Approximately 3.5 million semi-trucks travel on U.S. streets and highways, so it’s not difficult to get into an accident with a truck. If you’re injured in a truck accident in New York, arrange at once to speak with a Long Island truck accident attorney about your legal rights and options.
Trucks bring vital products and goods to every town and city in our nation. Commercial semi-trucks are essential to the way we live, but those semi-trucks put drivers, their passengers, and others at risk for serious injuries when accidents happen.
What are the leading causes of truck accidents in New York? Where are the blind spots on a semi-truck, and how can you ensure that truck drivers see you and your vehicle? What are your rights if you’re injured in an accident caused by a truck driver’s negligence?
If you’ll continue reading, you’ll find some answers you may need, but if you are an injured victim of negligence due to a truck accident, you are also going to need the personalized advice and professional legal services that a Long Island truck accident lawyer will provide.
How Many Accidents Involve the Blind Spots on Trucks?
One-third of the highway collisions that involve semi-trucks happen in the truck’s “blind spots,” according to Road Safe America, a Florida-based non-profit that promotes truck driving safety.
Accidents that involve a truck’s blind spots can be prevented. Drivers should know where the blind spots are on a semi-truck in order to avoid those spots. Truck companies can reduce the size of the blind spots on a truck by installing special mirrors and video cameras.
Where Are the Blind Spots on a Semi-Truck?
Drivers, however, should generally presume that truck drivers cannot see them. The best driving strategy is to stay away from large trucks, but sometimes that’s not possible. Blind spots are the areas around vehicles that drivers can’t see, even with the standard mirrors.
To see blind spots, drivers have to turn their heads around – and take their eyes off the road. Not surprisingly, blind spots on semi-trucks are much larger than the blind spots on cars. In general, the blind spots on semi-trucks are located:
- along both sides of the truck
- below and behind the driver’s window
- behind the truck for about thirty feet
What Are the Causes of Truck Accidents That Involve Blind Spots?
This can’t be stressed strongly enough: It is not safe to drive in a semi-truck’s blind spots. Blind spot accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- Driving while distracted: Distracted driving happens whenever drivers take their attention away from driving. When truck drivers are distracted, they may not look for or notice vehicles that are in their blind spots.
- Making sudden lane changes: When a car is in a truck’s blind spot, a sudden lane change by either the car or truck driver can cause a blind spot accident if the other driver is not expecting the lane change.
- Following a semi-truck too closely: Following a truck too closely can keep you in one of that truck’s blind spots, substantially increasing the chances of a collision.
If in spite of your efforts, you’re forced into one of a semi-truck’s blind spots, get out safely and as quickly as you can. A truck’s blind spots are dangerous in slow traffic, too, because a slower truck is more likely to turn, and being in a blind spot when a truck turns can be catastrophic.
When Can You Take Legal Action?
New York is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means an injured driver must file a claim with his or her own insurance company before seeking compensation from the other party. Drivers in New York are required by law to carry PIP (personal injury protection) insurance coverage.
However, PIP coverage may not be enough to cover the damages an accident victim suffers, especially in a semi-truck accident with catastrophic injuries. If your own insurance cannot pay all of your medical bills and other losses, you have the right to take legal action.
If a Truck Accident Happens
If you’re injured in a collision with a semi-truck, summon medical assistance at once. Then summon the police, exchange insurance details with the truck driver, try to get the names of any witnesses, and take plenty of photographs of the accident scene and the vehicles.
Consulting a Long Island truck accident attorney is your next priority. Do it as soon as you’ve been treated for your injury. Victims of negligence in New York can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and related damages and losses.
However, that compensation is not automatic. If your injury claim is disputed for any reason, you and your attorney will have to prove that another party – the truck driver or trucking company, for example – was negligent, and that you were injured as a direct result of that negligence.
Who May Be Liable for a Semi-Truck Blind Spot Accident?
In a semi-truck accident, the driver may not be the only party who is liable. One or more of these parties may also have liability:
- the trucking company
- the truck’s owner (if separate from the trucking company)
- the party responsible for truck maintenance (if separate from the trucking company)
- the cargo loader
- the truck’s manufacturer
- a truck parts manufacturer
A Long Island truck accident lawyer will investigate how the crash happened, identify the liable party or parties, and negotiate aggressively on your behalf for the best possible settlement. Most truck accident cases are resolved when the attorneys for both sides settle the case out-of-court.
However, if no reasonable settlement offer is forthcoming in the private negotiations, or if liability for the accident is disputed, your attorney will take your injury claim to trial, explain to a jury how you were injured, and ask that jury to order the payment of your compensation.
When Should You Contact a Truck Accident Attorney?
Truck accident victims usually have three years from the accident date to bring a lawsuit for compensation, but if the truck that hit your vehicle belonged to the City of New York or another New York municipality, you must file a Notice of Claim within ninety days of the accident.
If you’ve missed the three-year or ninety-day deadline, go ahead and speak to an attorney. It’s possible that your case meets the requirements for one of the limited exceptions to the deadlines. But if you’ve been injured recently, you need to act – and contact an attorney – at once.
Ideally, an injury attorney should examine any evidence before it deteriorates or disappears and question any witnesses before their memories start to fade. The best strategy is to schedule a consultation with a truck accident attorney as soon as you’ve received medical treatment.
What Will Justice Cost?
Can you afford an injury attorney’s services when you’re injured and unable to work? The answer is yes. If you’ve been injured in a blind spot truck accident, your first consultation with a New York truck accident lawyer is provided with no obligation or cost.
It’s your opportunity to receive personalized legal advice and to learn how New York’s injury laws apply to your own circumstances. If you proceed with an injury claim, you pay no lawyer’s fee unless and until your lawyer recovers compensation on your behalf.
Of course, you can’t win any justice or compensation without taking the first step and making the call to a New York accident attorney. If you have been injured in a truck accident in New York, and you need justice, make that call now.