Truck Accident Attorney in New York
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New York Truck Accident Lawyer
New York has strict traffic laws and regulations designed to protect the public from accidents. Despite that, truck accidents are still a menace in this state. If you or a loved one is a victim, you should hire a New York truck accident lawyer to represent you.
At Morgan and Morgan, we have helped our clients recover more than $15 billion as compensation for various injuries, some of which were caused by truck accidents. To find out if we may be able to help you or your beloved get compensated as well, fill out this form as soon as possible. We will review your case for free.
Signs You Need a New York Truck Accident Lawyer
The aftermath of a truck accident in New York can be overwhelming and confusing, especially for the injured. That's one of the reasons you should consider hiring a skilled New York truck accident lawyer. You can count on them to help you navigate the legal complexities surrounding your case.
That said, knowing when to hire an attorney is equally as important as understanding how the lawyer can help in the first place. Let's explore some different scenarios where you may need a lawyer after such an accident.
You Suffered Serious Injuries
Do not attempt to handle such a case without legal guidance and support if you sustained severe injuries. This accident can drain you physically and emotionally, making it difficult for you to make critical and sound decisions at the right time.
But that's not something you should be sad about. It's not your fault that, suddenly, you're now dealing with medical treatments, rehabilitation while at the same time trying to cope with the trauma that comes with such cases. All these can be overwhelming, yet another reason to hire a New York truck accident lawyer to fight on your behalf.
You Lost a Loved One in the Accident
This is the most painful part of (some) truck accidents. When someone you love dies in such an accident, it is difficult to even know where to start with the claims process. Unfortunately, insurance companies will want to protect themselves because they know that wrongful death claims usually involve significant amounts of money.
On the other hand, on top of the grief you're already battling, you may be faced with financial burdens and expenses such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Loss of financial support if you or other survivors depended on the deceased's paycheck.
- Medical expenses if the deceased received medical treatment before succumbing to their injuries.
- Loss of benefits you received through the deceased, such as health insurance, retirement benefits, and other employment-related benefits.
In such situations, hiring a compassionate and experienced lawyer can make a huge difference. They will take care of the legal process allowing you to pay your last respects to your loved one and avoid dealing with insurance companies or adjusters who may want to take advantage of your grief.
You Don't Know How to Proceed With the Case
A truck accident can leave you confused, not knowing what to do. The trauma alone will affect almost every decision you make.
If you're unsure about the appropriate steps to take, you should hire an attorney to represent you. This applies even in situations where you don't know if you have a valid case in the first place.
The last thing you want is to fight so hard for compensation only to realize that, from a legal standpoint, you did not have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit. As unfortunate as it sounds, we've seen these situations in the past.
For example, you may want to sue the other party for your injuries and losses. That makes perfect sense, but New York has unique laws that limit how plaintiffs can proceed with their pursuit for compensation.
The state follows the no-fault legal system. This alone can make your case even more challenging to handle. We'll discuss this law shortly.
The bottom line is that no matter the circumstances of your case, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer. They will review the details of your case to find out if you have legal grounds to sue (and who to sue), conduct a thorough investigation to solidify the facts of your case, and determine the most effective legal strategy to pursue the compensation you deserve.
This also includes handling complex paperwork, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing your interests in court if the other party refuses to cooperate with your legal team.
Insurance Company Plays Hardball
Granted, insurance companies will want to minimize your claim or deny responsibility altogether. They do this knowing that truck accident cases involve huge amounts of money as settlement, assuming you were not at fault in any way and you suffered serious injuries.
That also explains why trucking companies are required to have more insurance coverage than ordinary drivers of smaller personal vehicles. For context, a truck carrying dangerous materials in New York must have a minimum of $5,000,000 as liability insurance. Lower down the risk, and you'll still find that trucks carrying ordinary household goods must have at least $300,000 worth of liability insurance.
When you compare these numbers to the state's insurance requirements for ordinary vehicles, which amounts to $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for the death of an individual involved in the accident, you'll begin to understand why trucking companies and their insurers are usually aggressive in avoiding liability.
So if you're facing resistance or unfair treatment from the insurance company, all you need is a lawyer with experience handling such cases. Armed with a lawyer, you won't have to worry about being pressured to accept a settlement offer that is far below what you believe your case is worth.
This is because a seasoned attorney will evaluate the true value of your claim. By the time they begin to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, they will know exactly what you're entitled to.
Anything below that figure would mean negotiating even harder to reach a common ground or, if necessary, taking the case to court.
Multiple Parties Are Involved
A closer look at the common causes of car crash injuries could reveal many different parties involved. An accident caused by a defective part, for example, in the truck's mechanical system could point fingers at the part manufacturer.
If the accident occurred due to poor maintenance or a lack of it, this could be a matter of negligence on the employer's side or a third-party company responsible for maintaining the fleet. Determining liability in such cases can be complex and requires extensive investigation, which, of course, also needs a lot of legal resources. In such situations, the right attorney will do everything they can to identify all responsible parties and hold them accountable for their negligence, maximizing your claim as a result.
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What Should You Do After a Truck Accident in New York?
Every step you take after such an accident should be aimed toward protecting your health and preserving your claim. In the process, it is quite easy to make mistakes that could jeopardize your claim.
We always advise our clients to seek immediate medical attention by calling 911, even before they contact us to discuss the case. That's because their health and well-being come above anything else.
A common mistake we have seen many claimants make after such accidents, which, unfortunately, can prove costly, is failure to seek medical attention even if they believe their injuries are minor. Some of these injuries may not be immediately apparent (think of internal bleeding as an example) but could have long-term consequences for your health if you do not act fast.
Before the ambulance and police officers arrive at the scene, you should try as much as you can to preserve evidence from the accident. This could help strengthen your case.
By nature, truck accidents can cause so much pain and confusion, so don't focus too much on gathering evidence if it's not possible. Only do that if circumstances allow.
The kind of evidence you gather can also help our attorneys build a strong case. Here, we may want to see the following:
- Images of the accident scene
- Contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident.
- A copy of the police report, usually through the state's Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Records of any medical reports, bills, or correspondence related to the accident and your injuries.
Once that's done, get legal representation as soon as possible. The more you delay getting a lawyer, the harder it is to fight.
Attorneys work best when they have enough time to investigate and build a strong case. Although they may still be able to help even if you have limited time left to file a claim or lawsuit, the general rule is that the sooner, the better.
Can You Still File a Claim if You Are Partly To Blame for the Accident?
Yes. In New York, the legal principle of "pure comparative fault" comes into play in such cases. This means that even if you are partially responsible for the accident, you can still pursue a claim for compensation, but the amount of compensation you may receive will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. So even if you were 1% at fault, you could still claim compensation for that percentage. It may seem little on paper, but if your case was worth $10 million, one percent of that is $100,000, which is not a small amount by any standards.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit in New York?
Speaking of deadlines, you only have three years to sue the party responsible for your injuries and losses, starting from the date of the crash. Failing to file a lawsuit within the prescribed time frame can result in the other party filing a motion to dismiss. When that happens, the judge will likely rule that your case has been barred from proceeding.
How Does New York's No-Fault System Work in Truck Accident Cases?
New York's "No-Fault" system runs on the assumption that no one is at fault for the accident, despite the fact that, technically, you may have been injured due to someone else's fault. Instead, this system comes into play to ensure that the injured can receive prompt compensation, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
That's the whole point of having Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as part of the state's auto insurance policy. This coverage, provided by your own insurance carrier, covers medical expenses and lost wages that derive from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.
What Happens if My PIP Insurance Is Not Enough To Settle My Medical Bills?'\
Because truck accidents often lead to serious injuries, it is possible that whatever your PIP insurance covers is just a fraction of what is required to treat your injuries and restore you to the state you were in before the accident. In such a case, you may be able to 'step out' of the state's no-fault system. This is only possible if you meet the criteria for a serious injury as defined in Section 5102(d) of the state's insurance law.
These include conditions such as the death of a loved one involved in the accident, dismemberment, serious disfigurement or a fracture, loss of an unborn baby, permanent or serious limitation of use of a body organ, function or system, and significant disability expected to last at least 90 days.
If your case meets this threshold, you typically have a three-year timeframe to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party.
The Legal Help You Need to Obtain the Compensation You Deserve
New York's complex traffic laws or the insurer's unwillingness to settle should not stop you from fighting for your rights. You have rights that deserve to be respected and protected. Not sure if you have a valid claim? Fill out our free case evaluation form to get started.