Truck Accident Lawyers in Utica, NY Fighting for Justice for Victims Injured by Commercial Vehicles
If you or a family member has been involved in a motor vehicle accident with a tractor-trailer, you are most likely experiencing a great deal of pain, suffering, and emotional trauma. With the increase in our population, there are more drivers out on the roads, along with more big rigs that share the roadway.
Truck accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries and even death. Often semi-truck accidents are the result of driver error on the part of the tractor-trailer operator for a variety of reasons. Defective equipment, improper lane changes, and poor visibility are just a few of the factors that can contribute to a truck being involved in an accident.
If you have been injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer, you need the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney in Utica who has vast experience in handling truck accidents. The insurance companies often try to dismiss your injuries and subsequently attempt to underpay your claim. You need an attorney who is not afraid to stand up to the insurance companies to fight for the justice that you deserve. Call the law firm of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC by calling us at (315) 500-6425 to schedule a free strategy session and discuss your case.
What are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in New York?
In Utica, New York, and the surrounding areas, there are many common causes of truck accidents that seem to manifest themselves over and over again.
One of the most prevalent causes of accidents is distracted driving. Typically this involves truck drivers texting and driving. All too frequently, drivers are not paying strict attention to the road, and in the case of tractor-trailers, the consequences of doing so can be deadly for all involved.
Speeding is another common cause of a truck being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Due to their massive size and the significant amount of weight that they are carrying, their ability to stop quickly is almost non-existent. Often drivers are running behind with their loads and feel it necessary to exceed the speed limit. A collision with a tractor-trailer at high speeds can cause serious injuries or even death.
How Much is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
There is no simple formula that you can use to determine the amount of money that your potential claim may be worth. A settlement is ultimately determined by a number of factors relevant to your particular case.
One of the main components of your case will be the extent of your injuries and how they affect you in the long term. For example, if an individual sustained a serious injury involving their back or spinal cord that could result in a permanent disability, their claim would be worth significantly more than someone who suffered cuts and bruises.
Another important aspect of your potential claim involves filing a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the accident. It should be understood that any amount of compensation you could receive depends on the responsible party’s insurance policy limits. Case in point, an independent driver who is self-employed, will carry an insurance policy with smaller policy limits than those of a large trucking company.
Some vital aspects that are considered when determining a claim also include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of past and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
Our truck accident lawyers are highly skilled in dealing with insurance companies and will fight to get you the most compensation possible for the injuries you have sustained.
Can the Trucking Company be Held Liable for My Accident?
The trucking company that employs the driver that was involved in your accident has a duty to ensure that both their drivers and equipment are functioning correctly to protect the health and safety of the public. Some of the areas that companies often fail to maintain safety include the following:
Inadequate training/Failure to professionally train drivers: Proper training of drivers is essential when it comes to safety protocols within a trucking company. Trucking companies have an obligation to determine whether or not their drivers can safely handle all of the strenuous conditions that accompany long-distance driving. Common training violations include:
- Failing to properly explain hours of service regulations resulting in incorrect driving time logs
- Failing to require drivers to pass a road test administered by the company
- Failing to professionally train drivers on how to safely transport specialized or dangerous materials.
Hours of Service violations: Many truck accidents are caused by fatigued drivers who have driven over their allotted time limit for the day. Federal law mandates that drivers only drive a maximum of 14 hours with a minimum 10-hour break each day. They also must take a mandatory 30-minute break each day and have a total limit of 60 hours over a seven-day period or 70 hours over eight days.
Failure to thoroughly inspect vehicles: If a trucking company does not routinely inspect their trucks, this can lead to worn brakes, balding tires, leaking fluids, and defective parts, which can eventually increase the chance of a serious accident occurring.
Negligent Hiring Practices: One of the most important things that a trucking company can do is be sure that the driver that they hire to drive one of their trucks is qualified for the tasks associated with the job. It is their duty to the public to ensure that the driver candidate has a valid license and no history of drug or alcohol abuse or previous driving infractions.
Failure in these basic areas can potentially lead to a dangerous accident occurring, which could have been prevented had basic rules been followed. If a trucking company has failed in its duty to protect you, we will fight to get you full and fair compensation for the damages that you have experienced.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer to Help Me After I Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident?
After you have been injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer, in all likelihood, you will have to deal with a stack of medical bills, property damage to your vehicle, and emotional distress from the accident itself.
You need the assistance of an attorney who can review your case and give you sound legal advice on how to best proceed with your claim. When individuals do not retain an attorney to help them through the claims process, insurance companies often take the opportunity to try to undervalue, delay, or even outright deny your claim.
We are dedicated to helping our clients receive the compensation that they deserve. Contact our law firm today by calling 315-500-6425 to schedule a free strategy session with a member of our legal team who can explain your legal rights and options.