Tractor trailers and other heavy trucks often contain dangerous defects putting the truck driver and passengers at risk of serious injury or death. These trucks many times have particularly weak roofs that crush in rollovers. The passenger compartments are often not protected by effective cab guards, and this allows loads to shift into the truck cab.
When large trucks carrying thousands of pounds worth of cargo share New York’s roads with passenger vehicles, the results of any collision are invariably dangerous and deadly. Truck incidents represent a serious problem to all drivers. The facts speak for themselves:
- One out of eight traffic fatalities is caused by a collision with a large truck;
- Trucks weighing 10,000+ pounds represent only 3 percent of all registered vehicles on the road, yet they account for over 25 percent of the fatalities that occur in multiple vehicle accidents;
- Nearly 80 percent of all large truck accidents involve more than one vehicle;
- Trucks accounted for more than 100,000 accidents, 23,000 injuries and 4,808 fatalities in 2007, according to a report by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
“Successful truck accident claims must take into account all relevant federal regulations, as well as detailed evidence documenting the status of both the driver and the vehicle. Trucking companies are only required by law to keep certain documents for a short period of time, so without prompt action, key evidence can be lost.”
Why are truck accidents so prevalent? According to a 2007 federal study, factors that lead to wrecks for semi trucks and their drivers include:
- Driver fatigue. Experts say fatigue plays a role in almost half of all trucking accidents because many drivers spend a full day behind the wheel or are pressured to skip mandated sleep breaks in order to meet shipping deadlines;
- Prescription and over-the-counter drug use;
- Poorly maintained equipment, especially brakes or tires;
- Unfamiliarity with local roads;
- Vehicle size and weight. Larger trucks are more difficult to turn quickly, even when the driver is alert and the vehicle is properly maintained;
- Speeding, tailgating and other instances of careless driving.
These factors combine to create the perfect environment for dangerous traffic collisions, and victims often suffer from catastrophic injuries, including head trauma and broken bones. As if the injuries alone weren’t enough, victims are further challenged when attempting to file a truck accident claim. Successful truck accident claims must take into account all relevant federal regulations, as well as detailed evidence documenting the status of both the driver and the vehicle. Trucking companies are only required by law to keep certain documents for a short period of time, so without prompt action, key evidence can be lost.
The truck accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. have been taking on the trucking industry for years. We understand the safety regulations and we prepare each case thoroughly in order to demonstrate:
- Failure to comply with federal safety or maintenance laws;
- Failure to provide driver proper training or supervision;
- Driver inattention, speeding or other aggressive driving behavior;
- Manufacturing or design defects within the truck.
When you’ve suffered severe injury as a result of a truck accident, you need the New York lawyers of Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. at your side. With more than 150 years of combined experience, our attorneys are well-prepared to handle all your legal needs. Call us at (516) 342-2200 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!