Westchester Truck Accident Lawyers
We at Grant & Longworth, LLP understand what it is like to be involved in an accident with a large truck and to fight to uncover who is responsible for placing that truck and driver on the roadway. We provide legal representation nationwide for individuals who, through no fault of their own, have been injured in accidents involving all types of commercial motor vehicles from tractor trailers, to delivery vehicles to construction equipment. Our personal injury law firm has represented families and individuals injured or killed because of the negligent conduct of truck drivers and trucking companies.Experienced and qualified attorneys and experts are essential to success in handling any accident case especially a trucking accident case. Contact us for a free consultation at 800-836-3519 and we’ll put an experienced trucking accident attorney to work for you.
Common Causes of Truck Driving Accidents Include:
An overloaded truck is a safety hazard for all road users. All trucks have safe load-carrying limits and when a driver loads too much cargo in a truck or loads it improperly, the truck’s balance can be distorted and the driver can potentially lose control of the vehicle. For example, a truck that is overloaded might gain momentum too quickly when going downhill, reaching an unsafe speed. The truck’s performance can also suffer, making it more difficult to brake, turn, and accelerate. A few other hazards associated with overloaded trucks include tire blowouts, rollovers, and loss of control of the truck when making a sharp turn.
The weight of a trailer’s load must be evenly distributed on each axle. Overloading one axle can be as dangerous at overloading the whole truck. A truck’s safe carrying limit is known as its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). This number is listed on a truck’s license plate.
NEGLIGENT TRUCK DRIVER ACCIDENTS
Truck drivers, like drivers of other types of vehicle, can cause accidents with their negligence. Truck driver negligence can be very like other types of driver negligence and include actions like driving while distracted by a smartphone or a CB radio, driving while under the influence of alcohol or another drug, speeding, disregarding posted traffic rules, and driving when too tired to do so safely.
Because driving a tractor trailer is much different from driving a passenger vehicle, a driver must possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to legally operate a commercial truck. Obtaining a CDL requires a driver to undergo training to safely operate this type of vehicle. If a truck driver does not have CDL, he or she is negligent. Exceeding the legal number of hours a driver may work is also a form of negligence because it puts the driver at risk of causing an accident due to his or her exhaustion. Truck drivers may only drive for up to 11 hours during a 14-hour period and up to 70 hours in a workweek.
FALLING DEBRIS FROM TRUCKS
When a truck transports objects, the objects must be tightly secured in order to prevent them from falling into the roadway or onto other vehicles and causing an accident. This is not the only accident hazard that poorly-secured objects pose. When an object falls from a moving truck, drivers might swerve out of the way to avoid them, colliding with other vehicles or stationary objects as a result. When containers of liquids or viscous materials like motor oil fall from a truck, they can coat the roadway and create hazardous, slippery conditions.
Sometimes, falling debris is not objects being transported by dirt, ice, snow, and water on the truck itself. Snow and ice accumulated on top of a vehicle can slide off at high speeds and hit other vehicles, potentially damaging them or reducing their drivers’ visibility. Dirt and water can do this as well, particularly when falling dirt contains rocks or other solid particles.
TRUCKS HITTING PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS
Commercial trucks have much larger blind spots than smaller vehicles have. Drivers of smaller vehicles are warned to avoid entering a truck’s blind spot to avoid a collision, but bicyclists and pedestrians are at an even greater risk because their profiles are much smaller. Truck drivers sit high in their cabs, making it difficult or even impossible for a driver to see a pedestrian or bicyclist in his or her blind spot.
A truck’s blind spots are to its immediate front, rear, and alongside its sides just beyond its mirrors’ reach. Stay out of these areas regardless of whether you are on a bicycle, walking, or in a car. A pedestrian or bicyclist can easily be critically injured or killed in a collision with a tractor trailer. Always make use of available sidewalks or bicycle paths when sharing the road with commercial trucks.
Truck Accident Investigation
Tractor trailer accidents happen for many reasons. Whether the cause of an accident with a large truck seems obvious or it is difficult to figure out, an investigation is almost always necessary. We have the know-how and expertise and contacts in the industry and staff to handle whatever investigation your tractor trailer accident case requires.
Why is investigation important in a personal injury or wrongful death case involving a large commercial truck?
Most trucking companies and their insurance companies have accident investigation teams that go out to the scene immediately, sometimes within minutes or hours of an accident. Their job is to locate and secure evidence that supports the truck driver’s version of how the accident happened. However, the truck driver’s story may differ in many respects from your independent recollection of the accident. To protect your rights, you need an investigator who will look for and document evidence that is favorable to your case.
This includes preserving evidence located in “on board computers” and other tracking devices required to be installed in most commercial motor vehicles. If this information is not preserved early in a case critical evidence will be lost as a trucking company will erase data, destroy it or otherwise prevent it from being available for review.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates interstate trucking and transportation in the United States. However, regulators are unable to effectively stop all illegal operations, shut down unqualified motor carriers and keep the roadways safe for all motorists and pedestrians. We are experienced in tracing control of motor carriers and drivers to identify responsible parties. Most police departments are unsophisticated in investigating motor carriers due to a lack of coordination and available data between state and federal regulators and law enforcement. While this is improving it is essential for anyone injured in a trucking accident to immediately commence investigation and fight to preserve evidence before it can be destroyed by unscrupulous trucking companies and their agents.
You should not discuss how your accident happened with anyone representing the interests of a trucking company or its driver. Why? Among other things, you may be asked leading questions that are designed to confuse you and elicit answers that can be twisted around unfairly to make it look like the accident was at least partially your fault.
If a trucking company representative, attorney, or insurance company representative requests your oral or written statement, call the Firm of Grant & Longworth at 800-836-3519, before you answer any questions.
Truck Accident Law is Complicated
Federal Law makes all persons involved in the ownership, maintenance, control, dispatching or routing of a commercial motor vehicle the “motor carrier” and rules permit imposition of liability upon persons hiring a driver, owning the freight being shipped, or acting as the broker to arrange the carriage of property in interstate commerce.
You need experienced attorneys, investigators, and experts on your side at the earliest stage of your case to:
- Protect your rights to ensure long-term success
- Investigate and preserve critical evidence (including preventing motor carriers from destroying evidence)
- Help you navigate the complex scheme of insurance, workers compensation, no-fault and other insurances and sources of payment for your medical expenses, loss of income and damages
- Give you concrete advice to assist you with dealing with the daily problems caused by having to recover from life-threatening serious injuries
Our Team Can Help
Responding to the catastrophic results of a trucking accident alone can be frightening.
You can turn to Grant & Longworth for advice about practical, medical and legal issues you will confront?
Our team will help protect your interests when you are faced with fighting a rich powerful big trucking company that will do everything legal and sometimes illegal to prevent you from receiving fair and just compensation for your injuries or those of a loved one.
Grant & Longworth has been advising truck accident and victims of catastrophic accidents about their legal options for years. Our attorneys and investigators include highly experienced ex-police officers, engineers, accident reconstruction experts, accountants, and other experts in the industry of trucking and related industries that is critical to identifying responsible parties after an accident. Together with our specially trained staff and experts, we work hard to prepare your case for a successful settlement or trial verdict. Along the way, our accident attorneys will answer your questions and explain legal procedures. Our goal is to obtain the fair and just compensation you deserve.