Across the United States, three were 4,237 fatal truck crashes in 2017, the last year for which statistics were available, and 344,000 truck crashes in which someone was injured, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Fatal crashes constituted 1% of all truck accidents and collisions in which someone was injured constituted 23% of all truck crashes.
In the five boroughs of New York City, there were 1,486 large commercial truck crashes in July 2019 alone, according to police reports. The only type of vehicle in crashes more often were passenger cars – and passenger cars are much more common than commercial trucks.
Truck Accidents Can Be Catastrophic
If you’re in an accident involving a large commercial truck, you may be seriously – even catastrophically – injured. Harm from an accident can include spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries that can leave you bedridden and unable to care for yourself for the rest of your life.
Broken bones, burns, organ damage, scarring, and loss of limbs are just some of the other injuries that can result from a truck accident. Trucks are exponentially larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road and can do much more damage as a result.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a truck, you are entitled to have the other party’s insurance company pay for your injuries. In certain cases, you may step outside of New York’s no-fault insurance system and bring a personal injury claim for injuries, wages lost from work, and more. You are entitled to do this if you or a loved one has suffered:
- Broken bone(s)
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Substantially full disability for 90 days
But both insurance and personal injury claims are dependent on finding out who was at fault for the accident.
How Do I Prove Fault in a Truck Accident?
While finding the parties at fault for an accident may sound simple, it rarely is in truck accidents. If a truck rolled over, for example, it might seem like a very clear cut case of the driver being at fault. A rollover is a serious accident that can be caused by the driver braking too fast, especially on curves or inclines.
But rollovers can be caused by multiple factors other than the driving. Improper and unbalanced loading, worn brakes or tires, or loads too heavy for the truck can all cause rollovers or be contributing factors.
If any of these are the cause, the at-fault parties could be the truck company, the truck owners, the maintenance and repair companies, the loaders or shippers, and even equipment manufacturers.
As a result, it is often necessary to investigate the causes of truck accidents to know who was at fault. Experienced truck accident lawyers can investigate the following:
- Logbooks and delivery records to see how long the driver had been on the road
- Cameras and data recorders (black boxes) that can indicate speeds and braking at the time of the accident
- Witness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Expert reconstruction of the accident, which indicates how it occurred
- Forensic analysis
- Records of drug and alcohol screening
When You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer in New York City
If you or a loved one has been in a truck accident in New York, you need an experienced law firm with investigative capacity. We can negotiate with insurance companies and fight in court if necessary to see that justice is done.
Please call an experienced NYC truck accident lawyer at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green today for a free consultation about your case.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2017. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2017.
- Police Department, City of New York. Motor Vehicle Collision Report Statistics Citywide. July 2019. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/nypd/downloads/pdf/traffic_data/cityacc-en-us.pdf