Queens Truck Accident Lawyers
While truck accident litigation has many similarities to other vehicle
accident law, the sheer size of a truck and the potential damage that
they can cause make it unique. A collision between a commercial truck
and a mid-sized SUV or sedan, even at low speeds, can result in devastating
injuries and occasionally can be fatal to the driver and passengers in
the mid-sized vehicle. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway
Safety (IIHS), about 1 in 10 highway deaths results from a crash involving
a large truck. Large trucks often weigh 20-30 times more than most passenger
vehicles, and they have a larger ground clearance. This added weight and
height make it extremely dangerous for lower-riding cars, which could
easily end up under the wheels of a much larger truck. As a result, the
fallout from a truck accident can create enormous financial strain for
the victim and their families. The severe injuries or wrongful death that
may result from a truck accident can lead to astronomical medical bills
that will only increase as time passes. The victim(s) may lose wages or
in some instances lose their employment because the accident leaves them
physically unfit to continue working. Our Queens Truck accident lawyers
are professionals who strive to make a difference in the lives of our
clients. We understand the emotional and financial hardships that arises
due to catastrophic accidents that can leave the victim’s family
in shambles. Our knowledgeable attorneys can discuss your legal options
with you in detail after evaluating whether you may be entitled to recover
compensation for your loss.
If you or a loved one suffered a severe or fatal injury in a truck accident,
you may be entitled to compensation. Please call us at 212-406-1700 or
contact us online. Consultation is free. Our Queens Truck accident attorneys
will review your claim and determine whether you have a meritorious lawsuit.
Guidelines to a Meritorious Queens Truck Accident Lawsuit
The victims of a truck accident must be able to prove certain elements
in order to have a valid lawsuit. The negligence of the truck driver,
commercial truck company, or the truck’s manufacturer is not enough
in and of itself to have a valid lawsuit. Similar to other vehicle accident
cases the plaintiff must be able to prove that the driver negligence the
direct cause of the victim’s injuries. Lastly, the victim must have
suffered severe economic or physical damages in order to have a compensable
case against the truck driver or company.
Some causes of truck accidents that may be grounds for a lawsuit lawsuit
include but are not limited to the following:
Speeding: If the truck driver is caught speeding, which constitutes a breach in
his duty to abide by the traffic laws, they may be liable it resulted
in an accident.
Lack of Training: A truck driver must first acquire the necessary licenses and documentation
in order to operate a truck. If the truck company hired a driver without
the legal documentation that allows them to operate a truck, then they
may be liable if that truck driver injured others in an accident.
Overloading Trucks: Negligently loading a truck above its maximum allowable hauling weight
may result in catastrophic accidents that may include multiple cars. A
truck company must have the prudence it requires to correctly load their
truck in order to safely travel without an increased risk of their cargo
becoming loose and injuring other drivers. When the load that a truck
is hauling isn’t properly fastened, it may create a very treacherous
obstacle for other drivers if their load shifts or falls off. It isn’t
that difficult for an unsecured load to slip off the back of a truck,
especially if the driver abruptly stops or recklessly changes lanes.
Neglecting to Weigh-In: On some roads, it is necessary by law for commercial trucks to exit the
highway and weigh their vehicle. There are roads that have a maximum acceptable
weight limit, and if truck drivers neglect to weigh-in, and gets in an
accident, it’s a clear example of negligence.
Driving Without Proper Rest: Unfortunately it has become a recurring issue that truck drivers are
compelled to take certain substances to keep themselves awake behind the
wheel. These substances are often illegal and after their effect wares
off, the driver’s energy levels may crash and they may fall asleep
at the wheel. In some cases, the driver isn’t fully at fault for
this. It may be the case that the truck company has been pressuring the
driver to deliver their load in a particular time constraint. This time
constraint may be deemed unlawful. The blame from the resulting accident
from the driver’s use of sleep deprivation substances could be shared
by the driver and the truck company.
Manufacturing Error: When a truck accident occurs due to an issue with the truck’s manufacturing,
the manufacturer or the truck company may be liable. The truck’s
manufacturer and company have an obligation to maintain their trucks and
check for defects.
Pertinent Truck Driving Laws
Presently, there are very specific laws that give more rights to the truck
driver. It was a known problem that truck drivers would be given unrealistic
timetables from their employer. As a result, they were forced to take
illegal substances in order to drive over 24 hours straight. This practice
became a huge issue because it was the direct cause for many highway accidents.
The truck driver would take these substances, drive straight through the
day and night, and then after the substances lost their effect, the truck
driver would fall asleep at the wheel and cause catastrophic accidents.
As a result, federal hours-of-service regulations were enacted to enforce
better conditions for truck drivers and stop these dangerous practices.
However, surveys from IIHS have shown that truck drivers are still driving
over the allotted 11 hours daily maximum. The current issue is that truck
companies only require the truck driver to document their work hours on
a handwritten logbook, which can be easily falsified. The IIHS has requested
to require electronic onboard recorders in each truck, in order to catalog
each time the truck is driven and for how long.
If a truck driver exceeds their maximum drive time in one sitting, they
and their company may be liable for any accident that occurs.
The Dangers of 18-Wheelers in Queens
The 18-wheeler truck has become a popular means of transporting goods across
long distances in the United States. Even though the 18-wheeler is very
cost efficient for the trucking company, it does have multiple drawbacks
on the road. Its main inadequacy is its large center of gravity that has
a low threshold for reckless driving and oversized loads. These unsafe
practices may result in:
Jack-Knife Accidents- A large truck that is hauling trailer behind it can go into a jack-knife
position when the driver abruptly brakes after travelling at high speeds.
In a Jack-Knife accident, the trailer behind the truck loses control as
the trucks momentum propels the trailer to the side at a 90 degree angle
to the truck. This can become very hazardous for other drivers because
the usual trailer of an 18-wheeler can span the entire length of the road,
which can cause a devastating multi-car pileup if other drivers do not
have enough time to stop.
Rollovers: A truck may become airborne or rollover in the case of a wheel blowout
or other tire defects. The truck company and manufacturer have a duty
to maintain their trucks so that their safety and stability do not become
compromised. If truck companies neglect to inspect their trucks for wear
and tear, it may result in large-scale accidents. For instance, since
most of these trucks are driven long distances, their tires are subject
to wear and tear. The tread of the tires become old and defective. A wheel
blowout may occur, which can force the truck in an abrupt halt, or depending
on the speed that the truck was moving, can flip the truck to the side.
A truck rollover is especially dangerous for other drivers on the road
because when a truck has flipped to the side, it essentially has no control.
Depending on the truck’s initial velocity, it can slide on the asphalt
and hit anything in its path until finally the friction from the road
brings it to a stop.
How Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool Help You Following a Queens
After a truck accident in Queens, our experienced attorneys will work closely
with the victims in order to secure the maximum compensation that they
are entitled to. Our lawyers will begin by reviewing your claim and decide
whether you have a legitimate lawsuit. Then they will start the investigatory
phase by interviewing all applicable witnesses. We will then acquire the
police and accident reports from the authorities and the hospital that
treated all the injured victims involved. We will attempt to locate any
camera footage of the accident in order to assist in building your case.
In some cases, we would even hire the services of an expert to reconstruct
and recreate the accident scene in order to better understand the true
cause of the accident.
In the event of a devastating truck accident, you need an attorney that
is skilled and who would fight on your behalf to defend your rights. Please
call us at 212-406-1700 or contact us online for a free consultation.