If you or a loved one were injured in an 18-wheeler accident, you might be entitled to collect compensation to recover your damages. At Morelli Law Firm, we believe that victims of truck accidents should not have to bear the financial burden of the damages they incurred. Our New York semi truck accident lawyers will do everything in our power to pursue justice and the compensation you need to recover from your losses.
Being in a truck accident can leave you injured and feeling vulnerable. Call an experienced NY truck accident attorney at Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800 for a free case evaluation.
18-Wheelers Can Be Dangerous Due to Their Weight
Few things are more frightening than seeing the grill of an 18-wheeler behind you when you are driving on the highway. Trucks are huge vehicles, making them more dangerous to drivers than other vehicles on the road due to their scale, weight, and large blind spots. When drivers make errors or the truck components fail, they pose additional risks to road users. If you find yourself in such an unfortunate accident, you can hire a New York 18-wheeler accident lawyer to help you build a personal injury case and fight for compensation.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the federal weight limit for all 18-wheeler trucks on the road is 80,000 pounds or 40 tons. Some trucks can be issued an overweight permit, but these permits still restrict truckers to a maximum of 80,000 pounds.
Trucks take longer to stop than other vehicles because of the weight they carry. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it takes between 20 to 40 percent longer for a loaded truck to stop compared to a passenger vehicle. For these reasons, following all weight regulations is vital.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident? Contact Morelli Law877-751-9800
Common Causes of 18-Wheelers Truck Accidents
Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, including truck drivers, are held to higher standards when operating any motor vehicle on public roads, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Unfortunately, these standards are not always met.
Every year in the United States, commercial trucking incidents are responsible for multiple injuries and deaths. Common reasons for why an 18-wheeler might get involved in an accident include:
- Distracted driving: The truck driver took their attention off the road and became distracted while driving to do another activity, such as talking or texting on their cell phone.
- Poor weather conditions: Truck tires, like any other kind of tire, do not have as much traction on a wet road as a dry one. If a truck driver fails to account for a slippery road, that may count as negligence on their part.
- Reckless driving: A truck driver may be considered reckless if they were driving too closely behind another vehicle, changing lanes without signaling, merging into traffic without ensuring it was safe to do so, and speeding or driving too fast for road conditions.
- Fatigue: Trucking companies’ unrealistic schedules and demands may encourage drivers to speed to their destinations without taking a break or resting. This can cause physical or mental fatigue and stress on the driver. The risk of a crash can be increased by fatigue when combined with speeding.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: The FMCSA requires commercial truck drivers to be tested for alcohol or illicit drug use to prevent drivers from operating their vehicles while under the influence. Driving while drunk or intoxicated can cause accidents and potentially injure or kill others.
- Unbalanced truckloads: Overweight truckloads can lead to a tire bursting or a rollover accident due to a shift in gravity center. Heavy truckloads can also accelerate speed when driving, making it difficult for the truck driver to slow down, particularly on a downhill.
- Driver inexperience: It takes advanced training and expertise to drive a large freight truck. Accidents can occur when drivers are not adequately qualified or lack the experience needed to drive a large truck.
- Negligence of the trucking company: On an 18-wheeler, several working pieces ensure other motorists’ safety. If a trucking company intentionally sent out a truck with defective parts, the company may be found negligent.
How to Prove Liability in an 18-Wheeler Accident
You must demonstrate that the company and the driver were incompetent and caused your injury if you want to receive compensation for your related damages. Accidents involving 18-wheeler commercial vehicles typically require more evidence since there are often multiple liable parties involved. If the accident occurred in New York, your personal injury lawyer may need to reference both New York and federal traffic laws to support your claim or lawsuit.
Important evidence for your case may include:
- Truck leasing contract
- The records of truck repair
- Computer data onboard
- The truck driver’s employment and driving records
- The truck driver’s drug and alcohol test results
- The truck driver’s driving logs
This proof may seem straightforward. However, trucking and insurance agencies might not be forthcoming with this information. You can get help from a New York 18-wheeler accident lawyer to secure the evidence you need in your case. Call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 to get started on your case.
Time Limits Associated with a Truck Injury Claim
In New York, no-fault insurance policies allow claimants to potentially recover their medical costs, vehicle repair costs, and missed income. The allowable timeframe for commencing legal proceedings against a trucking company and the driver is generally three years if they are all private individuals, according to the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) § 214.
If you do not file a lawsuit during this time, you might waive your right to receive compensation to recover your damages. There are important reasons why this limitation exists, including:
- Stale evidence: Witnesses can move or pass away over time, and memories can fade. The time limit ensures that memories stay fresh, resulting in a better outcome.
- Efficiency: If the time period for pursuing a legal claim in cases were extended, some victims or offenders may succumb to injuries.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Morelli Law Firm Today
In the span of a few seconds, an 18-wheeler accident can devastate other vehicles and occupants. A New York 18-wheeler accident lawyer from our law firm wants to fight for victims who were injured by an 18-wheeler truck, semi-truck, heavy rig, or heavy commercial vehicle in a traffic accident.
If you or a loved one were injured in an 18-wheeler accident while in New York, you may be entitled to recover your damages through a financial award. Call Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800 for a free case evaluation.