Don’t let a catastrophic truck accident change your life for the worse – exercise your legal rights with the help of a Suffolk County truck accident attorney who’s willing to fight by your side.
Carner & DeVita has defended New York truck accident victims with passionate legal representation for over 60 years. We fight for victims’ rights to the fullest extent of compensation available under state and federal laws.
Call (631) 380-4417 or use our online contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
What to do after a truck accident
1. Call 911
Trucking accidents can result in serious injuries. So make sure you call 911 as soon as possible to get emergency medical services and first responders on scene. Even if you don’t immediately feel an injury, you must call 911.
In Suffolk County, you are required to report a truck accident totaling more than $1,000. Try to stay calm and courteous not only with the police officer, but the trucker as well. Remember, you are not at fault. Maintain your innocence and give clear, concise statements to the police when describing what happened.
2. Check for injuries
After calling the police, check yourself and the other driver for any serious injuries. Do not move someone who seems to have severe injuries. Instead, direct emergency medical services to the injured party as soon as they arrive on scene.
3. Make sure you are safe
If you can, move out of traffic and into the shoulder or a nearby parking lot as quickly as possible to wait for police or first responders. In minor car accidents, it may be smart to collect evidence by taking pictures of the scene before moving. If the accident is severe and you cannot move from your location, stay put so the officers can get a clear picture of what happened.
4. Collect evidence & keep receipts
Take several pictures of the accident, your injuries, and anything else that may help build your case. This includes images of your car, the truck, and any other vehicles involved. Road conditions and weather conditions are important to capture as well.
After the accident, save all related medical bills and other expenses. It is best to let your lawyer contact the insurance company representing the truck driver, even if you’re not sure if you have a serious injury or will have costs exceeding your personal injury protection (PIP) policy limit.
5. Exchange information
Exchange insurance information with the truck driver and obtain a photo of their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Document the registration/plate number on the cab of the semi-truck as well as the trailer.
6. Seek medical attention
Provide a full, accurate statement to responding police officers and seek medical attention as soon as possible. You want a full diagnosis, so describe your symptoms accurately and in detail. Consent to all tests needed to confirm your diagnosis and follow your doctor’s advice to the letter. Seeking medical treatment immediately after an accident is vital for both your health and the integrity of a future personal injury lawsuit.
7. Call a Suffolk County truck accident attorney
Whether or not you believe you have a case, seek professional advice from a Suffolk County truck accident attorney. If you are contacted by the at-fault driver, do not consent to make a recorded statement, do not discuss your current health condition, and decline to answer any detailed questions at that time. It is best to have your attorney exchange such information.
Make sure you file before the deadline
In New York truck accident cases, injured parties have the right to file a lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident. This deadline is called the “statute of limitations,” and waiting too long to file could mean you’re unable to pursue compensation or hold the liable party accountable.
Damages you may be able to claim
When an accident was caused by a commercial truck driver’s negligence, injury victims can take solace in the fact that they may be eligible for compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you can file a personal injury claim against the driver, their employer, the company that contracted the freight shipment, or others.
An Suffolk County truck accident attorney will help you identify which parties were negligent and how much in damages your claim could be eligible for.
Potential damages include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Incidental healthcare costs made necessary by the injury
- Lost income/wages
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for a lifelong disability caused by the injury
If your medical expenses exceed the no-fault coverage limits, you may claim the cost of current medical expenses as well as future costs. Out-of-pocket costs for copays, prescriptions, medical devices, and over-the-counter remedies may also be included.
Some injury cases involve significant pain and suffering. Others have permanent effects, such as an inability to enjoy time with family or to return to your former line of work. Your Long Island truck accident lawyer can help you identify all negative life impacts and include an estimated value of compensation for the suffering, anguish, and unfavorable changes you’ve had to endure.
Don’t expect insurance to do the right thing
New York State mandates that every driver carry no-fault insurance to cover their own medical expenses, as well as their passengers. In addition, every driver must also carry liability insurance in the event that their negligence causes a “serious injury” to an individual.
Unfortunately, the nature of a “serious injury” may be up for debate depending on whether an insurer wants to pay out compensation for their own policyholder’s possible liability. They will often attempt to fight claims or offer as little compensation as possible in order to boost their profits.
Therefore, truck accident victims should assume that an insurance representative will not hold their best interest in mind. They may encourage you to accept a settlement offer that does not adequately cover your damages. Or, they may imply that your personal injury claim has weak standing and thereby discourage you from pursuing the matter in court.
Situations like these are why having a Long Island truck accident attorney working for you will dramatically increase your chances at a successful claim. Your attorney should be familiar with personal injury law and handle all negotiations in your defense.
What is the truck’s “black box” and what does it track?
Every 18-wheeler contains a black box, a device that documents information about the vehicle’s movements over time. These devices detect the length and route of a trip, as well as the driver’s speed, hours of service and time on break. They also record whether a truck was involved in a “critical event” such as a crash.
If you were injured in a truck accident and want to make a personal injury claim, you need evidence. Trucking companies are large and often have millions of dollars to spend in court defending themselves. Without evidence that the truck driver caused your injuries, it is highly unlikely that you will recover compensation.
This is why black boxes are so important. These devices contain invaluable information that can prove the truck driver is responsible for the crash that led to your injuries.
Common causes of truck accidents
Truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, many of which involve negligence on the part of a truck driver or their employer.
According to the FMCSA, common causes of truck accidents include:
- Vehicle brake problems
- Drug use
- Driver fatigue
- Work pressure from carrier to complete routes
- Illegal maneuvers.
Common truck accident injuries
Here are some of the most common types of truck accident injuries:
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Rib and torso injuries
If your loved one was injured by a negligent truck driver, you have the right to seek compensation. Call a Suffolk County truck accident lawyer at Carner & DeVita today. Dial (631) 543-7070 now.
How much does it cost to hire a truck accident lawyer?
While some attorneys charge hundreds of dollars an hour, the attorneys at Carner & DeVita only get paid when you receive a settlement or jury verdict.
A Suffolk County truck accident attorney at our firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not take money from the client upfront. Instead, we will claim approximately one-third of the settlement that you receive. This is the most common percentage for personal injury lawyers to claim.
Carner & DeVita’s payment agreement states the following:
“The legal fee of 33.33% shall be calculated as a percentage of the recovery after deduction of costs, disbursements, and expenses. In the event that I (the client) make no monetary recovery, no legal fee shall be due.”
We want our clients to focus on their physical and mental recovery, not on keeping up on payments and hourly fees. Since our payment is dependent on the success of your case, you can rest assured that we’ll do everything in our power to get you the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
Our Suffolk County truck accident lawyers are ready to help
Don’t limit your right to maximum compensation after your accident. Work with a knowledgeable, compassionate personal injury attorney who will help guide you every step of the way during your case.
Contact a Carner & DeVita’s Suffolk County Personal Injury Attorney for a free, no-obligation consultation. Just one call or click could mean the difference in your ability to recover medically, financially, and mentally after your truck collision. Dial (631) 543-7070 now.
Truck accident questions and answers
Politely refuse to discuss the accident or your injuries with any representative of the trucking company’s insurance or the truck driver’s insurance company. You can tell them that they may call back once you have hired a lawyer and they are present with you.
It’s important to remember that you are not obligated to answer any of the insurance company’s questions, and you should never say anything like “I’m sorry,” “It wasn’t that bad,” or “My injuries aren’t that serious.” The insurance company can use those statements against you, so if you’re questioning whether or not to say something, take the safer route and say nothing at all.
After a truck accident, cooperate with the reporting police officer and answer their questions about what happened before and during the accident. Even if you’re frazzled (which you probably will be after an accident), it’s important that you are truthful about what you witnessed and experienced.
You should never admit fault after a truck accident, police officers included. You’ll likely be out of it or confused, so try and remember that anything you say can be used against you, even if you didn’t mean to say it at the time.
You should also get the name and badge number of the reporting officer so that you can contact them if you remember a detail later.
The trucking company will usually be responsible for the negligent actions of their employees, but depending on the unique circumstances, you may be able to sue the truck driver, the truck manufacturer, a repair shop or mechanic, or even a government agency.
The trucking company can be held responsible if your Long Island truck accident lawyer can prove that they broke federal or state regulations determining how long truck drivers can work and how much cargo their vehicles can carry.
You can sue the truck driver themselves if the accident was caused by their own negligence, such as texting and driving or driving while impaired.
You may be able to sue the truck’s manufacturer if your Long Island truck accident attorney can prove that the accident was caused by a defect in the vehicle’s parts. If the accident was caused by an issue due to poor repairs, a repair shop or individual mechanic can be sued.
Lastly, you can sue a government agency if the accident occurred due to poor roads, missing signs, or other issues related to road conditions that a government entity would be responsible for maintaining.
In New York, you can file a claim up to three years from the date of the accident. This deadline is called a “statute of limitations,” and it protects people from false claims, expired evidence, and poor reporting.
If you miss the statute of limitations, you forfeit your right to sue for the accident forever, so it’s important to contact a Long Island truck accident lawyer and get your case started as soon as possible.
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