Belluck & Fox represents people who have been hurt or lost loved ones in commercial truck accidents in New York City and surrounding areas. When the negligent actions of a truck driver or the company that employs them cause you harm, turn to a team that knows how to get results for you.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you likely have many questions about your rights and legal options. Turn to a legal team with the right experience and resources to help you hold the negligent parties accountable for the harm you suffered. Turn to Belluck & Fox for help today.
Our New York City commercial truck accident lawyers have been helping people injured in crashes for more than a quarter-century, and we boast a 95 percent success rating. You can have our attorneys examine your case when you call us or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
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Who Is Liable for a Commercial Truck Crash?
New York City has two distinct classifications for trucks and commercial vehicles. New York City Traffic Rules § 4-13(a)(1) defines a truck as any vehicle or combination of vehicles designed for the transportation of property that has either two axles, six tires, or three or more axles, while New York City Traffic Rules § 4-01(b) defines a commercial vehicle as a vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of property, or for the provision of commercial services and bearing commercial plates.
The distinction plays an important role in the regulations that apply to commercial vehicles, as vehicles bearing commercial or equivalent registration plates from other states or countries will not be deemed trucks or commercial vehicles unless they are permanently altered and marked as required in New York City Traffic Rules § 4-01(b)(i)(B) and New York City Traffic Rules § 4-01(b)(i)(C).
One notable reason that a commercial truck accident is so different from a traditional car crash is the potential liability. Whereas most car accidents involve two motorists with one insurance company typically responsible for covering all damages, commercial truck crashes often involve several different parties who may have varying degrees of liability depending on the specifics of the crash.
Some of the different entities that could be liable include:
- Truck driver
- Truck driver’s employer
- Trucking company
- Truck owner
- Trailer owner
- Maintenance company
- Governmental entities
- Shipping agencies
- Cargo loading companies
- Truck part manufacturers
- Other drivers
You want to make sure you are working with an experienced lawyer so you can be sure that all liable parties are identified and held accountable. It is not uncommon for one negligent party to try to transfer blame to another party in an effort to minimize their own liability. An experienced attorney won’t let them get away will unfairly shifting the blame.
You will want to make sure that you have a lawyer who can conduct an independent investigation to determine if any of the following causes were related to your crash:
- Negligent hiring practices
- Inadequate driver training
- Brake failure
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Overloaded trailers
- Driver fatigue
- Mechanical defects
- Unsecured loads
Evidence is not always easy to obtain, which makes it important for you to contact an attorney right away. Trucking companies could conceal or destroy evidence after a crash, so it is critical to take immediate action to preserve the evidence that could bolster your case.
Any crash involving a commercial vehicle will usually require a very hard look at how the truck was maintained, how the driver was trained, and several other factors.
Some kinds of crashes can also involve unique aspects. Examples of some of the most common kinds of commercial truck accidents include:
- T-bone collisions
- Intersection accidents
- Wide-turning accidents
- Override accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Overloaded vehicles
- Rear-end collisions
- Underride accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Blocking accidents
It is important to keep in mind that commercial vehicle must comply with strict state and federal regulations. Another reason that these cases are different from an ordinary passenger vehicle claim is that violations of regulations can also impact the liability of the driver and the trucking company.
What to Do If I Am Hit by a Commercial Vehicle
As soon as you are involved in any accident with a commercial vehicle, be sure that you quickly get medical treatment. Even if you do not think you were hurt at first, you should still go to a hospital to protect your health. Some potentially life-threatening injuries do not immediately show symptoms.
Immediately contact the local law enforcement agency to file a police report. After the report has been filed, be sure to obtain a copy of the report for your records. If the officer issued any citations to the driver after the collision, this could be valuable to your injury claim, though it is important to remember that the police do not have final say on civil liability for a crash.
When possible, try to take pictures of everything involved in the scene of your crash. Take photographs of all the people, vehicles, and other notable circumstances involved from different angles and distances.
If there are any representatives from a trucking company come to the crash scene or even your hospital room, do not sign anything until it can be reviewed by an attorney. Similarly, you should decline any opportunity to provide a recorded statement about your accident to an insurance company representative or claims adjuster until you have legal representation.
How Can Belluck & Fox Help Me?
You do not need to worry about how you will afford an attorney, because Belluck & Fox handles cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay our firm anything unless and until we secure money for your claim.
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a commercial truck crash in New York, you should know that you could be entitled to compensation for all of your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact Belluck & Fox as soon as possible.
Our firm has a record of success that includes more than $1 billion recovered for our clients. Call us or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation.