Truck Accidents Attorneys In New York
Accidents that involve trucks are particularly traumatic given their large size and typically heavy and often dangerous loads. In fact, accidents involving trucks lead to hundreds of deaths each year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) encyclopedia indicates that in 2011 in New York, there were 499 reported fatalities that involved light trucks and 112 fatalities that involved large trucks; in 2010, there were 474 light truck-involved deaths and 116 deaths involving large trucks.
Meanwhile deaths in truck-involved accidents increased by 17 percent from 2009 to 2013. In fact, truck-involved crash fatalities increasingly rose over four years in a row to a total of 3,964 in 2013, which are the latest available figures. Crashes involving trucks are killing automobile drivers and in 2013, of the 3,964 deaths, 586 truck drivers and passenger were killed.
Injured victims of accidents involving trucks may never be able to work again. Should the serious injury or death of a family breadwinner occur, the family of a victim is often left without an important means of financial and familial support. The innocent victims of trucking accidents should not have to worry about money while they work to heal their physical and emotional wounds.
Parker Waichman’s truck accident lawyers are committed to making sure the financial needs of these victims are met.
Why Truck Accidents Differ From Car Accidents
Trucks are considerably larger than other vehicles on the road and, given their massive size, trucks are also involved in a growing number of fatal accidents. Consider that, when loaded to full capacity, a truck may weigh up to a massive 40 tons.
Their size alone creates maneuvering challenges that may place other vehicles at risk for serious injury and death on the road. When a truck is involved in a crash, significant damage usually takes place. In fact, the NHTSA notes that most large truck accidents—88 percent—are associated with the behavior or actions of the truck driver. When accidents involving trucks are found to be the result of truck driver negligence and that result in injuries or fatalities, the driver and the driver’s trucking company may be found liable.
When a truck is involved in an accident, unique issues are often involved. For example, in New York State, the truck’s maintenance status must conform to federal and state regulations.
Truck Driver Drowsiness
Truck driver drowsiness is another significant factor that may increase the risk of an accident taking place. Businesses depend on trucks for ongoing, timely delivery of goods, which means that truck drivers are often driving for very long hours with minimal rest time, a long known and unfortunate fact.
In fact, some trucking companies may intentionally employ deceptive and intimidating tactics to meet financial goals, which is why it is critical that victims retain an experienced truck accident lawyer, such as New York’s Parker Waichman which understands how to handle trucking companies and will ensure the best care for our clients.
Truck driver fatigue accounts for a large percentage of all commercial truck accidents and is likely tied to longer working hours and demanding deadlines and schedules. Truck drivers must often maintain these schedules even though the schedules are associated with impaired judgment and increased risks for catastrophic crashes. Fatigue is a combination of exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and significant tiredness.
All three may be involved when a commercial truck driver is on the road. Fatigue may also impact the driver’s ability to determine his or her own fatigue, which means that the driver may fall asleep while operating the truck.
The federal government has changed truck driver regulations and duty hours after approximately 60 years, making it illegal for truck drivers to drive a commercial truck for more than 11 straight hours without taking a 10-hour break between two consecutive work shifts. Individuals operating commercial trucks are not allowed to work in excess of 14 hours; only 11 of these hours may be spent driving.
Also, in any seven-day time period, a driver is not permitted to drive in excess of 60-to-77 hours—up to 70-to-88 hours in a consecutive eight-day period of time. If a truck driver takes off from work for two and one-half days, that driver is able to begin a new workweek at zero hours.
Sadly, despite the federal mandates put in place to help stop driver fatigue and commercial trucking accidents, complete trucking company and driver compliance has not been achieved on a consistent basis. Compliance includes mandatory maintenance of a logbook of driving hours that must be maintained by commercial truck drivers.
Because these logs may be falsified, the logs are not always a valid measure of how many hours a truck driver spends driving; however, these documents contain third-party time stamps.
A review of trip tickets and bills of lading from a truck driver’s deliveries in the days before to the crash may offer a more precise view of the true hours spent on the road.
Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accidents may lead to horrific, often deadly, injuries to passengers, pedestrians, and riders in other vehicles. Injuries may include brain and spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, sprains, fractures, abrasions, internal and soft tissue injuries, lacerations, amputations, burn injuries, crush injuries, and death.
Following a truck accident, survivors and their families may face massive medical bills, severe financial issues, and legal complexities and are often too disabled to return to work. Trucking companies know this and employ an array of their own attorneys who may easily take advantage of victims’ fragile physical and psychological states.
The New York truck accident attorneys at Parker Waichman have a long and deep history with New York and understand how these terrible accidents may devastate families and ruin lives. Parker Waichman is fully committed to help our clients focus on rebuilding their lives, careers, and losses. Parker Waichman will also be able to steer victims away from truck company attorneys whose purpose is to ensure injured survivors accept low-ball or no settlements.
If You Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident
If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a New York truck accident, be sure to speak with one of the experienced personal injury truck accident attorneys at Parker Waichman who will help you understand your rights and provide a free consultation. Please complete the contact form on the right or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a free case evaluation.
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