According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2021, over 100,000 trucks had some form of involvement in crashes leading to injuries. Victims of these incidents can implement various measures to help safeguard their rights, such as seeking medical attention, filing police reports, documenting all damages to property, and researching these damages’ value. Read about how someone can protect their rights following a truck accident and explore the legal options available to those involved in these incidents by contacting a New York personal injury attorney from Stufano Law at (914) 752-7746.
What Are Truck Accidents?
In terms of highway safety, the word “trucks” typically refers to a class of commercial vehicles that are larger than standard passenger cars, commonly used to ship large amounts of goods. The term may sometimes include pickups, vehicles with open load beds, and large SUVs, as well as the large tractor-trailer trucks used in interstate commerce. Various kinds of truck collisions occur, including:
- Truck rollovers: Particularly devastating, these collisions occur when truck drivers make sharp turns or drive at too high a speed, causing their vehicle to roll.
- Rear-end crashes: Trucks are heavier and more difficult to maneuver than standard passenger vehicles, meaning truck drivers can hit another vehicle from behind if they do not take into account the added time required to avoid these collisions.
- Head-on crashes: A truck driver who drifts into another lane with oncoming traffic causes a head-on collision.
- Jackknife incidents: Caused by improper braking or turning, jackknife incidents refer to when a large truck’s trailer swings around so that the shape it makes resembles a folding pocketknife.
- T-bone incidents: Otherwise known as broadside or side-impact crashes, these incidents often happen at intersections when truck drivers ignore lights, signage, or the correct right-of-way, resulting in a side collision with another vehicle.
- Sideswipe accidents: Trucks in these incidents collide with vehicles traveling next to them that are moving in the same direction, which may occur due to a loss of control, driver distraction, or a failure to check blind spots when changing lanes.
- Wide turn incidents: If a truck operator tries to turn right by swinging left and then circling right, this can cause a hazard for drivers in other lanes, who might collide with the truck’s trailer.
Some crashes are more likely with particular sub-categories of truck than with others. For any given type of crash, the probable severity of collision outcomes is directly proportional to the size of truck.
What Are the Consequences of Truck Collisions?
The impact of truck collisions can be significant, on both the victims and their families. These impacts include financial, physical, and emotional effects, outlined below.
Trucking accidents commonly lead to substantial physical injuries, mainly because of the weight and size of the vehicles involved. Such injuries could ultimately result in chronic pain, a long recovery period, and long-lasting disabilities. Some examples of the serious physical ailments sustained by victims of truck collisions consist of the following:
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Brain or back injuries
The most severe truck accident injuries may result in death.
Truck collisions can also have significant emotional consequences, sometimes necessitating professional medical help to overcome, such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Survivor’s guilt
Auto accidents involving trucks can place hefty monetary burdens on the people involved, including the following:
- Legal fees
- Replacing or repairing damaged vehicles
- Income loss
- Hospital bills
- Rehabilitation, surgery, and medication costs
Is There a Time Limit for Making a Truck Accident Claim?
In New York, victims of trucking accidents usually have three years to submit a claim. However, if their family wishes to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the statute of limitations for these cases is typically two years.
To avoid surpassing these deadlines, the recommended approach is to make truck collision claims promptly. Find out more about the things that a victim of a truck accident can do to safeguard their rights and discover how a Yonkers, New York personal injury lawyer can assist individuals involved in such collisions by reaching out to Stufano Law.
What Damages Can Victims of Trucking Accidents Seek?
If their claim succeeds, a trucking accident victim could obtain two types of damages, namely economic and non-economic. The former encompasses the damages directly related to the truck collision, such as lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical costs, property damage, and funeral expenses.
Conversely, non-economic damages comprise additional emotional and physical losses that are more challenging to assign a monetary value, like:
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
What Insurance Details Do I Give in an Accident?
If an individual injured in a truck accident is looking to make an insurance claim following the crash, having the following information available can help streamline the process:
- Insurance policy number
- Police reports and reference numbers
- Registration numbers of the involved vehicles
- Contact information of all the associated parties, including drivers and passengers, and contact details of the truck driver’s employer (particularly useful if the truck is being used for commercial purposes at the time of the crash)
- Specifics concerning the incident, such as vehicle damage and how the accident occurred
Ways of Protecting Legal Rights Following a Trucking Accident
Below are several tips that can help trucking accident victims safeguard their legal rights:
- Collect evidence: If possible, take photographs or videos of the vehicle damage, accident scene, and injuries sustained.
- Be sure to avoid admitting fault: Take care with making apologies since insurers may argue that such statements amount to admitting fault; instead, keep communication with other drivers and passengers involved in the accident to a minimum.
- Seek medical treatment immediately: Alongside this, see a medical professional if there is any change in your condition. Doing both enables trucking accident victims to acquire a detailed record of their injuries and easily prove the impact of the collision to insurance firms.
- Record all expenses: Keeping receipts, quotes, and bills of the vital costs related to trucking accident victims, such as medical procedure bills, prescription medication costs, and loss of earning capacity, can help prove the damages accrued as a result of the collision.
- Consider offers carefully: Insurance firms often start with much lower offers than they can afford to pay, and accepting them usually prevents victims from gaining additional compensation afterward, so review any offers and the estimated expenses for which they are intended to compensate thoroughly.
Contact a New York Personal Injury Attorney Today
Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) state that almost 5,000 people died as a result of truck collisions in 2021, highlighting the devastation that can be caused by these incidents. If involved in one of these crashes, avoid any steps that might negatively impact a potential claim and consider contacting a legal professional. Gain a more comprehensive understanding of how a person involved in a truck accident can protect their legal rights and see how a Yonkers personal injury attorney from Stufano Law can help truck accident victims by calling (914) 752-7746.