Queens Truck Accident Attorney
Commercial Vehicle Accidents in New York City
Every year, thousands of people in New York City are involved in car accidents with large semi-trucks, delivery trucks, and other commercial vehicles. Sadly, these are some of the most devastating of all motor vehicle accidents. Victims of large truck accidents tend to experience catastrophic injuries, resulting in permanent disability and lifelong limitations. More tragic still, many truck accident victims die as a result of these collisions.
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a large truck or commercial vehicle, the Harris Firm, LLC can help. Based in the Bronx and Queens, our truck accident attorneys represent clients throughout New York City’s five boroughs and the surrounding areas. We have nearly 30 years of experience practicing personal injury law and have successfully recovered sizeable settlements and verdicts on behalf of the severely injured. We are aggressive when it comes to representing our clients’ rights, and we always fight for the maximum compensation they are owed.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents?
Just like other motor vehicle accidents, large truck and commercial vehicle accidents often occur as a result of negligence. In some cases, it is the truck driver who negligently causes a collision; in others, the negligent practices of the trucking company, maintenance provider, manufacturer, or another party is to blame.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck Driver Error and Negligence: Truck drivers spend long hours behind the wheel, which can lead to fatigue, distraction, and other dangerous behaviors. They may make critical mistakes or violate traffic laws, which can lead to serious accidents. Common examples of truck driver error and negligence include falling asleep at the wheel, driving while distracted, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Hours-of-Service Violations: The number of hours truckers can drive, as well as when they must take breaks and for how long, is regulated by state and federal law. Known as hours-of-service regulations, these rules are designed to prevent fatigued driving, which can lead to fatal accidents. When truck drivers violate hours-of-service regulations, whether due to pressure from trucking companies or other reasons, the consequences can be devastating.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo: Heavy materials, goods, and supplies must be properly loaded onto trucks to avoid shifting cargo and other issues that could lead to accidents. Furthermore, trucks may not exceed certain weight limits set by state and municipal laws. Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks can—and do—lead to loss of control and collisions.
- Poor Truck Maintenance: Large commercial trucks must be properly maintained to ensure they are running properly and do not pose a risk to others on the road. Whether the truck driver failed to report an issue after conducting a routine maintenance inspection, or a separate entity failed to conduct truck maintenance altogether, the responsible party could be held liable if improper truck maintenance causes an accident.
- Negligent Trucking Company Practices: Some trucking companies pressure drivers to meet strict quotas and deadlines; others fail to conduct background checks, provide adequate training or supervision, or properly discipline drivers who violate company policies. When trucking companies are negligent, they can be liable for resulting accidents, injuries, and deaths related to their improper practices.
- Roadway and Truck Defects: Sometimes, large truck accidents are caused or exacerbated by defective or dangerous roadway design, poor road maintenance, or unsafe construction. In other instances, truck defects—such as faulty braking systems or tires—can contribute to or cause an accident. When this is the case, the liable construction company, engineer, maintenance provider, manufacturer, or distributor may be responsible for damages.
At the Harris Firm, LLC, we carefully evaluate and investigate truck accident claims to determine how the accident occurred and who was at fault. Our Queens truck accident attorneys work alongside accident reconstructionists and other industry experts to obtain powerful evidence and develop persuasive cases for our clients.
Collecting Compensation After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, it is often possible to recover compensation through your own auto insurance policy. New York is a no-fault state, which means you can receive a portion of your expenses related to medical care and lost wages through your personal injury protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage. However, no-fault insurance is rarely sufficient to cover the full cost of serious accident-related injuries.
Many truck accident victims are able to step outside the no-fault system and file claims against the liable party, whether that party is a negligent truck driver, a trucking company, a manufacturer, or some other entity.
To have grounds to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you will need to prove that your injuries resulted in one of the following:
- Bone fracture
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent limitation or loss of use of a body organ or member
- Permanent loss of use of a bodily function or system
- Substantial, full disability for a period of at least 90 days
This is known as meeting the state’s “serious injury threshold.” Only individuals who meet this threshold, or who have sustained economic losses in excess of $50,000, may go outside the no-fault system in New York and file a claim or lawsuit against the liable party.
The Harris Firm, LLC can help you determine if you have grounds to file a claim with the trucking company’s insurance provider or sue the trucking company or another liable party for damages. These are highly complex cases, and we strongly recommend that you talk to an attorney with experience in this area of law. You should never accept a settlement or sign anything without first speaking to a lawyer.
Put a Powerful Legal Team in Your Corner
One of the best things you can do to protect your rights and your recovery after a truck accident is to contact a law firm that has a history of success handling truck accident claims. Since 2003, the Harris Firm, LLC has been fighting for injured accident victims and the families of those wrongfully killed in and around New York City. We are known for our aggressive and assertive approach to litigation, as well as for making insurance companies pay out the full value of our clients’ claims.
When you need a legal team you can count on, one that will fight for you and the maximum compensation you are owed, turn to the Harris Firm, LLC. Our Queens truck accident attorneys offer free initial consultations and can travel to your home or the hospital if you are unable to make it into one of our multiple offices. Our multilingual staff can assist you in the language you are most comfortable communicating in, including English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Bangali/Vangia.
Mr.Harris handled my case perfectly- Saidou K.
I changed my attorney to Mr.Harris and it was the best decision I've made- Genesis A.
Mr. Harris was very professional, and I’m very grateful what he has done for my case.- Lola L.
Very grateful! Definitely will recommend Mr. Harris to anyone who needs.- Sharanjeet S.
Mr. Harris is the very best in the business has been doing this for over 25 years- Israel Y.