Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, L.L.P.

Bronx Truck Accident

The sheer size of semis and eighteen wheelers means that any accidents that involve contact with these vehicles are likely to inflict serious injuries upon the victims such as spinal cord fractures, amputations, brain injuries, burns and in certain cases, even death. The aforementioned catastrophic injuries are likely to impact the victims for the remainder of their lives and consequently, the victim and his or her family might face significant financial strain resulting from lost wages and costly and recurring medical bills. Fortunately, the law provides a remedy for this injustice and allows individuals that have sustained damages in truck accidents to sue the responsible party for compensation. The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool have been defending the rights of truck accident victims for over fifty years and understanding the emotional, physical and financial pain such an accident can inflict upon the victim. Thus, our attorneys due their very best to try to expedite the process and ensure that our clients receive the maximum possible compensation that they deserve.

Elements of a Valid Truck Accident Lawsuit

In order to establish grounds for a valid lawsuit it must be proven that the driver, manufacturer or company acted negligently. However, negligence is not sufficient grounds for establishing liability and recouping damages. In order for there to be a valid claim, the following criteria must be met:

  • The Existence of A Duty of Care: In order for negligence to be established it must first be delineated that a duty of care, on behalf of the driver to the victim, existed. A duty of care is legally defined as the obligation an individual has to act in a cautious manner whilst performing acts that could be potentially harmful to others. For example in this particular case, a truck driver has a duty of care to obey all and any traffic regulations whilst driving.
  • The Duty of Care Was Breached: In order for negligence to have occurred, the driver, company or manufacturer msut have breached their duty of care. A truck driver’s failure to comply with traffic regulations would constitute a violation of his or her duty of care.
  • The Responsible Party Caused the Injury: In addition to proving negligence, it must be established that the responsible party’s negligence directly caused the injury under consideration. For example, if a truck driver were to get in to an accident whilst over speeding he or she could only be held liable if their failure to adhere to the speed limit directly caused the accident and thus, the injury.
  • The Victim Sustained Damages: In addition to the presence of negligence that caused the accident, it must also be demonstrated that the victim sustained either economic or non-economic damages as a result of the accident. Economic damages pertain to any financial strain placed upon the victim as a result of the accident where as non-economic damages refer to any pain and suffering the victim was forced to endure.

In the case that their sustained injury occurred due to any of the following, victims of truck accidents may have grounds for a valid truck accident lawsuit:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • The truck driver lacked training
  • Illegally changing lanes
  • The truck driver had exceeded the maximum amount of hours on the road
  • The truck had a manufacturing error
  • Road defects
Proving Liability in Bronx Truck Accident Cases

Like other vehicular accidents, in order to demonstrate liability in truck accident cases, negligence must be proven. Negligence is defined, as the failure to use the same level of care a reasonably prudent person would have demonstrated in a similar situation. Examples of failure to use reasonable care that resulted in negligence, include, but are not limited to, over speeding, failure to remain attentive on the road as well as failure to follow the ordained traffic regulations.

Due to our experience in this particular field, we are familiar with the most common claims of negligence behavior. The aforementioned common claims are:

  • Inadequate License and Training: Truck drivers are required to have special licenses to drive these commercial vehicles and should have received adequate training regarding their position. Consequently, victims should always investigate the driver’s background and level of training.
  • The Truck Driver Worked Hours That Exceeded the Legal Limit: Because many truck drivers often work extremely long shifts, with little or no sleep, the occurrence of accidents due to the driver being sleepy or drowsy is very common. In lieu of this, there are legal limits that dictate the consecutive number of hours a driver can drive without rest. If a driver is in violation of these limits, he may have acted negligently.
  • The Truck Driver Was Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol: Like other vehicular accidents, several truck accidents are caused due to the driver’s altered state of mind due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol.

It is imperative that you retain an attorney that is well versed with trucking and commercial vehicle law. There are several Federal statutes that regulate the operation of commercial vehicles on highways and all other roads. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our years of experience means that we are aware of all these minor statutes and nuances in the legislature. For example, if an accident occurs due to a park truck on a highway, compensation is still possible because there are Federal statutes that lay down the measures stalled commercial vehicles need to take on roads. Unless you are familiar with such legislation, it can be very tricky to obtain a favorable verdict. Additionally, the internal procedures of the trucking company also need to be analyzed in order to understand the situation surrounding the incident as well as the driver’s training and background. Our attorneys are familiar with the documents that need to be obtained and are available and thus, are worthy of representing you.

Recovering Compensation from Insurance Companies

Also, commercial vehicles such as trucks, tractor-trailers, commercial vans and other such vehicles often have much more insurance coverage than a typical vehicle operating on a New York State roadway. This is true for two reasons. First, the owner of the vehicle, under New York State laws, is vicariously liable for the negligence of the driver. In other words, any negligence of the driver is also attributable to the vehicles owner; provided the driver was driving the vehicle with the permission and consent of the owner. This permissive use is almost always the case since the driver is usually operating the owner's vehicle in the course of his employment. Since the owner will be liable for the driver's negligence, the owner must protect himself with adequate insurance.

Moreover, since the company employing the truck driver is usually a commercial business, which typically has significant assets, a large amount of insurance is often procured in order to protect those assets. This is especially true with tractor-trailers, which for example could be owned by an oil company or other large business. These vehicles often have $10 million of insurance coverage or more. Other commercial vehicles often have auto liability insurance of at least $1 million. The second reason such large insurance coverage also exists is that when such a large vehicle is involved in an accident, the accident is likely to involve extremely serious injuries or death. As such, the combination of the potential for catastrophic loss, along with the fact that the defendant may have significant assets to protect, results in such vehicles procuring large amounts of insurance.

As one might imagine, the combination of catastrophic injuries resulting in very large claims against a defendant's insurance company often presents a scenario of high stakes litigation. In fact, in the context of vehicular accidents, such cases often involve the highest stakes litigation for insurance companies and attorneys. As a result, it is important to carefully select an attorney who is accustomed to litigating such cases against the best of the best. The attorneys for the truck company are unlikely to leave any stone unturned in an effort to minimize the amount or even deny that an injured plaintiff has a right to recover any money for his/her losses. These losses may include debilitating or catastrophic injuries that require a lifetime of medical care or even 24-hour home care services. In some cases the losses may even cost the victim the ability to retain a job. As a result, our truck accident attorneys will retain all appropriate experts to account for such losses. These experts may include an economist, an accountant, a life care expert, and any number of medical experts to help determine the losses and or limitations caused by the accident.

Also, the losses invariably will involve a claim of significant pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. In a wrongful death situation a family may be left without the husband or wife or father or mother that supported the family. Children may lose a parent and be left without the guidance, nurturing and support that a parent provides. Again, such losses may require the necessity to retain any number of expert witnesses, and victim and his/her family should carefully select a lawyer who has the experience and cutting edge knowledge to litigate the case in a manner that will lead to fair and adequate compensation to the victims for such losses. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool we use our experience and expertise to attempt to maximize a recovery. We recognize that a fair recovery must take into account that the needs of families that are victims of such life-changing events must be fully accounted for. The lawsuit brought against the responsible party is often the one and only chance the victim and his or her family has to be able to live with dignity after a serious or catastrophic accident involving a truck, tractor-trailer, van, bus, or other large commercial vehicle.

The Bronx – Driving Under the Influence Truck Accident Attorneys

The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool have been representing victims injured during collisions with semis, eighteen-wheelers and other commercial vehicles for over fifty years.

The Trucking Company’s Accountability

According to the law, commercial driver license holders are required to report any Driving While Intoxicated convictions to their employers within thirty days, irrespective of whether or not that convictions occurred whilst they were driving a personal vehicle for non-work related purposes. A DWI convictions might result in the driver losing is CDL either temporarily or permanently and might also cause the insurance premiums for the trucking company to increase.

The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will use their expertise to investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, including the driver’s personal and work driving records. In the case that the accident did result due to DWI our legal team will use that as leverage against the trucking company in order to recoup compensation for the damages that you have sustained. Accidents involving such large commercial vehicles often cause catastrophic injuries which cause the victims to undergo significant financial and emotional strain. The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will do their very best to ensure that you are compensated for all the damages that you have sustained including, but not limited to, medical bills, lost wages, long-term care, pain and suffering and funeral expenses.

Contact Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool Today

If you, or a loved one, have sustained an injury due to a truck related accident, do not hesitate to call our New York law office today at 212.406.1700 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options. We have accept our cases on a contingency fees basis, that is, no monetary fees are expected of you until and unless we are able to secure a monetary settlement on your behalf. In which case, our legal fees are a mere fraction fo the amount you receive. If your injury was caused due to the fact that a truck driver was driving under the influence you are legally entitled to receive compensation for any damages that you may have sustained following the injury. Following an accident involving an intoxicated driver, trucking companies will attempt to remove any and all evidence pertaining to the accident. The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor Fuchs & Kool will diligently investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident you were involved in and will do their very best to ensure that you receive the maximum possible compensation that you deserve.

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