Truck accidents can be devastating due to the weight and size of big rigs and tractor-trailers. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and people in passenger cars may suffer catastrophic injuries as a result of a truck accident, and in some cases, their injuries may be fatal. If you need to hold a truck driver or trucking company responsible for a truck accident, it is crucial to retain a New York City truck accident lawyer with experience in these challenging types of cases. In most cases, the truck driver and its employer will have the resources of an insurance company put toward providing a strong defense. Not all personal injury attorneys know how to obtain the necessary evidence to win this type of case. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, we do.
Pursuing a Claim Against a Truck Driver or Trucking Company with Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP Personal Injury Representation
Sometimes a truck driver's negligence causes a truck accident. To show that a truck driver was negligent, you will need to establish that the truck driver owed a duty of due care, breached this duty, and caused your injuries. A truck driver may breach this duty to use reasonable care by speeding, taking turns too fast, failing to check blind spots, running a traffic signal, overloading cargo, or driving while distracted or intoxicated. Due to the size of a truck, there are often multiple victims in a truck accident. They may all be claiming against the policy, which reduces the amount of damages that you may be able to recover from the driver.
It is important to work with a truck accident attorney in New York City who understands when and how to go after a trucking company for damages. If the truck driver is an employee of the trucking company, the company may be vicariously (indirectly) liable for the truck driver's negligence in the course and scope of employment.
Moreover, trucking companies must follow many state and federal regulations related to hours of service and driver fatigue, driver performance, substance abuse testing, background checks, and traffic violations for commercial vehicle operators. If a trucking company fails to follow these regulations, and as a result someone is injured, it can be held directly liable for its own negligence. Usually, these cases are brought as negligent hiring, negligent training, or negligent supervision claims. It can be helpful to proceed against a trucking company directly because its policy is likely to cover more of your damages than the individual policy would in case of catastrophic injuries or a wrongful death.
Damages that your New York truck accident attorney may be able to recover include past and future medical bills, physical therapy, rehabilitation, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, scarring, permanent disability, property damage, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. However, these damages may be reduced by your comparative negligence. In many cases, you will be contacted after a serious accident by a truck insurance adjuster, trying to obtain an admission to use against you. For example, they may be calling to see if you think that you were at fault in any way, such as by trying to go around a big truck when you did not have the right of way. The jury will look at all of the evidence and assign percentages of fault to each of the parties alleged to be at fault. Your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to the percentage of fault that you were assigned by the jury.
Wrongful death damages are available for certain close family members. These are pecuniary losses, and they may include the loss of services and support, or the loss of parental guidance. As with catastrophic injury cases, your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to the decedent's percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if the decedent is found to be 30% at fault when the damages are $1,000,000, the recovery by the family will be $700,000.
Get Started on Your Case by Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer in New York City
A truck accident often results in catastrophic injuries or death, but a trucking company that is responsible may seek to avoid blame by any means available. You should retain an experienced motor vehicle collision attorney right away after a serious accident, and you should avoid speaking to insurance adjusters for the truck driver or trucking company until after you have retained an attorney. Newman, Anzalone & Newman provides effective legal representation for people injured in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us at 718-896-2700 or submit our online form.