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Why Are Truck Accidents So Dangerous?

Truck accidents are a frequent occurrence in New York despite various laws in place to enforce responsible truck driving. The results are almost always catastrophic when large trucks collide with smaller vehicles. Commercial trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles, so even a minor accident with a truck can have a serious impact. A truck weighs several tons, and the cargo being carried could be extremely heavy – both of which can significantly increase the severity of the crash and cause more serious injuries than one might typically receive in an accident.

The aftermath of a truck accident can be complex and confusing. If you’re injured in an accident with a big rig, you’ll likely need extensive medical treatment and long-term care, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And even though the medical insurance will probably cover some of these costs, there may be gaps in coverage that you’ll have to cover out of pocket. In addition, if you were injured seriously enough to miss work due to the crash, your employer may not provide paid leave until you’re back on your feet again.

The circumstances and the repercussions of your accident could leave you reeling. Work with our truck accident attorneys in New York City to evaluate your case and hold the responsible party liable for the damages, injuries, and losses you incurred.

Why are Truck Accidents so Devastating?

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Many truck accident victims suffer permanent, life-altering injuries. Trucks are much larger, heavier, and more challenging to maneuver than other types of vehicles. As a result, the impact is often devastating when they collide with smaller passenger cars or motorcycles.

Several factors contribute to the severity of truck accidents. The most important of these is the size difference between trucks and other vehicles on the road. While most passenger cars weigh less than 3 tons, semi-truck trailers can weigh up to 80 tons. When you consider that semi-truck drivers usually travel at higher speeds than other motorists, it’s easy to see why so many people are killed in these crashes every year.

Another factor is the lack of visibility around large trucks compared to passenger cars. A large truck takes up much more space on the road than a small car. This makes it more difficult for drivers behind it to see what’s ahead at intersections or when changing lanes. Besides, many trucks have blind spots where mirrors or other obstructions could obscure an oncoming vehicle if it isn’t visible through rear-view mirrors or side mirrors while driving next to large trucks on the highway.

In addition to being dangerous for drivers and passengers, trucks also pose a risk to other vehicles on the road and pedestrians who may be walking or jogging alongside the roadway. They’re also more likely than passenger cars to roll over in an accident because they are taller, heavier and have less stability than smaller vehicles.

Typical Injuries in a Truck Accident

Injuries sustained in truck accidents are often more severe than in other car accidents because of the size and height of trucks. When a truck crashes into another vehicle, the force is transferred to the passenger vehicles, resulting in fatal injuries. Common injuries from a truck accident include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: Truck crashes can cause severe TBIs that may lead to long-term complications such as memory loss and depression. 
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries can be caused by sudden deceleration or impact of your head against the dashboard or windshield during an accident; this type of injury can cause paralysis or loss of feeling below the neck area.
  • Burns: Truck fires are common following a collision between two vehicles. If you have been burned in an accident involving a semi-truck or big rig, seek medical attention immediately to avoid further complications from burns.
  • Broken bones: Truck accidents often involve high-speed impacts that break bones, leaving victims with painful injuries that require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Internal organ damage: Because of the force of impact in truck accidents, internal organs may be damaged even if there are no external signs of injury on the body’s surface.

Types of Truck Collisions in New York

Accidents involving trucks and cars can have many different causes, but here are some common truck accident scenarios in and around New York City:

Rear-end Collisions

A rear-end truck accident is one of the most dangerous because of the damage done to the passenger vehicle. The sheer weight and momentum of the semi-truck or a big rig will push the passenger car at a high rate of speed. The force and weight of the truck will overpower any resistance put up by the car and can send both vehicles off the road. Regardless of speed, it’s potentially life-threatening.

Lane Changing

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Trucks often have blind spots that don’t allow the driver to see other vehicles on the road. Even if trucks are equipped with mirrors, they may not be enough to determine if it is safe to change lanes or merge. It only takes a second for a trucker to take the car out of his rearview mirror, but it could be too late to avoid an accident if the car driver or passenger isn’t aware of the uneven area in their field of vision.

Truck Driver Distraction

Distracted driving is an issue for all motorists, but it is particularly problematic for commercial drivers who may be sitting for long periods doing monotonous tasks like driving or waiting at a loading dock. Drivers who spend too much time staring at a dashboard or windshield may become distracted and lose focus on what they’re doing behind the wheel and could end up involved in an accident.

Driver Fatigue

Many truck drivers are on the road for long periods, which can cause fatigue. This is often exacerbated by the fact that many truckers do not know how to work a rest schedule into their driving schedules. Drivers need to get enough rest to be alert and attentive on the road. If they are driving long distances or working long hours, they may become drowsy or fall asleep while driving, which can result in serious accidents.

Poor Maintenance

Trucks are heavy vehicles that require regular oil changes and other maintenance checks to ensure they are safe to operate on public roads. If this maintenance is not completed properly, it can result in poor driver visibility or mechanical failures leading to an accident.

Investigation of a Truck Accident

When a truck accident occurs, it is essential to conduct a thorough investigation. If a truck accident were preceded by impaired driving, faulty equipment, or an improperly loaded truck, you would face an uphill battle in getting compensation for losses after a collision. 

Once time passes, evidence may disappear. While much, if not all, information can be reconstructed, other elements are present at the scene, or vehicles are only available while they are still at the accident scene. You can gather evidence and bolster your chances of success should you hire an experienced trucking accident attorney to look over the accident report and related evidence as soon as possible.

If you sustain personal injuries in the crash, be sure to discuss the details of your wounds with your doctor. Ask your physicians to document the types of injuries you sustained and to sign statements verifying their accuracy. If you are hospitalized for an extended period, request a copy of your medical records and other treatments you may have to undergo. This will help you understand how your medical condition developed over time.

When filing a compensation claim, it is necessary to provide an accurate and complete description of your injuries and any other damages that resulted from the accident. Your medical records will provide valuable information about these damages.

You should also keep track of any lost wages or income that resulted from time spent recovering from your injuries. This information can help establish how much money you lost while recovering from an injury and may be used by an insurance company when calculating damages owed in a settlement agreement or jury verdict.

It can be incredibly frustrating after a car accident to receive conflicting stories from the insurance companies or to hear that the accident was due to your own negligence. A professional accident investigator can collect critical data on the car accident scene to determine the factors that contributed to the crash. They can work with your attorney to help ensure that the evidence you gather is relevant to prove the liability of the other party.

Speak with Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys in New York

When trucks are poorly maintained or drivers are negligent, they can cause severe injuries to other road users. If this happens to you, it could take weeks or months before you can return to normal life again. A truck accident can have a profound impact on your health and finances. 

When you’re injured in a truck accident, it’s natural to be overwhelmed by a host of different emotions. With our legal team at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP on your side, you can be sure that we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve for your medical costs, income loss, and pain and suffering.

The truck accident attorneys at our law firm have more than 100 years of combined experience navigating complex legal matters like these. We understand how difficult it can be for victims to navigate the legal system alone, and we want to help you make sense of the confusing process so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Our lawyers are always available to answer any questions you may have about your case or your rights under personal injury law. For a free consultation on your case, please contact us now at 1-800-660-2264 or fill in this online form.