Large vehicles, particularly fully loaded commercial trucks, are prone to some of the worst accidents on the roads. Injuries are often catastrophic, requiring significant medical and rehabilitative treatment, altering lifestyles, and disrupting careers. Liability can be complicated and shared among several parties, many of which are often large businesses with investigators and legal teams built into their business model. In other words, they have access to ample funds and resources to build a very strong defense.
The Rockland County truck accident lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman are battle-tested and ready to examine your case, analyze your legal options, push back against low ball insurance offers, and if necessary- take your case to trial. With decades of local experience behind us, we have our own network of experts, inspectors, and others dedicated to building the strongest case in your favor. Our attorneys will not backdown in our pursuit of justice on your behalf.
We understand the challenges facing our Rockland County clients and their families in the aftermath of a serious truck accident If you or a loved one have been injured, schedule a consultation to speak with a member of our legal team about your legal rights to compensation.
New York Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020, 116 of the 1,437 vehicles involved in fatal crashes in New York were large trucks. This is in line with national averages, where trucks typically make up around 4% of vehicles, but cause about 9% of fatalities.
The statistics of injuries and deaths from large vehicles in general have steadily climbed since the popularization of SUVs in the 90s, which are also larger, heavier, and produce worse crashes than smaller cars. The statistical disparities help demonstrate the comparative seriousness of these accidents.
New York Truck Regulations
In New York, commercial vehicles follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations laid out in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR). These mandates govern matters like the size and weight restrictions of trucks, materials they can transport, permissible roads they may travel on, and circumstances under which they may operate.
To prevent overworked and sleep-deprived truck drivers from becoming a roadway hazard, “Hours of Service” (HOS) also regulated. Property-carrying drivers who violate these standards may be held liable unless they qualify for an exception. In June of 2020, the FMCA revised four provisions of the HOS regulations, emphasizing once again the need for Rockland County negligence victims to retain experienced truck accident counsel.
Common Types Of Truck Accidents
Many truck accidents such as head-on and rear-end collisions are similar to any other type of motor vehicle accident. However, because of their considerable size and weight, trucks transfer greater force than their smaller, lighter roadway counterparts. Carrier cargo is also a factor if contents spill out upon impact. Accidents involving 18-wheelers, semi-trucks and tractor trailers have the potential to inflict much greater damage and impact more vehicles on the road.
Other types are very particular to large commercial trucks and may prove fatal for unsuspecting average drivers.
- Underride accidents: The towering height of trucks can transform a common rear-end collision by a smaller vehicle into something much more serious as momentum causes the car or SUV to slide beneath the commercial vehicle.
- Jackknife accidents: Tractor trailers must be driven with great care and deliberation. Sudden stops can cause the trailer to swing out uncontrollably toward the cab leaving other drivers helpless to avoid colliding with the truck, other vehicles, and objects set in motion by the jackknife presentation.
- Rollover accidents: Excess speed around curves and corners is often to blame for a commercial truck rollover. From the moment the driver loses control of the vehicle to the minute it turns on its side, others on the road are in serious jeopardy.
Driver impairment, drowsiness, distraction, and failure to observe traffic laws or comply with industry standards are all common examples of negligence that lead to these types of accidents. Unfavorable weather and dangerous road conditions may also play a role. Thorough investigation will be required to expose which factors contributed to your accident. Rockland County residents are in excellent hands as we work with some of the best truck accident investigators in the business.
Injuries involving a truck are more likely to cause years, if not a lifetime, of surgeries, physical disabilities, disfigurement, decreased cognitive function, work limitations, and lifestyle changes. Injuries of this nature are often referred to as “catastrophic.”
In addition to fatality, other serious injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal injuries that can lead to carrying levels of paralysis
- Broken bones
- Pots-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from both the events of the accident and the injuries sustained
- Neck and back injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
Determining Liability and Damages in a Truck Accident Case
Liability issues involving trucks, particularly large commercial trucks, can be much more complicated and nuanced than other vehicles. The parties against whom a claim may be made may include the:
- Truck driver: Drivers may be found negligent, and therefore liable for causing the accident.
- Trucking company: These companies should be vetting their drivers thoroughly prior to hiring. They should ensure drivers have received proper training and trust that their drivers are complying with all applicable regulations found in 49 CFR.
- Cargo company: The company that loads commercial trucks with its goods for transport bears its own responsibilities of packing requirements, weight distribution, securing items properly within the cargo hold, etc.
- Truck mechanic: Who has been repairing the vehicle? Maintaining it? Is the truck operating normally?
- Truck manufacturer: Are recalled or defective parts to blame for the vehicle’s malfunction?
Finding a factual basis for allegations against any and all liable parties is integral to a successful outcome. KGG Law’s experienced injury lawyers have the resources to research and follow up with all potential entities.
How Can Our Truck Accident Attorneys Help You?
Truck accidents require a high degree of legal skill and a massive team effort to investigate the accident, determine liable parties, calculate a claim for damages, and file all relevant legal documents in a timely manner. KGG Law can and will efficiently manage all moving parts to preserve your rights and win the justice you deserve.
If you are considering litigation while undergoing medical treatment for injuries sustained in a truck accident in or around Rockland County, please call our office as soon as you can for a free legal evaluation. It’s better you let a trusted lawyer handle your legal options while you focus on healing. We also represent those left behind by loved ones who did not survive their ordeal. Representatives of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. are standing by and eager to assist you.