If you have been hurt, or if you have lost a loved one in a collision with an 18-wheeler or another commercial vehicle in Rochester, the truck accident lawyers at Powers & Santola, LLP, can help. We know that you may be frightened, angry and unsure of your rights and legal options following a catastrophic truck accident. Our team of aggressive trial attorneys in Rochester are here to help you to understand your legal options and seek all compensation you are owed from the party responsible for the crash.
Because so much is on the line, it is crucial to hire an attorney with the experience and resources to handle your case. You need a lawyer who is not afraid to take the case all the way to trial if necessary. You need the team at Powers & Santola, LLP, on your side.[toc]
How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
Truck accidents can be costly to investigate and pursue, which is why you need a firm with the resources to handle your case. Our team has vast resources, forensic experts and legal skills to collect and preserve critical evidence and build a strong case on your behalf. Our team works on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not owe us anything unless we secure compensation for you. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss how we can help you and your family, contact us today.
Truck accident injury claims can be much more complicated than cases involving two passenger vehicles. Multiple entities could share a percentage of responsibility for the collision, and a prompt, thorough investigation must be conducted to identify these parties. Crucial evidence like driving logs, hiring documents and other records can be destroyed or lost. So, time is of the essence. Also, you are likely going to have to deal with trucking companies and the insurance providers who wrote their policies, which takes a legal team that has experience going head-to-head with these powerful entities.
What Should You Do After a Semi-Truck Accident?
If you are hurt in a truck accident in Rochester, you should:
- Stay in your vehicle (if it is safe to do so) with your hazard lights on.
- Call 911, even if you do not believe that your injuries are serious.
- Seek medical attention for yourself, your passengers and any other individuals who are hurt at the scene.
- Remain at the scene of the accident and do not leave (unless you are taken to the hospital by emergency personnel).
- Get the names and contact information of all parties involved and any witnesses who saw the collision.
- Write down the names and badge numbers of any officers who respond to the scene.
- Take as many pictures (from different angles and distances) of the vehicles and the scene as possible.
- Never admit fault.
- Do not discuss the accident with others at the scene. In the confusion following a crash, it is easy to say things you do not mean, and these statements could jeopardize injury claims later.
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible.
- When you can, contact an experienced truck accident attorney who can begin an immediate investigation of the accident.
What Can a Truck Accident Attorney Do After an 18-Wheeler Truck Crash?
When you hire a Rochester truck accident attorney at Powers & Santola, LLP, to represent you, the attorney will work quickly to collect critical evidence before the trucking company and its insurance representatives can destroy or alter it. Your lawyer will immediately:
- Investigate the scene of the crash.
- Obtain the official police report.
- Get the trucking company’s records.
- Interview witnesses.
- Contact the trucking company and its insurance provider.
- Deal with your insurance provider to make sure you get the benefits you are owed.
- Negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance provider to pursue a full and fair settlement.
- Pursue compensation for you by going to trial, if necessary.
Your lawyer will thoroughly evaluate your injuries to determine what compensation you are owed. The lawyer will also identify all lines of insurance coverage from the truck driver, trucking company and others in order to pursue the maximum amount of compensation for you.
Who Can Be Held Liable After a Trucking Accident in New York?
Multiple parties could be held liable for a truck accident in Rochester. Identifying these parties is of the utmost importance in any truck accident case. The following parties could potentially be liable for your injuries, including:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company (or carrier) who employed the driver
- The owner of the tractor, the trailer, or the cargo that was being carried at the time of the crash
- The shipping company or the broker
- A mechanic or the shop where repairs were performed
- The manufacturer or distributor of defective truck equipment.
Any one of several of these parties could be at least partially at fault for the accident and may owe you compensation. Powers & Santola, LLP, will identify them and work hard to hold them accountable for their share of the crash and its impact on your life.
What Are Common Truck Accident Injuries?
The legal weight for commercial vehicles in New York and throughout the U.S. (without oversize or overweight permits) is 80,000 pounds. In comparison, the average passenger vehicle weighs about 5,000 pounds. This dramatic difference in size and weight means that collisions between trucks and passenger cars can be especially devastating for occupants in the smaller vehicles. In a collision, drivers and passengers may suffer serious and potentially fatal injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Scarring and disfigurement.
After a severe injury accident, victims may also suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) long after the incident.
What Damages Could You Recover in a Truck Accident Claim?
While financial compensation cannot “turn back the clock” and prevent your tractor-trailer accident from ever occurring, it can help make sure that you do not suffer financially in the aftermath of a collision. You could be eligible for compensation that will help you pay your bills, care for yourself and your loved ones and rebuild your life. Depending on the specific circumstances of your accident, you could be owed compensation for:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Diminished earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed property
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
If the truck driver or trucking company behaved in a manner that was grossly negligent, you could also be owed punitive damages.
Keep in mind that in Rochester and throughout New York State, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim is three years from the date of the injury. Any claims filed after the statute of limitations has expired will not be heard by a court. So, you should act quickly and get help from an experienced attorney as soon as possible after a crash.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire An Accident Lawyer?
After an accident, financial concerns are often atop the list of concerns for victims and their families. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Powers & Santola, LLP, understand this. We never want concerns about paying upfront for a lawyer to prevent victims and their loved ones from getting the legal help they need. That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients won’t pay us a single penny unless we recover compensation for them.
Additionally, it will not cost you anything to visit us for a confidential case evaluation. You will have no obligation to work with us, either. We simply want to give you the opportunity to have your case reviewed by a knowledgeable and caring attorney and to learn about your legal rights and options.
Our Rochester Truck Accident Attorneys Can Go to Work for You Today
At Powers & Santola, LLP, our experienced Rochester truck accident lawyers work tirelessly to pursue full and fair compensation for our clients. When your livelihood and your family’s well-being is on the line, turn to a legal team that has a proven track record and a dedication to making a difference in the lives of victims and their families. To learn more about how we can help you, call or reach us online today.