Commercial vehicles are among the most dangerous vehicles on the road due to their large size and heavy weight. When large commercial vehicles collide with passenger vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists, victims can suffer serious or fatal injuries, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage.
If you were involved in a commercial vehicle accident in New York, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Victims may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income, disability, pain and suffering, and other damages. The attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC are prepared to help you understand your legal options and pursue the full compensation you deserve.
Types of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
New York drivers often drive next to commercial vehicles, including tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, box trucks, moving vans, buses, garbage trucks, and transport trucks. These large, heavy vehicles can be involved in several traffic collisions. The following types of negligence can cause devastating commercial vehicle accidents:
- Falling Cargo: When cargo hasn’t been properly secured, or the truck is overloaded, the cargo can break free and fall out onto the road
- Wide Turn Accidents: Large vehicles must swing out wide when turning, and smaller vehicles can be squeezed or sideswiped if they’re caught between the truck’s right-hand side and the highway embankment
- Trailer Detachment: A malfunctioning, defective, or improperly used hitch can cause the trailer to break free and collide with other vehicles
- Undercarriage Accident: Underride truck accidents occur when a smaller vehicle slides under a commercial truck and are often fatal
- Jackknife accidents: When a commercial vehicle driver brakes too suddenly or loses control of the trailer, the back end can swing around to a 90-degree angle, causing a serious collision
- Truck Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents are often caused by overloading or improperly storing cargo, tire blowouts, improper cargo storage, or inexperienced drivers
Why Are Commercial Vehicle Accidents So Dangerous?
Nearly 75 percent of commercial vehicle fatalities are the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles. Additionally, the number of people who die in large vehicle accidents has increased significantly. The number of deaths caused by large trucks was 50 percent higher in 2021 than in 2009. Occupants in smaller vehicles are vulnerable when commercial vehicles weighing 20 to 30 times more collide with them. Those who do survive a motor vehicle accident are often left with life-threatening, debilitating injuries, which can include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Third-degree burns
Proving Liability in a Commercial Vehicle Accident
Time is of the essence when it comes to commercial vehicle investigations. Many commercial insurance companies send investigators to the truck accident scene to gather evidence and attempt to deny victims’ claims for compensation. When you work with Dell & Dean, PLLC, you can rest assured we will use our resources and professional network to begin investigating your case immediately.
We regularly consult with accident reconstruction specialists who can provide expert testimony explaining which party or parties are at fault. Our attorneys have a thorough understanding of federal regulations. We will quickly investigate the accident’s circumstances, including truck driver training, hazardous material transportation, and weight allocation requirements. We will also investigate whether there were violations of maintenance and loading procedures.
Suppose the commercial vehicle was equipped with a black box data recorder that captures important information on the truck operation immediately before the accident. In that case, we will obtain that information as well. We will protect your rights and interests when investigations show that one or more parties are negligent. Depending on the facts of your case, multiple parties could be liable for causing the accident that resulted in your injuries, including the following:
- Truck driver
- Truck manufacturer
- Trucking company owner or lessee
- Manufacturer of defective vehicle parts
- Contractors who performed maintenance on the truck
Holding the Driver’s Employer Accountable
When a commercial driver causes an accident, victims may have a right to pursue compensation from the driver’s employer. Drivers may not personally have enough assets to compensate victims of the accidents they cause fully. The driver’s employer likely has more assets, and victims may have a right to file a claim with the business’s more significant commercial insurance policy.
Suppose the truck driver was intoxicated and caused an accident. If his employer failed to do a background check that would have revealed a history of drunk driving before hiring the driver, the company could be liable for victims’ damages.
Similarly, if a moving company fails to maintain its moving vans safely, resulting in an accident, victims can pursue a claim from the driver’s employer. The attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC will investigate the accident, review all the applicable insurance policies, and develop a strategy for recovering the most compensation possible in your case.
Recovering Compensation After a Serious Accident
Victims’ hospital and medical bills can easily rise to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many victims can no longer work due to injuries, resulting in serious financial challenges, including bankruptcy. A commercial vehicle settlement can make navigating a victim’s recovery much easier. Victims can recover compensation for their past, current, and future medical expenses. Medical expenses include hospital stays, surgery, rehabilitation, therapy, in-home medical care, medical equipment, and other expenses.
Victims can also pursue compensation for their lost income. When their injuries prevent them from working in the future, victims can pursue compensation for their loss of earning capacity caused by their disabilities. Finally, victims can pursue compensation for the pain and suffering they’ve endured from their injuries. Courts can award additional punitive damages when the at-fault party caused the accident by acting recklessly or intentionally.
Contact a Skilled Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney in New York
The attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC have the knowledge and skills to represent clients injured in commercial vehicle accidents effectively. If you or your loved one have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact Dell & Dean, PLLC to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.