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Semi-truck Accident Attorney in New York

LEGAL HELP FOR NEW YORK TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

The Empire State is home to one of the largest and most famous cities in the world — New York City. A global hub for financial activity, business, art, and fashion, New York City is also infamous for being very densely populated and one of the highest trafficked cities in the world. Roadways in the city are full of cars, taxi cabs, vans, buses, and semi-trucks. Like many other states, New York relies heavily on the large trucking industry to move products across the state — from Long Island to Buffalo — and to the rest of the country.

New York is a large state outside of the sprawling metro area of New York City. The interstate system is an important staple of travel within the state, including I-495, I-87, I-81, and Interstate 90. While crucial to commerce, thousands of lives are affected by trucking accidents each year. In 2014, there were 3,903 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks in the United States. In New York alone, 98 people were killed in semi-truck accidents.

Trucking accidents are not always fatal, but they can still leave injured victims with life-altering and disabling injuries. In 2014, an estimated 111,000 people were injured in a crash involving a large truck. Unfortunately, many truck accidents in New York are entirely preventable and are the fault of a negligent truck driver or trucking company.

If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident in New York, your decision to hire a trucking injury attorney is important. Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys have the experience and resources that you need to bring the largest trucking companies in the nation to justice and achieve the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our truck accident lawyers have handled 18-wheeler accident cases across the United States and have helped our clients achieve record-breaking verdicts and settlements.

No matter the size of the trucking company, our success is no accident; we understand how trucking companies operate and have decades of experience showing how their negligence caused catastrophic injuries and death to innocent motorists.

LEGAL RESOURCES TO WIN YOUR NEW YORK TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

  • Technology
    • From the scene of a trucking accident to the final slam of the gavel, our experienced injury attorneys are there for you. In utilizing jet services, satellite technology, and advanced mobile technology, we are able to be anywhere at a moment’s notice. We have the resources to immediately access case files while streaming live video of evidence or depositions to any courtroom at the click of a mouse. Our lawyers have access to the most cutting-edge technology to ensure clients are receiving the best representation possible.
  • Mobility
    • Each of our trucking injury attorneys are equipped with state-of-the-art mobile devices, allowing them to keep in touch with clients and keep them informed with the most up-to-date information available. And, because we have remote access to client case files, we can hold meetings, draft and review documents, and share files with other legal professionals at anytime from anywhere in the country.
  • Expert witnesses
    • At Thomas J. Henry, we employ the use of expert witnesses in every commercial trucking case. Trucking accident witnesses can provide expert reports and testimony for judges, lawyers, law firms, government agencies, and insurance companies in trials and arbitration. It is crucial to your case to find the right expert and the best experts. Thomas J. Henry has spent years finding only the best experts to use in our clients’ personal injury cases. Every expert witness we engage with has been thoroughly examined and questioned before ever participating in your case. Expert witnesses in a New York trucking accident case may include:
      • Human factors forensic science experts
      • Doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals
      • Accident reconstructionists
      • Hazardous material experts
      • General equipment technical experts

I’VE JUST BEEN IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT — WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Trucking accidents can leave you and your loved ones disoriented, confused, and in severe pain. We understand how traumatic a trucking accident can be. If you were injured in a crash, it is important that you receive medical attention. It can be beneficial to your potential case if you follow these tips after being involved in a semi-truck accident:

  • After the accident, stop immediately. Check for injuries and be sure the area outside your vehicle is safe prior to exiting.
  • Notify the police. Filing a police report is an important step in filing insurance claims. Be sure a paramedic is sent if there are injuries from the trucking accident.
  • Record the facts to the responding officer. Do not speculate about facts concerning the crash or any injuries you may have. Only provide the truth and what you know.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to your vehicle, the truck involved in the crash, any injuries you or a passenger sustained, and any other factors related to the accident that could help your potential case.
  • Gather names and contact information of everyone involved in the crash and any witnesses to the accident. Obtain the insurance information of every party involved in the accident.
  • Seek medical attention if you have been injured. Be aware that some injuries and pain may not be apparent until days or weeks following the truck accident. It is smart to err on the side of caution and get checked out by your primary care physician if you are uncertain.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company. Record any expenses related to medical expenses or vehicle expenses as well as any changes in health you experience while they process your claim.
  • Contact an experienced New York trucking accident attorney.

At Thomas J. Henry, our injury attorneys understand that the immediate retrieval of evidence from a trucking accident is vital to understanding how it occurred and who is at fault. We will take immediate action on your behalf and get to work for you. Thomas J. Henry has handled a multitude of semi-truck accident cases over the past two decades, achieving significant results for injured clients across the United States. Our experienced New York truck accident lawyers will take every measure possible to keep you comfortable and in the best position possible to receive the compensation you deserve for your trucking accident injury.

WHAT ARE ECM AND GPS DEVICES?

Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are present in many commercial motor vehicles and other vehicles regulated by the Department of Transportation. These electronic systems track and record information about the truck and truck driver, vital pieces of information to your trucking accident case. ECM and GPS can track the movement of the truck, such as the speed at which the truck was traveling prior to an impact. These devices can also reveal driving habits of the truck driver and show which routes were taken before an accident.

In addition to immediately filing a lawsuit and restraining order to obtain the ECM and GPS data, our experienced New York trucking lawyers will acquire the truck driver’s required Federal Motor Carrier documents. These documents can provide evidence that could help determine fault and negligence in your potential case.

WHO CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR TRUCKING ACCIDENTS?

In the case of a New York trucking accident, there are several parties that could be negligent. This makes trucking accident cases more complex than others. Knowing who to see is crucial to the success of your case, and our injury attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to find out who was the negligent party. Negligent parties in a trucking accident could be the truck driver, trucking company, or the commercial motor vehicle manufacturer.

Understanding how the trucking industry works helps give us an advantage when pursuing actual and punitive damages for our clients. Thomas J. Henry has consistently demonstrated through expansive discovery, depositions, and use of expert trucking witnesses how trucking companies and truck drivers have caused severe injuries and deaths that were completely preventable.

WHAT COMMON VIOLATIONS LEAD TO NEW YORK TRUCKING ACCIDENTS?

Many factors can lead to a trucking accident in New York, especially common traffic violations. However, when truck drivers fail to comply with traffic laws, serious and fatal injuries can be the result of an accident. Because commercial motor vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. (40 tons), small mistakes on the roadways can have catastrophic consequences for other motorists.

Common violations that could cause trucking accidents include:

  • Failure to maintain vehicle
    • Truck drivers are required to inspect their vehicles before and after every shift. Small mechanical problems could have disastrous consequences while traveling at 65 mph on a highway.
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
    • In 2013, an estimated 10 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involved a distracted driver. Federal guidelines prohibit truck drivers from using handheld phones while driving.
  • Improper lane changing
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Impaired driving
  • Following too closely
    • When semi-trucks “tailgate” other vehicles, severe accidents are often the result. Due to their size and weight, large trucks have a considerably longer stopping distance than cars. Poor road conditions, as is possible in New York, can further increase the crash risk.
  • Improper turning
  • Unsecured loads
  • Parking on the shoulder

IMPORTANT FEDERAL COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE REGULATIONS

Federal trucking guidelines are in place to keep other drivers safe on the roadways. Serious problems occur when truck drivers and trucking companies skirt the law and fail to comply with these guidelines, putting New York drivers’ lives in jeopardy. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains the regulations pertaining to commercial motor vehicle operators.

Commercial motor vehicle drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard and can lose their CDL certification by committing serious traffic violations. These are a few highlights of the requirements and regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
    • CDL holders in New York must be at least 18 years of age to take part in intrastate commerce.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS

One of the most important regulations for commercial motor vehicle operators is the hours of service regulations. Driving while drowsy can have similar effects on operating a vehicle as driving while intoxicated. Many serious trucking accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel, and the hours of service regulations ensure that drivers receive a sufficient amount of sleep before operating their truck.

Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit: May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • 14-Hour Limit: May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • 60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit: May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Sleeper Berth Provision: Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate two consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

For passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • 10-Hour Driving Limit: May drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • 15-Hour On-Duty Limit: May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • 60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit: May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Sleeper Berth Provision: Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED NEW YORK TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY

For several decades, Thomas J. Henry has helped trucking accident victims across the country stand up against some of the largest trucking companies in the world. In doing so, we have helped our clients obtain record-breaking verdicts and settlements. If you or a loved one were injured in a trucking accident in New York, contact Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys. Our New York truck accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case.

Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

877-969-8159 • info@tjhlaw.com

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