Truck Accident Lawyers in Suffolk County, New York
How to Recover Complete Financial Compensation After a Truck Accident in New York
Large commercial trucks are essential to the U.S. economy and consumer markets, and nowhere is this more evident than in Suffolk County and around Long Island. A considerable amount of goods and products enter or leave the country from New York, and so it is no surprise to find tractor-trailers, big rigs, and other large commercial vehicles on the roads and highways in Suffolk County. The drivers of these large vehicles are supposed to be “professionals,” and indeed many are. Even professionals, however, make mistakes. Unfortunately, when trucks are involved, these mistakes can cost drivers and passengers of small passenger cars dearly.
When injuries do occur, those hurt in Suffolk County truck accidents may be entitled to recover monetary compensation for the expenses related to the collision, including medical bills, counseling costs, home health care expenses, and other similar costs. Parker Waichman LLP is a Suffolk County truck accident law firm helping victims of truck collisions protect and assert their legal rights.
Causes of Truck Collisions in Suffolk County
Even though commercial truck drivers are required to complete more rigorous training than the driver of a personal car and are subject to stricter medical and physical requirements, truck accidents still occur with frightening regularity. These horrific and tragic collisions can be devastating to drivers, passengers, and bystanders, resulting in life-changing and permanent injuries, mental and emotional trauma, and even death. In a significant number of truck accidents, the negligence – that is, the carelessness – of the truck driver is to blame. For example:
- Traffic violations: A truck driver may speed, run through traffic lights, or ignore traffic signs as a way of completing his or her run in a more expeditious manner. This sort of driving behavior, though, puts other motorists’ safety in jeopardy and increases the likelihood that an accident will happen.
- Impaired driving: Like any other driver on the road, truck drivers can easily become impaired by illegal drugs like marijuana or methamphetamine, alcohol, or prescription or over-the-counter medicines. Obviously, consuming illegal drugs or alcohol is dangerous, but truck drivers who take legal medications must be aware of how these medications affect their ability to drive. A truck driver is careless and turns his or her truck into a dangerous instrument if the driver gets behind the wheel when his or her ability to safely operate the truck is compromised.
- Distracted driving: The cabs of many tractor-trailers and commercial trucks are hives of activity, with many demands placed upon the attention and focus of the driver. The driver must, for example, be aware of radio communications, traffic and highway signs, other vehicles on the road, and diagnostic information about the truck and trailer – all at the same time! Remaining sufficiently aware of one’s surroundings and the operation of the truck is a demanding task; however, failing to do so can lead to a severe truck accident.
Other causes of truck accidents in Suffolk County include improper maintenance of a truck cab or trailer, improper or unsafe loading of cargo, improper or inadequate hiring and screening practices, and drivers who operate their trucks when doing so is beyond their physical abilities (such as when the driver is too tired to continue driving but does so anyway or when the driver is not wearing corrective lenses when needed).
Getting to the bottom of why a truck accident occurred is the job of a Suffolk County truck accident attorney. By discovering the root causes of a truck collision, the attorney will be able to know which person(s), business(es), and/or government entities may have played a role in the truck accident and may, therefore, be liable for any injuries or harm the victim(s) suffered as a result.
Recovering Compensation After a Suffolk County, New York Truck Collision
Those hurt by commercial trucks in collisions and accidents in Suffolk County may be disheartened to know that merely being injured by a truck does not guarantee them any amount of compensation – or that they are even able to file a lawsuit. New York is known as a “no-fault” insurance state. This means that, in most ordinary circumstances, a driver’s own insurance company will be responsible for covering the costs of your losses.
In order to be able to file a lawsuit, a trucking collision injury victim must first demonstrate that he or she suffered one or more significant or serious injury or injuries (as defined by New York law). This can include death, dismemberment, or permanent disability. Making this initial showing is what permits the injury victim to pursue a claim of compensation through the New York court system.
Even when a person is able to file a lawsuit after a trucking accident, obtaining monetary compensation will depend on showing a court that the truck driver’s own carelessness was the predominant cause of the collision. In other words, the truck collision injury victim would need to prove to a court that (1) the truck driver operated his or her truck in a careless manner (for example, by engaging in one or more of the behaviors described above); (2) the way in which the truck driver operated the truck is what caused the crash to occur (or at least a primary reason why it occurred); and (3) the crash is what caused the victim to suffer the injuries and losses he or she did.
Important Information for Victims of Suffolk County Truck Collisions
Victims of truck accidents in Suffolk County are fortunate in that there are many local hospitals where they may receive treatment. These include The Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead (1300 Roanoke Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901), Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center (101 Hospital Road, Patchogue, NY 11772) and Stony Brook University Hospital at 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY 11794.
Truck accidents typically cause a great deal of financial harm to the victims. As a result, most truck accidents will be filed in the local Supreme Court. For Suffolk County, there are Supreme Courts located in Riverhead, Central Islip, and Ronkonkoma. Once a truck accident victim retains an attorney’s services, and it is determined that a lawsuit is to be filed, the victim’s attorney will determine which court is the most appropriate place to hear your lawsuit.
Common Injuries Following Truck Accidents in Suffolk County
Catastrophic. That, in a word, described the severity of most truck collision-related injuries. These injuries can easily change a truck accident victim’s life and the life of his or her family for years to come – or even forever. One can expect to see one or more of the following serious injuries in any truck accident case:
- Traumatic brain injuries also called TBIs. As the name suggests, these injuries occur when the brain itself is subjected to trauma, such as when the brain is “shaken” back and forth in a whiplash-type injury or when a person’s head is slammed against a steering wheel or other blunt object. If not treated quickly, traumatic brain injuries can result in permanent disability.
- Burn injuries that can leave lasting scars and disfigurement. Trucks carry a large amount of fuel and, sometimes, dangerous chemicals. In a serious truck accident, these substances can spill and/or ignite, causing burns to a victim’s skin, body, and/or face.
- Crushing injuries that can either cause death or result in the loss of limbs. Because of the great size and height difference between commercial trucks and some passenger cars, a truck collision can easily cause the car to be pulled under and crushed by the truck.
Injury victims in trucking accidents can also suffer injuries and trauma to internal organs, cuts and lacerations, and injuries and trauma to the spinal cord or neck. This is on top of the emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and other harm that can befall a trucking accident victim that is more difficult to quantify.
Truck collision injury victims who are successful in their lawsuits are typically able to recover a financial judgment that equals the “cost” of their injuries and losses. This means the injury victim can receive a court order directing the at-fault truck driver to pay for the injury victim’s:
- Medical costs, the cost of any surgeries that are necessary, and the cost of treatment provided by a surgeon, general practitioner, or specialist;
- Prescription drug expenses or the costs of medical devices like wheelchairs, assistive beds, and other such aids;
- Pay or wages that could not be earned because the victim was not able to attend work due to injuries, treatment processes, and/or periods of recovery;
- Physical and mental pain and suffering experienced after the truck accident and during the recovery process; and/or
- The “loss” of not being able to be present and participate in one’s marriage and/or the life of one’s child or children.
Parker Waichman LLP aims to help Suffolk County truck accident victims and their families obtain the most compensation possible so that they are not left to fend for themselves. Parker Waichman LLP believes careless truck drivers deserve to be held liable for the financial cost of the harm they cause.
Time is Limited to File a Suffolk County Truck Collision Lawsuit
In New York, truck crash victims are restricted from filing a lawsuit seeking damages after a truck collision if more than three years have passed from the date of the truck accident. This limit – called a statute of limitations – is meant to encourage injury victims to file their lawsuits and claims early, when evidence can still be located and preserved, and witnesses’ memories are freshest. This time limit or “clock” counts down quickly, and there are only a few ways to “stop” (or “toll”) the time period or gain additional “time on the clock.” In almost every case, a Suffolk County truck crash lawsuit filed after the statute of limitations has run will result in the dismissal of the lawsuit without the case ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. Truck accident injury victims then are encouraged to speak with an experienced attorney or law firm as soon as possible to ensure their right to file a lawsuit does not expire unintentionally as opposed to waiting until the last minute and then attempting to file a lawsuit just before the statute of limitations expires.
Speak to the Knowledgeable Suffolk County Truck Accident Recovery Team at Parker Waichman LLP today
Trust the law firm that has been awarded the coveted “5 Dragons” rating from Lawdragon.com as well as other accolades and positive reviews to handle your Suffolk County truck accident case. Parker Waichman LLP’s team of dedicated and professional attorneys will help you in your legal quest for financial damages every step of the way. Our team is waiting to hear from you, so speak with our office today by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or by contacting our firm online using our website contact form.
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