Anyone who has ever driven near an 18-wheeler or large commercial truck knows how tense and nerve-racking it can be. Commercial vehicles are so big, so heavy, and so hard to stop that one wrong move could cause a tragedy.
Unfortunately, truck accidents do happen — and more frequently than you might realize. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that more than 100,000 Americans suffer injuries in large truck accidents each year. Another 4,000 are killed.Too often, these accidents are the result of preventable negligence, either by the truck driver or the company they work for.
If you have been injured a truck accident in White Plains, Manhattan, or anywhere else in New York, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. Similarly, if you have lost a loved one in a tragic truck accident, you and your family may be entitled to compensation under New York wrongful death law. Contact our White Plains truck accident attorneys to discuss the legal options available for your accident
Sadly, the trucking companies and their insurance carriers do not always step up to the plate and do what’s right. As we will see in the sections to follow, the insurance companies are not on your side. They tend to oppose truck accident claims aggressively. On your own, getting the full and fair compensation you deserve can be a challenge.
The White Plains personal injury lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC can help. We have a long record of standing up for our clients and getting them the financial justice they deserve.We take these cases personally, and we fight for our clients as we would fight for our families. Our law firm’s goal is to help our clients navigate the claims process and protect your best interests at every turn. With more than 27 years of legal experience at our law firm, our White Plains truck accident lawyers understand the necessary steps to recoup what was lost from a truck accident in White Plains, NY.
As with other auto accidents, most truck accidents happen because of driver error. Commercial trucks are complex pieces of machinery. Operating them requires special skill and attentive care. Proper maintenance, training, and compliance with regulations are essential.
When truckers drive carelessly, or when truck companies allow safety to slip through the cracks, they put everyone else on the road in mortal danger.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in New York include:
There is no excuse for negligent truck driving. Truckers and the carrier companies they work for have a duty to act reasonably and to follow the law.
Likewise, manufacturers have a duty to ensure the safety of any vehicle, tire, part, or accessory they sell.
Truck accidents are associated with especially serious injuries, which may include:
Even minor accidents can yield serious injuries, and even moderate injuries can yield substantial financial damages.
For example, one of the most common injuries after a truck accident is ordinary whiplash. While many people assume whiplash to be a “minor” injury, in reality, whiplash can cause substantial pain and interference in your daily life, sometimes for months or years. Whiplash can even cause a concussion and a TBI.
If you’ve been in a car accident in the past, you might assume that your truck accident claim will proceed in a similar fashion. There are, however, a number of critical differences between car and truck accidents. Here are a few of the most important:
Humans are simply no match for the sheer size of a tractor-trailer. In any accident involving an 18-wheeler, “big rig,” or another large commercial vehicle, the victims are at risk for serious injuries. The financial damages can quickly amount to many thousands of dollars or beyond, not to mention the immense emotional pain and suffering typically associated with a serious truck accident.
Carrier companies and their insurance providers are keenly aware of just how high the stakes can be in a truck accident claim. They are prepared to defend against them aggressively.
As a rule of thumb, the more serious the injuries, the more complex the claim. From complicated medical evidence to high-pressure insurance tactics, the process can be more challenging than it ought to be. After all, you and your family have enough on your table as it is. An experienced White Plains truck accident lawyer can help to protect your interests and level the playing field.
New York personal injury law applies to virtually all auto accidents in our state, including truck accidents. But in truck accident claims, there are special state and federal laws that might also apply.
The trucking industry is subject to extensive state and federal regulation. In particular, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) promulgates rules governing the safe operation of these potentially dangerous vehicles.
Among other things, your claim may involve special rules or regulations pertaining to:
Commercial trucks and passenger cars might both be referred to as “vehicles,” but they are very different machines. Commercial trucks ride on many tires, with many moving parts, and there are numerous opportunities for something to go wrong.
Indeed, some of the most common types of truck accidents involve malfunctions that simply do not (and cannot) occur in other vehicles:
These are only a few examples. It is important to work with a White Plains truck accident lawyer who has specific experience in handling complex commercial truck crashes.
In addition to the various types of evidence involved in an auto accident (e.g. police reports, tire skid marks, medical evidence, photographs, video footage, etc.), truck accident claims often involve:
As New York truck accident attorneys, we at Lever & Ecker, PLLC work diligently to build a strong evidentiary foundation for each of our clients’ claims.
Whereas a typical car accident claim might involve just two drivers and their insurance companies, truck accident claims may involve many more parties: multiple drivers, the company that owns and operates the truck, multiple insurance companies, and so on.
With multiple parties involved, the path to resolution can grow cumbersome quickly. The various parties may deny liability and/or make crossclaims or counterclaims. So while it is always advisable to consult with an attorney after an accident, in these cases, working with an experienced White Plains truck accident lawyer is especially imperative.
In addition to the state and federal trucking regulations described above, your claim may be subject to certain procedural rules and limitations. Here are at least two important New York truck accident laws you should be aware of:
A statute of limitations refers to the narrow window of time for filing a legal claim after an injury.
In New York, the statute of limitations for a truck accident claim is three years from the date of the accident. As a general rule, failure to file your claim with the court during this time period will permanently prohibit you from filing the claim at any point in the future.
However, calculating the statute of limitations can be more complex than it seems. Various exceptions, limitations, or special considerations might apply. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have more or less time than the general three-year rule would allow. Never make an assumption about your timeframe for taking legal action.
Likewise, never wait until the last minute, as truck accident claims take time to investigate, research, and prepare. Instead, talk to a New York truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
New York is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means that auto accident victims must typically rely on their own car insurance policy to compensate them after a crash. Except in the case of certain serious injuries, victims generally cannot file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or seek pain and suffering damages.
The rules are different, however, when large commercial truck carriers are involved. Please do not assume that you are limited by New York’s no-fault insurance rules. You may be able to seek compensation (including pain and suffering compensation) directly from the truck company and/or truck driver. Talk to a White Plains truck accident lawyer at Lever & Ecker, PLLC about your rights and options.
How long your claim takes to resolve will depend in part on how serious your injuries are.As a general rule, it is important to give your injuries a chance to heal before finalizing your claim. Settling too quickly, for example, can make it impossible for you to get additional compensation later if your injuries turn out to be more complicated than expected.
Most truck accidents require at least several months to resolve; some may require a full year or more.
At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, we understand that an important part of recovering from a truck accident is putting the whole matter behind you once and for all. We are committed to doing all we can to handle your case as efficiently as possible without compromising the strength of your claim. Our ultimate goal is always to fight for the best possible outcome for you and your family.
If you’ve been in a truck accident in White Plains or Manhattan and would like to learn more about the potential timeline for your claim, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our office. One of our New York truck accident lawyers can take a closer look at your specific legal matter.
Every truck accident is different. How much money you can claim will depend on the facts of the crash, the nature of your injuries, and the relevant insurance policy limits, among other factors.
Generally speaking, the damages available to a truck accident victim in New York include (but are not necessarily limited to):
These are all examples of compensatory damages. In other words, they are intended to reimburse or compensate the victim for a loss they have suffered (whether economic or emotional in nature).
New York personal injury law also recognizes another category of damages called punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not intended to reimburse the victim. Instead, they are intended to punish the defendant.
Punitive damages are only available in cases involving egregiously negligent or reckless conduct by the defendant. A jury may award punitive damages if they feel it’s important to send a message to the defendant or to the public. In those cases, the victim is awarded the punitive damages total in addition to their compensatory damages total.
While punitive damages must be reasonable and are not awarded in most personal injury cases, when available, they can add substantially to a victim’s overall recovery. A White Plains truck accident lawyer at Lever & Ecker, PLLC can help you determine whether you might have a case for punitive damages.
In a classic auto accident claim, one party is clearly at fault for the crash. But the other side might allege that you were negligent too.
New York follows a rule called pure comparative negligence. If you are partially at fault for your own accident, you can still recover damages, but they will be reduced by your percentage of fault. An experienced White Plains truck accident lawyer can fight for the smallest possible apportionment of fault in your case, with the goal of maximizing the compensation available to you.
The Manhattan & White Plains personal injury attorneys at Lever & Ecker, PLLC have handled just about every type of accident and injury claim in the past, from automobile accidents and property injuries to construction accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death actions, and beyond.
We have extensive experience specifically in the area of truck accident investigation, negotiation, and litigation. We are capable of handling the entire claims process from beginning to end.
It is our mission to shoulder the whole burden of the process for our clients, standing in their corner and working exclusively in their best interest — as is our duty under the law.
Our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients, with a track record of substantial settlements, awards, and legal judgments. While we cannot promise a particular outcome in any given legal matter, our attorneys take a hands-on approach in every situation.
We have over 60+ years of combined experience practicing law, and we are committed to giving each client the time and attention they deserve.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in New York, no matter what the circumstances may be, we encourage you to contact our office to discuss your situation in depth.
Please do not sign a settlement agreement with an insurance company or carrier company until you have talked to an experienced attorney. Doing so will permanently impact your legal rights. You may be entitled to more compensation than you realize.
Lever & Ecker, PLLC is a New York truck accident law firm located in White Plains and serving clients throughout the state, including New York City’s five boroughs (The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island), as well as Westchester County, Rockland County, Long Island, and beyond.
We are proud to offer bilingual legal representation for our Spanish-speaking clients.
We will not charge a fee for our services unless and until we get you money. Your initial consultation is completely free with no obligations whatsoever.