Sharing the road with commercial trucks can make the heart of other drivers beat a little faster, and for good reason. Semi-trucks present increased risks to other drivers because of their size, weight (weighing up to 80,000 pounds), driver experience, and unfortunate frequency of driver distraction and driver fatigue.
Truck accidents often leave victims dealing with injuries, damaged property, and emotional trauma. If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident in or around the Bronx, contact a Bronx Truck Accident Lawyer at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at (833) 552-7274 or through our website to schedule a free consultation.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman Have Delivered Results
The team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman is committed to personal service and accessibility and is known for consistently securing positive results for their clients—including victims of accidents with commercial vehicles.
Examples of our successful results include:
- A $3.2 million settlement for the victim of a semi-truck accident. The victim suffered a brain injury, and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman secured a settlement in pre-trial mediation.
- A $1.75 million settlement for a victim of a semi-truck accident who suffered from a partially torn rotator cuff and a mild traumatic brain injury. Under a previous law firm, the highest settlement offer was $265,000. Once Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman took over responsibility for the case, the evidentiary phase of the lawsuit uncovered that the truck had not been properly maintained.
The above results are representative of cases handled by Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman. There is no guarantee of recovery in any case, but the team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman is committed to bringing expertise, compassion, and a focus on communication to every client’s case. We work with each client to understand their goals and the unique facts of their case.
Bronx Truck Accidents by the Numbers
In one recent year, approximately 450,000 reported crashes took place in the United States that involved large trucks. These crashes resulted in more than 4,000 fatalities and nearly 350,000 injuries.
While the Bronx is not necessarily associated with large trucks, they still pose a risk. Recent studies show that in one year, there were 640 large commercial vehicles and 89 small commercial vehicles involved in accidents in New York. The Bronx accounted for 148 of the large commercial vehicles and 19 of the small commercial vehicles involved in the accidents.
Some of the most common factors contributing to accidents in the Bronx were:
- Driver inattention or distraction
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Following too closely
- Unsafe speed
- Passing too closely
- Driver inexperience
- Traffic signal disregarded
Many of the above causes are commonly associated with commercial truck accidents, including driver distraction and driver inexperience.
Establishing Fault After a Bronx Truck Accident Accident
Any party that acted negligently in a way that caused the accident and your injuries may be responsible. While a variety of factors indicate negligence, violation of a traffic law or regulation can be strong evidence. Commercial truck drivers must follow state and federal regulations and your lawyer should investigate violations when evaluating responsibility.
Parties commonly at fault for an accident with a semi-truck include:
- Truck driver: There are many ways a truck driver could act negligently, causing an accident.
- Proper licensing. A truck driver must be properly licensed to drive a commercial vehicle. In New York, a driver must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to operate a commercial truck. To obtain a CDL, the driver must have a valid driver’s license, secure a commercial learner’s permit, and pass a road test. Driving a commercial truck without the proper license can be compelling evidence of negligence on the part of the truck driver.
- Distracted driving. Truck drivers spend long hours on the road making them prone to boredom. As electronic devices multiply, drivers are increasingly presented with dangerous distractions while driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations restrict the use of mobile phones by drivers and include a ban on texting while driving. The regulations include different limitations to help reduce distracted driving, including reaching for or holding a phone. In addition to the civil penalties associated with the violation, distracted driving can exhibit driver negligence.
- Driver fatigue. In addition to distracted driving, endless driving causes drivers to get sleepy behind the wheel. For this reason, there are limitations on the length of time a driver can be on the road without a break. The regulations limit daily driving time to 11 hours—and only after ten consecutive hours off duty. There are additional regulations governing rest time and off-duty time. Evidence that the driver violated these regulations at the time of the accident can be strong evidence of negligence.
- Alcohol consumption. Truck drivers must comply with heightened standards around the consumption of alcohol during and in proximity to their shift. Drivers are forbidden from consuming alcohol within four hours of going on duty or operating a commercial vehicle. Drivers cannot have any measurable alcohol concentration in their bloodstream while on duty or operating a commercial vehicle.
- Employer: If the truck driver works as an employee of a trucking company or is otherwise driving in the scope of their employment, the employer may be responsible for the driver’s actions. Additionally, there are certain steps an employer should take before hiring a driver. The company should confirm the driver is appropriately licensed for the vehicle, track hours of service and enforce the federal regulations, and ensure the truck is properly maintained. The employer is likely to have a better insurance policy than the driver, so it is often preferable to pursue the employer for recovery.
- Manufacturer: While the driver and employer are responsible for the maintenance of the truck, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to test and produce a safe vehicle. If a truck malfunction (not caused by failure to properly maintain the vehicle) is the cause of the accident, the manufacturer may be responsible.
Your attorney will work with you to identify the negligent party (or parties, if more than one actor is at fault) and to compile evidence to support that claim.
Preparing a Damages Demand After a Bronx Truck Accident
A lawyer will work with you to ensure you include all the ways you have been injured in your damages demand. It is important to have a comprehensive assessment of your damages. This is the figure that will be considered by the jury if your case proceeds to trial. It will also be an important tool when evaluating settlement offers from the defendant and their insurance provider.
Damages after a truck accident often include:
- Medical expenses: The defendant can be held responsible for all the medical costs of your injuries, including doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency transportation, and prescription medicine. If your injuries require ongoing care like physical therapy, these estimated costs should be included in your damages. Your lawyer can work with you to secure the input of medical experts as needed.
- Lost income: If your injuries force you to miss work, you may be entitled to recover for the lost wages. This also includes working a reduced work schedule or performing light work for lower wages. If your injuries have a long-term impact on your ability to return to work or advance in your career, an estimate of your future lost earning potential should also be evaluated and included in the damages demand. Input from an economic expert is often necessary to secure a reasonable estimate.
- Property damage: If your car was damaged or destroyed in the accident, the defendant may be held responsible for repair or replacement. A vehicle is not the only property that might be damaged. If other personal belongings, including electronics like a smartphone, were damaged, include these costs as well.
- Emotional distress: Many victims of truck accidents are left with an emotional injury in addition to their physical injuries. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are commonly suffered after an accident and can have significant impacts on the life of the victim. While often difficult to quantify, it is important to work with your lawyer to include any emotional distress in your recovery demand.
- Loss of enjoyment: If you can’t participate in activities that were previously an important part of your life due to your injuries, work with your attorney to include this loss of enjoyment in your damages demand.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages punish the defendant as opposed to compensating the plaintiff for their injuries. To be eligible for punitive damages in New York, the victim must establish that the defendant acted will willful and wanton negligence. Given this high standard, discuss with your attorney whether a demand for punitive damages makes sense in your case.
While it can hurt to discuss all the ways the accident changed your life, it is an important step in ensuring your ability to recover.
What to Do After a Bronx Truck Accident Accident
The first thing you should do after a truck accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you do not believe you have been injured, many injuries are not easily detected with symptoms only appearing days or weeks later.
Once you have secured medical attention, ensure a strong case for recovery by taking these steps.
- Get a police report. Be sure to get a police report after the accident. The report will document the scene of the accident, collect witness statements and contact information, and detail any citations issued to drivers. If you can’t get a police report, be sure to take your own photos of the accident scene and collect witness information. This evidence will be important as you build a case of negligence against another party.
- Stay organized. Paperwork is just one of many headaches you will need to deal with after the accident, and it is tempting to toss it to the side. This paperwork will be important as you develop your case. Be sure to save medical bills and information, communication from insurance companies, documents related to time away from work due to your injuries, and any other documentation related to the accident or your injuries. In addition to keeping documents organized, be sure not to sign any without reading them first. Certain documents might limit your ability to recover certain damages or file a lawsuit. When in doubt, have your lawyer review any paperwork that requires a signature.
- Avoid social media. Talk to your lawyer before posting anything about your accident or injuries on social media. The defendant and their insurance provider may try to turn anything you post against you. For example, a post as simple as “Just got into an accident—my bad!” could be spun to mean that you were admitting fault for the accident. If you have suffered injuries that limit your mobility, a picture of you out on a hike or participating in other physical activities could be leveraged to diminish the extent of your injuries.
The time after an accident is confusing and overwhelming. It is best to consult your personal injury attorney consistently and before you take any action that could affect your case.
Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman’s Bronx Truck Accident Attorneys Today
The team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman is composed of award-winning trial attorneys that have successfully argued complex catastrophic injury cases in the courtroom. Our lawyers are dedicated advocates on behalf of our injured clients in settlement and the courtroom.
We know that one of the most stressful parts of a court case is feeling uninformed. For this reason, each of our clients receives the personal cell phone number and email of the attorney handling their case. The consistent and uncompromising personal service offered by our attorneys has earned our firm awards and distinctions.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in or around the Bronx, contact our firm today at (833) 552-7274 or through our website to schedule a free consultation.
Bronx Truck Accident FAQs
Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident is undoubtedly a stressful time for the victim. Below we address some of the most commonly asked questions after a truck accident. One of the most helpful things you can do to ease the stress associated with an accident and your injuries is to contact a Bronx truck accident lawyer. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in or around the Bronx, contact our firm today.
Q: What is a commercial truck?
The most straightforward description of a commercial truck is any large truck that is used to transport goods. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations define a commercial motor vehicle based on its weight rating or the number of passengers it transports.
A vehicle falls under the federal regulations if it:
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more;
- Is used to transport more than 8 passengers for compensation or more than 15 passengers without compensation; or
- Is used to transport hazardous material.
While the exact weight of the truck you have collided with may seem inconsequential, the official classification will subject the vehicle and its driver to rules and requirements in addition to the normal state regulations.
Q: Do Bronx truck drivers need to follow any special regulations?
Vehicles that are a commercial motor vehicle under the federal definition must comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
These requirements include:
- Limitations on a driver’s hours of service, with a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty for property-carrying drivers;
- Restrictions on the use of mobile phones while driving and a prohibition against texting while driving;
- Strict limitations on the consumption of alcohol before and during a driving shift; and
- Requirements for routine maintenance and inspections of the vehicles.
The drivers as well as their employers are responsible for complying with all federal and state regulations for commercial motor vehicles.
Q: What training is required for Bronx truck drivers?
Every commercial truck driver in New York must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). A driver must pass a test before a CDL is issued. The test will include (1) a pre-trip inspection which consists of an engine start, pre-cab inspection, and vehicle inspection; (2) a skills test; and (3) an on-road driving test that will assess driving maneuvers and general driving behavior.
Q: Are Bronx truck accidents more dangerous than other motor vehicle accidents?
Fatalities are more likely to occur when a commercial truck is involved in an accident. In a recent year, there were approximately 450,000 crashes involving large trucks in the United States. Of these accidents, 4,237 were fatal, meaning about 1 percent of truck accidents involved a fatality. For comparison, only a minuscule number of car accidents resulted in a fatality—34,247 out of 325,719,178. While large truck accidents may be less common, they are certainly more dangerous.
There are several reasons semi-trucks present such a deadly risk, and one main reason is their size and weight. When fully loaded, a semi-truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, exponentially more than a passenger vehicle that weighs about 3,000 pounds. This weight means that passenger vehicle occupants are more likely to die when involved in an accident with a commercial truck.
Q: How common are truck accidents in the Bronx?
There is no doubt that commercial trucks pose a risk for drivers in the Bronx. According to a recent study, there were 640 large commercial vehicles and 89 small commercial vehicles involved in accidents in the city of New York during one year. The Bronx accounted for 148 of the large commercial vehicles and 19 of the small commercial vehicles involved in the accidents.
Q: What are the most common causes of accidents with commercial trucks in the Bronx?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration performed a large truck crash causation study that explores the most common causes of commercial truck accidents.
Drivers cause the vast majority of accidents because of:
- The driver falling asleep or otherwise becoming physically impaired.
- The driver’s inattentiveness or failure to observe the situation adequately for any reason.
- Bad driver decisions such as speeding or following too closely.
- Poor driver performance, including overcompensation in steering or poor directional control.
Accidents are also caused by factors not associated with the driver, including vehicle problems (such as brake or tire problems), roadway problems, weather hazards, and shifting of cargo.
Consistent with this national study, the following factors are most commonly the cause of accidents in the Bronx:
- Driver inattention or distraction.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way.
- Following too closely.
- Unsafe speed.
- Passing too closely.
- Driver inexperience.
- Traffic signal disregarded.
Q: What is a truck jackknife and what causes it?
A commercial truck jackknifes when the cab and trailer create an acute angle, resulting in an L or V shape. Jackknifing happens when the cab wheels or trailer wheels lose traction. Slamming on brakes and causing the axles to lock, driving too fast to allow for adequate response time to hazards, curvy roads, slippery roads, empty trailers, and improperly secured cargo can all cause the loss of traction.
A truck jackknife often causes serious injuries to other drivers on the road who either crash into the truck or another vehicle when trying to avoid the truck.
Q: Who is responsible for my injuries from the Bronx truck accident?
If a party acted negligently in a way that caused the accident and resulted in your injuries, they could be held responsible for the damages you have suffered.
These parties can cause accidents:
- Truck driver: There are many ways a truck driver could act negligently, causing an accident. Common negligent acts by a truck driver include failing to secure the necessary licensing, driving while distracted, failing to follow the hours of service rules or otherwise driving while overly tired, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or making poor driving decisions such as speeding or following too closely.
- Employer: The failings of an employee can also be considered the failings of the employer. If the truck driver is operating in the scope of their job at the time of the accident, the employer could be held responsible for their actions. If the employer is a trucking company, they have additional responsibility to ensure the competence of the driver and the safety of the vehicle. A trucking company must ensure that the driver is appropriately licensed to drive a commercial truck, truck driver hours of service, comply with federal regulations, and properly maintain the truck. You may prefer to pursue recovery from the employer, as it probably has a more comprehensive insurance policy than the driver.
- Manufacturer: If the vehicle malfunctions, even when it has received all necessary maintenance, the manufacturer may be to blame for the accident. For example, if the brakes completely fail because of a failure of the manufacturer to test the truck or properly assemble the vehicle, the manufacturer’s negligence can be the cause of the accident and injuries.
Q: Can I only recover for my medical expenses, or can I recover for other damages as well?
The defendant can be responsible for all the injuries suffered from the accident, and these are not limited to medical costs.
Common damages recovered after a truck accident include:
- Medical expenses like doctor’s bills, prescription medicine, emergency transportation, the cost of a hospital stay, and any long-term rehabilitation or care;
- Loss of income for any time you missed work due to your injuries, or if you were forced to work a reduced schedule, as well as any work you might miss in the future;
- Damage to any property because of the accident, including damage to your vehicle—if your property was destroyed, the defendant can be responsible for the cost of replacement;
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress resulting from the accident and injuries including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder;
- Inability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed; and
- Punitive damages to punish the defendant if they acted willfully or otherwise particularly egregiously in a manner that caused the accident.
Preparing a comprehensive damages assessment is important to a trial, and is also important when considering any settlement offers. Establishing a strong argument for some damages may require consultation with a medical expert or an economist.
Q: How long will it take to get paid back by the defendant in the Bronx?
The timeline for recovering from the defendant will depend on whether you accept a settlement offer or pursue the case through a jury trial. You will need to work with your attorney to establish a strategy based on the strength of your case.
A settlement can put money back in your hands more quickly and provide a certain reliable result. But, in accepting a settlement, you may not secure the full amount of your damages. Taking the case to trial is a much longer process. After filing a lawsuit, both parties will have an opportunity to collect evidence from the other party in a process called discovery.
There will also be competing motions filed on behalf of both parties, determining things like which evidence can be admitted at trial. Once the scheduled trial date arrives, the trial can take anywhere from days to weeks depending on the complexity and number of witnesses.
The best strategy is unique to the goals of each client and the facts of the case. Our team has experience in helping clients develop a strategy that makes the most sense for them. Contact us today to get started on your case.
Q: Should I accept a settlement offer from the defendant or the insurance company in the Bronx?
Cases for recovery after a motor vehicle accident commonly settle before trial. Make sure to analyze any settlement offer before accepting it. It can be tempting to accept an early offer to resolve the matter and to receive a payout quickly. Unfortunately, early settlement offers may be for much less than your case is worth. Work with your lawyer to assess whether the settlement offer is acceptable based on the extent of your injuries and the strength of your case.
Q: How long do I have to file a Bronx truck accident lawsuit?
There is a limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident. In New York, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. While this might seem like plenty of time to gather evidence and file your lawsuit, time will pass quickly. This is especially true since you are unlikely to begin considering legal action until you have had time to manage your injuries.
Q: I was injured in a Bronx truck accident. What should I do?
Your first priority should be seeking medical care. Even if you do not believe you have been injured, it is important to confirm with a medical professional. Many injuries, including internal injuries, can be difficult to diagnose and do not present immediate symptoms. Additionally, any failure to secure prompt medical care could be used against you by the defendant.
After handling medical concerns, be sure to:
- File a police report to make sure the accident scene, witness statements, and any citations issued to drivers are documented;
- Keep all paperwork related to the accident, your injuries, and communications with insurance companies. This paperwork might be important evidence in your case.
- Limit your statements on the accident to avoid giving the defendant evidence to use against you. A public statement, including posts on social media, could be misconstrued to indicate you were at fault for the accident or that your injuries are less severe than you have alleged.
One of the most important things you can do after an accident is to contact an attorney to assist with your case. An attorney will work with you to assess the facts of your case, determine which party is at fault, gather supporting evidence, consider any settlement offers, communicate with the defendant and their insurance company, and file all court documents.
Contact the Bronx Truck Accident Lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman Today
The team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman has successfully argued complex catastrophic injury cases in and out of the courtroom. Our award-winning trial attorneys are dedicated advocates on behalf of our injured clients.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1250 Waters Place, Tower 1, Suite 502
Bronx, NY 10461
“AMAZING and understanding attorneys! Did great on my case and I highly recommend Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for anyone that has been injured in an accident!”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Read more reviews on Google!