A New York Truck Accident Lawyer Who Gets Results
The attorney you choose matters.
Owners and operators of heavy trucks have a legal responsibility to take extra care because their larger vehicles have the potential to be deadly. They must be trained, alert, and focused on getting to their destinations safely. Unfortunately, too many trucking companies put profits ahead of people, and the consequences can be devastating. A single crash can change your life forever.
We can help. Keogh Crispi, P.C. has a proven track record of results for injured drivers, including a $1.2 million recovery for the family of a man who was run over by a dump truck. Don’t go up against a trucking company and their insurance company alone. Schedule your free consultation with a truck accident attorney who is always prepared.
Who is liable for a truck accident in New York City?
There are many causes of truck accidents, but most boil down to negligence on the part of the trucking company. Again, truck drivers have a legal responsibility to take care when operating their vehicles. They are held to a high standard in terms of drunk driving – the maximum blood alcohol concentration is 0.04, compared to the 0.08 legal limit for other motorists – and forbidden from texting and driving. When the driver is an employee of a company, the company can be held vicariously liable for their employee’s negligence. In other words, if the employee causes an accident while on the job, the employer must pay for it.
However, many truck drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. Whether a truck driver actually “counts” as an employee for liability purposes can be a tricky and factually intensive question to answer. We’ll look at the amount of training and supervision the driver received to see whether they really should be considered an employee, even if the company paid them as a contractor. We may also find direct liability on the part of the company. For instance, if they failed to conduct a background check before hiring the driver, that’s their responsibility.
Depending on the circumstances, liability for a truck accident could also fall on the truck manufacturer, the company that owned or loaded the cargo, or the driver of a third vehicle. There is an added layer of complexity, too, when determining which insurance company is responsible for paying for a truck accident. For instance, if your crash involved a tractor-trailer, the cab and the trailer likely had separate insurance policies.
This confusion works to the insurance company’s advantage. While they obfuscate, delay, and downplay the accident, the injured person is caught in the middle. It’s not a fair fight. The lawyer you choose to represent you in that fight will make all the difference.
We handle all types of truck accident cases.
Any encounter with a heavy truck can be catastrophic for people in a smaller vehicle. Tractor-trailers, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, are obviously especially dangerous, but even smaller commercial vehicles, such as dump trucks, box trucks, cargo vans, and cement mixers, are significantly larger than cars, meaning people in the smaller vehicle are exposed to a greater amount of force. As such, these types of accidents can cause severe injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – even without direct trauma to the head, the force of a truck accident can cause the head to move violently, which in turn causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull.
- Spinal cord injury (SCI) – damage to the spine can cause permanent paralysis, which can change the victim’s life forever.
- Loss of limbs – when a smaller vehicle slides underneath a truck or parts of the truck enter the cab, arms and legs can be severed or damaged so badly they must be amputated.
- Broken bones – truck accidents can break even the strongest bones in the body, such as the femur (upper leg) or the bones around the eye socket, because of the sheer force involved.
- Back and neck injuries – everything from relatively minor neck pain to dislocated discs in the spine can result from a truck crash.
- Internal injuries – when the body comes to a sudden stop, the internal organs keep moving until they hit something.
In short, when you’re involved in a truck accident, serious injuries are the norm. You may be looking at extensive medical bills and weeks or months of lost wages. You may even be permanently disabled. As far as an insurance company is concerned, that’s a problem, because serious injuries mean bigger claims and more exposure to their bottom line. Commercial vehicles carry policies with high limits. They’ll fight hard to limit the amount they pay you by any means necessary. Choose a lawyer who knows how to fight back: truck accident attorney Pat James Crispi.
Our investigation will get to the bottom of your truck accident.
As your attorney, we will investigate your accident and find out who was responsible. That starts with your story: you were there, and you know what happened. Our job is to help you tell your story in a manner that protects your rights and advocate for the full monetary compensation you deserve.
The rest of our investigation is focused on finding the “how” and “why” behind the “what” of the accident. We’ll work to secure the following evidence:
- Hours of Service (HOS) log: truck drivers are required to keep this log that documents their working hours and mandatory rest breaks. This information might help us prove that the trucker was fatigued or asleep at the wheel or identify discrepancies that could point to violations of regulations. The log is the trucking company’s property, so we must act promptly to stop them from destroying it.
- “Black Box” data: commercial trucks have a “black box” that stores GPS information, meaning we can identify the truck’s speed and direction of travel. This is critical to help us reconstruct how the accident happened. It may also show that the truck was speeding, or that the log was falsified – for instance, if the black box shows the truck was moving when the trucker was supposedly taking a break.
- Hiring and supervision records: trucking companies are required to conduct background checks and ensure that their drivers are safe and responsible operators. Our investigation may reveal that a background check was not conducted, or that the trucking company was aware of a safety risk (such as a history of drunk driving) yet allowed the trucker to keep driving.
- Witness statements: both people who witnessed the truck accident itself and people who witnessed surrounding events can be important. Witnesses often disagree on what they saw, but we’re adept at cross-referencing statements to get to the true story.
- Physical evidence: photos of the crash scene, skid marks (or the lack thereof), property damage and physical injuries are all critical. We often hire expert witnesses to help us interpret the evidence and tell a jury the story of how and why the accident happened.
Our team pores over documents, such as police accident reports, and pieces together evidence to support your side of the story. Truck accident cases are won and lost based on whether we can tell a clear, evidence-backed story to a jury, so we put in the effort to reach that level of preparation. We work with you to craft that story and put you in a strong position to win.
Choose a truck accident attorney who will build a winning strategy.
In high-stakes truck accident cases, the only way to win is to make the first move. When you come to our office for your free consultation, we’ll immediately start thinking about the outcome of your case. We will listen to your story, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. If you choose to hire us, we will take immediate legal action to preserve evidence and protect your rights as we prepare your case for trial.
Most of our cases do settle out of court, but that’s a consequence of our thorough trial preparation. When the trucking company and their insurance company see that we are ready to tell your story to a jury, they usually pay up. They know our reputation and our track record of results. If they won’t offer a good settlement, we’re ready to take them to court if that’s what it takes to get the compensation you need and deserve.
Throughout the process, we’ll handle the day-to-day interactions with the insurance company to allow you to focus on healing, while keeping you involved in the strategic direction of the case and prepared for each step in the process. We do all this on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t owe us a penny unless we win your case. You don’t need to have the trucking company’s resources to hire a lawyer who can take them on. You deserve high-quality legal representation, regardless of whether you can pay.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident in New York, you need to act quickly, especially if your accident involved a city vehicle. The sooner you talk to a truck accident lawyer, the sooner we can start building your case, and the sooner we can take legal action before important deadlines expire and evidence is lost. Give us a call or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.