Truck Accidents

Commercial vehicles travel the streets of New York City day and night for a variety of reasons, including delivering food, flowers, and other retail items; picking up our garbage; responding to emergencies; and transporting our families and friends around town. While these larger vehicles provide an invaluable service to New York City residents, they also pose a significant threat to others on the road.

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The drivers of commercial trucks, vans, buses, and other vehicles often require little to no training, and yet they are often time-pressed to deliver goods on tight deadlines. These factors can lead to accidents with tragic consequences.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle in New York City, you need to talk with an experienced commercial truck accident attorney as soon as possible. The skilled attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. have more than 30 years of experience successfully representing individuals involved in a variety of commercial vehicle accidents. Following is a breakdown of the most common types of commercial vehicle accidents.


When a big rig truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the results can be devastating. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there were over 11,887 accidents involving large trucks in 2015. These accidents were caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Driver inattention
  • Regulatory violations
  • Slippery pavement
  • Road obstructions
  • Vehicle defects

Due to the oversized nature of big rig trucks, collisions with these vehicles can cause severe injuries – and even death.


Buses are a great form of transportation, as they are able to transport large amounts of passengers throughout town, reducing the number of passenger vehicles on the road. However, when these vehicles crash, the injury rate can skyrocket due to a number of factors, including:

  • Occupant capacity
  • Weight of the bus
  • Maneuverability issues
  • Pedestrian actions

Delivery Vans

Delivery vans are common on New York streets, delivering all manner of goods to local businesses. However, many companies providing delivery services do not follow regulations regarding driver skill and training or maintenance and inspection of vehicles, which can contribute to delivery van accidents. According to the most current data from the New York Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, there are over 21,800 out-of-service violations for serious defects on commercial vehicles in a single year.

Dump Trucks

A fully-loaded dump truck can weigh 25 times more than a typical passenger vehicle; therefore, when these two types of vehicles collide, the laws of physics are not on the side of the passenger vehicle. Dump truck accidents can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including:

  • Accidental load dumps
  • Excessive speed
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Low visibility
  • Poor driver training

Construction Equipment

Like other commercial vehicles, construction vehicles are often large, heavy, and difficult to maneuver. These types of specialized vehicles can pose a serious threat to pedestrians and other motorists. Accidents often involve construction equipment such as:

  • Cranes
  • Backhoes
  • Bulldozers
  • Skid steer loaders
  • Front-end loaders

Other Commercial Vehicles

Of course, accidents can happen with all manner of commercial vehicles, from sanitation trucks, mail carriers, taxicabs, and food trucks. Key factors that contribute to accidents in these other types of commercial vehicles include:

  • Delivery time expectations
  • Driver inexperience
  • Driver inattention
  • Driver fatigue
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Failure to inspect vehicles

Potential Liable Parties

In order to collect damages for injuries resulting from an accident involving a big truck or other commercial vehicle, it is critical to identify as many potentially liable parties as possible. This may not be limited to the driver, as it’s often the case that others may be obligated to compensate you for your injuries. These parties can include:

  • Truck owner
  • Trucking company owner
  • Rental/Leasing company
  • Third-party maintenance company
  • Shippers and brokers
  • Truck manufacturer
  • Government entities

Depending on the type of liable party, different procedures and deadlines can apply. For example, government entities require notice of a claim within 90 days of the occurrence. This is why speaking with an experienced commercial vehicle attorney as soon as possible is so important.

Trust The Commercial Vehicle Accident Experts

If you’ve been involved in a large vehicle accident, it’s important to understand what your rights are. The experienced New York City truck accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. can review your case and provide you access to their network of professional accident experts to help get you the best possible recovery. With more than 150 years of combined experience and a proven track record of success, our attorneys are well-prepared to handle all your legal needs. Contact us today at 1-888-575-6410 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!

Truck Accident Testimonials

I recently settled a case with Schwartzapfel in which I was involved in a tractor trailer, motor vehicle accident… I have experienced nothing but excellence, professionalism, courtesy and the utmost respect from their entire staff… I really felt as though I was a part of their family… The trust I have in their entire team is unsurmountable! I cannot stress enough how great they all were, and how they really put forth an immense effort to keep me updated throughout and to get me everything they possibly could ! They are not just my attorneys, but I consider them lifelong friends that I can and will come to with anything, and I know they will always be there for me! You’ve changed my life and have definitely made a horrible situation better and worth fighting for! They were 100% fighting for me, and I am eternally grateful!
– Dana Quinn
“I highly recommend this law firm to my friends and family and my outside community family… I had a tractor trailer accident that ran me off the road which left me with injuries that left me in pain over four years and two major surgeries on my knee and my spine. I truly appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family.”
– Shavonne Marcus
“Insurance companies do not want to pay. My attorney fought for everything that I was due.”
– Samantha Salustro

Truck Accident Articles

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Steven Schwartzapfel

Our founding partner Steven J. Schwartzapfel understands the frustrations and heartbreak of living with a serious physical disability. His father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and often needed assistance with everyday activities. This childhood experience sparked Steve’s passion for helping injury victims and shaped Steve’s approach to legal practice. Our attorneys advise you in the same manner as we would our own family member. We provide honest, helpful advice and treat you with the honor, dignity, respect and compassion you should expect from a genuinely caring, concerned and committed attorney.
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