Driving in New York City is dangerous enough without a car accident. But accidents are a given here, and one of the worst is to tangle with a big semi-truck in the City. A passenger car weighs from 3,000 to 5,000 pounds, but a truck may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when loaded with cargo. If you’ve had a semi-truck accident, you’re likely missing work and faced with a considerable amount of medical bills.
Your next step is to find an East Village attorney who can help. Crashes with a semi-truck are a lot more complicated, and require more investigation. Time is of the essence, and trucking companies move quickly to protect their interests and avoid paying large settlements for injuries. They have their own legal teams who work to shield the driver and the company from liability. That’s why it’s important to start looking for an experienced New York City accident attorney as soon as you can.
Finding Legal Counsel
This is where you must do some research. Not just any “crash lawyer” can help you in a truck accident. Referrals may be helpful, but remember that every case is different. Working with an attorney is a two-way street, and you want to make sure you get the right one to help you with such an important part of your life. So finding an expert in truck crashes is a big factor in selecting an East Village accident attorney.
Because these crashes are so complex, it’s important to find someone who understands the severity of these accidents and the odds when facing down their insurance companies. You may want to use the free consultations to interview accident attorneys who handle to see which one may be the best for your case.
An East Village accident attorney dealing with these kinds of crashes should know that gathering evidence is one of the most important parts of preparing your case. It has to be done as quickly as possible to avoid losing valuable evidence that proves your case.
Trucking companies respond and work quickly to erase or eliminate any damning evidence that could prove they were at fault. In many cases, an attorney may retain the services of experts who can testify to the extent of your injuries, and do accident reconstruction to understand how it happened.
Determining The Responsibility
Truck driving accidents involve more than just NYC road rules, they involve federal regulations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). There are strict rules for how many hours a driver can work, how many breaks, and how many hours a driver needs to be “at rest.” Some companies may insist that their drivers ignore the law and either drive fatigued and longer than they’re allowed, or speed up. Both are risk factors in crashes. Since December of 2017, electronic logging devices (ELD) are required for long-haul drivers. ELDs make it easier for drivers and their companies to keep track of their hours and comply with federal regulations.
Hauling freight through New York may involve a number of parties, not just the trucking companies, and may bear additional responsibility. This means that there may be a few to several defendants if you were to file a lawsuit. Most people assume that the driver bears the responsibility for the accident. That may be true, but there may be others besides the driver, such as:
- The trucking company that hired and/or employed the driver
- The manufacturer of the vehicle being driven
- The manufacturer of parts for the vehicle, such as tires or brakes
- The company or companies that perform maintenance and repair on the vehicle
- The company that loaded the cargo into the trailer
Any one of these entities may be responsible for a truck crash. The driver may or may not be responsible. A truck accident attorney will be able to determine who was at fault, and why, so you can proceed with filing a claim.
Selecting an East Village Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier has been helping East Village New Yorkers for over 25 years and we’re ready to help you, too. Call us at (212) 777-9400 or contact us online and we’ll talk to you about your case in your free consultation. We also have Spanish-speaking and Chinese-speaking employees available to meet with you. Our contingency fee basis means we get paid when we settle your case or win the trial. Contact us today to discuss all of your legal options.H