Trucks are a type of vehicle that will always be found on the road. They are straightforward to find since they are vital to our modern society. To transport goods and provide services all over the nation. There are over 13 million trucks registered in the United States.
Even though we are great drivers and always follow traffic rules, there will always be accidents, and when an accident involves a large truck, it can have devastating results.
If you were involved in a Westchester truck accident and got severe injuries, you must know that you may be entitled to pursue rightful compensation for your losses. You may be dealing with several issues at the same time. Therefore, The Ward Law Group is available to provide you with high-level representation.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Westchester
Truck accidents in Westchester can occur due to various factors, each with its own risks and consequences. Understanding the common causes is crucial in determining liability and seeking appropriate compensation. Here are some prevalent factors that contribute to truck accidents:
1. Driver Fatigue:
Driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents. Long hours on the road without adequate rest breaks can lead to drowsiness and decreased alertness.
Federal regulations mandate maximum driving hours and mandatory rest periods for truck drivers, but adherence to these rules can sometimes be neglected. For example, a tired driver may fail to react quickly, leading to a collision.
Excessive speed is another significant factor in truck accidents. Due to their size and weight, trucks require more time and distance to come to a stop. When a truck is speeding, the likelihood of a collision increases, especially in situations that require sudden braking.
For instance, a speeding truck may struggle to stop in time at a red light, leading to a rear-end collision.
3. Equipment Failure:
Malfunctions or failures in a truck's mechanical components can lead to accidents. This includes issues with brakes, tires, steering systems, and other critical parts.
Lack of proper maintenance or defective equipment can exacerbate these risks. For example, if a truck's brakes fail while descending a steep incline, it can result in a catastrophic accident.
4. Distracted Driving:
Distractions, such as cell phone use, eating, or fiddling with GPS devices, can divert a truck driver's attention from the road. Inattention, even for a few seconds, can lead to a loss of control or failure to react promptly.
For instance, a distracted driver may fail to notice a slowing traffic ahead, leading to a rear-end collision.
5. Impaired Driving:
Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications can impair a truck driver's judgment, reaction time, and coordination.
This significantly increases the risk of accidents. For example, an impaired driver may misjudge a turn or fail to notice a merging vehicle, resulting in a collision.
6. Adverse Weather Conditions:
Weather-related factors like rain, snow, fog, or ice can create hazardous truck driving conditions. Reduced visibility, slippery roads, and reduced traction increase the likelihood of accidents.
In such situations, drivers should adjust their speed and exercise extra caution, but failure can lead to accidents.
7. Improper Loading or Overloading:
Improperly loaded cargo or overloading a truck can lead to a loss of balance and stability, especially during turns or sudden maneuvers.
This can result in rollovers or jackknifes. For instance, if a truck is overloaded and attempts a sharp turn, it may tip over due to the excessive weight.
Importance of Legal Representation in Truck Accident Cases
Experiencing a truck accident can be a life-altering event, often resulting in severe injuries, substantial property damage, and emotional distress. In the aftermath of such an incident, seeking the counsel of a qualified Westchester truck accident lawyer is of paramount importance.
A Westchester truck accident lawyer from The Ward Law Group possesses specialized knowledge and expertise in handling cases involving commercial trucks. They understand the unique complexities and intricacies of trucking regulations, which can significantly impact the outcome of an issue.
Truck accidents often involve multiple parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, maintenance providers, and potentially others. A seasoned lawyer has the experience to investigate the accident and accurately determine liability thoroughly. This is vital in ensuring all responsible parties are accountable for their actions.
This specialized knowledge allows them to build a robust and evidence-based case on behalf of the victim.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies representing the trucking industry are known for employing aggressive tactics to minimize payouts. A skilled Westchester truck accident lawyer on your side levels the playing field.
They can negotiate with the insurance companies, advocating for fair compensation encompassing medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other damages.
Prompt action is crucial in preserving critical evidence related to the accident. A lawyer understands what evidence is essential and how to gather and keep it effectively.
This includes obtaining accident reports, interviewing witnesses, examining the scene, and, if necessary, consulting with accident reconstruction experts. Building a solid case is fundamental in securing a favorable outcome.
An experienced truck accident lawyer in Westchester understands the full scope of damages that a victim may be entitled to.
This includes immediate medical expenses, property damage, and long-term costs such as rehabilitation, ongoing medical care, and potential loss of future earnings. They work tirelessly to ensure that victims receive the maximum compensation they deserve.
Providing Peace of Mind
Navigating the legal aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming and emotionally draining. Having a trusted lawyer by your side provides peace of mind, knowing that a seasoned professional is fighting for your rights and best interests. This allows victims to focus on their recovery and move forward with their lives.
Liability and Legal Process in Westchester Truck Accidents
Due to the complexity of these cases, determining who is at fault requires a thorough investigation.
The process begins with a comprehensive investigation. This involves gathering evidence from the accident scene, such as skid marks, debris, and vehicle positions.
Additionally, witness statements and any available surveillance footage can be crucial. An experienced Westchester truck accident lawyer will also work to obtain essential documents, including police reports, driver logs, and maintenance records.
Then, it’s required to identify the negligent party. Liability in a truck accident can extend beyond just the driver. The trucking company, maintenance providers, and manufacturers may be held responsible.
These parties could be deemed liable if a maintenance issue or equipment failure contributed to the accident. A lawyer will carefully scrutinize all potentially negligent parties to ensure no responsible party is overlooked.
To establish liability, it must be shown that the negligent party breached a duty of care owed to others on the road.
For example, if the truck driver violates traffic laws, exceeds permissible driving hours, or fails to maintain the vehicle properly, it may be considered negligence. This breach of duty must be directly linked to the cause of the accident.
It's not enough to demonstrate negligence; causation must also be established. This means proving that the negligent actions caused the accident and subsequent injuries. This often involves expert analysis, especially in complex accidents or disputed liability cases.
Once liability is established, the legal process moves forward. Typically, this involves negotiating with insurance companies to reach a fair settlement. A lawsuit may be filed if a suitable agreement cannot be reached.
The discovery process, which includes gathering evidence and deposing witnesses, follows. From there, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.
In successful cases, victims may be entitled to various forms of compensation. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages. A skilled Westchester truck accident lawyer will fight diligently to secure the maximum compensation available to the victim.
Many truck accident cases are resolved through settlement negotiations. This can save time and emotional strain, allowing victims to receive compensation more quickly.
Westchester Traffic Laws About Truck Accidents
Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Requirements
In New York, commercial truck drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) to operate large vehicles. This involves passing written and skills tests to ensure drivers are knowledgeable and capable of handling commercial vehicles safely.
If a truck driver in an accident lacks a valid CDL, it can impact their credibility and potentially establish negligence.
Hours of Service Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict regulations regarding the hours a commercial driver can operate a vehicle without mandatory rest breaks. Violating these "Hours of Service" rules can lead to driver fatigue, a common cause of truck accidents. Evidence of hours-of-service violations can play a significant role in establishing liability.
Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance
Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring their vehicles are properly maintained and safe for operation. Regular inspections and maintenance are required to identify and rectify any potential issues. Neglecting these duties can lead to mechanical failures, such as brake failures or tire blowouts, which may result in accidents. Failure to maintain a truck could establish liability for the trucking company.
Weight Limits and Load Securement
New York has specific regulations governing the weight and securement of cargo on commercial vehicles. Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks can become unstable, increasing the risk of accidents. If an accident is caused by wrongly secured or hefty cargo, it may be grounds for liability against those responsible for loading and ensuring the shipment.
Right of Way and Traffic Signals
Understanding the rules of right of way and obeying traffic signals are fundamental aspects of safe driving. Failure to yield the right of way or running red lights can lead to devastating accidents. In a truck accident case, evidence of a driver's failure to adhere to these rules can be critical in establishing liability.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Both federal and state laws require regular drug and alcohol testing for commercial truck drivers. Positive test results or failure to comply with testing requirements can clearly indicate negligence on the driver's part, potentially leading to liability.
New York law mandates specific insurance coverage for commercial vehicles, ensuring that victims of accidents have access to compensation. The minimum insurance requirements for trucks in New York are higher than those for regular passenger vehicles. This provides adequate resources to cover damages in the event of an accident.
Get Help From The Ward Law Group Westchester Truck Accident Lawyer
We understand how stressful these situations can be. We’d like to offer you our complete commitment to your case and bring peace of mind to you and your family.
We will help you navigate the process in a way that you quickly understand what is going on and where you know that we will be fighting tirelessly to bring positive results. We have built a reputation of success over the years and have won multi-million dollar settlements for our previous clients.
We proudly serve the Hispanic community to be heard and advocate for their rights. You are not alone; you can count on us. Call us for a free consultation of your case at 855-DOLOR-55.