If you or someone you love was recently involved in an accident with a semi-truck, big rig, 18-wheeler, delivery truck, or any other large commercial vehicle, you already know the devastating impact these collisions have. You are likely facing a number of challenges, from getting the proper medical treatment for severe injuries to navigating significant physical, emotional, and financial hardships.
At the Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III, we know how difficult it is to get back on your feet after a large truck accident, and we want to help. Led by Long Island truck accident attorney Joseph J. Perrini, III, our team offers personalized legal representation backed by nearly 30 years of experience. We are compassionate and accessible when it comes to helping our clients navigate the legal system, and we are aggressive when it comes to advocating for the maximum compensation they are owed. This approach has helped us recover tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients and has earned us a reputation for being one of the area’s leading personal injury law firms.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Like many other auto accidents, truck accidents are often the result of negligence. However, unlike in standard car accident claims, this negligence is not always attributed to the driver; in many large truck accident cases, numerous underlying factors play a role.
Some of the most common causes of a large truck and commercial vehicle accidents include:
- Truck Driver Negligence: Just like any other motorist on the road, truck drivers are susceptible to error. They often act carelessly or recklessly, which can have devastating consequences. Some common examples of truck driver negligence include distracted driving, fatigued driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, and traffic law violations.
- Hours-of-Service Violations: Truck drivers in New York are subject to both state and federal laws limiting the number of hours they can drive without taking breaks. Known as hours-of-service regulations, these laws are put in place to prevent fatigued driving and keep others safe. When drivers violate these rules, they put everyone on the road in danger.
- Poor Truck Maintenance: Large trucks and commercial vehicles must be routinely serviced and inspected for damage. Often, truck drivers are responsible for conducting regular maintenance on their vehicles, as well as reporting any issues to the appropriate parties. When they or other responsible parties fail to properly maintain these vehicles, it can lead to serious accidents.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo: Large trucks often transport dangerous, heavy cargo. When this cargo is improperly loaded, it can lead to overloaded or unstable trucks. This, in turn, can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, leading to all types of serious accidents, such as fishtail and jackknife truck accidents.
- Improper Trucking Company Practices: When trucking companies pressure drivers to meet strict quotas or unrealistic deadlines, or when they fail to conduct background checks on drivers, provide adequate training, or discipline drivers who have violated company policy, they can indirectly cause serious collisions.
- Defective Vehicles: Just as passenger vehicles can have defects, large commercial trucks can also be defective. In some cases, these defects can lead to devastating accidents. Common examples of large truck defects include defective truck tires, braking systems, engine components, lights, reflective strips, and accelerators.
Due to their immense size and weight, large commercial vehicles tend to cause far more damage than smaller passenger vehicles. Victims often suffer catastrophic injuries, and many truck accidents are fatal. It is critically important that you work with a skilled personal injury lawyer with experience in these types of cases. Contact the Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III for a free consultation with our Long Island truck accident attorney today.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Just like victims of other auto accidents, truck accident victims can seek compensation after a crash through their own no-fault auto insurance. However, filing a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your auto insurance provider limits your recovery. PIP does not cover any non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, and it generally only covers a portion of your lost wages and medical expenses.
Because most truck accident victims suffer extensive injuries, they are often able to go outside the no-fault system and file a third-party injury claim. However, determining who is liable for the accident can be difficult. Often, the trucking company is the one that is responsible for your damages, even when the truck driver was the one who caused the crash. This is because employers are typically liable for their employees’ conduct while those employees are “on the clock.” However, depending on the exact circumstances of your accident, another party could be partially or wholly liable.
If the accident was the result of a truck defect, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective part could be liable. If another motorist on the road contributed to the crash, you could have a claim against their insurance provider. You could even be able to bring multiple lawsuits against multiple parties. Our Long Island truck accident attorney can evaluate all possible avenues of compensation and develop a personalized legal strategy aimed at securing the maximum recovery you are owed.
Why Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
Truck accident claims are far more complex than most other auto accident cases. Due to the number of parties involved, the severity of your injuries, and the extent of your damages, it can be difficult to prove your case. The trucking company or its insurance company may reach out to you right after the accident. They may even offer a settlement. We strongly encourage you to refrain from talking to anyone from the trucking company or its insurance company—and do not sign anything or accept a settlement—without first speaking to a lawyer.
The insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible. They will likely offer a lowball settlement that does not even begin to cover your ongoing losses. When you put an attorney on your side, you can focus on healing, knowing that your attorney is handling the legal details of your case. At the Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III, we conduct exhaustive investigations and work with teams of experts to determine how the accident occurred and who is to blame. We build powerful cases for our clients and negotiate aggressively for fair settlements on their behalf. When the insurance company refuses to settle, Attorney Perrini is fully prepared to represent you and your rights at trial.
Call Our Firm Right Away for a Free Consultation
In New York, you only have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. The sooner you contact our team, the sooner we can begin gathering evidence, building your case, and advocating for your recovery. We encourage you to reach out to us today to learn how our Long Island truck accident lawyer can help you with your claim. We are available 24/7 and do not collect any legal fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict for you.
Long Island Truck Accident Lawyer FAQ
- What is my truck accident case worth? Your truck accident case’s worth will be based on the damages that you have suffered because of the accident and your injuries. It goes to say that the worse your injuries, the worse your damages will be because more of your life will have been disrupted and more medical treatments will have been necessary. Typically, a truck accident claim’s value will include medical costs, lost wages, permanent disabilities, pain, and suffering.
- Should you accept the first settlement offer from the truck driver’s insurance company? No, not necessarily. The first settlement offer might be okay, but it is more than likely going to be undervalued. Insurance companies like to throw lowball settlement offers at claimants to see if they will take the financial bait. What you should do before accepting any settlement offer, even one that looks great, is speak with a truck accident attorney. They can evaluate the offer against what you should be owed.
- Do different laws apply to truck accidents? Not exactly. Liability laws for truck accidents are technically not unique compared to a car accidents. However, the way a case pans out can be quite different because truck drivers and trucking companies are subjected to regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If a regulation from this organization was violated, and that caused the truck accident, then the investigation and the liability assignments will be more complicated. But it could work in your favor.