Rochester Truck Accident Attorney
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Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries to pedestrians, cars, and other motorists on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, speak to the Rochester truck accident lawyer at King Law to see if you are eligible to pursue compensation. Hold the liable parties accountable for their negligence with the firm’s help. Our attorney can review the details of your case to help you identify the liable parties and the role of negligence in your accident.
Truck accident liability can fall on one or more of the following parties:
Trucking company for inadequate training or failure to enforce the Hours of Service rules
Shipping or loading company for improperly loading or overloading cargo
Trucking parts manufacturer for defective parts
Trucking maintenance company for poor maintenance
What are New York’s Laws Governing Truck Accidents?
Truck Accidents are a specific kind of accident. Truck accidents and all motor vehicle accidents in New York are covered under two important sections of the law. The first law that applies in a truck accident is Insurance Law section 5102, commonly referred to as No Fault. The second operative law following a truck accident is negligence.
No fault covers at least the first $50000 of medical bills and lost wages up to $2000 per month following a truck accident. The law requires a no fault application to be made within 30 days of an accident. No Fault claims are made to the drivers own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. Another way to think of No Fault is that you have pre paid for $50,000 of medical coverage following a truck accident.
The second operative law following a truck accident in New York is Negligence. Negligence claims are brought when someone fails to exercise reasonable care – and their failure to exercise due care results in serious physical injury to another party. Examples of negligence in a truck accident include speeding, following too closely, failure to maintain lane, speed to reasonable and prudent, failure to stop, disobeying a traffic control device. Serious physical injury is also defined by 5104(d) of the Insurance Law, as well as previous court decisions. Serious physical injury includes death, broken bones, disfigurement, and temporary and permanent effects on health.
What Compensation Can I Recover?
Due to the massive difference in size and weight between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, trucking accidents often result in far greater devastation and incredible financial losses to all involved. In many cases, these collisions are caused by a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, such as failing to properly maintain a commercial vehicle, speeding, improperly loading cargo, driving too long without rest, or changing lanes without signaling. If you have been injured in a trucking collision you believe was not your fault, the attorneys at King Law can represent your interests and help you pursue full compensation from the responsible parties.
You may have grounds to recover compensation or the following damages:
Pain and suffering
Reduced quality of life
Vehicle repair costsWrongful death
Common Types of Truck Accidents
While the circumstances surrounding a trucking collision can be nearly endless, many collisions can be classified into a specific category based on their causes and visual effects.
You may have grounds to recover compensation or the following damages:
Jackknife: When trucks brake too suddenly, their trailers can sometimes be forced to swing outward to the side, forming an acute angle and striking nearby vehicles. This is known as a “jackknife” due to the visual appearance of the angle.
Tire blowouts: Worn or defective tires can explode in transit, causing truck drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
Side-impact collisions: Frequently referred to as “T-bone collisions,” side-impact crashes involve one vehicle slamming into the side of another, oftentimes due to a driver’s failure to yield.
Rollovers: Truck drivers who drive at unsafe speeds in poor weather, drive with an under-loaded trailer, or turn too quickly can cause their truck to tip over onto its side or roof.
Underrides: Underride accidents occur when drivers suddenly slam on the brakes or change lanes without checking their blind spots, causing other drivers to become trapped under the rear or middle of their trailers.
Rear-end: Exactly as they sound, rear-end accidents involve a truck slamming into the back of another. These crashes are often the result of speeding, driving while distracted, or failing to brake in time.
Loose cargo: When a truck’s payload is not properly secured, it can shift in transit and potentially come loose, hitting other vehicles. Similarly, loose cargo can cause awkward shifts in weight and cause trucks to tip over.
The Importance of Gathering Evidence in New York Truck Accident Claims
Truck accident cases present two unique issues. First, there is the type and quantity of records due to the catastrophic nature of truck accidents. Second, the likelihood for complex insurance coverages and multiple insurance carriers and insurance agreements.
Truck accidents usually have the largest quantity and most complex records in a motor vehicle accident. The force of the loaded tractor trailer can be hundreds of times the force of a passenger vehicle. Violent truck accidents can lead to large accident scenes. Truck accident scenes usually lead to multiple responding agencies such as police, fire, Department of Transportation and ambulance. Typically each agency creates a report of the accident. An experienced truck accident lawyer will know how to secure all of the reports, which will become important evidence.
One specific type of report that is critically important is the accident reconstruction report. Accident reconstructions are law enforcement’s attempt to determine what happened at an accident to the highest level of detail possible. Accident reconstructionists generally take detailed measurements of the skid marks, drag marks and damage created from an accident. They then input data like vehicle weight and speed from the on board computers in cars and trucks. Accident reconstructions can determine things like speed, sun glare and force at the time of impact.
Accident reconstructions are not conducted in every accident. Accident reconstructions are generally limited to accidents involving serious physical injury. Most truck accidents will have an accident reconstruction. In Western New York and the greater Rochester area the majority of accident reconstructions are completed by the New York State Police. Several local sheriff’s departments also have the ability to complete accident reconstructions. It is important for an accident lawyer to have their own accident reconstructionist available to respond to a scene if the police are not going to do a detailed investigation.
Complex Contractual, Business Relationships in Truck Accident Claims
Second, there are often complex contractual and business relationships involving trucking accidents with multiple insurance companies covering a single driver. For example a mother company may have a subsidiary. There could be two separate insurance companies. The trucking company may also have a contractual relationship with whomever they are working for or delivering product for that brings about a third insurance company or perhaps a separate umbrella policy. Typically each insurance company would have an insurance adjuster assigned to the case as well as a lawyer. Multiple insurance carriers can be beneficial for a person injured by a truck because it means there is significant coverage, it can often make the case more complex and lengthy as the insurance companies fight with each other.
What to Look for in a Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accident lawyers should be personable and thorough. Truck accidents are usually accompanied by the most serious injuries. There is almost always plenty of insurance to cover expenses as well as pain and suffering. Truck accidents are big risks for the insurance companies, because settlements and verdicts can reach several million dollars. There is an appearance of the big trucking company ruining the life of the innocent driver that is difficult to overcome. Because of the risk for the trucking company in such a serious case, they will often be represented by the toughest, most aggressive lawyers. They will use every trick against your lawyer and the case will likely take an extended amount of time. Your lawyer must match their attention to detail and communicate with you throughout the process.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Rochester Truck Accident Lawyer
Discuss your accident and injuries with the personal injury attorney at King Law to learn more. The firm can help you investigate the accident, negotiate with insurance companies, and even litigate your claim in court if that’s what it takes to maximize your claim. As a veteran trial lawyer, the lead attorney at the firm has tried over a hundred cases. Mr. King has also earned inclusion into the prestigious 2016-2020 Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists, an honor reserved for less than 2.5% of attorneys in the state. He knows what it takes to prepare and litigate an effective claim, sometimes against difficult odds.