Safely navigating the roads and highways in the greater New York area can be a daunting challenge, especially because drivers of passenger vehicles must share the road with commercial trucks. Think about it: the average automobile weighs about 4,000 pounds, while a tractor-trailer can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, and a collision can have devastating consequences for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, the law office of Michael LoGiudice can help you obtain meaningful compensation. We are well versed in the applicable local, state and federal truck safety laws as well as the complicated insurance issues related to truck accident claims.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Although the leading causes of truck accidents are poor vehicle maintenance and driver fatigue, accidents are also caused by:
- Driver error
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Poor weather and road conditions
- Improper loading
The most common types of truck crashes include:
- Rollover Accidents – While these collisions are often the result of speeding, rollovers are also likely to occur on steep inclines, from hitting a curb or swerving around objects on the road, taking a curve too fast, as well as when vehicles are not properly loaded.
- Jackknife Accidents – This type of accident occurs when a tractor-trailer’s drive axle brakes lock, 0098=which cases the trailer to skid, stopping only after it comes to a 90-degree angle with the tractor. A trucker invariable loses control as the truck is jackknifing and the vehicle rolls over.
- Brake Failure Accidents – Brakes that are not properly installed or maintained are prone to failure. In addition, aging brakes and sudden stops can lead to overheating which increases the risk of brake failure, particularly in heavier trucks.
- Runaway Truck Accidents – Truckers should apply the brakes in a way that gradually reduces the speed of the vehicle with each application in order to preserve the brakes. Truckers that do not use proper braking techniques can cause the brakes to fail, leading to a runaway truck accident.
- Blind Spots – Because of the typical size of a commercial truck, these vehicles have larger blind spots along the sides and rear of the truck, which are referred to as “No Zone” areas. A motor vehicle driver that fails to avoid a No Zone area can become involved in a tragic accident.
- Rear-End – These accidents occur when a truck runs into the back of another vehicle. Because of the weight of the truck and its cargo load, these accidents often result in serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
- Under-Ride – When a truck driver slams on the brakes, vehicles behind the truck can become crushed under the rear truck trailer, often resulting in severe if not deadly injuries to the passengers.
- Wide Turn Accidents – These accidents occur when a trucker underestimates the amount of space needed to complete a turn or fails to notice smaller vehicles in the path of a trailer, also known as a swinging turn crash or squeeze-play accident.
Truck Safety Laws
There are a number of state and federal truck safety laws that are designed to keep the public safe and prevent collisions on the roads and highways. However, trucking companies and truck drivers that fail to abide by these laws and cause accidents must be held accountable.
For example, trucking companies have a legal obligation to ensure that trucks are properly maintained. In particular, the braking systems, lights, steering, engine and other mechanical parts must be operating properly. Trucking companies must also conduct routine maintenance and safety inspections, and maintain records that verify the necessary inspections and maintenance has been performed. A trucking company that does not comply with these requirements can be held liable for accidents that lead to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.
In addition, there a rules that govern the behavior of truck drivers. In particular, they are required to obtain special license, and also comply with hourly driving limits. There are also requirements that truckers must take regular breaks. Nonetheless, truckers often face strict delivery deadlines, and typically cover long distances. In short, truckers are prone to becoming fatigued which can adversely impact their ability to respond to traffic and road conditions. At times, some truckers may take stimulants, such as methamphetamines, to stay alert. In any event, driver fatigue and driving under the influence can lead to tragic accidents.
New York Truck Accident Attorneys
At the law office of Michael LoGiudice, we are dedicated to holding negligent trucking companies and truckers accountable. In a truck accident, the trucking company and the insurer quickly deploys teams of crash scene investigators to minimize their liability. We have the skills and resources that are necessary to conduct our own thorough investigation and level the playing field.
Our guiding principle is to help our clients obtain just compensation for their pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages and property damage. We also help those who have lost loved ones pursue wrongful death claims. If you or a loved one was involved in an accident with a commercial truck, call our office or fill out a contact form today for a free consultation.
The law office of Michael LoGiudice serves clients in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.