2018 in the United States.
The NHTSA also estimated there were 151,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2018 – an increase of 2% from the estimated 148,000 in 2017. Of the people injured in 2018:
- 72% were occupants of other vehicles;
- 26% were occupants of large trucks; and
- 2% were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.
Even more troubling, the number of truck accident fatalities has increased 31% between 2009 and 2018 with 4,951 people killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2018. A breakdown of the fatalities related to truck accidents:
- 71% were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles;
- 18% were truck occupants; and
- 11% were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.
Of the total vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes involving a large truck in 2018:
- 91% were occupants of the passenger vehicles;
- 74% of deaths involved tractor trailers;
- 27% involved single-unit trucks.
The NHTSA data further shows that in New York there were 99 fatalities in traffic crashes involving trucks in 2018 – a decrease from the 121 deaths in 2017. However, according to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, injuries in traffic crashes involving trucks actually increased from 4,096 in 2017 to 4,202 in 2018 in New York.
We Handle All Types of Truck Accidents
There are many different types of commercial trucks on the roads today. Some are designed to haul cargo, others carry debris, gravel or sand, and still others carry hazardous materials. At The O’Connor Law Firm, we handle all types of truck accidents throughout New York City and Staten Island, including accidents involving:
- Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and big rigs
- Box trucks
- Cement trucks
- Dump trucks and garbage trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Tanker trucks
- Tow trucks
- Other commercial trucks
While there are many different trucks on the road, each designed for a specific purpose, each trucking company and their drivers have the same obligation to use reasonable care in the use and operation of their trucks. These large vehicles have large blind spots, are prone to rollovers, or cause flying debris and other hazards.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a New York truck accident, call us today to schedule a free case review. Our New York City truck accident attorneys will answer your questions provide the guidance you need when an accident has turned your life upside down.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
Large commercial trucks, including tractor-trailers, present a greater risk of serious injuries than other vehicles on the road today. The life-threating dangers posed by these large trucks are a result of many factors:
- Larger size/high center of gravity: The large size of many trucks and high center of gravity make them less stable and more difficult to maneuver.
- Heavy weight: While the average vehicle weighs about 2.5 tons, a tractor-trailer can weigh 40 tons (80,000 pounds). This significant force can cause life-threating injuries to occupants of smaller vehicles, especially at a high rate of speed.
- Stopping distance: Due to the heavy weight of large trucks, it takes more time and distance to stop a tractor-trailer than a typical vehicle. For example, a tractor-trailer will travel 45 feet further than a typical vehicle if they both brake at the same time while driving at 45 mph before it comes to a complete stop. This makes tailgating by trucks particularly dangerous.
- Blind spots: The larger size of most commercial trucks results in bigger and more blind spots that can result in serious accidents.
- Slower acceleration: The heavy weight of most large trucks makes acceleration more difficult. This can lead to accidents when trucks attempt to merge into traffic or change lanes.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Manhattan and Staten Island
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a large truck crash causation study over a 33-month period and determined the most common causes of trucking accidents:
- Driver Negligence
- Distracted driving or inattention
- Driver fatigue
- Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions
- Following too closely
- Unsafe and careless driving
- Aggressive driving
- Alcohol or drug use
- Improper and dangerous lane changes
- Failure to check blind spots before turning
- Vehicle Factors
- Brake problems
- Mechanical malfunction or poor maintenance
- Tire problems
- Cargo shift or improper loading of cargo
- Other Associated Factors
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway conditions
- Required to stop before crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Severe weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice or fog
What An Experienced New York City Truck Accident Lawyer Can Do For You
Due to the complex nature of trucking accidents, it is vital that injury victims retain an experienced truck accident attorney who understands the rules and regulations that trucking companies and their drivers must follow.
An experienced Manhattan or Staten Island truck accident attorney also knows how to adequately investigate a trucking accident in order to build the strongest possible case and hold the negligent parties liable for your injuries.
We Understand The Rules and Regulations
Involved in Complex Truck Accidents
At The O’Connor Law Firm, we have an in depth knowledge of all federal, state and local laws and regulations that trucking companies and their drivers must follow, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, New York Vehicle and Traffic Law and the NYS Department of Transportation Regulations. These rules and regulations include:
- Limits on hours driving continuously, per day and per week
- Keeping timely records of their mileage
- Accurate driving time logs (hours on the road)
- Maintenance and repair records
- Weight restrictions
- Mandatory medical examinations and drug testing
We Hire Experts To Investigate Your Truck Accident
To Build The Strongest Possible Case
The O’Connor Law Firm has access to experienced private investigators and skilled accident reconstruction experts who assist us in building the strongest possible case in order to get you the compensation you deserve. Here is a list of some of the steps we take in handling your case:
- Initial interview with client, educate and answer client’s questions.
- Hire an investigator to gather evidence, interview witnesses, take photographs, obtain police reports, surveillance video and other relevant evidence.
- Retain accident reconstruction experts as early as possible to inspect the accident scene, including the truck and its parts and any other relevant dangerous conditions before they may be altered or repaired by the negligent party.
Obtain evidence from the trucking company, including:
- Event data recorder
- Maintenance records
- Driver’s logbook
- Trip Sheet
- Route Schedule
- Time cards
- Truck inspection record
- Litigate your case aggressively and thoroughly to provide you with the best possible outcome.
- Communicate with you throughout the course of your case, keeping you informed and educated about the litigation process.
Our Manhattan and Staten Island Truck Accident Lawyers Deal With The Trucking Insurance Company
So You Can Focus On Your Recovery
Don’t let the trucking insurance companies take advantage of you before you speak to a lawyer. They are solely focused on their own interests and are not on your side.
We immediately notify all negligent parties and their insurance companies of our representation and that they are not permitted to speak with you. We also demand that they preserve any evidence to ensure it is not destroyed before we have our experts examine it.
We will deal with the insurance companies so you can focus on your recovery. We will make sure the trucking insurance companies deal fairly with you. We are ready to help you when you need us.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a New York Truck Accident?
After a trucking accident, it may seem obvious that the truck driver was negligent and caused the accident. However, sometimes trucking accidents are more complex and multiple parties may be jointly responsible for an accident. Depending on the facts of the accident, possible responsible parties include:
- Truck driver: Drivers who operate commercial trucks in a negligent or reckless manner.
- Trucking company: A trucking company will also be held responsible under the doctrine of respondeat superior when a driver operates a truck negligently in the course of his employment.
- Maintenance contractor: A maintenance company can be held liable for injuries caused by the negligent maintenance and repair of a truck.
- Truck leasing company: If a truck or other commercial equipment is leased, that company may be held responsible if the equipment was not in proper and safe working order.
- Freight loading companies: Sometimes accidents may be caused by overloading or improper loading of cargo. Freight companies that violate federal regulations may be held liable.
- Manufacturers of parts or truck: If an accident is caused by a defective part or design in a truck the manufacturer may be at fault.
- Municipality: If an accident is caused by negligent roadway maintenance and repair, or roadway design, a government entity may be negligent.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover
After a Truck Accident?
Due to the impact of a heavy commercial truck on a smaller vehicle, the injuries are often catastrophic and life-altering, sometimes resulting in wrongful death. A personal injury lawsuit is intended to compensate a truck injury victim and their family for the pain and suffering caused by someone else’s negligence. You may also be entitled to economic loss caused by your injuries. Some of these damages include:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Hospital and surgical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
Get the Help You Need by Calling a
New York City Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a trucking accident, give us a call today and let us provide the help you need. We understand the nuances of truck accident laws and the regulations that truck companies and their drivers must follow.
We will provide answers to your questions and give you the guidance you need to navigate the legal process. We offer free consultations and there is no obligation. Call us today at 212-566-4868 or 718-948-3500 or fill out or contact form online and let us help you get your life back on track. We have offices in Manhattan and Staten Island