New York Truck Accident FAQs

Common Questions Following a Truck Accident in NY

Below are some of the questions our New York truck accident attorneys have received from people just like you and short answers to those questions. If you have additional questions or are looking for an attorney to help you with your legal options after a truck crash, call our firm at 212-736-5300 or contact us online to schedule a FREE no-obligation legal consultation.

After a truck accident, who will pay my medical bills?

Because commercial trucks are so large and heavy, accidents often result in serious injuries requiring substantial medical care. Many people injured in truck accidents immediately see their medical bills begin piling up. However, the claims process typically does not provide compensation for these expenses right away. In this situation, your own auto insurance may cover many of your medical expenses.

What are the most common causes of truck accidents in New York?

While accidents can result from poor road conditions and bad weather, most are caused by some form of negligence on the part of the trucking company or truck driver. Driver fatigue, drug or alcohol use, failure to maintain or inspect a vehicle, and overloaded tractor-trailers are among the common causes. Mechanical failure and defective parts can also lead to crashes.

Who can I sue after being injured in a New York truck accident?

Lawsuits are typically filed against the driver of the truck, the trucking company and, in some cases, the truck's manufacturer. Your ability to sue the trucking company will depend on whether an employee-employer relationship has been established. If such a relationship exists, the trucking company can potentially be held accountable for the driver's negligence. If an employment relationship cannot be established because the driver is an independent contractor, it may be harder to hold the trucking company accountable for the crash. (The trucking company, however, may still be liable for negligent hiring or supervision.) The truck's manufacturer can also be sued if a defect in the vehicle led to the crash. Learn more about trucking accident liability.

What types of damages are available in New York truck accident lawsuits?

Injured truck accident survivors may be entitled to a variety of damages, which provide financial compensation for both economic and noneconomic losses resulting from the crash. Truck accident damages may include:

  • Hospital bills
  • Future medical costs, including ongoing care and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life

Those who have lost a loved one in a trucking accident may be able to bring a wrongful death claim for damages such as funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of companionship, and others.

How much is my truck accident case worth?

No firm can guarantee a certain amount of compensation for a specific case, particularly before a thorough investigation has taken place. The value of a claim depends on many factors, including the circumstances of the accident, the severity of the injuries, the expenses incurred, and the conduct of the defendants. To discuss the potential compensation that may be available after a truck accident, we encourage you to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney.

What if I think I may be partially responsible?

Traffic collisions, particularly those involving large trucks, are traumatic events. Many of our clients worry about their own role in their accident cases and wonder if they could have done anything differently to avoid the crash. In fact, it takes a thorough investigation to determine exactly what happened and who was responsible.

If you have concerns, we encourage you to discuss your case with an attorney. New York follows a comparative negligence rule, which means it may be possible to recover compensation even if you did contribute to the accident in some way.

What should I do after being involved in a New York truck accident?

After seeking medical attention, contact an attorney. Evidence left behind by a truck accident can disappear quickly and witnesses can forget key facts, so it's important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible to ensure a timely investigation is carried out. There is also a time limit for filing claims in New York, so contact us today to find out if you have legal recourse.

Should I talk to the insurance company?

Do not give any statement to another party or its insurance company without consulting an attorney.

Under law, you must cooperate with your own insurance company's investigation of any claims. However, your attorney can communicate with your insurer on your behalf. Given that insurance companies often maximize their profits by underpaying and denying claims, it is wise to communicate through your lawyer if possible.

How much time do I have to bring a lawsuit?

In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including truck accident injuries, is three years from the date of the accident. However, that does not mean you should wait to begin pursuing your claim. The sooner you take action, the more effectively your lawyer can investigate the accident and negotiate with the other parties to protect your best interests.

After an accident, many trucking companies and their representatives will immediately begin building their defense and looking for ways to undermine and underpay valid claims. The sooner you secure representation, the better your chances of success.

Do I need to hire an attorney?

There is no law requiring that accident survivors retain an attorney to pursue compensation for their losses. However, working with a lawyer can greatly improve your chances of recovering fair compensation. Keep in mind that the trucking company and its insurers have been in this position many times before and will do everything possible to minimize their payouts to accident survivors. Working with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney puts the same experience and knowledge of the law on your side.

How much does a truck accident attorney cost?

Most personal injury firms accept cases on a contingency basis, which means that you are only responsible for attorney fees if your lawyer secures compensation for you. Any attorney fees will be paid out of your settlement, which means there is no financial risk in securing experienced representation.

More Questions? Call for a FREE Case Evaluation.

The answers on this page provide general information about trucking accident claims, but there is no substitute for a personalized consultation with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney. Call the truck accident lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy today at 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers.