Tractor Trailer and Semi Truck Accidents
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are over 500,000 truck accidents each year, with over 100,000 people suffering from serious injuries, and about 5,000 people killed. A tractor-trailer accident is particularly dangerous, with the passenger or driver in the other vehicle killed 98 percent of the time.
The number of accidents in recent years has gone up, as more and more trucks hit the road. Because of the large size, weight, and poor maneuverability of commercial trucks, the risk of injury is even higher than in car accidents, even when vehicles are traveling at low speeds.
Victims of a tractor trailer accident, 18 wheeler accident, or semi truck accident in New York may find it difficult to recover damages while trying to heal from the incident. A New York truck accident lawyer at The Sanders Firm understands the unique issues at stake in a personal injury lawsuit, and will work to help you recover full compensation.
The driver may be at fault in a tractor trailer accident or semi truck accident New York
Though the driver of the smaller vehicle may be at fault in some truck accidents, in many cases the truck driver made critical mistakes or lost control of the vehicle, putting nearby drivers and even bikers and pedestrians at risk. Examples of driver error in an 18 wheeler accident may include:
- Driver fatigue
- Medical problems—driver suffers from seizures, heart attacks, or unconscious spells
- Aggressive driving
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Lack of experience and/or training
- Improperly loaded or overloaded cargo
- Lack of familiarity with the road
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 24 percent of large-truck drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2006 had a previous speeding conviction. Facts like these can prove helpful in a semi truck accident New York lawsuit.
When the trucking company may be at fault for an 18 wheeler accident
Trucking companies are responsible for making sure their drivers are properly certified and trained, properly rested, and driving well-maintained vehicles. If they fail to ensure the safety of other drivers by neglecting any of these duties, they may be held liable by the victim of an New York semi truck accident.
A New York truck accident lawyer will carefully review the facts of your case, and may determine that the trucking company was at fault because:
- The company failed to comply with “hours of service” rules, which state that a driver may not drive more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty, or drive more than 60 hours over a period of seven consecutive days.
- The company failed to ensure the proper operation of the equipment.
- The company failed to thoroughly assess their employees, and hired drivers who were not qualified, or who had records of past accidents that involved recklessness, drunk driving, or medical problems.
In December 2012, for example, a Long Island Expressway (LIE) truck accident killed one person and injured 33 others. A tractor-trailer was driving eastbound when his vehicle struck a number of cars. Following the initial collision, a chain-reaction occurred, involving a total of 35 vehicles. A later report concerning the truck accident on the LIE noted that the trucking company had a blemished safety record, and had been cited at least 23 times for unsafe driving since 2011.
A New York truck accident lawyer may find equipment failure
In some cases, equipment failure caused the semi truck accident or tractor trailer accident. Improper maintenance on the vehicle can result in problems with the brakes, fuel lines, tires, lights, wheels, and more.
The manufacturer of equipment in the truck may also be to blame if that equipment malfunctions. Seatbelts that don’t operate as they should, parts that catch on fire, steering mechanisms that go awry, and other incidences may be traced back to faulty manufacturer or design. In that case, a New York semi truck accident lawyer may determine that a plaintiff needs to bring claims against the maker of that piece of equipment.
A semi truck accident New York lawyer may discover road problems
When a New York truck accident lawyer goes over your case, he or she will likely review logbooks, computer information, accident reports, witness testimonies, and the location of the accident to put together clues as to who was at fault for the accident. In some cases, it becomes clear that it wasn’t the driver(s) or the equipment that was at fault, but rather, someone was negligent in taking care of the road itself.
Poor weather, road construction, debris, and even road design can increase risk for all drivers. Certain government entities are often responsible for making sure the roadways are safe. Traffic control devices, merging lanes, and poorly designed intersections can also play a part in creating a semi truck accident in New York. The presence of all these various factors makes it clear that victims need professional representation from a New York truck accident lawyer to be sure they receive fair compensation.
Types of injuries stemming from a semi truck accident New York
Injuries from tractor trailer accident, 18 wheeler accident, or semi truck accident in New York can be serious and life changing. Examples of these types of injuries include:
- Severe burns
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death
The severity of your injury will likely determine the level of compensation necessary, especially if you require ongoing medical care. A semi truck accident New York attorney can help you estimate this amount.
How a New York truck accident lawyer can help
The Sanders Firm provides additional information on truck accidents, and represents plaintiffs in the Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, and Staten Island areas. After a thorough investigation of your case, a semi truck accident New York lawyer will determine all the defendants that may be included in your lawsuit. These may include the driver, the trucking company, equipment manufacturers, and government entities.
Particularly if your insurance company holds up the settlement of your claim, your claim is denied, you’ve been injured by a negligent party who is uninsured, or your expenses have not been reimbursed, you need the expertise of a New York truck accident lawyer.
Call today for a free consultation, and put our many decades of legal experience to work for you: 800-FAIR PLAY.