The New York 18 wheeler accident lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb and Green help clients maximize their recovery in crashes involving 18-wheelers, big rigs and other types of commercial vehicles. Semi-truck accident cases are notoriously complex, underscoring the need for knowledgeable legal representation. Leveraging more than 50 years of litigation practice in NY courts, our attorneys are familiar with the tactics that insurance adjustors use and how the trucking industry operates. With a trustworthy advocate in your corner, you’ll never have to settle for less than you deserve.
Why partner with a New York truck accident attorney at our firm?
- We are well-versed in state and federal regulations for commercial motor carriers
- We have an in-house team of veteran investigators, medical professionals and industry experts
- We are skilled trial attorneys and prepared to argue your case before a jury
- We efficiently manage every aspect of your injury claim, so you can focus on recovering
18-wheeler truck accidents a major cause of traffic deaths
Accidents involving large trucks and 18 wheelers are one of the major causes of traffic-related deaths in the US. A large commercial truck can weigh as much as 30 times more than a passenger automobile. Due to this size disparity, any collision between a truck and a passenger vehicle is likely to result in catastrophic damage and injuries. Big rigs and Mack trucks are subject to special traffic laws and regulations to minimize risks posed to the public. Our experienced team can uncover violations of regulations related to truckers to help victims prevail in their case.
18-wheelers are sophisticated vehicles that require high-level, systematic maintenance to function in a safe manner. These heavy long-haul vehicles must be properly maintained to ensure the functionality of all parts including brakes, lights, steering, reflectors, fluid levels, and of course, the engine. Failure to perform the requisite maintenance or keep detailed records of such inspections can result in fatal traffic accidents.
Types of truck accidents
Tractor trailers are involved in one out of every ten traffic collisions in the United States, according to federal statistics. Some of the most common types of accidents include
- Truck Rollovers – Rollover accidents are often caused by tire blowouts, overloading or improper storage of cargo, causing the truck to lose stability and veer out of control
- Jacknife Crashes – When the driver breaks too suddenly or loses control of the trailer, the back end can swing around to a 90-degree angle, causing serious damage
- Trailer Detachment – A defective or malfunctioning hitch can cause the trailer to break free; this can also occur during impact with another vehicle
- Drive Under/ Under Ride Accidents – Under ride truck accidents are some of the most fatal and occur when a passenger vehicle slides under the truck when rear-ending or in a T-bone collision
- Wide Turn Accidents – Due to their size, 18 wheelers must swing out wide when making a turn. Passenger vehicles can literally get sideswiped or squeezed if they are caught between the truck’s right-hand side and the highway embankment.
- Falling cargo –Freight that is inadequately secured or overloaded can break free and fall out, posing extreme hazards to oncoming traffic
If you were involved in an 18-wheeler crash in the greater New York City metro area, you may be eligible to file a truck accident lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options, contact our offices for a free, no-obligation case review.
Common causes of 18 wheeler accidents
It’s no secret that truck drivers work long hours and are under pressure to meet demanding deadlines. The resulting fatigue can severely impair a truck driver’s judgment, reflexes and reaction times, leading to serious accidents.
Other prevalent causes of truck accidents in NY include:
- Distracted driving
- Excessive speed
- Driving while impaired
- Driver inexperience
- Mechanical problems such as brake failure
- Driver error/ negligence
- Unstable cargo
- Unsafe vehicle operation
- Inclement weather
- Poor road conditions/ road hazards
Reckless drivers should be held accountable for their actions, and the same can be said for trucking companies that fail to adhere to regulations outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation (DOT). There are specific rules on truck driver qualifications and licensing; how many hours a day a trucker can drive; when and how their rig needs to be inspected, and other measures that ensure unsafe vehicles are removed from the highway. The Law Firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb and Green understands trucking accident law and can help you prove a personal injury claim.
Proving liability in trucking accidents
We have a thorough understanding of federal regulations on truck driver training, transportation of hazardous materials, and requirements for weight allocation, maintenance and loading procedures. Time is of the essence when it comes to investigations; our lawyers act swiftly to obtain driver log records and preserve other pertinent evidence. If the vehicle was equipped with a black box data recorder that captures vital information on the truck’s operations right up to the accident, we’ll get that as well.
Truck accident claims can involve multiple defendants, including:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company owner or leasee
- Truck manufacturer
- Manufacturer of defective vehicle parts
- Contractors who performed maintenance on the truck
As a well-established law firm with ample resources, we regularly consult with crash reconstruction specialists who may be called upon to provide expert testimony that clearly explains where fault lies. When investigations point to negligence, we will protect your interests and rights to recovery for truck accident injuries.
Catastrophic injuries in 18 wheeler accidents
Nearly 75 percent of all truck accident fatalities are the occupants of passenger vehicles. Those that do survive a crash with an 80,000-pound vehicle are often left with severe and life-threatening injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Third-degree burns
Hospital and medical bills can easily climb into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, pushing victims and their families to the edge of total bankruptcy. A truck accident settlement can make a difficult recovery much easier to navigate, especially when it factors in the future losses and challenges that await.
What to do After a Truck Accident
Follow these steps after a truck accident to protect your rights:
- Move to safety if possible
- Assess your injuries
- Report the accident
- Identify other parties and exchange information
- Document the scene with photos or video
- Seek medical treatment
- Contact an injury attorney
Truck accident lawyers helping New Yorkers
Our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to effectively represent clients injured by negligent truck drivers. Discuss your options by arranging a private case review with Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb and Green today. All initial consultations are confidential and free of charge. Our Manhattan law office is conveniently located to serve residents in all NYC boroughs and Long Island.
Additional Truck Accident Resources:
- US Department of Transportation, Federal Regulations https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/sw/regulations/index.htm
- FMCSA, Truck Liability https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/advisory-committees/mcsac/minimum-truck-liability
- FMCSA, Post-accident testing https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/382.303
- FMCSA, Screening for OSA in Commercial Vehicle Operators https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/advisory-committees/mcsac/screening-osa-commercial-vehicle-operators