White Plains Truck Accident Lawyers
What You Need to Know About Truck Accidents
Despite all of the federal and state regulations placed on commercial trucks, truck accidents still happen. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there were over 11,000 large truck crashes in a single year, resulting in thousands of injuries to New York motorists. Accidents involving large trucks such as 18-wheelers and big rigs rarely involve minor injuries; many result in severe harm that can prove fatal.
If you are injured in a trucking accident, you need an experienced attorney who will get you the compensation you deserve. Our White Plains truck accident lawyers have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims in New York. We can come to you whether you are recovering at home or in the hospital. There are no fees unless we win. Contact Denlea & Carton today for a free consultation at (914) 417-4623 or fill out our online contact form.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
With more than 4,500 deaths per year in our nation, some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Speed – Truck accidents are more likely to happen when the driver is speeding. If another vehicle pulls in front of them or the truck must stop suddenly, the size and weight of the truck makes it harder for it to stop. According to Science Daily, a truck traveling over 45 MPH has double the risk of being involved in a fatal wreck.
Driver impairment – Driver impairment can refer to several different things. Any substance that impairs a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely can have devastating consequences. Most states have broad laws regarding driving under the influence or driving while impaired that cover prescription drugs (even if they take them as prescribed), over-the-counter medications, alcohol, marijuana, and other illegal substances.
Weather – Another significant and common factor that causes truck accidents is the weather. Although the weather cannot be controlled, truck accident risks can be minimized by truck drivers taking proper precautions.
Driver fatigue – Driver fatigue occurs when a truck operator’s lack of sleep or mental exertion affects their ability to safely operate a vehicle. According to a Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “13 percent of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.”
Studies show that fatigue can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Insufficient sleep and drowsiness can affect a motorist’s reaction time, alertness, and may increase the chances of being involved in a collision.
Unsecured cargo – Cargo that is unsecured or improperly secured is a common cause of truck accidents. When a driver accelerates, begins to stop, or has to take a turn, the cargo can shift. The sudden weight movement can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Violating regulations – State and federal regulations exist to help minimize the risk of trucking accidents. These regulations include how long truck drivers may spend behind the wheel during the day and, in some areas, maximum speed limits.
There may be multiple factors that contribute to a truck accident, which is why it is always in your best interest to consult a White Plains truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you are partially at fault for the accident or had contributory negligence, you may still be entitled to compensation under New York law.
Types of Truck Accidents
As noted in the most recent data provided by the FMCSA, the vast majority (63 percent) of fatal large truck crashes involve more than one vehicle, and most occur in rural areas or on Interstate highways. Collision with a vehicle in transport was the most common first harmful event that resulted in a fatal crash involving a large truck.
Other types of truck accidents include:
- Collision with a fixed object or parked car
- Collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist
- Overturn (rollover)
- Explosion or fire
- Collision with a train
- Cargo equipment loss or shift
Occupants of other vehicles are substantially more likely to be killed or injured in a large truck accident than the driver of the truck. If you are injured in a crash with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, you might be entitled to recovery for your damages, including medical expenses, future treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is crucial that you speak directly with a White Plains personal injury lawyer from our firm who will help you get the money you need and the justice you deserve.
Large Truck Accident Injuries
Traffic accidents involving large commercial vehicles like 18 Wheelers, tractor-trailers, and semi-trucks often result in severe injuries to occupants of other vehicles. Serious injuries that can occur because of a truck accident include head injuries, skull fractures, internal bleeding or other internal injuries, severe lacerations, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and disfigurement.
It may be difficult to determine the extent of your injuries in the immediate aftermath of the accident. You may be in shock, and your body may not be able to process what has happened. If you or anyone else is injured in a truck accident, you need to call 911 and seek emergency medical treatment.
Even if you are unsure about the severity of your injuries, you should still be seen by a medical professional who can assess your condition. Always continue treatment, including rehabilitation and physical therapy for your injuries, until released by a doctor and provide all medical records to a White Plains truck accident lawyer.
Who Is At-Fault in a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents can become complicated. There can be more than one person who is legally responsible for a truck accident.
Common reasons why the trucking company may be held liable include:
- Improper securing of the load
- Not maintaining their trucks
- Forcing the driver to stay behind the wheel longer than is legally allowed
Sometimes truck accidents occur because there is a mechanical fault with the truck that was caused by the manufacturer, which could lead to the manufacturing company being held legally liable for the accident.
Determining liability in a truck accident case may require an independent investigation. At Denlea & Carton, we know how trucking companies work and how insurance representatives try to diminish damages requested by injury victims. We fight hard to ensure that our clients get the maximum recovery allowed by law.
If you are injured in a White Plains truck accident, we will subpoena evidence, take depositions, and conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that all liable parties are held accountable.
Evidence that may need to be subpoenaed can include but is not limited to:
- Maintenance and repair records
- Black box data
- Background checks and driving records or logs
- FMCSA safety records
- Driver medical history and toxicology reports
- Meteorological records
Our attorneys may also request an inspection of the truck that was involved in the accident. We work with a team of experts, including medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, professional photographers, trucking safety compliance experts, mechanics, and engineers that can help piece together what happened during the crash and build a strategic case for trial, if necessary. While we will always obtain a copy of the police report, it is not the only document that can be used to determine liability.
Trucking accident law is complex, requiring an intricate knowledge of state and federal regulations. Our White Plains truck accident lawyers know how to maximize damages and always work to protect your interests and your recovery.
Call Us Before You Sign Anything
If the trucking company or their insurance company contacts you directly, do not sign anything without first talking to us. They’ll want to settle with you for as little as possible, and you could end up signing away your legal rights. Contact the White Plains truck accident lawyers at our firm to discuss your case as soon as possible.
In commercial truck accident cases, there may be multiple insurance policies and more than one insurer. Failure to properly notify each insurer of your damages could limit your right to recovery or bar your claim against a particular party.
At Denlea & Carton, we will ensure that all parties are properly notified and that all insurance carriers receive notice. The trucking industry has millions of dollars at their disposal and works with some of the largest insurers in the country. Immediately after the accident, they may send a “rapid response team” to investigate and start to dismantle your claim for damages.
Our White Plains truck accident lawyers know what it takes to stand up to trucking companies and their insurers. We have over 35 years of experience winning compensation for injury victims and their families. You should never have to settle for less than your case is worth.
Contact Denlea & Carton today at (914) 417-4623 or fill out our online form to discuss your case with an attorney. You pay no fees unless we win, and all consultations are 100% free. Call today to protect your right to recovery.