No personal injury case is “simple,” but truck accident cases are even more complex than most. Finding a firm with extensive, in-depth experience with truck accident cases is crucial when choosing a truck accident lawyer.
There are multiple issues to investigate in a truck accident case, and you’ll be going up against a major company that does not want to pay you. They’re ready to fight as hard as they can to avoid it, in fact, because truck accident injuries tend to be catastrophic and expensive.
You need lawyers who both know where to look and what to look for.
Driver Employment Status
Trucking companies love to shift the responsibility onto drivers by claiming they are “independent contractors.” If they’re successful, it might be difficult to obtain compensation for your injuries simply because the driver rarely has their own commercial insurance policy.
We dig deep into the driver’s relationship with the trucking company to determine if the relationship constituted an employer-employee relationship under the New York Department of Labor or federal standards. If we can prove the driver counted as an employee, we can shut down this tactic.
Trucks that enter New York City must use either the appropriate local truck route or through truck route.
If the truck was on an inappropriate roadway at the time of the accident, we could use this fact to increase the trucking company’s share of liability and to ensure that you get paid more for your truck accident case.
Hiring & Training Practices
Trucking companies have two obligations when they hire employees.
First, they must conduct appropriate background checks to ensure the employee can be trusted with one of their trucks.
Second, they must provide additional training. They may not rely on the CDL alone. Additional training is an industry-standard and required under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Federal law requires truck drivers to digitally log working hours in their cabs. They may drive up to 11 hours a day within a 14-hour window. While it’s more difficult to tamper with electronic logs than with the old paper logs, it’s still vital for your lawyer to examine these logs closely.
If we can find any violation in federal safety laws governing drive time and sleep, we can use that information to strengthen your truck accident case.
According to federal law, companies must inspect and maintain their 18-wheelers every thirty days. They are not allowed to release the trucks on the road in anything other than safe operating condition.
Of course, it’s always possible that the company acted in good faith and that a truck part failed due to manufacturer error. If that’s the case, we still need to know because that will allow us to sue the manufacturer for all or part of the compensation you’ll be owed.
Weight and Cargo Loading Practices
Poorly secured cargo causes some truck accidents. A big log falls off a truck and causes the car behind it to swerve, causing a pileup. An overloaded truck unbalances on the turn and skids across the highway, leaving destruction in its wake.
There’s a reason why you see weighing stations on the highway, and there’s a reason why loads must adhere to weight limits and guidelines. They must be secured correctly.
Of course, defendants will try to argue that the load was fine until the crash “shifted it,” but cargo records often tell a very different story.
The Facts of the Accident
In your basic car accident case, the facts of the accident might matter more than just about any other factor. Who was driving distracted? Who followed traffic rules, and who didn’t? What were the prevailing weather conditions like? Was anybody intoxicated?
In a truck accident case, all those factors still matter. In fact, because of the massive amounts of money that tend to be at stake in a trucking accident, they matter even more. That’s why we work closely with accident reconstructionists, try to gather video evidence, and do everything in our power to try to understand what happened with your accident so that we can form a strong case on your behalf.
Get Help Today
Don’t settle for personal injury lawyers who aren’t going to explore every avenue for strengthening and pressing your claim.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, don’t delay. Contact our offices to schedule a case review today.