In September, a large commercial truck tried to navigate through Queens. Unfortunately, the driver left destruction in his wake, including a parked car that was severely damaged when he backed up to try again. Trucks are actually banned from New York due to the narrow nature of the streets, but the driver attempted them anyway. While the driver’s actions destroyed the vehicle along with a fire hydrant, there were no injuries. Numerous pictures and videos of the incident were posted online.
Large trucks are everywhere in America, and especially in New York. With goods from every state in the US and freight from every corner of the world through the port, New York sees more than its fair share of large commercial trucks.
Records amount of freight hauls means that accidents with cars and others on the road are inevitable, even with safety precautions.
Complications With Commercial Truck Accidents
With a car accident, you’re dealing with one, possibly two or more parties, and their insurance companies, depending on how many cars were involved. An accident with a commercial truck usually involves multiple parties, including:
- The truck’s driver
- The company that employs or hires the driver
- The owner of the truck and/or trailer
- The company and/or its employees who loaded and secured the freight
- One or more freight shippers (if the driver was carrying “less than truckload” freight for multiple companies)
- The truck’s manufacturer, or the maker of various truck parts
- Other contractors involved in the trip (such as a third-party logistics company, called a “3PL”)
- Entity responsible for road conditions and/or road repair
The case may also involve a large trucking company located out of state or overseas, making litigation even more complicated.
A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. By contrast, the average passenger vehicle weighs about 3,000 pounds, and a pickup truck averages between 4,000 pounds and 6,000 pounds. That means in a big truck accident, a hit on a single car has the force of 20 or more cars.
Truck drivers must follow specific federal regulations, including the USDOT’s Hours Of Service rules, when driving a commercial vehicle.
Other federal statistics show that one out of every 10 accidents involves a big truck, and the most common types of incidents are caused by:
- Trailer detachments, when the hitch fails to hold the trailer. This can be due to a defective hitch, or occur during an accident
- Rollovers, caused by an unbalanced or improperly loaded trailer, tire blowout, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle
- Turning accidents—just like the truck that tried to turn in Queens, trucks need a wide berth for turning. Passenger vehicles can be sideswiped, damaged or even squeezed if they get caught on the truck’s right side and an embankment.
- Freight falling out of the truck when it’s improperly loaded (or overloaded) can also cause damage and injuries
- Jacknifing—should a driver lose control of the trailer, or brake too quickly, the trailer can swing to a 90-degree angle and cause severe damage to vehicles in the vicinity.
- Vehicles riding/sliding underneath tractors during a rear-end or side collision
Even a rear-end collision involving a truck is much more destructive than another passenger vehicle.
Injuries And Damages
Many of the same injuries that result from a car accident are also evident in a commercial truck accidents, like broken bones, spinal and brain damage, and soft tissue injuries. However, those injuries are much more severe due to the increased size and weight of the truck. Death and catastrophic injuries are much more common with commercial truck accidents.
As a result, you can pursue damages to compensate you for your injuries. Among the damages you can seek are:
- Current and future medical bills that are related to the accident
- This can include expenses like rehab and physical therapy
- Lost wages and work time
- Loss of career and future earning capacity
- Loss of limb(s)
- Permanent injury and/or disability
- Property damages and/or loss
- Pain and suffering, mental and emotional suffering
- Adaptive modifications for home and vehicle, i.e., lifts, wheelchair ramps, and other alterations
If you’ve lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you may also pursue these damages as part of a wrongful death lawsuit, including final medical expenses, as well as funeral, burial, and other final expenses.
Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier Is Your New York Trucking Accident Attorney
Having the right law firm on your side is one of the most important parts of handling commercial truck accidents. We’ve been representing injured New Yorkers for over 25 years, and are ready to help you when you need it.
We offer free consultations for any kind of accident. You can talk to someone today at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier by calling (212) 777-9400, or use our website contact form. As a family-owned NYC personal injury law firm, we have over 26 years of experience helping injured people after a devastating accident. We offer a contingency fee arrangement that means we won’t get paid until you do, whether we settle your case out of court or litigate it in court.