New York Truck Accident Attorneys
Tractor trailers or semi-trucks are essential to life throughout the Unites States. They provide goods to millions of people every day and are nearly impossible to avoid seeing on the roads. In highly populated cities such as New York City, the number of trucks and pedestrians on the roads lead to an increased risk of tractor trailer accidents. Semi-truck accidents are inherently more catastrophic than regular motor vehicle accidents due to the size and weight of heavy duty trucks, many of which weigh as much as 80,000 lbs. Due to the potential for immense damage and injury in an accident, truck operators are required by federal and state regulators to meet certain qualifications that standard vehicles do not need to meet. Some of these regulations include:
- Sleep requirements to avoid driver fatigue
- Limitations on the weight of the cargo load
- Certification and vetting of the driver
- Submission to routine inspections
Who Is Responsible For Injuries
When a semi-truck accident occurs, several parties may be held responsible for the injuries that result. These parties include, but are not limited to:
- The truck driver
- The owner of the truck involved in the collision
- The owner of the cargo being transported by the truck
- The firm responsible for loading the cargo into the truck
- The company receiving the cargo
- The truck’s manufacturer (in cases where vehicle malfunction is at fault)
Following a semi-truck accident, the New York truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff will perform an independent investigation to make sure that the safety rules and regulations set forth by the Department of Transport (DOT), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and any state regulators, were adhered to by the parties involved.
If it is found that any of the regulations set forth were not complied with or that the driver was negligent, our attorneys will uncompromisingly litigate the case against the liable parties in order to achieve the best result possible.
Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 11,848 truck crashes in 2014. Of those accidents, 74 led to 79 deaths while over 5,000 suffered serious injuries. The most common and preventable cause of accidents that plague the trucking industry is driver fatigue. According to statistics released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, over 40% of semi-truck accidents are the result of driver fatigue. Many professional semi-truck drivers are paid by the number of hours they spend behind the wheel and are incentivized to arrive at their destination as fast as possible. As a result, many drivers forego sleep in order to get through long drives and as a result put other motorists in unnecessary danger.
To combat this risk, the DOT has introduced firm guidelines about how many hours a driver is allowed to spend on the road. Current law requires that a driver may only spend 11 continuous hours behind the wheel in a 14 hour work day, after which they must rest for 10 hours. Drivers have been unwilling to comply with these rules, so some truck fleets also install monitoring devices on their trucks to enforce the rules and protect their employees and motorists from the dangers of driver fatigue.
There are numerous other factors that can lead to truck accidents as well, for example:
- Reckless driving, including speeding
- Using cell phone while driving
- Lack of or improper vehicle maintenance
- Defective vehicle parts
- Tire blowouts
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Poor weather or road conditions
- Overloading of cargo
What To Do After An Accident
If you are injured in a tractor trailer accident, do not delay in seeking medical attention if you are injured. See a doctor as soon as possible to assess the extent your injuries and their likely cause. Keep in mind that many injuries are not immediately obvious immediately following the accident. Therefore, it is important to discuss these injuries with your doctors as you start to feel the symptoms because if you wait too long, they may worsen.
If you are involved in a semi-truck accident and are able to take notes with a pen and paper, or with your cell phone, be sure to keep record of the following information:
- The name of the driver
- The driver’s employer
- The make and model of the truck
- Any details you notice about the load it is carrying
- The condition of the load and truck at the time of the accident
- Also, if possible, take photos at the scene of the accident to document the above information, weather & road conditions, damage to your vehicle, and any injuries you may sustain.
When an accident does occur, the trucking company will send a representative to the scene of the accident. These representatives will try to downplay everything at the scene in order to limit the company’s liability. Oftentimes, these representatives attempt to take advantage of the victim by having them make quick statements regarding the accident that may end up hurting their case. In this situation, be sure to contact a semi-truck accident attorney at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff as soon as possible to help relieve any stress and make sure that no one says something that will hinder their chances of success.
Our attorneys will immediately begin an independent investigation into the driver’s record, the conditions that caused of the accident, and take witness statements to help determine what party is responsible. It is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible because the longer an investigation is delayed; the more likely it is that a witness will not remember important details.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a collision with a heavy or medium duty truck and have sustained injuries, you may be entitled to compensation such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, costs of physical therapy, disability, and possible funeral expenses. The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff employs a staff of aggressive New York personal injury attorneys with over 100 years of combined experience in the representation of victims of semi-truck accidents. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free and personal consultation about your accident. We can be reached at (212) 962-1020 or toll free at (877) 675-4529.