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How Can a Albany Truck Accident Attorney Help You?
The truck accident lawyers of Powers & Santola, LLP, know how frightening it is to be involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer or to lose a loved one in such a crash. Still, as difficult as it may be under the circumstances, victims must take immediate steps after a truck accident in order to protect their legal rights.
Truck accidents are different in many ways from accidents that involve only non-commercial, standard passenger vehicles. One crucial difference is the need to preserve evidence and launch an investigation quickly – before evidence is lost or destroyed.
The legal team of Powers & Santola, LLP, understands the unique challenges that can arise in truck accident cases. We can put our knowledge and experience to work for you and work hard to seek a fair recovery for you and your family.
We handle truck accident cases in Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, and throughout New York. To schedule a timely, free consultation, simply call us today or reach us online.
How Can a Albany
Truck Accident Attorney Help You?
An attorney from our law firm can provide many important legal services to you in the aftermath of a truck accident that has left you seriously injured or resulted in the loss of a family member. These services include:
What Can You Recover
in a New York Truck Accident Lawsuit?
New York is a pure comparative fault state. This means that you will not be barred from a recovery in your truck accident case no matter how much your own negligence may have contributed to your crash. However, your recovery would be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
Additionally, multiple parties may be forced to pay damages to you if they are found liable in court, or one or more parties may agree to settle your claim against them while you go to trial against the other parties. This situation can arise in a truck accident case that involves many different responsible parties, including:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company (or carrier) who employed the driver
- Owner of the tractor, trailer or cargo
- Shipping company or broker
- Mechanic who failed to perform needed repairs
- Manufacturer of defective truck equipment.
In any truck accident settlement or verdict that we pursue on your behalf, Powers & Santola, LLP, will strive to recover damages that cover your:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and diminished future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress.
If the truck driver, trucking company or other party is deemed to have engaged in grossly negligent conduct – driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, for instance – our attorneys may also pursue punitive damages in your case.
Please see our section on “How Does a New York Wrongful Death Lawsuit Work?” to learn more about the damages that could be sought if your truck accident case involves the loss of a loved one.
Proving Fault and Identifying
the Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accident injury cases are often more complex than car accident cases. Establishing fault and recovering damages after a trucking accident often involves investigating violations of federal trucking regulations and conducting accident site reconstruction.
The trucking accident injury lawyers at Powers & Santola, LLP., work with skilled accident investigators and accident reconstructionists to prove fault. We review police reports, driver logs, vehicle maintenance records, and environmental factors such as roadway conditions when developing a case for your financial recovery after a truck accident.
Our experience and dedication to our clients has helped us secure millions in verdicts and settlements. When you need effective legal representation, contact our upstate New York law firm. We offer a free initial consultation at our Syracuse and Albany law office
in a Truck Accident
- Truck Driver Issues: Driving a semi or tractor-trailer is exhausting. That’s why federal law limits the number of hours a commercial truck driver can drive. However, fatigue is still a serious problem. Other driver-related factors in truck accidents are drug use, speeding, reckless driving, or driving dangerously for the existing road conditions. Distracted driving has also gotten a lot of attention as drivers engage in texting or cell phone use while driving.
- Trucking Company Issues: Truck companies are responsible for hiring and training of drivers, for ensuring delivery schedules are reasonable, and often for truck maintenance. Hiring poorly qualified drivers (including drivers without CDL licenses) can make the trucking company liable. Failing to maintain equipment or to use proper containment for hazardous materials (HAZMAT) can be a safety violation.
- Trucks and Equipment: Overloading a truck can contribute to equipment failures, braking problems and unstable loads. Failing to properly secure a load can result in things falling from trucks and hitting cars behind them, or a load shifting in the trailer and putting the truck off balance. This can contribute to trucks tipping or jack-knifing.
More than one party may be at fault in causing the truck accident. Your personal injury lawyer will work to identify who is at fault and who can be held responsible for paying for your serious injuries.
Report Shows Devastating Impact of Truck Accidents
The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes declined significantly in New York State and across the country between 2004 and 2013, according to a new report issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
However, in the final year analyzed in the report, 2013, the number of large trucks involved in fatal accidents increased at both the state and national levels. The majority of those killed or injured in those crashes were drivers or occupants of other vehicles, the report shows.
The statistics, compiled by the FMCSA’s Analysis Division and published in early April, underscores the devastating impact of being involved in a collision with a large tractor-trailer (or semi-truck).
The Good News: Fatal Truck and Bus Crashes Trending Downward
The FMCSA report, on one hand, provides encouraging news: Fatal and injury-producing crashes involving large trucks and buses generally trended downward during the period analyzed.
Between 2003 and 2013, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. fell from 4,721 to 3,906, or by 17 percent, the report shows.
Additionally, the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes declined by 18 percent, or from 89,000 in 2003 to 73,000 in 2013.
In New York State, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes fell from 147 in 2003 to 114 in 2013 – a drop of 22 percent.
Large Trucks Involved in Fatal Crashes
The number of buses involved in fatal crashes decreased as well, from 291 in 2003 to 280 in 2013 (4 percent). However, the number of buses involved in injury crashes increased from 14,000 in 2003 to 18,000 in 2013 (22 percent).
The Bad News: Fatal Truck and Bus Crashes Spiked in 2013
Despite the overall downward trend, the FMCSA report indicates there was an uptick in the number of large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2013.
Large Trucks & Buses Involved in Fatal Crashes
Unfortunately, the majority of large truck crashes in 2013 involved two or more vehicles (63 percent), with the occupants of the other vehicles typically suffering the consequences – not the truck driver.
According to the FMCSA report, out of the 3,159 people who were killed in multiple-vehicle large truck crashes in 2013:
Additionally, out of the 85,000 people injured in multiple-vehicle large truck crashes in 2013:
Why Did Large Truck Crashes Happen in 2013?
The FMCSA report shows that at least one driver-related factor was recorded in 1,295 fatal truck crashes in 2013, while at least one moving violation was recorded in 324.
Generally speaking, these statistics reflect negligent driving.
According to the report, the seven driver-related factors involved in the highest number of crashes were:
Out of the 229 fatal crashes involving distraction, cell phone use – dialing, talking, listening or engaging in other activity with the phone – was present in only 26 accidents, the FMCSA reports. That is a surprisingly low number.
However, in 83 crashes, the details of what caused the distraction were “unknown,” according to the report. So, it is possible that cell phone use may have been a factor in those accidents but went undetected.
Additionally, it is important to note that the use of alcohol, drugs or medication was present in 48 crashes. However, it was not the leading driver impairment-related factor. Instead, it was impairment by fatigue – present in 56 accidents.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
Serving Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester
The lawyers of Powers & Santola, LLP, have assisted truck accident victims and their families in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout New York State since 1987. We are passionate about pursuing results that will fundamentally improve our clients’ lives. When you are ready, please call or connect with us online and allow us to begin work right away on helping you.
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.