Large trucks are used worldwide to deliver needed goods, including groceries, medications, and life-saving medical equipment, not to mention day-to-day toiletries and other items. They truly are a vital part of the New York and the larger American economy.
Truck drivers have a responsibility to ensure their safety and that of others around them on the road. But according to the summary of large truck crashes put out by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles each year, in 2014, almost 83% of large or 18-wheeler truck accidents were caused by human error or negligence.
When the driver of a large truck is responsible for an accident, through negligence or otherwise, you need a truck accident attorney who understands the law and has been successful in litigating these types of accidents in New York. There may be several different entities responsible, such as the truck’s owner, the driver, the owner of the cargo, and even the store waiting for the cargo delivery, which all need to be explored.
The New York Times published a piece on truck collisions and the trends for regulations. Author Howard Abramson writes that the government is actively working against better or stricter regulations for the trucking industry. “Congress has pursued a number of steps to roll back safety improvements ordered by federal regulators. It has pushed to allow truck drivers to work 82 hours a week, up from the current 70 hours over eight days,” Abramson reports. He goes on to say that they have “discouraged the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from investing in wireless technology designed to improve the monitoring of drivers and their vehicles; and signaled its willingness to allow longer and heavier trucks despite widespread public opposition.”
In 2014, out of the 10,742 reported truck crashes, 5003 injuries, and 79 deaths, a total of 8,880 of the crashes, 2,913 injuries, and 65 of the deaths were said to have happened due to human factors. The large mass of the truck better protects their drivers, so out of those 5003 injured, a whopping 4,263 were NOT the truck drivers involved in these crashes, they were other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
Since 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, part of the wider Department of Transportation, has been working with enforcement agencies at every level to try to create regulations and find ways to make truckers and all other drivers safer on the road.
Because of their sheer mass and momentum, truck accidents are some of the most damaging collisions on the road today. Fully-loaded cargo trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. The average four-door car on the road today only weighs around 4,000 pounds. We rely on truck drivers to be trained, alert, aware, and safe.
What are some of the most common reasons for large truck accidents?
- Driver exhaustion/lack of sleep
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Reckless driving
- Overloading the cargo
- Not properly checking blind spots
- Driver not leaving enough space for stopping
- Lack of or improper vehicle maintenance
- Defective vehicle parts/manufacturer defects
- Tire blowouts
- Poor weather conditions
- Poor road conditions
What are the most common damages in a trucking accident claim?
- Medical bills and expenses, including future care and treatment
- Costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages, time off of work to get treatment and recover
- Loss of career or earning capacity over your lifetime
- Loss of limb/amputation
- Permanent injury or disability
- Home and vehicle modifications (such as wheelchair ramps and lifts)
- Property damage or loss
- Mental anguish and emotional duress
Unfortunately, it is not just other drivers who can be injured or killed in a truck accident. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and even truck passengers are all at risk when drivers or their employers or the truck manufacturer are negligent. This is why a trained truck accident attorney, who understands the law pertaining to large truck accidents and injuries, is so important.
What cases have we won recently?
- Our client, a 58-year-old bus driver was hit head-on by the defendant. As a result of the accident, the client sustained injuries to the neck, lower back, shoulder, and knee. She went through four painful surgeries and was unable to return to work. She received $4,300,000 in compensation.
- Our client was riding in the passenger seat of a small car when the vehicle she was in was involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer. A jury awarded her $1,973,153 for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Our client was a 50-year-old Brooklyn man who was rear-ended, and as a direct result of the accident, he sustained injuries to his lower back, hip, and knee. After treatment failed to improve his condition, he underwent a lower back fusion and hip surgery to repair ligaments and was able to resume his job later. The case settled for $1,953,102 after four days of testimony during the trial.
- Our client was rear-ended and awarded summary judgment as to liability. The accident caused our client to re-injure their low back from to a prior accident and then required a spinal decompression surgery to relieve disc pressure. Our client was awarded $1,750,000.
- Our client, a 65-year-old school teacher, was involved in an automobile accident. As a result of the accident, she received treatment to her spine, which led to a surgery. She was disabled and could not return to work. She was awarded $1,700,000 for her injuries.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in New York City, you need a qualified and experienced truck accident lawyer to help you navigate the legal procedures for these types of cases. It can be a complex situation between federal and state trucking laws, insurance companies, truck driver employers, and even unions. Call the Law Firm of Nicholas Tzaneteas for a free consultation.