Accidents involving trucks can turn out to be extremely fatal. Large trucks, such as big rigs, tractor trailers, and other commercial vehicles, are involved in one out of every eight fatal accidents. The statistics shows that out of the total fatalities caused by accidents, the drivers and passengers of the other automobiles involved in the accident with trucks account for 86% of the deaths.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, New York has seen an upsurge in deaths involving commercial vehicles. New York imposes strict regulations that governs the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to drive. However, these laws are seen to be taken for granted by the truck drivers and the companies employing them. These tight schedules of the truck drivers lead to driver’s exhaustion and sleep deprivation. According to a survey conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driving mistakes are the most prevalent cause of truck accidents.
Things To Consider While Choosing A Truck Accident Lawyer
When choosing a New York truck accident attorney to represent you, it is important to pick someone who has relevant experience in handling truck cases. It is because of the following 2 reasons.
- Your attorney must be aware of the local laws and federal and state trucking regulations.
- Your lawyer should have the understanding of the complications involved in a truck accident such as the long-term consequences of catastrophic injuries and thus calculating the present and the future expenses.
Deadlines In New York
Victims of New York accidents can generally claim compensation for up to three years from the date of the crash. However, injured victims only have 30 days from the date of the accident to file a no-fault claim from his insurance company.
There are certain exceptions to this deadline. For example, when suing a municipality, the victim has 90 days from the date of the accident to file a complaint. An attorney can give you the best legal advice as they are aware of the laws and regulations and the deadlines for your specific case.
Why Are Truck Accidents More Complicated?
Truck accidents can have many causes including driver’s negligent behavior, mechanical faults, bad road conditions, traffic signal failure and bad weather conditions. Truck accidents are dangerous and can result in significant property damage and personal injury. Additionally, multiple parties may be involved in an accident, from employers to maintenance and repair companies, multiple drivers and passengers. As a result, filing contingent claims can be more difficult.
The Truck Driver Responsibilities
Driving In The Tough Areas
Driving in rural areas, especially at night, can be tough. It is because rural roads are not as bright as city roads. The roads in rural areas are poorly maintained, and animals such as deer can collide with vehicles. Driving huge 18-wheeler trucks in these difficult areas is challenging and poses a serious threat for truck drivers and other vehicles on the road.
Transportation Of Dangerous Goods
Many dangerous goods such as flammable liquids, chemicals, gasses, explosives, oxidizing substances, radioactive materials and other hazardous substances are transported by trucks. Hazardous materials were found in 3% of heavy trucks involved in fatal accidents and 2% of heavy vehicles involved in non-fatal accidents.
Over 16% of accidents are caused by a chemical or material leak in the trucks, and injuries from a fire can prove to be fatal for truck drivers.
Truck drivers are under the constant stress of transporting the goods within a certain time frame or are reprimanded by the company. To govern this, many truck FMCSA mandates regulations governing maximum driving time, mandatory breaks, and more to reduce crashes and injuries.
A truck accident case can be complicated, and liability can be difficult to determine. There can be multiple parties at-fault, which can be difficult to prove. Filing a lawsuit without a lawyer can jeopardize your case. Hence, it is best advised to work with attorneys as they can help you understand your legal rights, file lawsuits, establish liability and communicate on your behalf.