New York Truck Accident Lawyers
Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in New York Truck Accident trial law. Six of our attorneys have achieved AV Preeminent status with Martindale-Hubbell representing the highest ranking for ethical standards and legal ability. Five of our attorneys have been featured as Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan Area as published in the Magazine Section of the New York Times. Our firm is ranked among the Best Lawyers in the State of New York and is ranked among the Best Law Firms in the New York Metro area by US News & World Report.Experienced and Successful New York Truck Accident Lawyers
Individuals who have been involved in a truck accident can suffer major injuries that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Due to the massive size of semis and 18 wheelers, truck accidents often inflict catastrophic injuries on the individuals involved, such as spinal cord fractures, amputations, brain injuries, or burns. Many of the catastrophic injuries inflicted in truck accidents can result in death. Catastrophic injuries suffered in a truck accident may also force victims and their families to face significant financial strain, often due to lost wages or costly medical bills. As a result, truck accident victims and their families may be entitled to compensation for any damages they suffered. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our New York truck accident lawyers have been defending the rights of accident victims for over 50 years. Our personal injury attorneys understand the emotional, physical, and financial pain that a truck accident can inflict on victims and their families. We'll do everything in our power to expedite the legal process and get our clients the compensation they may deserve.
To see if you may have grounds for a lawsuit, call 212.406.1700 or contact us online. All consultations with Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are free of charge. Additionally, we take our cases on a contingency fee basis; meaning our clients will receive fair representation free of charge unless there is a monetary recovery.How Our Attorneys Help Families Who Have Suffered Damages Following a Truck Accident
What Constitutes Grounds for a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
In order to have a valid lawsuit, individuals who have been involved in a truck accident must be able to prove that the driver, company, or manufacturer acted negligently. Negligence in and of itself, however, is not grounds for a lawsuit. The following criteria must be met in order to have a valid claim:
A Duty of Care Existed: In order to prove that the truck driver, company, or manufacturer acted negligently, a duty of care to the victim must have existed. A duty of care is a legal obligation that one party has to act in a certain way while performing activities that have the potential to cause harm. For instance, truck drivers have a duty of care to others on the road to obey all traffic laws.
The Duty of Care Was Breached: The driver, the company the driver represents, and manufacturer become negligent when they breach their duty of care. A truck driver's failure to comply with traffic laws, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, would constitute a breach of duty.
The Responsible Party's Negligence Caused the Injury: While negligence must have been present to prove liability, it does not in and of itself constitute grounds for a lawsuit. The victim must be able to prove that the responsible party's negligence was the direct cause of the injury. For example, should a truck driver get into an accident while speeding, they can only be found liable if their failure to adhere to adhere to the speed limit caused the accident.
The Victim Suffered Damages: In addition to proving negligence was the cause of the accident, the victim must have suffered either economic or non-economic damages to have grounds for a lawsuit. Economic damages are any financial strain placed on the victim as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages are any pain and suffering the victim's injuries forced them to endure.
Victims of truck accidents may have grounds for a lawsuit if their injury occurred due to any of the following:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- The truck driver lacked training
- Reckless driving
- Illegally changing lanes
- The truck driver exceeded the maximum amount of consecutive hours on the road
- The truck had a manufacturing error
- Road defects
Proving liability or fault of a driver in a truck accident is similar to proving fault in other vehicular accidents. The goal, as a representative of the victim of such an accident, is to prove negligence. Negligence is the failure to use the care that a reasonably prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances. Examples of failure to use reasonable care in truck or tractor-trailer accidents include usual claims such as failure to be attentive and failure to see what was there to be seen. Such behavior might include running a stop sign, stop light or other traffic control device, making an imprudent lane change, or failing to stop in time and thus striking a vehicle in the rear. Other examples of negligence may involve driving the truck/tractor-trailer at an excessive speed.Common Examples of Negligence in Truck Accident Cases
In addition to these potential claims of negligent behavior that typically apply to most vehicular accidents, they often involve more specific allegations of negligence that are unique to these types of cases. Common examples of negligence in these types of cases include but are not limited to:
- Inadequate License or Training: Truck drivers are required by law to have specific licenses to operate such commercial vehicles. Such drivers are expected to have certain training in such operation and should be investigated by the victim's representation so that it can be determined if there was negligence in the training of the driver.
- The Truck Driver Worked Hours that Exceeded the Legal Limit: Drivers of such vehicles often work long hours with little sleep. Thus, it is not uncommon for a catastrophic accident and injury to occur because the driver was drowsy or even fell asleep. There are legal limits that dictate the number of consecutive hours a truck driver can go without resting, if these are exceeded the victim may have a claim.
- The Truck Driver was Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs: Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that drugs may be involved, as our experience has shown that such drivers making long trips across state lines sometimes have taken a substance that may affect their ability to drive attentively.
Along with the differences that often exist regarding the way that truck accidents are caused, there are also unique and different rules and regulations that an experienced truck and commercial vehicle accident attorney should be familiar with in order to adequately represent your interests. For example, there are Federal motor vehicle standards that may apply to the operation of commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses. The rules may even apply to a vehicle that is disabled on the roadway. For instance, our truck accident attorneys have had multiple clients who were severely injured after a disabled commercial vehicle failed to properly erect warning lights and/or cones at appropriate distances so as to warn oncoming vehicles that the disabled vehicle was in the roadway. The federal regulations and guidelines that govern such matters, and compliance with same, can be the difference between life and death in an unlit roadway in the middle of the night. This is just one of many examples of the nuances that may exist in accidents involving large trucks and commercial vehicles. Other unique considerations in such accidents involve procedures for driver discipline as well as differences in reports that may be required to be filed with public safety agencies. Additionally, the internal procedures of the trucking or other company must be looked into so as to gain full knowledge, to the extent possible, of not only all of the facts and circumstances that may have been reported for your accident, but also to obtain the history of the driver and his/her training. All of these issues may be critical in the discovery process for your case. It is difficult or impossible to obtain information, if you do not have the experience and expertise to know what documents exist and/or are accessible.Our Truck Accident Attorneys Have Experience 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 adequatecompensation 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.Why Should You Hire Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in New York?
Individuals who have suffered an injury in a truck accident should not hesitate to seek the counsel of an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney. Taking too much time to secure legal counsel can result in a failure to comply with the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law that states the amount of time injured individuals have to file a claim following an accident. Failure to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires can result in injured individuals being forever barred from receiving the compensation they may deserve. As a result, it is important that victims of truck accidents take steps to hire an attorney as soon as possible. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, we understand the time constraints imposed by the statute of limitations. Our lawyers handle all of our clients' claims in a timely manner to ensure they are eligible to recoup the compensation they may entitled.
For a free consultation with our truck accident lawyers in New York, send an email or call us at 212.406.1700.