Common Questions About Truck Accident Injury Claims

Lever & Ecker, PLLC October 7, 2019 General

Below, you’ll find general answers to some frequently asked questions about truck accident injury claims. We encourage you to read through these to get a sense of your options. Then call our office and ask to talk directly with our Manhattan & White Plains truck accident lawyers to learn more about your rights and the process ahead.

Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident: The Truck Driver or the Trucking Company?

Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to bring a claim against both the truck driver individually and the companies that operate the truck and/or employ the driver.

You may even have a claim against additional third parties whose negligence further contributed to your accident. Examples of such third parties might include the truck’s manufacturer, other drivers on the road, or governmental entities responsible for defects in the roadway.

The experienced White Plains truck accident lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC can help you identify the parties responsible for your claim.

Why Are Truck Accident Claims More Complicated Than Many Ordinary Auto Accidents?

Truck accident claims are inherently complex for a number of reasons, including (but not necessarily limited to):

  • The number of parties involved
  • The corporate interests at play
  • The severity of the damages and the financial toll
  • The unique mechanical characteristics of large trucks
  • The special rules and laws that apply to commercial trucks (see below)
  • The special evidence sometimes available for truck accidents (see below)
  • The legal issues that tend to arise in many truck accident claims (e.g. truck driver fatigue, overloaded or illegal cargo, CB radio distractions, medication usage, excessive hours on the road, etc.)

For these and other reasons, it’s important that you work with an attorney who has specific and extensive experience in New York truck accident injury claims. The Manhattan & White Plains truck accident lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC can help.

What Kind of Evidence Matters in a Truck Accident Case?

Truck accident claims may involve many different types of evidence, including (but not necessarily limited to):

  • Police reports
  • Employment records
  • Driving logs
  • The driver’s route & work schedule
  • Criminal records
  • Toxicology reports
  • Red light cameras / surveillance video
  • Photography
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Forensic evidence / accident reconstruction evidence
  • Black box data (many large commercial trucks now include a “black box,” similar to those found on airplanes, which can provide invaluable data after a truck accident)

What Type of Lawyer Do I Need for a Truck Accident Injury Claim?

One of the most frequently asked questions about truck accident injury claims is which type of lawyer is right for the case.

These claims typically fall within an area of law known as personal injury, which governs an accident victim’s civil and financial rights after an accident caused by negligence.

Even within personal injury law, however, different lawyers may focus on different types of cases. Not every attorney is right for every situation. Specific experience with your particular type of legal claim is crucial.

Your interests may be best served by an attorney who has extensive, specific, and direct experience in handling large truck accident injury claims in New York. Before hiring a law firm for your case, talk to them about their experience and their track record (e.g. previous settlements, verdicts, etc.).

How Much Compensation Can I Get in a Truck Accident Injury Claim?

Another of the most frequently asked questions about truck accident injury claims is how much money might be on the table for the victim. As Manhattan & White Plains truck accident lawyers, we understand how important that question can be.

Taking legal action is a big decision, and the financial considerations are a critical part of the decision-making process.

Unfortunately, there are no easy, one-size-fits-all answers to these questions, nor is it possible for any lawyer to promise or predict a particular outcome in advance.

What we can tell you is that the damages in truck accident injury claims are frequently extensive, and victims are sometimes entitled to substantial financial compensation. This may include (but is not necessarily limited to) reimbursement for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future loss of income
  • Pain and suffering / emotional distress
  • Property damage / loss
  • Wrongful death damages
  • Other out-of-pocket costs
  • Punitive damages (in rare and extreme cases)

The best way to determine how much money you might be able to recover is to talk with an attorney, confidentially and one-on-one, about the specific details of your accident.

Lever & Ecker, PLLC offers free consultations to truck accident victims, during which we can learn more about your accident, help you understand how the law might apply to your situation, and give you some insight into how much people in similar situations have recovered in the past.

Are There Special Rules or Laws That Apply to Commercial Truck Accidents?

Yes. The trucking industry is heavily regulated under both state and federal law. One of the most significant sets of regulation is found in the Federal Hours-of-Service Rules, which dictate how long a trucker can drive before stopping for rest.

It is not uncommon for truck accident investigations to reveal Federal Hours-of-Service Rules violations.

There are many other rules and regulations at play too. Here again, it’s important that you work with an experienced truck accident lawyer who is well versed in the applicable law.

Do New York’s No-Fault Car Insurance Rules Apply to Truck Accident Injury Claims?

Generally speaking, New York’s no-fault car insurance rules do not apply to commercial truck accident injury claims.

In many cases, truck accident victims are able to step outside the usual no-fault rules and bring a personal injury claim against the truck driver and/or trucking company directly, including a claim for pain and suffering damages, which are sometimes substantial.

Should I Agree to Give a Recorded Statement to the Trucking Company’s Insurance Adjustor?

No. The insurance adjustor may seem friendly or genuinely concerned about you, but make no mistake: they work for the insurance company, and the insurance company is not on your side. In fact, insurance adjustors are trained to seem friendly, even as they actively work against you.

Instead, politely refuse. Refer any and all insurance representatives to your lawyer.

Unless your lawyer advises you otherwise:

  • Do not give a statement.
  • Do not talk to them on the phone.
  • Do not mail them documentation.
  • Do not sign anything.
  • Do not talk about your accident with anyone.
  • Do not post on social media.

Questions about how to handle the insurance adjustors for the trucking company or the other driver(s)? Concerned about something you’ve already signed or said? Please call our Manhattan & White Plains truck accident lawyers as soon as possible. We’re here to help with these or any other frequently asked questions about truck accident injury claims.

Schedule a Free Consultation with our Manhattan & White Plains Truck Accident Lawyers

Lever & Ecker, PLLC is a New York personal injury law firm located in White Plains and serving truck accident victims 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.

Call and find out how we have been able to settle the majority of our personal injury cases.

To schedule your confidential consultation with an experienced New York truck accident lawyer, please call (914) 288-9191 (in White Plains) or (212) 766-5204 (in Manhattan), or simply contact us online.

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