A New York truck accident lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. helps traffic accident victims hurt on Long Island or in New York City seek compensation for their medical care, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Our team provides free case evaluations and will help you understand your options for holding the liable party accountable for your accident.
We offer consultations for accident victims in all areas of New York City and on Long Island. We know how truck accident laws work throughout the entire State of New York. We will determine how they apply in your case and it will be our privilege to review our findings with you, in detail, patiently and respectfully.
Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today at (516) 932-0400. We will discuss your truck accident case with you, including an initial assessment of liability and cause. Have information available about the truck driver who hit you, their employer, and other details of your case when you call, if possible.
Our case reviews are free for all NYC and Long Island accident victims, including those injured in accidents involving commercial vehicles and professional drivers. We will help you build a case to hold the liable parties financially responsible.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
A truck accident attorney represents the best interests of accident victims who suffered injuries and losses because of a negligent trucker or their employer, generally a trucking company. These lawyers have a thorough understanding of commercial vehicle accident law in New York, how it applies based on the facts of a case, and how to navigate the claims process.
The lawyer who handles your case should manage all communication with the other involved parties. This could include:
- Your insurance company
- The truck driver and their attorney
- The trucking company and its legal team
- The insurance company that represents the liable party or parties
An attorney will also investigate their client’s accident, including what caused it and who was involved. This requires them to take steps such as interviewing witnesses and obtaining the police report, medical records, and other documents. They often work with experts to prove fault and liability, including medical experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, life care planners, and economists. Accident reconstruction experts are also frequently involved in these investigations.
After the legal team gathers and analyzes all available evidence to help prove their client’s case, they develop an argument to convince the insurance company that their policyholder is liable.
They approach the insurer with a demand for a just settlement, outlining their case and presenting evidence of the losses the client sustained. This generally leads to a payout offer, although it could be below what the client deserves based on their documented damages.
If this occurs in your case, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance companies, working to reach a settlement that justly compensates you for your financial expenses as well as intangible losses.
You can work with a lawyer who will fight for you and fight for the financial recovery you need and deserve. Not only will an attorney go toe-to-toe with corporate lawyers and the insurance company in your New York truck accident case, but when called for they will also take legal action on your behalf.
It can be beneficial to work with a trial attorney who regularly represents truck accident victims in the civil courts of New York State. An experienced and dedicated truck accident lawyer will be ready to take your case to trial, present evidence of negligence, liability, and damages in court, and advocate on your behalf to the judge and jury, working tirelessly to win you the best possible case outcome.
Is It Worth Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer?
When you hire a truck accident lawyer to handle your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, it allows you to focus on your treatment and healing instead of working to figure out the claims process and worrying about your payout. This can not only help you recover from your injuries but also reduce the stress and frustration that may be brought on by this process.
While you may not be familiar with the complexities of the insurance claims process, especially with a commercial vehicle involved, your attorney will be. They will know how to protect your rights and advocate for your best interests throughout this process.
As a part of representing you and seeking the compensation you need to cover the cost of your medical care and other damages, your attorney will take steps to ensure you have a compelling case. They will also work to ensure that you understand what is happening at every junction and what to expect next. A staff member or an attorney should gladly make themselves available to answer your questions and address any concerns that come up related to your accident, injuries, insurance claim, or legal case.
You can expect that your truck accident lawyer and legal team will:
- Keep you updated on your case: You should understand what is happening in your case and feel confident about the direction it is going at all times, receiving regular updates based on your preferences.
- Identify liable parties: Assigning liability in a truck accident case is not always straightforward, but your attorney should understand the applicable laws related to respondeat superior (as when an employer is liable for the acts of an employee committed within the scope of employment) and vicarious liability, (as when a vehicle owner is liable for the acts of the vehicle’s driver) allowing you to hold the truck driver’s employer liable in many cases.
- Communicate with all parties for you: Managing all communication not only helps to protect your rights but can also reduce your stress and clear your calendar to allow you more time to focus on what is most important to you.
- Gather evidence: The law firm representing you will gather all available evidence to build the strongest case possible against the truck driver, trucking company, and other liable parties, including gaining access to the evidence held by the trucking company.
- Determine a value for your case: Putting an appropriate settlement value on your case is key to seeking the payout you deserve and helping you avoid paying any of your medical bills or other costs out of pocket.
Your lawyer can also discuss with you any relevant laws that may apply to your case. For instance, you may need to show that your injuries meet a certain threshold of seriousness in order to move forward with a personal injury claim or lawsuit. This will depend on the circumstances of your case, however.
If you were a victim of a truck accident in New York City, a New York truck accident lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. understands your needs in a truck accident case and how to seek compensation for your losses. You can discuss your case for free with a member of our team. We meet people on Long Island or elsewhere in the New York metropolitan area.
Call (516) 932-0400 today for your complimentary consultation.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Truck Accident?
Every truck accident is different. For this reason, an important way to learn the possible value of your claim is to work with a lawyer who will investigate your accident. They will then provide you with details about what an appropriate settlement might look like.
Even in two similar collisions that occur because of the same traffic violation, the possible variables involved in each accident include:
- The speed of each driver
- The point of impact
- The injuries suffered
- The expenses related to medical care
- The time away for work
- The lasting damage done by the accident
- Dozens of other factors
For this reason, there is no meaningful way to calculate an average settlement for truck accident cases. Instead, each potential settlement is based on negotiations between the injured party (or their attorney) and the insurance company representing the liable party. To ensure they understand what an appropriate settlement will look like for their client, the attorney representing the victim will:
- Gather documents such as medical bills, medical records, and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
- Work with experts to understand their client’s injuries, future care needs, and prognosis
- Consider other possible losses common in these cases
- Put a value on their intangible damages
- Estimate the value of their client’s case based on the evidence they collected
Once this process is complete, the attorney will present the case and their evidence to the insurer and demand a payout that would compensate their client for their damages. In most cases, this results in a settlement offer from the insurance company. However, this may not be an acceptable offer.
If this happens in your case, your lawyer will likely counteroffer, kicking off a series of negotiations. The goal of these negotiations is to seek a settlement that falls within the “appropriate” range your attorney calculated.
Most personal injury accidents, including traffic accidents, settle without going to trial. In general, the insurance company and the attorney representing the victim often reach an agreement for compensation. This keeps both sides from having to spend additional money to take the case to court.
If necessary, though, you could be able to file a civil suit and take your case to court if the insurer will not agree to an appropriate settlement.
What Damages Can I Collect for a Truck Accident?
The damages you can seek in a New York truck accident case depend on the current and future losses you suffered and will suffer as a result of your accident. If we represent you in your case, we will gather evidence to prove your damages and seek a financial recovery that addresses them.
Some common damages recoverable for truck accident victims include:
- Current and future medical treatment, hospitalization, care, and related costs
- Missed income and lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity if there are lasting injuries
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Other intangible losses
- Other damages identified by the victim’s attorney
One of the most common mistakes accident victims make when they attempt to negotiate an insurance settlement on their own is to overlook major losses or to underestimate the value of their case in other ways. Some accident-related damages, particularly future expenses and intangible losses are difficult to put a monetary value on even if you do identify all or almost all of your related damages.
Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will help you put an appropriate value on your case and seek financial recovery of the damages you suffered. We believe that if an accident victim did nothing to cause their accident and injuries, they should not have to pay for the losses they sustained as a result. Instead, the liable party should cover these bills and losses. Even if the injured person did have some level of fault in causing the accident, the other party should be held liable to the extent that their actions contributed to the happening of the accident.
Unfortunately, not all accident victims recover from their injuries. When injuries are too severe, they could pass away. If this happened to a member of your family, our team offers our condolences. Tragedies can be even more difficult when they seem so senseless and preventable. Under New York Estates, Powers & Trusts (EPT) §5-4.1, the surviving family members of some fatal truck accidents can pursue wrongful death damages in these cases. Let our truck collision team review your case for free to see if we are able to help. We consider representing the surviving family members of truck accident wrongful death cases a special privilege. We are committed to winning the compensation you need and the justice that your departed loved one deserves.
How Long Does a Truck Accident Claim Take to Settle?
There are several factors that go into determining how long an accident case takes to reach a settlement. This includes the willingness of the insurance company or liable party to work with us, the time it takes to conclude our investigation, and more.
Like other states, New York does have a statute of limitations on truck accident cases, set by New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214. This statute generally puts a time limit on how long an accident victim has to take a personal injury lawsuit to civil court.
While it is important that truck accident victims act before the statute of limitations expires, this is only one reason why it is important to connect with an attorney as early as possible following a collision. There are also other deadlines to consider, including timelines to follow to ensure you gather compelling evidence.
After a truck accident, the trucking company often has a lot of key evidence in its possession. Your attorney will send a spoliation letter or take other action to preserve and gain access to this evidence. This could include:
- Video from the driver’s dashboard
- Data from the truck’s onboard computer
- Driver rest logs
- The driver’s employee file
- Post-accident drug and alcohol test results
- The driver’s medical records
- The damaged truck or trailer
- Records related to maintenance, cargo load, and other relevant information
In addition, some other types of evidence are also at-risk if too much time passes. Identifying witnesses and collecting their statements is much easier shortly after an accident. Video from the driver’s dashboard and surveillance camera footage is often only available for a few days or weeks before being recorded over. Some evidence, such as details about the scene, can change in a matter of hours or days.
The sooner you contact our team, the more time we will have to gather compelling evidence so that we may build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Learn more about how a New York truck accident lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will help you seek justice in your case by reaching out to us as soon as possible after your accident. Call (516) 932-0400 now to get started with a free case assessment with an experienced, dedicated, and caring team member.
Do You Have to Go to Court for a Truck Accident?
In most cases, you will not have to go to court to recover damages in your New York truck accident case. Most traffic accident claims settle out of court, with the victim and their lawyer negotiating a fair settlement based on their accident-related damages. To reach this point, the insurer representing the liable party will need to agree, or at least accept, that their policyholder is responsible or at least that they are unlikely to be successful if they take the case to court.
Not all cases settle without filing a civil lawsuit. If this becomes necessary in your New York truck accident case, our team will begin the process by preparing and filing the appropriate paperwork before taking the case to civil court.
We will name the liable party or parties as the defendant in your case, taking legal action to try to hold them accountable. This action sometimes triggers renewed negotiations for an out-of-court settlement. The liable party’s insurance company may then make a higher settlement offer and agree to accept responsibility on behalf of their policyholder.
In some cases, going to trial and presenting the case to the judge or a jury is necessary. This could be the only possible way to move forward after an accident. This is most commonly true when:
- The insurance company denies the truck driver is responsible
- The insurer or legal team denies vicarious liability
- The defendant alleges your actions caused or contributed to the accident
- The insurer, defendant, or other involved party refuses a fair payout based on your losses
If your case does go to court, your attorney will be by your side every step of the way. We will help you know what to expect, prepare you if you need to testify, and represent your best interests throughout. Our trial lawyers will present evidence to demonstrate to the judge and jury that you suffered injuries because of the trucker’s negligence and that their employer is liable under New York State law.
It is not unusual for injury victims, even though they have been wronged, to feel anxious and reluctant to testify in court. However, we have had many clients share with us after doing so, that after we prepared them and they went forward, it was not only much easier than they anticipated but that they actually found relief, satisfaction, vindication, and catharsis in being able to share their story with the community, as represented by the jury, in an effort to see that justice is done.
Who Can Be Sued in a Truck Accident Case?
When a truck driver causes a traffic accident in New York while driving their big rig, their employer is likely vicariously liable for their negligence behind the wheel. The common law rule known as respondeat superior means that an employer may be held liable for any negligent, injury-causing actions of an employee when they are working for their employer. This means we will need to show that the driver was working for their employer and doing their job—in this case, driving a truck—at the time of the collision.
The negligent driver’s employer could also be responsible for the losses suffered by accident victims in other ways. This could include:
- Negligent Hiring: Hiring a driver who lacks training or has a poor driving record, a history of drunk or drugged driving, or other issues might be considered negligent.
- Negligent Retention: Keeping a driver on staff without taking steps to retrain, remedy, or put them in a different line of work after a problem develops could be negligence. These issues could include careless or reckless driving, repeated traffic violations, alcohol or drug abuse, or other concerns about their employment or driving abilities.
In some cases, it is not the truck driver who caused the accident. Sometimes, other issues can make it seem like the trucker acted negligently until the investigation uncovers another at-fault party. For example, imagine a tire fails. There is no evidence that the trucking company or driver did anything wrong. However, there are reports of similar tire failures in tires from the same manufacturer. It could be possible to hold the tire company responsible for manufacturing a defective product.
Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. knows how to assign liability in truck collisions. We will:
- Keep you updated on your case
- Identify the parties involved and communicate with those parties
- Investigate the accident and determine what happened to cause the collision
- Gather evidence to build your case
- Determine the value of your losses
- Work to determine how New York laws apply for vicarious liability
- Determine the insurance policies in place that could cover our client’s losses
- Fight relentlessly to win the best possible case outcome for you
While we generally file an insurance claim and attempt to settle collision claims outside of court, we will file civil suits in truck accident cases when necessary.
What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Truck Accident?
Under New York law, victims of negligence in accidents often have the right to hold the legally liable party responsible and seek compensation based on the facts of their case. This is true in many car and truck accident cases, as well.
You can take several steps to protect your rights and give yourself an opportunity to prove your case and seek financial recovery. One important step, we believe, is to enlist help from a truck accident lawyer as quickly as possible. At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., our team encourages you to reach out to us as early as your injuries will allow. If your injuries prevent you from traveling, we will meet with you anywhere on Long Island or in the greater NYC metropolitan area.
When you enlist our help right away, we will go ahead and get started if we believe our services will help you. It is often necessary to wait until your injuries reach maximum medical improvement to understand your condition and prognosis, but we will get started much earlier building the case against the trucker and their employer.
One of the first steps a New York truck accident lawyer will take is to begin handling all communication related to your case. This ensures the insurance companies involved or the at-fault party’s defense lawyers cannot use your words against you to weaken your case. This could occur if you try to give the insurance company adjusters/claim examiners or their investigators statements about the accident on your own.
There are also other things to do to protect your rights and build the evidence for your case immediately following a New York truck accident. If possible, we recommend taking the following steps.
Gathering Information to Prove Your Case
Unless your injuries prevent you from doing so, write down or record the names and contact information of everyone involved in your accident and any witnesses. Take as many pictures as possible, both up close and at a distance. Make note of any nearby businesses, traffic cameras, or other information. Keep it together in a file to give to your lawyer later.
Getting Appropriate Medical Care
Your top priority should be your safety and wellbeing. We advise that you receive appropriate medical care based on your condition. Significant injuries could call for an ambulance ride to the nearest emergency department or a trauma center, while mild injuries could require a quick visit to a family doctor or urgent care to rule out anything serious and clean any less severe wounds and lacerations.
Documenting Your Experience
Once your injuries are stable and you have a little time, we recommend documenting your experience by writing down your account of what happened or recording a voice memo or video. Then, keep an ongoing journal or other simple documentation of your pain, the activities you missed, time away from work, and other accident-related losses. This could help you identify accident-related damages later.
To learn more, call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today at (516) 932-0400. Our team will evaluate your case and help you seek compensation if we believe you qualify.
Contact Our Team Today to Learn More and Get Started Right Away
A New York truck accident lawyer will review your New York truck accident case to determine your rights and discuss how the state’s laws apply to your collision. You can speak with a team member from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today at no cost.
Our initial consultations are free for commercial vehicle accident victims in New York or on Long Island. During this conversation about your accident and legal options, a team member will preliminarily assess your case based on the details you supply. If we believe we will be able to help you with your case, we will offer to represent you based on contingency. This means there will be no upfront cost to you. We will only receive payment if we settle your case.
We have staff who speak a number of languages, so we will often discuss legal options with our clients or potential clients in the language they are most comfortable speaking.
Call us today at (516) 932-0400. We meet with clients anywhere on Long Island or elsewhere in the New York metropolitan area and it will be our privilege to speak with and meet with you, so that we may begin to help you through this challenging time.