Most people killed in New York truck accidents aren’t drivers of large trucks, but the occupants of smaller vehicles trucks collide with. Many big rigs and tractor-trailers weigh 20 to 30 times more than cars and passenger vehicles, and are capable of crushing smaller vehicles, even at relatively slow speeds. Truck accidents often result in major or catastrophic injuries and even fatalities.
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we understand the devastation caused by large truck accidents and the traumatic injuries they cause. These accidents not only affect injured victims, but also their family members. Many families tragically lose their loved ones in truck accidents. Our attorneys can help you secure just compensation for your losses and hold negligent truck drivers and trucking firms accountable.
All traffic deaths are tragic, but not all fatal truck accidents result in a wrongful death case. The legal phrase "wrongful death" involves fatal injuries caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another. Therefore, a truck accident wrongful death is when an occupant of another vehicle is killed because of a driver error, traffic violation or wrongful act committed by a truck driver.
According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 3,602 people were killed nationwide in large truck crashes in a recent year. Only 16 percent of those deaths were truck occupants, while 67 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles and 15 percent were motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
It is crucial for a thorough and accurate investigation to take place when someone has been killed in a New York truck accident. It must be determined what caused the truck crash and who was responsible. While some truck accidents result solely from the negligence of the victim, many involve truck driver negligence and wrongdoing.
Examples of truck driver carelessness that can result in a wrongful death include:
- Driver fatigue - There are federal regulations that are enforced to prevent truck drivers from working too long without rest. Hours-of-service regulations are there to make sure that drivers get sufficient rest before they get on the road. A violation of these regulations can result in a fatigued driver, who can be extremely dangerous.
- Driver distraction - A relatively new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule restricts truck drivers from using a mobile device to make a call or even to press a button. They must use hands-free phones located in close proximity.
- Speeding - Drivers must travel at a safe speed relative to the weather and roadway conditions. A number of devastating truck accidents happen because big rigs rear-end passenger vehicles.
- Failure to yield - Truck drivers must use caution whenever they turn or change lanes.
It is important to stay abreast of the ongoing investigation if you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident. It’s also advisable to keep records of your financial losses related to the crash and to research your legal options. With the help of a truck accident attorney, you may be able to receive financial compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages the victim would have earned, loss of consortium, pain and suffering and other related damages.
A New York City wrongful death attorney will help make sure that you are offered fair compensation for your significant losses. Our firm has the resources to thoroughly investigate truck accident cases. In these accident cases, it’s important that critical evidence, including driver phone records, driver logs and vehicle maintenance records, are preserved. Failure to do so can result in significant evidence getting lost. Call us at (212) 986-7353 for a free and comprehensive consultation.