How To File a Lawsuit After a Trucking Accident

Aerial Photography Of Trucks Parked

 

While trucking accidents do not occur regularly in New York, the impacts and injuries they impart on victims are often detrimental. 

Trucking accidents are more likely than other accidents to lead to serious injury or even death of drivers and passengers. 

Compensation to victims should match the extent of the injuries caused by an accident. For this reason, you must learn how to properly file a lawsuit if you are or become a victim of such an incident. 

This past year, we were able to secure $2 million for a woman who suffered neck and back pain caused by a trucking accident. 

Our lawyers are committed to fighting for you and your rights if you are a victim of any type of accident. 

If you or a loved one have been impacted by a trucking accident, learn how we can help you receive the compensation you deserve. 

Causes of Trucking Accidents in New York City

While truck drivers are typically rigorously trained, just like drivers of any other vehicle, they can still make errors while driving. Like all other vehicles, trucks are made of mechanical equipment that can malfunction. 

In New York City, approximately 1,400 motor vehicle accidents involving trucks occur every year. While this number accounts for less than 15 percent of all motor vehicle accidents, it is still significant. 

Several different factors can lead to a trucking accident. Here are some of the most common causes

Distracted Driving

  • Distracted driving occurs when a driver is not paying attention while driving. They may be talking on the phone, texting, listening to music, or simply daydreaming while on the road. 
  • One of the most significant causes of motor vehicle accidents in New York City is the use of smartphones and electronics while driving. 
  • In New York City, distracting driving accounts for approximately 25.5 percent of all driving accidents, 19.1 percent of which lead to fatalities. 

Driver Errors

  • Aside from distracted driving, drivers can make many other errors that can lead to a trucking accident. 
  • These errors include substance use, fatigue, or excessive sleepiness while driving. 

Truck Maintenance Errors

  • Truck owners and companies are responsible for performing regular maintenance checks on their vehicles to ensure they are working properly and will not malfunction while in use. 
  • Truck equipment, such as the breaks, may malfunction while the truck is driven, leading to accidents and injuries. 

Weather Issues

  • Extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rains or icy roads, can cause a driver to lose control of a truck while driving. 
  • Such weather conditions may also reduce visibility, making it hard for drivers to see the road ahead or avoid obstacles and other vehicles. 

Loading Errors

  • Loading errors are concerned with how products or shipments are packed into a truck, especially if the loads are heavy. 
  • Imbalanced loads in which weight is distributed unevenly in a truck can lead to the truck tipping over or to one side while on the road. 

Hiring Errors

  • Truck drivers must be properly trained before they are allowed to drive a truck. 
  • Trucking companies that do not have enough drivers to cover demand may hire drivers with no experience. 
  • This is an example of negligence and can lead to damages and injuries caused by the driver’s lack of skills in driving a truck. 

While such errors can occur in drivers of all types of vehicles, trucking accidents are especially dangerous. This is because of the size and power that trucks have. 

To avoid trucking accidents, trucking drivers and companies should note these common errors and work towards preventing them. 

When filing a lawsuit, a lawyer can help you determine the causes behind a trucking accident and the parties responsible for these errors. 

Steps To Take After an Accident

If you or anyone you know is involved in a trucking accident, you must follow certain steps as soon as possible after the incident. 

Following these steps can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive as much money as you can for injuries or fatalities. 

Get Help and Seek Medical Attention

The first step after you are a victim of any type of accident is to immediately call for help and seek medical attention. This includes contacting both police and ambulance services, as well as your employer. 

This is important, even if your injuries do not seem serious. This is because you may have suffered serious internal injuries that require medical attention, even if you otherwise feel fine.  Injuries that may seem minor at first, such as to the neck and back, often feel much worse a day, weeks or months later and can require medical attention down the road, and in many cases surgery.

Making the accident known and seeing a doctor immediately after an accident can help document the events that occurred and the impacts they had. 

This will be part of the evidence you need when you file for compensation later on. 

Document the Accident

If you or anyone you were with can, you should document the accident. While police and other first responders will probably also document the accident, it can be helpful to take any pictures of the accident or make note of any witnesses who saw what happened. 

Anything that you can document or any witnesses you make note of can help your case later on if you file a lawsuit. 

Contact an Attorney To File a Lawsuit

To begin the process of filing a lawsuit, you should hire an attorney to help you understand your rights and make sure proceedings go smoothly. 

When looking for a lawyer, make sure that they have experience filing trucking accident lawsuits. 

Trucking accidents can cause extensive damages and injuries, which can complicate a lawsuit in the aftermath. We have many lawyers focusing on all different kinds of accidents, including trucking accidents. 

If you are unsure where to begin in your search for an experienced and adept lawyer, you can call Schwartzapfel Lawyers for a free consultation at 1-800-966-4995.  Schwartzapfel Lawyers is highly experienced and credentialed in handling trucking accident cases.

Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney 

If you have been a victim of a trucking accident, you are entitled to money and benefits that are protected by New York City and State laws. To access these rights and receive compensation for your injuries, you may need to file a lawsuit after the incident occurs. 

As previously stated, trucking accident lawsuits can be complex. Because of this, it is best to consult with a truck accident lawyer who can help you make sense of the process and make sure you know your rights. To receive all of the money and benefits you are entitled to, call a trucking accident lawyer today at 1-800-966-4995.

Here are some ways a lawyer can help you with your lawsuit. 

Determining Responsible Parties

Because a variety of factors can cause trucking accidents, it may be difficult to determine what and who is at fault for the accident. 

A few possible culprits include truck insurance companies, employers, truck manufacturers, the company that loaded the truck, or the trucking company. 

By looking into why an accident occurred and who is at fault for its occurrence, a lawyer can help you determine who to file the lawsuit against and what types of compensation you are eligible for. 

Choosing the Best Legal Strategy

After your lawyer determines who and what caused the accident, her or she will then work towards proving that they are responsible for your injuries. 

Companies and responsible parties will most likely have lawyers and attorneys of their own. Only an experienced trucking accident lawyer will be able to get you all of the money and benefits you are entitled to whether it’s by settlement or verdict.

Filing a Trucking Accident Lawsuit

Like any lawsuit, a lawsuit following a trucking accident can be part of a long, complicated process. 

Filing a lawsuit may seem stressful and scary. However, with the right legal counsel, you are more likely to secure all the money and benefits you deserve as smoothly as possible. 

After you have hired a lawyer, here is how a trucking accident lawsuit proceeding might look. 

Collecting and Securing Evidence

One of the most important steps in filing a lawsuit is collecting all possible evidence about the accident. While this process can take months, it is the foundation of any truck accident lawsuit. 

It includes gathering information about how fast or slow the vehicle was moving on the road, any errors the driver may have made, as well as surrounding weather conditions. This is done by getting our investigators and experts to the scene as soon as possible.  

In addition, letters of spoliation are served on the trucking company to preserve the truck itself so our investigators can inspect it.

This is also when any documentation or witness statements from the day of the accident are assessed. 

Filing the Lawsuit

Once your lawyer has gathered enough information and evidence about the accident, they can help you file a lawsuit. This happens as soon as you hire a lawyers who knows what they are doing.

Depositions and Examinations

Once other parties gather and submit their documentation, your lawyer and opposing lawyers will share and examine all evidence to ensure its liability. 

Depositions occur after a lawsuit is filed and the defendant trucking company serves it’s answer.  The lawyer representing the truck driver and trucking company will then have the opportunity to question liability, a fancy word that means ‘who is responsible for the accident’. 

They will try to minimize their liability and place the blame on you for the accident.  They will also question you about the damages, injuries and losses you suffered, trying to minimize those things as well.

Negotiations

Once all discovery is complete, your lawyer may attempt to negotiate the best possible settlement for you. 

If your lawyers and the opposing lawyers agree upon the value of your particular case based upon liability and damages the case should settle.  If not, we shall proceed to the verdict.

Going to Trial

While most cases are settled during negotiations, a case may go to trial if either party involved is not satisfied with offers made during the negotiation period. This may also occur if either party is not satisfied with the evidence presented against them. 

If a trucking case goes to trial, you may have to testify in front of a judge and a jury.  Don’t be nervous.  Your lawyer will prepare you and spend time so that you have a certain comfort level. 

Takeaways

While trucking accidents do not happen regularly in New York, they cause extensive damages when they do. 

To ensure your rights and receive the compensation you deserve, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit if you are a victim of a trucking accident. 

Because trucking accidents lawsuits can be complex, you should hire an experienced trucking accident lawyer to help you file a lawsuit. 

An experienced lawyer who has dealt with trucking accident lawsuits in the past will know how to collect and secure any necessary evidence and choose the best legal strategy in proceedings against an opposing legal team. 

They can also help either  negotiate the best deal possible for you and ensure that your settlement sufficiently compensates you for injuries or losses you may have suffered during the accident, or take your case to trial and win. 

At Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C., we are dedicated to fighting for you and ensuring you are financially compensated for any personal injuries you may incur during an accident or at your workplace. Our experienced and skilled lawyers have helped thousands of victims receive millions of dollars in compensation over the years. 

To learn more about how we can help you, contact a lawyer today for a free consultation. 

Sources: 

The Police Department City of New York | NYC GOV

New York State Fact Sheet on Cell Phone Use | Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research 

The Large Truck Crash Causation Study – Analysis Brief | FMCSA 

Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.
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