If you have been in a trucking accident in New York, you will need to prove several elements in your case to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. In this post, we’ll detail what you need to do to have a successful case against a trucking company.
Types of Negligence in Truck Accidents
To win a trucking accident case, your attorney will need to prove that another individual or entity was negligent in some way. An investigation of your case may uncover any of the following facts that will prove negligence:
- Safety regulations were not enforced;
- driver was not properly screened in the hiring process;
- truck was overloaded;
- driver was not adequately trained;
- driver was sleep deprived;
- equipment was faulty;
- driver was under the influence of a controlled substance;
- truck itself was not adequately inspected;
- load was improperly packed;
- and/or the roadway was defective.
Who Can Be Held Liable in New York Truck Crashes
Other parties may be at fault in addition to the trucking company. These individuals and entities may include the following:
- The truck driver
- The dispatcher
- The owners or managers of the trucking company
- The owners of the truck cab and/or trailer
- The maintenance service provider
- The designer, manufacturer, and/or distributor of faulty truck parts
- The government entity who maintains the roadway
Your New York truck accident attorney may be able to establish multiple layers of liability in a complex case.
Type of Injuries That Qualify in New York Negligence Cases
New York is a no-fault insurance state. So, if you are injured in a trucking accident, you must first seek compensation from your own insurance company, even if you did not cause the accident. However, if you have experienced a serious injury according to New York legal standards, you can sidestep the no-fault threshold and file a liability claim for your medical bills and certain other losses.
A serious injury includes the following conditions:
- Bone fracture
- Significant disfigurement
- Significant limit on body function or system use
- Permanent limit on body organ or member use
- Full disability for at least 90 days
If you qualify under these conditions, you can seek compensation for the full amounts of your losses, including pain and suffering.
Elements Needed to Prove Negligence
Your attorney must be able to prove all five points of negligence for you to receive compensation. Here, we will detail each point for you.
- Duty- The defendant owed a duty of care to you. For example, a trucking company must properly secure a load to provide safety to proximate drivers.
- Breach of Duty- The defendant breached the duty of care that was owed to you. In the example, the trucking company did not properly secure the load.
- Cause in Fact- The breach of duty caused injury to you. For example, the trucking company did not properly secure the barrels the truck was hauling, and one came loose and crashed through your windshield, which caused a severe head injury.
- Proximate Cause- Your attorney can prove proximate cause by showing that the trucking company could have foreseen the hazard but failed to correct it.
- Damages- You are entitled to damages because your injury was a direct result of the breach of duty and the proximate cause.
A qualified trucking accident attorney will be able to prove all five of these elements in your personal injury claim. Remember, it’s important to call an experienced New York trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible to begin building your case. Call today and we’ll set up a free case review.
How the Statute of Limitations Works
In New York you are required to file a personal injury claim within three years of the date of the original injury. In other words, you must file within the three-year window to be considered for compensation. If you miss the window, you have no chance of recovering your losses from the negligent party.
If a loved one dies as a result of a trucking accident, you would need to file a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations for these types of claims is shortened to two years. Check with a skilled attorney to learn how the statute of limitations applies to your case.
Even beyond that statute, the sooner you call an experienced attorney, the better. After all, more time to prepare increases the likelihood that we will be able to put together the strongest case possible. Additionally, much of the evidence will likely come from the accident scene, and once that is cleaned up it may be difficult to recover certain types of evidence.
Bottom line? It’s best to call as soon as the accident occurs.
About the Author
Richard Bell is a personal injury lawyer serving the community in the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester with offices in Manhattan and Queens. His extensive knowledge of personal injury (including construction accidents, medical malpractice, auto accidents and falldowns) has resulted in great success for many of his clients during his more than 30 years of practicing law. In addition to winning millions of dollars from personal injury lawsuits for his clients, he was awarded for his pro bono work and is passionate about educating citizens about voting rights.