Personal Injury: Truck Accidents

More than 3.5 million truck drivers haul freight annually, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA). (1) Trucks were involved in 4,862 fatal crashes in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That number includes 98 in the state of New York. (2) If you were injured in an accident with a truck, you need an experienced attorney who can get you compensation to handle your lawsuit.
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Why Are Truck Accidents So Lethal?

“Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The institute explains, “The main problem is the vulnerability of people traveling in smaller vehicles. Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance.” (3)

Most of the fatalities and injuries from truck crashes are incurred by those who are not in the truck which “reflect[s] basic physics” due to the “the relative size differences between the vehicles involved,” adds the ATA. (4)

Truck Injury Crashes

Although truck accidents often result in fatalities, not all crashes are fatal. When truck crashes do not cause deaths, there still are significant injuries.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports there were approximately 104,000 injury crashes involving trucks in recent years. (5)

Crashes take both a physical and financial toll on crash victims. Having a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can help. Weitz & Luxenberg’s truck accident attorneys are part of a team which has been successfully filing personal injury legal cases for more than three decades.

Truck Accident Lawyers

Whether you were hit by a truck or were driving a truck when a crash occurred, you should consider all of your legal options for compensation. A truck accident lawyer can help you explore the causes of the crash and determine any compensation from the accident that you may be entitled to get for your injuries.

One consideration in how to proceed with your case is based upon the type of truck involved. Trucks are often classified as large, medium, or small. This classification is based upon weight as determined in the truck’s gross vehicular weight rating (GVWR).

If you or anyone you know has suffered an injury in a truck accident, contact us for a free case evaluation.

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GVWR is the maximum allowable weight a vehicle was engineered to carry by the manufacturer. The weight rating is regulated by the U.S. government. For more information about GVWR visit The Association For The Work Truck Industry.

Some of the most common types of truck accidents are:

  • Cement truck accident.
  • Dump truck accident.
  • Fire truck accident.
  • Garbage truck accident.
  • Log truck accident.
  • Semi truck accident.
  • Tanker truck accident.
  • Tow truck accident.
  • Delivery service truck accident.

Semi Truck Accident Lawyer

A semi truck accident lawyer handles cases when the truck is a semi, also called a tractor trailer. These trucks are large and heavy, with trailers half supported by their own wheels.

You may often see these trucks on the road carrying products from one state to another. They are often quite long and travel at highway speeds.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are complex, with many risk factors at play. In fact, there may be no single cause of an accident. Often says the ATA, “Crash risk factors and causes are classified as human (i.e., driver), vehicle, or environmental (i.e., roadway and weather).” (6)

Research conducted by ATA revealed factors affecting truck crashes include:

  • Alcohol use.
  • Driver fitness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Following too closely.
  • Mechanical failure.
  • Medical emergencies, e.g., heart attacks.
  • Overcompensation, e.g., during evasive steering.
  • Speeding.
  • Traffic density. (7)

N.Y. Truck Accident Statistics

Statistics for New York state truck accidents underscore the point. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), there were 20,549 total large truck crashes across the state of New York in 2018. (8)

ITSMR indicates crashes in which no contributing factors were reported totaled 1,396. Crashes with one or more contributing factors reported were 18,580. (9)

Of crashes reported, ITSMR found 16,405 crashes were due to human factors. Vehicular factors accounted for 1,968 crashes. Environmental factors accounted for 2,577 crashes. (10)

ATA notes, “Almost all crashes are triggered by a particular driver error or other failure occurring in one of the involved vehicles.” (11)

Truck-Car Crashes Are Most Common

“The majority of fatal and serious injury crashes involving a truck also involve at least one car. The preponderance of evidence suggests that car drivers are principally at-fault in about three-quarters (70-75%) of fatal car-truck crashes,” says the ATA. (12)

On the other hand, “It does appear in nonfatal truck-car crashes that truck drivers may contribute somewhat more than passenger vehicle drivers,” noted a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute Review. (13)

Unlike car accidents which involve two automobiles, accidents that occur between cars and trucks may have different legal aspects that need to be considered.

Truck accident attorneys, such as the team at W&L, can’t prevent your accident, but we can do something about it. We can provide knowledgeable and experienced legal representation to help you receive compensation for your suffering.

Truck Accident Attorneys

From settlements to verdicts, Weitz & Luxenberg has a record of successful litigation on behalf of clients.

W&L won a $20.5 million verdict, as well as approximately $3 million in past and future medical expenses, on behalf of a man who was the victim of a hit-and-run car accident and was paralyzed for life.

W&L secured a settlement of $1.4 million for a woman struck by an ambulance in Manhattan. The 75-year-old Manhattan resident was struck while in a crosswalk then transported to the hospital by the very ambulance that hit her.

What To Do If You Are in a Truck Accident

If you are in a truck accident you should immediately do the following:

  • Call the police.
  • Call for medical assistance.
  • Document the scene, e.g., take pictures with your cell phone.
  • Exchange contact information with the other driver.
  • Exercise self-control: your words may have negative impact.
  • Do not post to social media.

If you or a family member has been injured or killed in the accident, contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible.

  1. American Trucking Associations. (n.d.). Reports, Trends & Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.trucking.org/News_and_Information_Reports.aspx
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (n.d.). Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Vehicles/VehiclesAllVehicles.aspx
  3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (2019, December). Fatality Facts 2018. Large trucks. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/large-trucks
  4. American Trucking Associations. (2013, February). Relative Contribution/Fault in Car-Truck Crashes. Retrieved from https://docplayer.net/5618436-Relative-contribution-fault-in-car-truck-crashes-february-2013.html
  5. U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. (2018). 2018 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/413361/fmcsa-pocket-guide-2018-final-508-compliant-1.pdf
  6. American Trucking Associations. (2013, February). Relative Contribution/Fault in Car-Truck Crashes. Retrieved from https://docplayer.net/5618436-Relative-contribution-fault-in-car-truck-crashes-february-2013.html
  7. Ibid.
  8. Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research. (n.d.). New York State Traffic Safety Statistical repository (TSSR). Crash Reports. New York State Motor Vehicle Crash Data. Large Truck Crashes. NYS Large Truck Crash Summary*. 2018 NYS Large Truck Crash Summary. Retrieved from https://www.itsmr.org/TSSR/
  9. Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research. (n.d.). New York State Traffic Safety Statistical repository (TSSR). Crash Reports. New York State Motor Vehicle Crash Data. Large Truck Crashes. NYS Large Truck Crash Summary*. 2018 NYS Large Truck Crash Summary. - Crash Contributing Factor Types (Police-Reported). Retrieved from https://www.itsmr.org/TSSR/
  10. Ibid.
  11. American Trucking Associations. (2013, February). Relative Contribution/Fault in Car-Truck Crashes. Retrieved from https://docplayer.net/5618436-Relative-contribution-fault-in-car-truck-crashes-february-2013.html
  12. Ibid.
  13. Blower, Daniel F., University of Michigan. Transportation Research Institute. (1999, April -June). The relative contribution of truck drivers and passenger-vehicle drivers to truck/passenger-vehicle traffic crashes. Retrieved from http://www.umtri.umich.edu/our-results/publications/relative-Tcontribution-truck-drivers-and-passenger-vehicle-drivers

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