On average, three New Yorkers die each day as a result of a traffic accident, according to the New York State Department of Health.
Traffic accidents represent the leading cause of injury-related death, the second leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations, and the third leading cause of injury-related emergency room visits within the State of New York.
Additionally, combined hospitalization and emergency room costs amount to approximately $1.1 billion per year.
As you can see, traffic accidents often result in injuries that require medical attention and potential rehabilitation.
Hospital charges and other medical expenses can add up quickly. New York uses a no-fault basis for accidents.
This means that a driver’s car insurance company pays expenses related to car accidents, regardless of who caused the accident. In some cases, a party can file a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for the accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in New York
There are a variety of causes that contribute to truck accidents.
Some truck accidents occur as a result of a driver’s error, while others occur due to mechanical issues with the truck itself. The cause of an accident can help you determine who was responsible.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Inadequate driver training;
- Lack of sleep;
- Distracted driving;
- Driving under the influence;
- Driving too fast for conditions;
- Tire blowouts;
- Defective truck parts; and
- Improper maintenance of the truck.
There are many other factors that can contribute to an accident. Most commercial trucks weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 times as much as the average passenger vehicle.
Therefore, it is much easier to cause an accident while driving a truck than while driving a passenger car. Contact a Long Island truck accident lawyer to discuss your case.
Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Because trucks weigh so much more than passenger vehicles, collisions involving trucks tend to result in more severe injuries to the parties involved.
Injuries commonly seen in truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Neck injuries;
- Back injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Loss of hearing, speech, or sight;
- Organ damage; or
- Spinal cord injuries (including paralysis).
Depending on the severity of your injury, you could bring a personal injury claim against the party responsible for the accident.
One of our truck accident lawyers in New York can help you determine when you qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Who Is Liable in Truck Accidents?
Remember, New York is a no-fault state. That means your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage will pay your medical expenses up to your policy’s limits if you are injured in a truck accident.
However, hospital charges add up quickly and could easily exceed your policy’s limit. If that happens, you can pursue compensation for your economic losses from the party who caused your injuries.
Alternatively, you could qualify to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for your accident if you suffered a serious injury.
Under New York Insurance Law § 5102(d), qualifying serious injuries include:
- Significant disfigurement;
- Broken bones;
- Loss of a fetus;
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system;
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
- Significant limitation of use of a body system or function; or
- Substantially full disability for at least 90 days.
If you can show that you suffered a serious injury, you qualify to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
If you qualify to bring a personal injury lawsuit, you still need to know which party to pursue—the trucking company or the truck driver individually.
Trucking companies that are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations are responsible for the negligent conduct of their drivers.
And if the accident occurred due to improper training or poor truck maintenance, the trucking company is likely liable so long as they were responsible for training and truck maintenance.
However, a trucking company might argue against liability in the event that a driver’s error caused the accident.
An experienced truck accident lawyer in Long Island can help you determine which party bears responsibility for your injuries.
What Sets Our Long Island Truck Accident Lawyers Apart?
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Long Island truck accident, our lawyers at the Law Offices of Theodore A. Naima are here to help.
A New York truck accident attorney can analyze the complexities of your case and give you clear expectations on the value of your lawsuit.
The period after a truck accident can bring mounting medical expenses and a significant amount of stress.
A truck accident lawyer in Long Island can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of recovering compensation.