New York City Truck and Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers

New York City Truck Accident Attorneys

Crashes involving commercial trucks – tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, box trucks, etc. – can be terribly destructive. The size and weight of a large truck help it to crush anything it hits, particularly at high speed. And injuries from truck accidents are usually serious, long-lasting, and costly.

Trucking companies move swiftly to protect themselves from the cost of injuries and destruction after an accident. At Zlotolow & Associates, our truck accident attorneys have more than 20 years of experience standing up to motor carriers of all sizes after crashes in the New York City metro area. Truck accident victims choose our law firm because:

  • We understand the complexity of commercial truck accidents and the federal regulations truck drivers and motor carriers are bound by.
  • We will take care of every aspect of your claim after a truck accident.
  • We will devote experienced NYC truck accident lawyers and investigators to your case to conduct a thorough analysis of your crash and injuries.
  • We will fight aggressively for maximum compensation for all your losses.

Schedule a free consultation today to learn how our skilled New York City truck accident attorneys can help you.

Our Attorneys Understand How Complicated Truck Accident Cases Can Be

Truck accidents are much more complex than passenger car accidents, and injured victims should always seek help from a personal injury attorney who has experience handling these types of claims. Some of the main reasons these types of accidents are more complicated:

  • A full-size commercial truck is much larger, weighing 10,000 pounds or more empty and up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded with cargo. This makes most crashes worse and means there is far more physical evidence to examine after a wreck.
  • Most truck drivers have employers immediately backing them up. Their legal teams and investigators are dedicated to protecting the driver and the trucking company from the financial consequences of a crash.
  • There are additional parties involved in the operations of transfer trucks that haul cargo throughout New York, and any one or more of them may share responsibility for a crash.
  • Truck accident investigations require a deep understanding of federal regulations, which cover all aspects of the trucking industry, including records and reports truckers and motor carriers must maintain.

Our attorneys move quickly after a truck accident to ensure records and other evidence are preserved. We seek court orders to get access to wreckage and to demand that carriers turn over the truck’s Event Data Recorder (EDR or “black box”) record of the truck’s operations just prior to the crash, as well as any additional data available, such as from in-cab video systems.

We also interview multiple trucking company employees and other third parties, who may shed light on negligent operations that contributed to an accident.

In particularly complex wrecks, we may seek the assistance of crash reconstruction consultants, forensic specialists who can determine how and why an accident occurred. In addition to producing detailed reports based on principles of engineering and physics, these specialists can provide expert witness testimony accompanied by CGI animation that shows juries exactly what happened.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

TALK TO US FOR FREE (212) 991-9750

Determining the Cause of Your NYC Truck Accident

Here are some of the factors Zlotolow & Associates considers in truck accident investigations:

  • Truck Driver Negligence. Like car accidents, most commercial truck accidents are caused by something the driver did wrong or failed to do. Sometimes a trucker wrecks while performing an unsafe or illegal maneuver, such as executing an improper lane change, running a stop sign, or otherwise failing to yield the right of way. Sometimes it is as simple as not looking long enough or closely enough, and turning into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Some of the common types of truck driver negligence include:
    • Speeding is the most common cause of truck driver accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates the trucking industry. It is well understood how speeding or driving too fast for conditions, such as inclement weather or congested traffic, makes it more difficult to slow down or stop in time to avoid a collision. Speeding combined with tailgating leads to many rear-end crashes involving trucks.
    • Distracted driving, or as the FMCSA identifies it, “distraction/inattention,” is the second-most common reason truckers cause accidents. Distracted driving, particularly texting while driving, continues to be a problem despite the increasingly documented danger and regulations prohibiting any use of hand-held cellphones while operating commercial motor vehicles. Inattention can also refer to daydreaming or thinking about anything that causes a trucker to neglect the operation of his or her vehicle while behind the wheel.
    • Fatigued and drowsy driving may be brought on by long hours behind the wheel, often in violation of FMCSA Hours of Service (HOS) rules. Sometimes it is the trucker’s choice, but in many cases, a truck driver is under the employer’s orders to stay on the road to meet a deadline instead of taking a mandated break.
    • Drugged driving is far more prevalent in the trucking industry than drunk driving because of strict testing of commercial truck drivers for alcohol consumption. Truckers involved in crashes have been found to have used stimulants like amphetamines, cocaine, and methamphetamine (“meth”) to stay awake and keep driving, often in violation of HOS regulations. At the same time, truckers can overlook the fact that certain prescribed and over-the-counter drugs cause drowsiness and other adverse reactions that impair driving ability. Drunk driving accidents, though rare, occur in the trucking industry, as well.
  • Cargo Shift. In a truck rollover accident or a jackknife (when cab and trailer slide toward each other like a folding knife), investigators consider whether a sudden cargo shift may have caused the accident. If it is improperly loaded and/or not secured, cargo can move and possibly break free and change the truck’s center of gravity. This may lead to a rollover, a jackknife accident, or simply loss of control, which causes the truck to crash.
  • Cargo Spill. In addition to the hazards of shifting cargo, a cargo spill is hazardous to other drivers, who may swerve to avoid hitting it and crash or be hit by falling or careening cargo. Hazardous materials (HazMat) spills may result in broad and lasting property damage, such as by fouling waterways, as well as personal injuries.
  • Vehicle Failure. Vehicle-related factors contribute to fewer truck accidents than human error, but they do occur. Crashes may be due to the failure of brake systems, tires, power trains, wheels, coupling systems, lighting, and/or other parts and components. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) cites a 2010 study that says post-crash inspections of trucks indicated that more than half had at least one mechanical problem that violated FMCSA regulations, and almost 30 percent had at least one condition that should have resulted in the vehicle being taken off the road. Trucks may also crash due to ignored maintenance needs or faulty manufacturing of parts and systems.
  • Road Conditions. Occasionally, faulty design or lack of maintenance of a roadway contributes to an accident. For example, overgrown trees at an intersection may obscure the view, or neglected potholes can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash. Local governments and/or contractors responsible for roadways may be held liable for road conditions that contribute to truck crashes.
  • Faulty Work Zones. When contractors set up restricted areas for highway construction or maintenance, they must follow design protocols that provide adequate warning and time to slow down, as well as space and barriers between traffic and workers. Work zone setup must take into account the additional distance required to stop a large truck, as well as posted highway speeds, anticipated traffic congestion, and more.

As these common causes of semi-truck crashes indicate, a personal injury claim may seek compensation from the truck driver, the trucking company, and/or an additional third party, such as a contractor responsible for loading cargo or a manufacturer or distributor of defective truck parts.

At Zlotolow & Associates, our skilled New York City truck accident attorneys will conduct an in-depth investigation into your crash to identify every potentially liable party.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my case take?

The amount of time it takes to resolve your case will depend on multiple factors. First, it is important that you take the time you need to heal. Once you reach maximum medical improvement, we will be able to estimate the extent of your damages. Second, you are the one who decides when you want to settle or go to court. Our attorneys will present you with every settlement offer and explain whether we feel you are owed more. We will negotiate aggressively and be prepared to take your claim before a judge and jury, if necessary. But a lawsuit does take time, and it is ultimately your decision on how you want to proceed.

What will my lawyer handle for me?

Our full-service personal injury law firm will handle all aspects of your claim, including communicating with the insurance company, filing your property damage claim, and keeping track of your medical records. We will also launch our own investigation into the cause of your accident to identify every possible source of compensation. And we will bring in medical experts and financial professionals to help evaluate your claim and determine what full and fair compensation should be.

What will I have to do for my personal injury case?

You need to stay focused on your health. Make sure you follow your doctor’s orders and make it to all your appointments. Start a journal to document how your injury is affecting your everyday life, both physically and emotionally. And protect your privacy by taking a break from social media and not talking about your case.

We Prepare Solid Cases for Compensation After Truck Accidents

Our experienced New York tractor-trailer accident attorneys will work tirelessly to calculate all of your costs and losses related to the accident. We may pursue compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical care requirements
  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity in cases of disability or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages in cases of egregious behavior

Once we determine liability (legal responsibility) for a crash, we file every possible insurance claim to demand full compensation for our clients. The personal injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates are assertive negotiators and aggressive trial attorneys. We negotiate with insurers from a position of strength because we have prepared solid cases. When insurers refuse to offer settlements that meet our clients’ needs, we are ready to present a persuasive argument to a judge and jury.

Someone else’s negligence should not create a lasting financial burden for you. Let our skilled legal team seek the just outcome you deserve.

Contact a Dedicated NYC Truck Accident Lawyer Today

At Zlotolow & Associates, we have the resources and the resolve that complex truck accident claims require to be successful. We do not back down from corporations with deep pockets, and can go toe-to-toe with anyone’s knowledge of regulations governing the trucking industry.

Call us or fill out our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation about a truck accident claim for you or a loved one. We do not charge to get started on your case, and we only collect legal fees if and when we recover compensation for you.

In addition to helping clients with their truck accident cases in New York City, we also service The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, and Suffolk.

TALK TO US FOR FREE (212) 991-9750