Sharing the road with large 18-wheelers can be intimidating. Trucks sometimes dominate Long Island highways, adding to stressful traffic problems and creating hazards.
Being involved in a collision with a truck could lead to severe injuries for the occupants of smaller vehicles, necessitating the need for a committed personal injury attorney. If you have been hurt in a vehicle crash involving a truck, you could be entitled to damages to cover your losses. A Smithtown truck accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation from all the parties whose actions contributed to your injury.
Trucks are heavy and much longer than typical cars, which makes them difficult to drive. Truckers must undergo rigorous training and hold a special license to operate a big rig. Despite that, driver error is a factor in a large majority of accidents involving tractor-trailers. Truck accidents might result from:
Mechanical problems could also contribute to a wreck, such as brakes that are not in top condition. Axles can break, especially if the truck has been overloaded. Improper loading could cause the trailer to sway, while tire blowouts frequently lead to accidents.
Other potential causes of truck accidents include poorly maintained roads, other motorists driving recklessly, or signs that do not adequately warn of upcoming hazards like low overhead clearance. A Smithtown truck accident attorney could investigate to determine the factors that led to a specific accident.
Notably, there are a number of trucking regulations that drivers must follow, including a restriction on the number of hours per day that they can drive, an obligation to inspect their loads before traveling, and a requirement to log their hours and locations over the course of the trip.
New York drivers and their passengers must initially go through the no-fault system to get reimbursed for their covered expenses. Injured drivers must apply for a no-fault claim with their insurance company within 30 days of their injury, while passengers must file the application with the insurer that covers the vehicle they were riding in.
Injuries from truck accidents are often severe and a driver’s no-fault coverage could be inadequate to cover all of the expenses but they can pursue damages outside of the no-fault system if their injury qualifies as “serious” under New York’s insurance law. Qualifying serious injuries include fractures, disfigurement, and full or partial functional impairment of a body part or system, such as paralysis. A Smithtown attorney who takes truck accident cases could explain whether a particular injury qualifies someone to pursue damages outside the no-fault system.
If the injuries qualify, they could bring a lawsuit for damages against any party whose negligence contributed to the accident. Depending on the circumstances, the potentially liable parties could include the trucking company, the shop that maintained the truck, the local government responsible for road signage and maintenance, the company that loaded the trailer, and other drivers.
No-fault benefits typically pay an injured person’s medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages up to the coverage limits. When someone suffers a severe injury, the benefits are often inadequate to fully reimburse actual losses.
A successful personal injury lawsuit could result in damages that fully cover medical expenses and lost wages, and also pay for future medical costs and diminished income-earning opportunities. Damages also provide payments for an injured person’s physical pain, emotional suffering, disfigurement, lost enjoyment of life, and other impacts on their quality of life.
If the plaintiff’s negligence was a factor in the accident, they could still collect reduced damages, according to New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 1411. A jury would determine the full amount of the plaintiff’s damages and their proportion of responsibility. The plaintiff would then collect their damages, minus a percentage that reflects their degree of fault.
When you are recovering from a serious injury, you need a legal representative who will work hard until you receive all the compensation you need and deserve. A Smithtown truck accident lawyer understands your needs and will persist until they are met. The sooner a professional can begin investigating the reasons behind your truck accident and identifying potentially responsible parties, the stronger your case will be. Schedule a consultation with a strong advocate today.