The streets, roadways and highways of New York can be a dangerous place for anyone, be it a pedestrian, bicyclist or motorist. Thousands upon thousands of vehicles take to the city streets, roadways and highways of Manhattan and the outer boroughs each and every day. From the smart car to the regular sedan, SUV’s, huge commercial vehicles and trucks like 18 wheelers or what are commonly referred to as “Big Rigs,” our streets, roadways and highways must accommodate every type of vehicle and more importantly, must also protect pedestrians and bicyclists alike.
There is no way that any small vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist can compete on a roadway with these “big rigs” or so called large commercial vehicles. If these vehicles are not operated properly, or worse, aren’t maintained properly, an accident can occur which can have devastating consequences such as a catastrophic injury or in some cases death.
‘ACCIDENT’S INVOLVING TRUCKS ARE DIFFERENT THAN THOSE INVOVLING CARS NOT ONLY IN TERMS OF IMPACT BUT IN TERMS OF THE LAW THAT APPLIES’
For this reason, the laws are different when it relates to the operation of a commercial vehicle and these huge trucks. It’s important to note that truck drivers are professionals, who drive for a living on a daily basis and who need to adhere to a stricter standard when driving. Truck drivers are required not only to obtain the standard state license but they also need to obtain a Commercial Drivers License (“CDL”) in order to operate trucks on our roadways. In addition to the local vehicle and traffic laws, commercial drivers can also be required to abide by the strict Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (“FMCSR”). The FMCSR in essence lays out the basic minimum standards required of drivers and their employers involved with the operation of commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.
Although trucking companies employ experienced truck drivers to carry goods from one place to another, the number of accidents caused due to driver negligence has been increasing at an alarming rate. One of the most common reasons for truck accidents is truck driver tiredness, fatigue and being overworked. Because of fatigue, drivers often lose consciousness resulting in dangerous accidents and ultimately, lawsuits. The pressure on drivers to make deliveries on time in spite of rush hour traffic, road works, weather conditions causes drivers to take extra risks, work longer hours, drive a little faster and these risks and choices that the driver and his/her company take can result in devastating consequences for the unsuspecting driver, pedestrian and bicyclist.
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Sometimes the trucking companies themselves neglect to complete even the most basic and routine inspections and/or provide regular maintenance to the trucks, thereby failing to comply with the FMCSR, local laws and ultimately neglecting public safety. You and I know that if a truck and its competent driver leave the yard, loading dock, shelter or construction site with faulty brakes, poorly functioning lights, bald and inadequate tires, that “big rig” is just a disaster waiting to happen.
In the last twelve months alone in New York City, countless truck accidents have occurred and countless lives have been lost.
In August, a 67 year old woman was struck by a pick up in Chelsea, Manhattan.
In July, a 58 year old man was struck by a truck on 5th Avenue.
In February, a 27 year old woman was struck by a truck and killed in Midtown in the early hours of the morning.
These are just three of a number of examples of pedestrians and motorists injured and maimed in truck accidents on New York city streets.
Trucking accidents can be caused by a wide variety of reasons and it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who knows what to look for, where to look for it and how to handle a trucking accident case because it’s crucial to note that a trucking accident case differs from a simple passenger vehicle car crash. Whether it involves investigating the log book of the driver, the bills of lading, the GPS records, the black box data, the mechanical operation of the truck or something as simple as an investigation into the drivers history, background, experience and competency, you need a truck accident attorney that is familiar with the area and knows how to handle your case.
I WAS INVOLVED IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, sometimes understanding what needs to be done can be overwhelming. Your health is paramount so taking care of your physical well being is first and foremost. That means, calling the EMS and/or going to the ER or Urgent Care and receiving treatment for each and every complaint. REMEMBER it is crucial to notify the medical personnel about each complaint and niggle, not just the one that hurts the most at that time. After taking care of yourself and physical well being, you should take the time to realize what your legal rights are because you could be entitled to compensation.
The Law Offices of Darren T Moore are a leading truck accident law firm of New York and we want to help you in your pursuit of legal action. It is for this reason that we have taken the time to provide you with the following steps that we encourage you to take if you’ve been involved in a truck accident.
- Gather Information: As above, firstly, be mindful of yourself and therefore gathering information may be the last thing on your mind and may be impossible depending on the extent of your injuries. However, if you can, it is imperative that you gather as much information as possible about the other driver. This will include their drivers license, license plate number, insurance policies, and the company that the truck driver works for. Also if you have the time, take note of the DOT number that most often will be located on the drivers door of the truck itself and also on the trailer that is attached to the truck. Note that these two numbers may differ.
- Report The Accident: It is important to call the police and the EMS if there are any injuries. The Police officers will make a report of the accident, document all parties information, take details and even statements from the parties involved and any potential witnesses. The EMS medical professional that report to the incident will be able to check and document any injuries or complaints made.
- Take Photos Of All Vehicles And Of Any Injuries: Photographic evidence can be crucial for your case. If you have any visible injuries you can document them, and make sure to take photos of all vehicles involved and any damage to any vehicle. If you were in an automobile during the time of the incident, in some scenarios a claim adjuster from the insurance company can determine the fault based on the location of damage done to a vehicle.
- Seek Medical Attention: As already noted, seek medical attention. Sometimes it may take days for any injuries to flare up so if you feel any niggles, discomfort and pain, seek medical attention. It is better to be safe than sorry. When you seek medical attention, a medical professional will be able to closely examine you and make any notes or observations in your medical record related to any injury sustained. This information is crucial should you bring a case at a later date.
- Contact A Personal Injury Attorney: After you’ve made sure that your health is taken care of, it is important that you get legal assistance as soon as possible. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you with the entire process. They will make sure that none of your evidence is lost or compromised, and that you get the medical care that you need.
Being involved in a crash or accident with a truck can be a truly traumatic experience but with the little knowledge and advice as provided above, it can make it a little less daunting. The Law Offices of Darren T Moore have highly trained and educated truck accident attorneys that are here to assist and guide you through the process. We hope that you never have to be involved in an accident but if you do, we want to help you protect your rights by ensuring that the proper attorney represents you. Call The Law Offices of Darren T Moore PC for a consultation and we can discuss your case, and see how our truck accident attorneys can help you. (917) 809-7014.