Car accidents are bad enough, but the danger is significantly worse when a truck is involved. Vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians are all at risk of injuries and fatalities in the event they are hit by a truck. And these accidents are fairly common. As of 2019, according to the New York DMV, there were over 21,000 such crashes, over 100 of which resulted in death.
Serious accidents demand serious legal representation. And that’s our objective here at Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. We help truck accident victims win the compensation they need to get their lives back to normal. Our firm is ready to serve you today.
What Makes Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
Injuries from car accidents are severe, but they can be even worse with trucks. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Size and weight: Trucks are simply bigger and heavier than the average automobile. A large truck, especially one filled with cargo, can deliver a more forceful impact in the event of an accident. Smaller vehicles cannot absorb the collision nearly as well.
- Slow braking: The size and weight of large trucks equate to more time needed to decelerate and come to a stop. Even if a driver starts braking well before impact, the amount of force will still be relatively high. Add in environmental factors, like rain, and the accident could be disastrous.
- Strength of the truck’s components: The material used to build trucks is stronger than that used to make passenger cars. On impact, a smaller vehicle is therefore likely to absorb more energy. This results in a much higher risk of injury for the car driver and passengers.
- Dangerous materials: Many trucks are used to transport gasoline, chemicals, and toxic substances. In an accident, a truck can catch fire and cause victims to breathe in hazardous materials. These can cause additional long-lasting health consequences.
Why Truck Accidents Happen
Working with a truck accident attorney, the victim will need to demonstrate why the at-fault party (which isn’t always just the truck driver) was negligent. These are just some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
- Too much weight: Trucks are designed to transport a large amount of weight. Overloading them, however, may violate safety regulations and make an accident more likely. Trucks are often overloaded to maximize profits by delivering more goods at once.
- Poor maintenance: All vehicles require regular maintenance. But trucks experience much more wear and tear because of their commercial use. A truck cannot be operated safely if it is not regularly and properly maintained. Tire blowouts, for instance, are often the result of poor maintenance.
- Truck defects: It’s possible for a truck to be built with a defective part or component that can detrimentally impact its safety. These components are often built into the truck during the manufacturing phase or may be added later by a mechanic.
- Blind spots: All drivers know about the blind spots on their cars, but the problem is worse with large trucks. Drivers should be trained to carefully check their blind spots. When they don’t, the results could be deadly.
- Distracted driving: Anyone who drives any sort of vehicle is subject to plenty of distractions. Truck drivers are no exception. Anything that takes a driver’s focus away from the road is a distraction.
- Speeding and other traffic violations: Speeding can turn trucks into dangerous machines capable of doing significant harm. So, too, is violating any other traffic law. These factors can make truck accidents particularly catastrophic for the victims.
- Driver fatigue: Federal rules limit the number of hours per day a truck driver can be on the road. Truck drivers routinely ignore these limits. Some are pressured by their employers to keep driving to finish their routes.
- Bad road conditions: Road construction, potholes, unmarked lanes, and other road conditions cause many truck accidents. These are often the fault of governmental units, and there are special rules for suing them after an accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable In A Truck Accident?
One of the most important things a truck accident attorney does is determine who may be held accountable. Sometimes, multiple parties may be named as defendants. More defendants mean more individuals, companies, and others who could be ordered to pay compensation. The following may be held liable for your truck accident:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Cargo company
- Truck manufacturer
- Parts manufacturer
- Truck maintenance or repair shop
- Governmental entities and contractors
The Consequences Of A Truck Accident
Truck accident victims face serious injuries, the results of which could be irreversible. Tragically, many victims die and leave grieving families behind with no means of financial support. An accident lawsuit can win compensation for the following:
- Devastating physical injuries
- Medical bills, including for past, present, and future treatments
- Prescription drug costs
- Adaptive medical equipment
- Physical therapy
- Lost income due to time spent recovering
- Lost income potential due to inability to return to a previous job
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death damages in the event the victim dies
What Must Be Proven To Win Compensation?
Victims must establish the following elements in a truck accident lawsuit:
- Duty of care. Truck drivers have a duty to operate their trucks with reasonable care. Other parties, such as trucking companies, also owe a duty of care.
- Breach. A breach is an act or omission that amounts to legal negligence. Examples of breaches are the causes listed above.
- Causation. The victim (plaintiff) must establish the necessary causal link between the breach and his or her injuries. Generally, this means the breach was a cause of the collision and resulting injuries. It is not necessary to show the breach was the only cause of the collision and injuries.
- Damages. The plaintiff has to explain the nature and amount of damages caused by the collision for which he or she seeks monetary compensation.
Wrongful death lawsuits have similar elements. Our law firm has experience pursuing such claims on behalf of the survivors of fatal truck accident victims.
Contact Our New York Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, you deserve committed and seasoned legal counsel that will put your best interests first each step of the way. That’s what you can expect from Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. Contact us to schedule your confidential consultation today.
Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. help clients with their truck accident claims throughout New York including Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, and Brooklyn.