Every year, collisions between large commercial trucks and smaller passenger vehicles result in the serious injury and death of thousands of people. These accidents tend to be far more devastating than the typical car accident, and victims are often left with severe, life-changing injuries that affect their ability to return to their once-normal lives.
If you were injured or if someone you love was tragically killed in a large truck accident, reach out to our team at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP for compassionate, personalized legal representation.
Our New York trucking accident lawyers handle all types of cases, including those involving:
- 18-wheelers and semi-trucks
- Construction vehicles
- Delivery trucks and vans
- Garbage trucks
- Tow trucks
- and more!
Why Hire Our Truck Accident Firm?
Since 1985, Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP has represented individuals and families in New York City, Long Island, and throughout the surrounding areas who have suffered immense tragedies and debilitating losses due to the careless, reckless, or negligent actions of truck drivers and/or their employers.
We have what it takes to go up against powerful trucking companies and their insurance providers—and these entities know that we are willing to take our clients’ cases to court. Our aggressive approach has helped us recover more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients; find out how our New York truck accident attorneys can help you.
What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
In any truck accident, there is often a wide range of contributing factors. Sometimes, the cause of a truck accident is obvious; in other instances, a thorough investigation is needed to determine what actually led to the crash. In any case, our team at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP evaluates all of the direct and proximate causes of an accident to determine exactly what happened and, most importantly, who was at fault.
Some of the most common causes of large truck accidents include:
- Truck driver error and/or negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, traffic law violations, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Violations of state and/or federal hours-of-service regulations, leading to tired truck drivers and fatigued/drowsy driving
- Overloaded trucks and/or improperly loaded cargo or freight, leading to shifting cargo or freight during transit and loss of vehicle control
- Poor or improper truck maintenance, as well as failure to conduct routine maintenance inspections by truck drivers and other parties
- Trucking company negligence, including negligent hiring practices, inadequate training, pressure to violate hours-of-service regulations, and failure to discipline truck drivers
- Defective trucks and/or truck parts, such as truck tire blowouts, steering or braking system failure, electrical malfunctions, and engine component defects
- Defective roadways and/or improper roadway maintenance, resulting in unsafe blind curves, potholes, dangerous speed limits, and other hazards
These and other factors often lead to devastating truck accidents, catastrophic injuries, and fatalities. Sadly, statistics show that the occupants of passenger vehicles are the ones who are most likely to be significantly injured or killed in a collision with a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, big rig, tractor-trailer, or similar large commercial vehicle.
Who is Responsible for Paying My Truck Accident Claim?
New York is a no-fault state, which means your own insurance company is responsible for providing compensation for your damages or losses after an accident. Although a no-fault insurance system means you can recover compensation regardless of who was at fault for the crash, it has its limits. Victims of large truck accidents in particular cannot usually recover enough compensation to cover all their losses with personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay). In those cases, you may be able to file a truck accident lawsuit against the truck driver, trucking company, or other parties who are liable for your injuries.
When Can I File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
If you can prove that your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold, and you can establish the liability of another party, you could qualify to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit for your trucking accident.
What is Considered a Serious Injury?
New York State law defines a “serious injury” as:
- Significant disfigurement
- Bone fracture
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of use of an bodily organ, member, function or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of the use of a body function or system
- Non-permanent medically-determined injury or impairment
Who is a "Liable Party"?
Establishing liability often involves identifying the cause of the accident and proving that one or multiple parties were at fault.
Depending on the specific details of your situation, the at-fault party could be the:
- Truck driver
- Truck driver’s employer
- Trucking company,
- Company that owns or leases the truck
- Manufacturer of a defective truck or truck part
- Party responsible for loading cargo/freight
- Individual or entity responsible for truck maintenance or repairs
- Engineer or construction company that designed or built a defective roadway
In some cases, another motorist could even be partially or fully liable for your damages. Our New York truck accident lawyers at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP can review your case and determine whether you are eligible to file a third-party claim or lawsuit. If so, we can begin an immediate investigation into the cause of the collision and work to identify the liable party.
We often utilize the expertise of accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and others to build powerful cases on behalf of our clients. We know how to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and related damages to the judge and/or jury in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. Most importantly, we are here to advocate for you at every turn, fighting for your maximum recovery and the justice you deserve.
How Much Does a Truck Accident Attorney in New York Cost?
Hiring a lawyer for a trucking accident case shouldn’t make your financial situation even worse. Thankfully, truck accident lawyers in New York work for a contingency fee instead of a traditional retainer fee, which means you will not be required to pay any upfront costs to hire an attorney.
A contingency fee means that your attorney fees and other legal expenses will be paid out of the compensation recovered from your case. It doesn’t matter if the case settles outside of court or results in a jury verdict, as long as your lawyer obtains a favorable result, the contingency fee applies. The average contingency fee in New York is around 33%, but some attorneys may charge more or less for their services, as long as it's reasonable.
Why Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Navigating the aftermath of any motor vehicle accident can be difficult, but this is especially true of large truck accidents. There are many complicating factors, including issues involving liability, shared fault, comparative negligence, and catastrophic injuries. When you work with an experienced truck accident attorney, like ours at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP, you put yourself in the best possible position of securing a fair settlement or verdict.
Insurance companies know that we will not back down from a fight. Our reputation for aggressive client advocacy often aids us in securing favorable settlements for our clients without having to go to trial. However, if your case does proceed to trial, you can count on our team to prepare you and guide you every step of the way.
“I would highly recommend them due to the fact that during a difficult time, they made the process very straightforward with excellent results.” - Ciara L.
“I had them for a case that was very difficult this firm was the best very caring and concerned I was treated like family.” - Robbie J.
“Thanks to Jeff and SSKB Law we had a successful outcome and I know that wouldn’t have been possible with anyone else. I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who needs representation.” - Chrissy B.