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Motor vehicle accidents are often hazardous, but crashes involving commercial trucks (such as tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, or box trucks) can be especially dangerous and destructive. The size and weight of a large truck help it to crush anything it hits, particularly if the crash occurs at high speed. As a result, injuries from truck accidents are often serious, long-lasting, and costly. If you are someone who has been hurt in a truck accident due to no fault of your own, the time to act is now. Contact a dedicated New York truck accident lawyer from Zlotolow & Associates today.
Why Choose a Truck Accident Lawyer from Zlotolow & Associates?
After a crash, the New York auto accident lawyer you choose can make a world of a difference. 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.
Who Is Responsible for Your Truck Accident?
There may be any number of factors and multiple parties involved in a commercial truck accident. Large trucks, or commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), are complex machines. The trucking industry is one of the country’s largest, and it is highly regulated. The work required to deliver cargo across the country or even across the state involves far more than a trucker willing to drive a big rig.
Our aggressive New York truck accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to identify all parties truly responsible for the crash you were injured in. We can then follow up with one or more claims for compensation for medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
The most common causes of truck accidents are violations of traffic laws as well as violations of rules set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates the trucking industry. Some common of the most common examples of truck driver negligence are as follows:
- Speeding, including driving too fast for conditions such as rain, snow, ice, fog, etc.
- Fatigued driving, often from driving in violation of federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, which apply to commercial truck drivers
- Distracted driving, despite FMCSA rules specifically prohibiting texting or using handheld mobile phones while operating commercial motor vehicles
- Driving while impaired, primarily by illicit, prescribed, or over-the-counter drugs
- Unsafe or illegal maneuvers, such as an illegal turn, failing to look, tailgating, etc.
Other Potentially-Liable Parties
You should note that truck drivers themselves aren’t the only people who can play a role in truck accidents. Just some examples of other potentially-liable parties when it comes to commercial truck accidents are as follows:
- Motor Carriers: A motor carrier, or trucking company, is responsible for ensuring that the trucks and truckers it puts on the road are safe and operate according to the law. Truck drivers must be properly licensed and trained. Trucks must be maintained. Even the cargo loaded into trailers or tanks, or onto truck beds, must meet requirements for content and safety, including how it is secured.
- Faulty Truck Parts: A tractor-trailer has multiple parts and systems that could have problems. Failure of a truck’s brakes, tires, wheels, power train, coupling system, lighting, etc., can cause or contribute to a crash. If a motor carrier cuts corners on maintenance to save money, or a manufacturer or distributor has made and/or sold a faulty product and someone is harmed, the negligent company(s) can be held liable.
- Cargo: Many truck accident reports cite cargo shifts and/or spills as contributing factors. The FMCSA closely regulates how various kinds of cargo are to be loaded and secured on commercial trucks. Cargo that suddenly shifts can change the truck’s center of gravity and cause a loss of control and a crash. Cargo that spills from a truck can create a crash hazard for motorists, as well as a hazard for anyone else nearby. The motor carrier and trucker have responsibility for cargo on a truck. Sometimes a third-party vendor has loaded or packaged cargo and bears responsibility for cargo failures as well.
- Roadway: Sometimes, due to lack of maintenance or faulty design or construction, the road itself contributes to a truck accident. For example, a hazard has been created by overgrown trees that obscure the view, or the roadbed causes rainwater to pool, which contributes to an accident. In such cases, a local government responsible for roads and/or its contractors might be held liable for a crash.
- Work Zones: Highway work zones, areas blocked off from traffic for construction or maintenance, must be designed to provide adequate warning and time for truckers to slow down, as well as barriers and space to separate traffic from workers. The setup must take into account the distance a large truck needs to stop, as well as posted highway speeds, anticipated traffic congestion, and more. If an unsafe work zone contributes to a crash, negligent contractors and/or the local government that employs them may be liable.
In order to pursue compensation after a truck accident, you will need to demonstrate who is responsible for the wreck and therefore liable to you. The knowledgeable New York truck accident attorneys at Zlotolow & Associates will investigate and file claims with any and all parties whose negligence contributed to your truck accident.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Trucking companies move swiftly to protect themselves from the cost of injuries and destruction after an accident. At Zlotolow & Associates, our truck accident lawyers have more than 20 years of experience standing up to motor carriers of all sizes after crashes in the New York City metro area, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, as well as Long Island, Westchester, and upstate New York. Our dedicated attorneys will investigate your case, negotiate on your behalf with insurers, and work to make sure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Schedule a free consultation today to learn how a skilled New York truck accident lawyer from our firm can help you.