Truck accidents tend to cause significant injuries and may involve complex insurance issues. Experienced legal representation can make all the difference.
While any auto accident claim can be complicated, those involving large commercial trucks tend to be especially complex.
There are factors at play in truck accidents that simply wouldn’t arise in most other auto accidents.
From the laws that govern truck drivers to the reality of the insurance policies that trucking companies typically carry, bringing a claim for compensation after a truck accident injury is almost always a complex matter.
But that doesn’t mean that achieving real justice is impossible or that you should feel intimidated by the process.
On the contrary, anyone who has been injured in a truck accident should reach out to an experienced New York truck accident lawyer right away. If you’ve suffered damages in one of these terrible accidents, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation.
An attorney with specific experience in filing truck accident claims can help you with the very issues that make these cases so complex. We explore some of those issues in the sections to follow.
Severity of Injuries
Truck accidents tend to cause especially severe injuries. From spinal cord injuries and internal organ damage to paralysis, quadriplegia, and other permanent disabilities, it is not uncommon for survivors to deal with the effects of a truck accident for decades to come. Tragically, many truck accidents involve at least one fatality.
The severity of these injuries, including the possibility of wrongful death, means that the stakes in any truck accident insurance claim can be quite high.
It is important that you work with an attorney who is comfortable handling disputes that involve complex medical issues, complicated fact patterns, and sophisticated medical evidence.
Special Laws Apply to Commercial Truck Drivers
Legislators realize the special dangers that large commercial trucks pose. Vehicles of such tremendous size can cause catastrophic damage when handled negligently. For that reason, the federal government has enacted certain special regulations that govern the operation of semi-trailer trucks and other large vehicles. Many states have followed suit with similar regulations (sometimes even stricter than those imposed at the federal level).
Hours of Service regulations, for instance, dictate how long a truck driver can operate a vehicle without being allowed adequate time for rest and sleep.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies have been known to overschedule their drivers, forcing them to choose between getting enough sleep and keeping their jobs. Drowsy driving can be every bit as dangerous as drunk driving, so it is crucial that truck drivers and their employers carefully follow state and federal Hours of Service rules.
Truck drivers are also subject to special licensing requirements and various other rules and regulations. Accordingly, you should choose an attorney who is well versed in the relevant truck accident laws in New York.
Truck Accidents Sometimes Involve Multiple Sophisticated Corporate Parties
Truck accidents are more likely than other accidents to involve multiple parties, more than one of which may be a large corporate entity with significant resources at its disposal. For example, a truck accident claim might involve:
- The truck driver
- The driver’s employer
- The company that owns and operates the truck (if different from the employer)
- The truck’s manufacturer
- Companies that manufactured parts and accessories for the truck
- The insurance companies for these and other corporate parties
- Your insurance provider(s)
Some cases even involve governmental entities or other third parties. For this reason, it is important to work with a law firm that has a record of successfully resolving claims involving large and resourceful corporate entities, including major insurance companies.
The Mechanics of a Truck (Tractor, Trailer, etc.)
Semi-trailer trucks and other big rigs are complicated pieces of machinery. The complex nature of their design means there are more opportunities for something to go wrong on a mechanical level. Tractor-trailer accidents, for example, often involve a problem in the mechanics that connect the tractor to the trailer.
Mechanical problems may be the fault of the truck manufacturer and/or the trucking company (which may be liable for negligent vehicle maintenance).
Certain Types of Negligence Are More Common in Truck Accidents
In addition to negligent maintenance, truck operators may also be liable for negligent hiring, negligent training, or negligent supervision, among other forms of carelessness.
Additionally, truck accidents often involve instances of driver negligence that may not be readily apparent at the scene (and may, therefore, go undocumented in the police report). These can include, but are not limited to:
- Driver fatigue (drowsy driving)
- Hours of Service violations
- Driving under the influence of otherwise lawful prescription medications
- Driving under the influence of over-the-counter medications
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
Schedule a Free Consultation with O’Connor and Partners
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident in Kingston or anywhere else in New York, we urge you to contact our office right away.
As we’ve outlined above, these claims can be incredibly complex and challenging. There is simply no substitute for experience. The attorneys at O’Connor and Partners have a record of successfully challenging insurance companies (and other large corporate entities) in a wide range of high-stakes legal matters, including truck accident claims.
We understand that every single penny counts for the people we represent. We fight hard to maximize compensation for our clients.
O’Connor and Partners will never charge you a fee unless we get you money first. But time matters. Please don’t delay. Call our office and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.
We offer our legal services to truck accident victims and their loved ones in Kingston, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Ellenville, the Hudson Valley, New York City, and throughout the Empire State. If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you. Just contact us online or call 845-303-8777 to talk with an experienced Kingston truck accident lawyer today.