Experiencing any accident with a large truck can be a deadly situation for a passenger vehicle occupant. Commercial trucks can weigh much more than a passenger vehicle. These trucks also feature a more significant ground clearance, which results in creating space for small vehicles to slide underneath during a crash.
Given these circumstances, it is no wonder why accidents involving these types of vehicles occur often on the road. Additionally, if the truck serves as a commercial vehicle, determining liability may require calling multiple parties into question.
Steps To Follow Immediately Following a Truck Accident
New York state law requires drivers and witnesses to remain on the scene of an accident. These individuals must exchange information with each other, call for help, and render aid to injured individuals. In the case of an incapacitated driver, the other individual who is involved in the crash must provide driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle information to another occupant or the authorities. Specific steps that should be followed after a truck crash include:
Call for Help
Being involved in a truck crash means that injuries, as well as fatalities, are happening. Therefore, those who are uninjured should call 911 to ensure emergency responders and law enforcement arrive immediately. These individuals assess the situation and determine if there are fatalities.
Document the Accident Scene
Uninjured parties should take photographs and videos of the entire crash scene leading to the fatal truck accident. This documentation should include all damage to the vehicles and surrounding property.
Speak to Witnesses
If anyone stopped to help or witnessed what happened, collect their contact information. That way, an attorney can contact them later when gathering testimony.
The scene of the accident is going to be chaotic, especially because there is a large truck involved. It is not uncommon for roadways or highway lanes to close to ensure investigators and responders can work without risks. Typically, law enforcement officers start the investigation by speaking to everyone at the scene, as well as surviving drivers.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of a New York Accident
According to New York state law, drivers and witnesses may not leave the scene of an accident. Under New York state’s vehicle and traffic law, Article 22 §600, outlines what happens if a driver leaves the scene without filing a report. If drivers leave the scene, they could face penalties.
Investigating a Fatal Truck Accident
Because this is a fatal truck accident, the National Highway and Transportation Safety Board is called to investigate. There are several “Go Teams” under the NTSB that consist of between three and 12 investigators. Despite being based in Washington, they are available to travel anywhere throughout the country without any problem. These investigators assist local authorities and sometimes conduct separate investigations of the crash that could last several months.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that the truck company that has mandatory responsibilities to conduct investigations into its employees. That registration is available to investigators and must include information like the following examples:
- Accident date
- Location of the accident
- Name of the driver
- Number of injuries
- Number of fatalities
- Alcohol and drug testing
Employers play an important role in securing the safety of other motorists with a truck driver under their employment.
The victim’s personal representative can file a wrongful death claim and seek recoverable damages. Examples of these recoverable damages include:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of future benefits and income
- Pain and suffering before the victim’s death
- Medical expenses
- Loss of marital consortium, companionship, affection, love, and guidance
- Loss of household services provided by the victim
If a loved one became a fatal victim of a truck accident, we are available to seek compensation on the victim or their estate’s behalf.
Let Morelli Law Firm Help You Seek Compensation
If families of the deceased victim would like to file a wrongful death claim, their attorney is responsible for conducting a separate investigation. Our team is available to help determine the liable parties. We establish that liability using three elements, including:
- The truck driver owed the deceased victim a duty of care
- There was a breach in that duty of care
- That breach caused an accident
The attorney’s investigation includes:
- Examining police reports
- Identifying and collecting witness statements
- Analyzing information from the truck’s black box
- Scrutinizing the truck driver’s professional and personal driving histories
- Examining all maintenance, repair, and driving logs for the truck
Call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800, so we can review your case today.