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prove truck accident claim

Being hurt in a truck accident in New York can be a harrowing experience. Most such truck collisions are caused due to the negligence of the truck driver, and in such cases, the accident victim is eligible to recover damages in compensation from the party at fault for the accident.

However, to claim such damages, it is critical to provide evidence that this party’s actions were directly responsible for the accident. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you build a legal case that ensures you, the victim of the accident, get the compensation you deserve.

Causes of Truck Collisions in New York

Truck accidents may result from several causes, most of which trace their origin to negligence. Here is a list of the common types of negligence involved in large truck collisions in New York:

  • Distracted driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Trucker fatigue
  • Insufficient driver training
  • Faulty trucking parts
  • Cargo loading errors
  • Violation of regulations regarding service hours

Once a truck accident has occurred, a thorough investigation is essential to understand all the reasons that caused it so that it may be possible to determine which all parties are at fault.

Who is Liable for a Truck Collision?

In most car accidents, it is only the driver of the car who is held liable for the accident. However, when it comes to truck accidents in NYC, determining liability is not so simple. Multiple entities may be at fault and identifying all of them is crucial to building a strong case for compensation.

Truck Drivers: They are often the party liable for the accident. Drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or other prohibited substances can be the cause of the accident.  Faulty driving, speeding, failing to comply with road rules and distracted driving are also common reasons for truck accidents. In all situations such as this, the truck driver will be considered liable for the truck accident.

Trucking Companies: Some truck companies do not maintain their trucks in a safe condition or those that force drivers to drive beyond the prescribed service hours can also be held liable for a trucking accident. In some cases, these companies may have failed in their screening of the driver’s background especially with respect to the use of alcohol and drugs.

Truck Manufacturers: They may be considered liable for the truck accident too in cases where the accident resulted due to some part of the truck being defective.

Loading Companies: Loaders can be held liable for the truck accidents that were caused when cargo spilled out of the truck. For this, one needs to prove that the accident was the result of improper loading of the cargo by the loading company which caused the load to shift or spill.

Besides these, other parties such as the contractor responsible for repair and maintenance of the truck, weigh station employees, any third party logistic support provider and freight brokers may also be considered responsible for truck accidents in New York City.

Violation of Guidelines by Trucking Company in New York

Trucking companies in New York are required to follow the guidelines of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and comply with Mississippi regulations. However, not all companies follow these regulations pertaining to the maintenance and safety of trucks.

Some trucking companies force their truck drivers to work beyond the normal working hours. Some companies have unrealistic routes and delivery schedules that force truck drivers to cut corners to save time. FMCSA guidelines specify that truck drivers must have frequent breaks in between while driving and also halt at night.

Many trucking companies put pressure on drivers in direct violation of these guidelines because they want deliveries to be completed urgently. Drivers who drive without adequate rest or sleep are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident.

Vehicles that are not equipped with the necessary technology for safety or trucks that have not been maintained in the prescribed manner are some of the most common causes for truck accidents. In such events, the trucking company is liable for any crash that occurs.

A competent truck accident attorney in New York will be aware of how trucking companies try to cut corners. They will study the trucker’s log book and collect data regarding the rest periods and hours of service, to find out whether the FMCSA guidelines were violated. Using this information, they will build you a strong case that shows the exact nature of the trucker or trucking company’s faults.

Information Required to Prove Liability in Truck Accident Cases

Under New York law, in a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the accident occurred, and that it was caused by the actions of the at-fault party and that the accident caused them to suffer financial as well as non-financial losses. In order to prove the liability of the party at fault for the truck accident, the following information is critical:

  • Personnel file of the truck driver
  • Logs of service hours of the truck
  • Truck inspection and maintenance records
  • Details of the truck company’s process for hiring drivers
  • Black box data of the truck
  • Dashcam recordings
  • Toll booth and fuel receipts
  • Truck driver’s cell phone records
  • Bill of lading
  • Police reports
  • Surveillance footage

Getting all this information can be difficult for an individual who wishes to press legal damages against the truck driver or the trucking company. However, an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney will have their own investigators and resources to be able to procure all these records, and this makes it easier for the accident victim to prove the liability of the parties who are at fault for the accident.

How is Compensation Determined in NY Truck Accidents?

Determining the damages to which you are entitled is one of the crucial steps when you file a truck accident personal injury case. The compensation to which one is entitled is calculated based on the determination of the damages that were incurred due to the accident. You need to provide the following records as proof of the losses you suffered:

  • Medical records
  • Medication receipts
  • Hospital bills
  • Home based care bills
  • Mobility aid receipts
  • Old paystubs
  • Any rehabilitation related expense bills
  • Quote from a contractor who has carried out modification to your home to accommodate your disability caused by the accident

Driving Tips to Avoid Truck Accidents in New York

Driving safely on roads frequented by commercial trucks requires a special knowledge of certain features that are peculiar to these large vehicles. Here are three important tips to keep you safe around large trucks:

  • Avoid the truck’s blind spots. In most commercial trucks, the driver cannot see about 20 feet in front, and about two lanes width on the right of the truck. Similarly, there are blind spots that may extend about 30 feet behind the truck. Keeping out of these zones around the truck is the best way to avoid a truck accident.
  • Never get too close to a large truck. Fully loaded trucks have a braking distance that is far, far greater than that of smaller passenger vehicles. If these kinds of trucks are driving at around 50 mph, they come to a full stop only after covering the distance of about two football fields. So make sure you never cut across such trucks on the road, because even if the driver sees your vehicle, the size of the truck makes it impossible for them to stop in time to avoid a collision.
  • Tailgating a truck is even more dangerous because if there is a rear-end collision, your motor vehicle may end up sliding right under the raised bottom of the huge truck, increasing the chances of a fatal crash.

Get in Touch with a Commercial Truck Accident Attorney in New York

Despite taking all precautions while driving, you may find yourself involved in a truck accident caused due to the negligent driving of the truck driver. If you or a family member has been hurt in such an accident, get in touch with our experienced commercial truck accident attorneys in NYC at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP at 1-800-660-2264 to schedule a free consultation.

Our team of lawyers has decades of experience dealing with commercial trucking companies and truck drivers and are experts at proving their liability in truck accidents. Our investigators and accident reconstruction experts will collect all the necessary information and records to ensure that a strong case gets built to allow you to receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Often times, the defendant’s attorney will try to present a picture of you being at least partly to blame for the truck accident. If they manage to prove such shared fault, you stand to lose an amount of compensation to the percentage at which you were held to be partly at fault.

Our skilled truck accident attorneys can anticipate such moves by the defendant’s legal team and will help you collect all necessary data and records to ensure you are not deprived of the damages you deserve for the losses you suffered due to the accident. We have been around the block before! We know how to win cases and have an extensive track record of doing just that!

NEW YORK CITY LAW OFFICE

122 E. 42nd Street Suite 3800
New York, NY 10168

Tel: (800) 660-2264

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QUEENS LAW OFFICE

8900 Sutphin Blvd Suite 501
Queens, NY 11435

Tel: (718) 399-3100

*By Appointment Only

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BRONX LAW OFFICE

220-226 E 161st Street
The Bronx, NY 10451

Tel: (212) 344-1000

*By Appointment Only

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