What Happens When a Truck Driver Causes an Accident in NY?
New York sees hundreds of thousands of motor accidents each year- many of which involve trucks. Truck accidents account for more than 4500 annual deaths in the US and thousands more injuries.
The severity of the injuries and damages that often result from truck collisions make them particularly dangerous, and the causes of such accidents are taken very seriously.
Because 18-wheelers are such massive vehicles, they can cause extreme damage. Unfortunately, when a truck driver causes an accident that involves other drivers, the people in the cars usually suffer the most. The truck driver gets significantly hurt in less than 20% of collisions- compared to more than 70% of car drivers.
When considering that an 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds without being classified as an oversized load and the average car weighs around 5000 pounds- it is no wonder that the aftermath of these incidents can be so significant.
Are Truck Accidents Common in NY?
Trucks account for 8.4% of all New York vehicles involved in fatal crashes in New York State (based on statistics from 2017). More 18-wheelers and other exceptionally large commercial vehicles take the roads each year- increasing the likelihood of an incident.
Possible Reasons a Truck Driver May Cause an Accident
There are many reasons collisions happen on New York roads, but the most common cause of truck-related collisions is driver negligence on the part of the truck driver. Most people consider commercial drivers to be better behind the wheel than the average vehicle operator- mainly due to the extensive training they must undergo to get their enhanced license.
That may be true, to a point, but it doesn’t remove the likelihood of negligence. Even the world’s best drivers can get distracted, lose focus, or make a wrong move that ends in disaster.
Some common reasons truck drivers cause accidents in New York include:
Tiredness: Long drives without sufficient breaks can lead to drowsiness and lack of concentration.
Lack of lane discipline: More than 30% of truck collisions happen when an 18-wheeler drifts across lanes.
Loss of vehicle control: Large vehicles are much more difficult to control for many reasons, including their weight and reliance on machinery to move as they should. Faulty equipment, poor road conditions, lack of visibility, and unexpected obstacles can lead truck drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
Poorly loaded cargo: Some trucks have exposed cargo that can break loose or cause the vehicle to lose balance and tip over. Spillages or fallen trucks can be extremely dangerous for other road users.
What Penalties Apply in Motor Accidents Involving Truck Drivers?
A truck driver can be charged with several classes of misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances of the incident. Vehicular manslaughter is a common outcome under New York law if any fatalities occur as a direct result of negligence on the truck driver’s behalf.
What Should At-Fault Truck Drivers in NY Expect?
New York road traffic accident laws are strict, and penalties can be harsh. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, there may be a criminal trial.
Any injured parties are likely to launch a claim against the driver’s insurance company for personal injury and pain and suffering compensation. It is essential for all parties to have experienced Long Island truck accident attorneys to ensure proper representation and an optimal outcome. In many cases, more than one other vehicle is involved- so the truck driver may face multiple claims in the aftermath.
When a truck driver causes a truck collision that leads to severe injury or death, they are often held to a higher standard due to their responsibility as a commercial vehicle operator. Penalties may be harsher as a result.
How Can the Law Office of Carl Maltese Help?
Being involved in any accident can be traumatic and have a lasting impact on a person’s life, which is why you should hire a truck accident attorney. The road to recovery can be long, but receiving justice and fair compensation can help support a person through the journey and make it easier to get back to their old selves.
Whatever role a person plays in a truck accident, the expert personal injury team at the Law Office of Carl Maltese can fight for their rights and a fair outcome.
Contact the Team Today for Professional Expert Guidance
Reach out to the best legal team in New York for professional guidance and advice regarding involvement in a truck accident. Don’t waste time getting the support you need and deserve.