New York City (NYC) Truck Accident Lawyer
Accidents between trucks and smaller vehicles often leave the drivers and passengers of the other car with serious injuries. These accidents may even be fatal for many drivers and passengers hit by trucks in NYC. Holding truck drivers and trucking companies responsible for these crashes is one of the many things that our NYC truck accident lawyers do to help injury victims across the city.
The first decision that you will have to make as a potential plaintiff is who was responsible for causing your injuries. Sometimes, you are limited to suing the truck driver, while in other situations, you may be able to target the trucking company or the truck manufacturer for their own role in causing the accident.
Whether you were injured in a truck accident or a loved one was injured or killed, The Carrion Law Firm’s experienced NYC truck accident lawyers can take your case and work to get you the compensation you need for your injuries. Call us today at (718) 841-0083 to get your free legal case evaluation.
Whom to Sue After a Truck Accident in NYC
Truck accident injury cases are often complex because there are often more than two parties involved. In most auto accident cases, the victim sues the driver who hit them, and these are the only two parties to the case (aside from insurance companies and lawyers that might represent either side). In truck accident cases, other parties may be involved, and our attorneys can help manage the case and file claims against all the right parties to get you the compensation you need.
First of all, most truck drivers can be held responsible for their actions behind the wheel. If you were involved in a truck accident, the driver of that truck will be the first person you sue. If they broke traffic laws by speeding or driving drunk, the courts can hold them liable. If they committed other mistakes like failing to adequately check their blind spots or failing to take required driver breaks, the courts can also hold them responsible.
Most trucking cases do not stop at the driver. If the truck driver was an independent driver and owned their own truck, they may not have an employer that can be held liable for their actions. However, trucking companies can often be held liable in one of three ways for what happened in their driver’s accident:
A trucking company can be held liable in their capacity as an employer the same way that any other company can he held liable for problems the people at the company cause. Since truck drivers are hired to drive for their employers, anyone who is injured by those activities can sue the trucking company for the driver’s errors or mistakes. This is the same as how you would sue a restaurant if a cook gave you food poisoning or a grocery store if a worker left a dangerous spill that caused you to fall; the company is “vicariously liable” for their employee’s negligence.
Trucking companies – as a separate entity from the driver – can also make their own mistakes that could put them at fault. If the driver was so dangerous or had a history of bad truck accidents, then it may have been negligent for the trucking company to keep them on staff. This “negligent hiring” or “negligent retention” can put a trucking company at fault. Similarly, the trucking company might have made other errors and mistakes that made the accident more likely, such as forcing a driver to take illegal overtime or overloading their truck and causing safety issues.
If the trucking company owns the truck that hit you, they could be liable for any mechanical issues. Trucking companies are legally required to service vehicles and inspect them to avoid equipment failure. Equipment failure is responsible for many accidents, from burst tires to lighting malfunctions to brake failure. If repair, service, or inspection mistakes led to your crash, the trucking company might be responsible for failing to catch those issues.
In addition to the trucking company being responsible for these kinds of issues, an outside mechanic or even the manufacturer of the vehicle part that failed could share liability. Talk to an NYC truck accident lawyer about other parties that could share fault in your case.
What to Do After a NYC Truck Accident
If you want to recover compensation through a lawsuit for your truck accident injuries in New York, you will have to show that the party that you are suing was responsible for negligently or recklessly causing the accident and your injuries. The process of building your case starts immediately after the accident. Knowing the key steps ahead of time can help you act calmly and secure the information that you will need to get justice for the harms you have suffered.
Get to Safety
Your safety is your first priority. After you are in a truck accident, do your best to get yourself and all other passengers out of the vehicle and off to the side of the road so that you are out of danger of a secondary collision. If your vehicle is still drivable, attempt to move it out of the way of traffic to the shoulder of the road. If the car is disabled, put your hazard lights on or deploy flares to indicate the accident scene to other drivers.
Any accident, no matter how serious, deserves the attention of the authorities. Do not let the other driver try to convince you that you can work out the details without the police. They may attempt to leave the scene without providing you with contact or insurance information. If the truck driver tries to flee, let the dispatcher know as many details about the driver and the truck as possible. When the officer arrives, they will compile information for an official police report which you can use in an insurance claim or as the basis for preparing your complaint.
Talk to Witnesses
Sometimes, the people that see the accident first-hand are the best resources for your recovery. They are also incredibly difficult to track down once they leave the scene of the accident. If you are able, try to speak with everyone who may have seen what happened and get their contact information so that you can reach them later. You may not end up needing them, but if you do, you will be happy that you took this step.
Go to the Hospital
Getting medical attention shortly after an accident serves two purposes. First, the doctors can run tests and evaluate you to treat the injuries that you know about and discover the ones that you don’t, preventing conditions from exacerbating. Second, getting documentation of your injuries immediately after the accident prevents the other side from saying that you suffered them from some other cause after the accident.
Call Your Lawyer
It is never too early to get legal help for your case. It can, however, be too late, so once you have received your medical treatment, look to enlist the help of one of our seasoned New York City truck accident attorneys at soon as you can.
Common Injuries in NYC Truck Accidents
Your recovery is dependent on your establishing a medical record of your injuries. That is why it is important that you get a thorough medical evaluation as soon as you can after being involved in a truck accident in NYC. Even if you believe you escaped unscathed, many potential conditions, such as those mentioned below, may linger under the surface, causing you even more harm down the road.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
When a victim is involved in a car accident, they should be aware of the possibility that they may have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are caused when the brain makes forceful contact with the inside of the skull, causing bruising, swelling, or bleeding. These may cause serious conditions such as concussions that can inhibit a person’s brain function.
Simply put, the human body is not built to withstand the force of a truck accident. Despite all of the recent advancements in car safety technology, a truck collision victim may sustain fractures in their face, hands, arms, legs, ribs, or collarbone. Some of these fractures may lead to internal bleeding, which can become life-threatening if not treated immediately.
Whiplash is one of the most common conditions that truck accident victims sustain after a collision. It occurs when the neck muscles are strained or partially torn and may affect many bodily movements that make day-to-day functioning possible. Whiplash is typically not permanent but may require costly physical therapy and medication in order to rehabilitate.
Holding Drivers and Trucking Companies Liable for Truck Accident Injuries in NYC
When a truck driver hits you, their trucking company will often come to their defense. This means there may be a strong legal team handling their case, whether from the trucking company itself or from the insurance company that covers them. It is important to have your own truck accident lawyer to stand up to these lawyers and get you the coverage you need.
After a crash, your insurance might help cover injuries and damages, but your needs might exceed what your insurance company can cover. The fact of the matter is that most insurance policies come with deductibles and limits that prevent you from getting full compensation, and most policies will pay nothing for pain and suffering damages. In many cases, our NYC truck accident attorneys will end up filing the case in court to claim full damages and then either settle the case or go to trial to get our clients what they deserve.
When you take your case to court, it opens additional areas of compensation. Not every case needs to go to trial, but if the insurance companies and trucking company refuse to back down and admit fault, we may need to go to trial to get the judge and jury to rule in your favor.
Statute of Limitations for NYC Truck Accident Lawsuits
If you hope to pursue recovery after you were injured by a negligent NYC truck driver, you only have a limited time to take action. The statute of limitations (or time limit for filing a civil claim) for truck accident injury victims in the State of New York is three years from the date of the accident. In other words, you must officially file your formal lawsuit in court within three years of the accident, or you will not be able to recover damages.
With truck accidents, there may be additional rules that move your timeline up even further. For instance, if the truck that caused your accident was owned or operated by a government agency, such as the New York Sanitation Department for accidents with garbage trucks, you will have to provide notice to that agency ahead of filing your lawsuit. The rules that govern this notice depend on which agency your claim is against and where the accident occurred.
When in doubt, always act early. Once you receive medical attention and receive a diagnosis for your injuries, look to contact a New York City truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing any costly deadlines.
Call Our NYC Trucking Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Consultation for Victims
If you were the victim in a trucking accident or your loved one suffered serious injuries or death in a truck accident, call The Carrion Law Firm today. We fight for victims against trucking companies and insurance companies to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Call our NYC truck accident lawyers at (718) 841-0083 today to schedule your free case review.