If you or a loved one have been hurt in a motor vehicle collision with a large commercial tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler, you need an attorney who has experience handling truck accident claims. There are unique issues that must be addressed in order to prevail in a lawsuit and maximize your compensation. In New York City, the law office of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb and Green is here to answer any questions you may have.
Worse Injuries and Property Damage
The sheer size and weight of a commercial truck mean greater propensity for harm, whether it’s a spinal cord injury, head trauma, internal injuries from a roll-over, burns from a truck transporting flammable cargo, or broken bones. About 29% of all truck accidents result in serious injury, and nearly 1.5 percent result in a fatality. People in passenger cars are the ones who suffer in 73 percent of all truck accidents, according to the National Institute of Traffic and Highway Safety.
Larger Insurance Minimums
Compared to a passenger vehicle accident, the insurance policy limits are higher for commercial vehicles. Yet, for some, the increased availability of cash is still not enough. While commercial trucks have larger insurance minimums than passenger vehicles, the amount required by law was set in the 1980s and has remained unchanged for nearly 40 years, despite inflation. The minimums range from $750,000 to $1 million, depending on the gross vehicle weight and type of cargo carried.
Government representatives have recommended increasing minimum liability insurance to $4.9 million.
Federal Regulations and Trucking Company Policies
Companies operating commercial trucks must comply with state and federal safety regulations. For example:
- Truckers must submit to routine, mandatory drug and alcohol testing.
- Trucking companies must perform routine maintenance on their vehicles and maintain a log of upkeep.
- There are limits on the allowable length and weight of the truck.
- Trucking companies are responsible for pre-hiring screening.
- All drivers must have valid commercial drivers’ licenses.
- There is a maximum number of consecutive hours on the road and mandatory breaks.
A number of additional rules may apply to a trucker’s conduct, based on internal company policies. Policies typically cover substance use, medical disabilities, pre-trip inspections, breaks, maintenance, and virtually every aspect of the job. When there is a deviation in company protocol, the case for liability becomes easier to establish.
Multiple Party Liability
In addition to the driver of the truck, liable parties may include:
- The truck driver’s employer
- The truck licensing company
- The truck manufacturer
- The truck repair shop
- The cargo loading subcontractor
- Another motor vehicle driver involved in the crash
It is surprisingly commonplace for truckers or trucking firms to falsify their logbooks or reset black box recorders to hide wrongdoing. Experienced truck accident attorneys can recognize inconsistencies and subpoena records from GPS or data recorders that may conflict with the defendants’ accounts.
We prefer to work with plaintiffs right away, so we can preserve accident scene evidence. Crash scene reconstructionists take detailed notes on the speed and direction traveled, as well as the positioning of each vehicle after the collision. Our team of investigators can interview eyewitnesses, track down surveillance footage, and make sure your vehicle damage is properly documented before it is repaired.
Contact A NYC Truck Accident Lawyer
Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb and Green have served New York for over 50 years. We have extensive experience not just in automobile accidents generally, but in truck accidents specifically. Our team understands the unique challenges your lawsuit is likely to face and has a vast arsenal of resources to combat any potential issue that may arise. Contact an NYC truck accident lawyer from our firm for a free consultation and contingency-based representation that costs you nothing upfront.