Trucks are still ubiquitous on our roadways, sometimes in the heart of NYC. Accidents with those trucks continue to be a big problem, often killing pedestrians, or bringing serious injuries that last a lifetime. What are some of the most common reasons for a truck accident? Some accident scenarios are shocking when finding out the cause. Answers to the cause after you experience a serious injury may seem too late to prevent future suffering. You still deserve compensation for those injuries, and trucking laws are available to help your case. We can help at Chaikin LaPenna, PLLC.
Most Common Truck Accident Scenarios
A number of things could cause a truck to hit a pedestrian or someone on a bike. If this happened to you, injuries are likely severe. The weight and size of trucks can mean injuries taking years to fully recover from.
Some likely accident scenarios with trucks include:
- Speeding: When truck drivers are in a hurry, sometimes they end up exceeding the speed limit in busy areas. In NYC, that can become dangerous with pedestrians walking everywhere. A truck driver is perhaps liable for your injuries if they drove over a posted speed limit within the city. While they may say they were under pressure to make a delivery, there is never an excuse for driving too fast and putting lives at stake.
- Sleepiness or Exhaustion: Too many companies overwork their truck drivers to a point where latter literally fall asleep behind the wheel. Fortunately, laws exist from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that are supposed to prevent this from happening. Truck accidents still happen as a result of drowsiness due to truckers being under pressure to deliver goods on time. Sometimes they have to work overtime to make that happen. In a busy metropolis like New York City, it can mean the potential for serious accidents.
- Lack of Truck Maintenance: Sometimes third-parties are the negligent ones rather than the truck driver. The company hired to maintain the trucks before hitting the roadways perhaps became lax on their regular maintenance checks. As a result, brake failure could occur on the truck, leading to a collision with your car or while you were out walking. Other technical mishaps could occur as well due to lack of technical care. In these scenarios, the entire company owning the truck is possibly liable.
- Bad Weather Conditions: Other times, it is just inclement conditions on roadways that leads to truck accidents. The driver is maybe still liable due to not taking enough care to prevent an accident on an icy or wet road. When things are beyond the driver’s control, only available evidence tells the story on who is really liable for your particular injuries.
Who is Ultimately Sued for Damages in a Trucking Accident?
Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations changed some things in recent years regarding trucking companies making truck drivers independent contractors. At one time, trucking companies contracted drivers independently to eliminate any chance of being sued if a trucking accident occurred.
Changes by the FMCSR now eliminates this distinction between a driver and the company. Now drivers are statutory employees of all trucking companies across the nation.
Those of you in NYC suffering injuries from a truck now have a source for liability, even if the truck driver was initially to blame. This means trucking companies are responsible, no matter if they lease their vehicles.
Others can also be liable beyond the trucking carriers. These other entities (or people) are maybe solely responsible, or partially.
Who Else Might Be Liable in Your Trucking Accident?
Various individuals or third-parties could end up being liable once evidence is analyzed by your legal team. A trucking accident may involve a long chain of people who are negligent in preventing it from happening in the first place.
As an example, the maintenance company the trucking company hired to do truck repairs may be liable in part. The trucking company owners maybe told them to do maintenance at set times during the year. Yet, the owners are still responsible for hiring the maintenance company.
Another liable third-party is maybe the manufacturer of a truck part that failed. A tire manufacturer is a prime example here where a defect in the tires went entirely unnoticed when delivered. Brake manufacturers are also the same, or even a company manufacturing the trucks as a whole.
Freight loading companies could also be to blame. Your legal team should have thorough familiarity with FMCA cargo regulations. These are specific laws that can mean freight loaders taking the brunt of liability.
Municipal agencies may have liability as well. In this scenario, it means the city itself being responsible for not properly maintaining a street. Just one deep pothole not repaired for years could cause a truck to veer out of control and hit you.
Or, maybe the truck leasing company is to blame for not inspecting the vehicles before leasing them to the trucking carrier.
What Should You Do if You Suffer an Injury from a Truck?
Your most important step is to contact a personal injury attorney immediately after the accident occurs. Gather as much evidence as you can, even if your attorney can gather it for you if your injuries prevent you from physical activity.
The legal team takes things from there so you can recover from your injuries. In the interim, they analyze your case and represent you should you choose to seek compensation.
More evidence is gathered, including your medical bills to prove the hardships you are sure to endure. A wrongful death suit is also possible if you happened to lose a loved one to a truck accident.
Wrongful death suits can mean seeking compensation for medical bills, loss of income, loss of future benefits, plus mental suffering from losing a close family member.
Our experience at Chaikin LaPenna, PLLC helps many New York City residents win the compensation they deserve. Call us immediately if you just suffered an injury from a truck accident in any NYC borough.
No Fees Until We Win.
Please call us at (212) 977-2020 or fill out the form below to get started.