It is VERY important to call us as soon as possible after the accident. We will retain an accident reconstruction expert who will want to gather information while it is still fresh. They will go to the scene, take photographs and measurements. They will inspect the vehicles for damage. If the truck is equipped with a black box, they will attempt to extract the pre-accident information. Most larger trucking companies use on-board computers and satellite communication systems that generate data that may be invaluable to the victim's case. Skid marks on roadways fade quickly. Skid marks provide a variety of information to the accident recon specialist like speed, time, distance, yaw, avoidance maneuvers and reaction time. The trucking companies dispatch teams of investigators to every accident scene. They will try to speak with their drivers BEFORE the police speak to them. The truck companies will do all that they can to shield themselves from responsibility. They will also be in possession of evidence that is helpful to their case. When the case goes to court they will NOT exchange information that is harmful to their case claiming that their investigative results were obtained in contemplation of litigation and therefore the information is not discoverable. There have also been situations where the trucking companies and/or their insurance companies have made promises of paying money to the accident victim. They attempt to lull the accident victim and their families into a false sense of security. The truth is that their offers are woefully inadequate and sometimes cause families to delay retention of a lawyer. This results in spoliation of evidence and makes proving the case against the trucking company much more difficult.
Our attorneys represented major trucking companies as well as the City of New York before becoming plaintiff's lawyers. They know about truck company record keeping procedures, training practices, maintenance protocols and investigative measures. They know how insurance carriers and municipalities investigate, work up, negotiate and defend lawsuits. After approximately a decade of defense representation the attorneys began representing people who suffered serious injuries. They have been representing injured parties for just about 10 years.
A Sampling of Cases We Have Handled
A passenger in a car was hit in the face by a sheet of ice that had come off the top of a moving truck and went through the windshield. She suffered a broken nose, scarring and exacerbation of a seizure condition.
We have handled many truck accidents that resulted in severe injuries and death:
A trailer pinned a motorcyclist against a guardrail, his leg was severely injured and the tractor trailer driver was flagged down 5 miles from the accident scene by a witness. The truck driver had no idea that he injured the motorcyclist.
A tractor trailer turned left, failing to yield to a car going straight, and the car went under the trailer. The driver of the car suffered severe hand injuries and a head injury.
A tractor trailer on an interstate highway drove over and on top of a car crushing the roof. The passenger in the car was killed and the driver suffered a major brain injury.
A truck driver pinned a person while backing into a loading dock.
A sanitation truck made a wide left turn, on a left turn arrow, at the same time that a car made a left turn, from the opposite direction on a left turn arrow. The result was a head on collision with devastating injuries.
A soda delivery truck struck a DOT vehicle that was stopped in a lane of moving traffic on a major expressway. A passenger in the soda delivery truck was killed and the entire passenger side of the truck was torn off.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents happen because of many factors. The weight and size of a truck makes it more difficult to operate in terms of: the ability to see other vehicles, maneuverability, accident avoidance, stopping distance (due to the weight of the vehicle), and changing lanes. These difficulties are compounded by driver fatigue, inadequate training or experience, driver distraction (cell phones, CB radios, GPS, etc.), delivery deadlines and the fact that they are paid by the mile (the faster they go, the more miles they cover). There may be situations where a truck is overloaded, the brakes were not properly maintained, safety equipment was not present, or the driver did not alter his/her driving based upon foul weather conditions. Another possible cause for an accident is the failure to have an under-ride or under-guard to prevent smaller vehicles from going under a trailer or truck.
There are more than 400,000 truck accidents every year. The result of most truck accidents are catastrophic injuries and fatalities. More often than not, the injuries and fatalities do not involve the truck operator. However, there are "innocent" truck drivers who are injured as the result of negligent truck drivers.
Our firm understands that your immediate goals after going through such a traumatic experience are to get the best medical care possible, make sure that your medical bills are covered, and make sure that you do not suffer financially through any lost wages. Our experienced attorneys will discuss your situation and go over the options available to you, as well as work with insurance companies and other parties involved in your case to make sure all your needs are handled quickly and appropriately.
Our firm represents clients located in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, New York State and many other states (New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, and California, and we will handle a case in any state provided we can do so in full compliance with court rules regarding multijurisdictional practice, association of local counsel and/or admission pro hac viche) who have suffered personal injuries as the result of a catastrophic truck accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, CONTACT US ONLINE OR CALL US AT (516) 742-8897= (516) PIATTYS in Long Island, (212) 267-9377= (212) ANSWERS In Manhattan to set up a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your legal options. If you can't come to us, we will come to you in the hospital or we will visit you in our mobile office.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
DOT FMCSA rules
U.S. Dept. of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Consumer Product Safety Commission