I was injured in a wreck with a truck, is the company at fault?

A commercial truck can cause an immense amount of damage to your car and you, resulting in pain, suffering and financial losses. If you have been hit by a commercial truck and the truck driver is responsible for the accident, here is what you need to know before you speak to your truck accident lawyer.

Document Everything

Make sure everything from the accident is documented. Get police reports and the names and addresses of any witnesses, if possible. If you were seriously injured, you can get this information later or ask a relative or friend to help you do so. While the situation is stressful, keeping the coolest head possible could help you avoid costly mistakes.

Do Not Sign Anything

Trucking companies often have their own loss mitigation departments and legal teams. Their job is to minimize the trucking company’s losses as much as possible in the aftermath of an accident, and the same goes for the insurer who is providing coverage for the commercial vehicle. You do not have to give the truck company’s insurer a statement, but be sure to give an honest one to the local police if asked.

Get your own truck accident attorney before speaking to the truck’s insurer or the company’s representatives to protect your own interests. Never sign any documents from the trucking company or its insurer without your attorney reviewing them first, as you do not want to unknowingly give away any of your rights.

What You Must Show

To win a case against a trucking company or truck driver who caused your accident, you must show that the driver failed to meet the reasonable care standards all drivers are held to while on the road and that the failure caused your injury. Your truck accident lawyer can help you demonstrate all of this in court with the facts of your case. Failure to meet reasonable care standards includes texting while driving, speeding and other behavior that is considered reckless on the road.

Identify the Defendants

The truck driver alone may not be the only defendant in your case, and it is important to identify all potential defendants so you can collect the damages you are entitled to. Your truck accident attorney will examine your case to find all the possible defendants, which can include the trucking company, the company’s insurers and contractors. If hazardous materials on the truck made your accident worse or contributed in any way, the maker or supplier of those materials may also bear some legal responsibility.

How do New York courts assess fault in personal injury cases?

Personal Injury refers to an assault to the physical and mental well being rather than to property. Each state varies in assessing fault in an accident. In shared fault cases, the defendant being held liable for the incident may claim the victim holds some blame. In such cases, New York follows a “pure comparative negligence rule.” This rule states the amount of damages awarded will be reduced proportionally to the victim’s fault in the incident.  Additionally if a person falls victim to a motor vehicle incident, compensation may be limited due to New York State’s “no fault” law. This law forces victims to collect from their own insurance policies first regardless of who carries blame in the accident if the injuries sustained are not serious enough to qualify for a lawsuit.

In cases involving government negligence, New York State follows a different set of rules in order for a victim to recover damages. In such incidents, a victim will only have 90 days to file a formal claim and one year to file a lawsuit against the city. Lastly in personal injury cases involving dogs and other animals, New York does not have any specific law regarding liability. However the “one bite rule” states the owner may hold responsibility in an injury caused by their animal if the owner had known or should have known the animal was dangerous. If the particular breed or recent behaviors of an animal suggests behavior that could potentially be harmful to others the owner may be held at fault after an incident resulting in a personal injury case. But if the dog had never inflicted a bite before there might not be liability.

It is important to keep in mind after such incidents that each state has a varying statute of limitation. “Statute of limitation” refers to the maximum time in which a victim can bring a personal injury case to court. In New York, for personal injury cases the injured person is given three years from the injury date to file a lawsuit.  If a case in not filed within the time limit the victim will lose the right to file a personal injury claim.

If you wish to learn more about how New York assess fault in personal injury cases, speak to an experienced and professional attorney to help you understand your rights – call 212-353-8700 and speak to one of our attorneys today. 

Can You Help Me Make a Personal Injury Claim?

Have you been injured? If you were involved in a slip and fall accident, someone else may be liable to you for your injuries.

Have you been injured in an accident?

Countless individuals are injured each year in slip and fall accidents. Many other individuals are injured each year in car accidents. Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness? If so, we can help you make a claim.

Important information

In order to help you bring a claim, we will need certain information from you. While you may not have all of this information, the more information you can provide, the better we will be able to assist you. Pertinent information will include the date and location of the accident, the nature of our injuries, any medical records which may be relevant, the police report (if applicable), and any information you have regarding the individuals and/or companies you believe were involved in the accident.

Making a claim

Our office will help make the claim on your behalf. It is important to know that there are strict time limits for making claims. Depending on the type of accident, there may be multiple deadlines which must be met and you cannot miss these deadlines.

Depending on the circumstances, our office may send a claim letter to the responsible parties. In other cases, it may be best to file a lawsuit. Our office prepares claim letters and complaints for personal injury matters routinely. We are knowledgeable about which facts should be included in these documents. We must properly allege the facts and causes of action.

Trust and Dependability

Most importantly, if you have been injured in an accident and wish to pursue a claim, you should have an attorney who will advocate for your rights. You should feel comfortable with your attorney and know that you can rely and depend on them. Your attorney should be responsive to your questions. While you will not meet with your attorney on a daily basis, it is important that you are kept up to date regarding your case.

An attorney experience in personal injury litigation can help to obtain the most favorable results. You should seek a firm who has experience in handling your type of case. Each case is unique but experience with similar cases can help a firm obtain the most favorable result possible. You may want to select a lawyer who has represented other individuals with claims similar to yours.

If you have been injured in an accident and need to speak to an attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us at 212-353-8700.

What kind of damages can be sought after in a personal injury claim?

Personal injury is an injury to the body or mental state rather than to one’s property. Be it negligence, deliberate action or misconduct, if physical or psychological damage is caused, one may file a personal injury claim. Some examples of frequent personal injuries cases include; motor vehicle accidents, incidents within the workplace, and medical malpractice.

Although all cases differ, in the majority of personal injury cases the injured plaintiff may be entitled to monetary compensation in court or an administrative proceeding.  Workplace injures differ from other personal injury claims in that an employer can only face liability in the  administrative forum called workers compensation, not in court before a judge and jury. Compensation awarded is intended to return the injured party to the state before the incident to the extent possible. Damages are categorized in two ways; special damages and general damages.  Special damages are quantifiable damages that result from the accident. For instance, in most cases that require medical attention as a direct result of the incident the injured plaintiff may be awarded monetary compensation for past, present, and future treatments. Additionally any items, ranging from motor vehicles to personal property, that have been damaged in the incident, are eligible for monetary compensation in order to restore the lost or damaged items. Lastly if either the injured plaintiff has been or is currently hindered from receiving income, the plaintiff may be entitled to receive compensation for lost work. While special damages are monetarily calculable, general damages are not as quantifiable. General damages include intangible suffering such as hardship, emotional distress and loss of amenity as a result of the accident. In most cases involving general damages, the injured plaintiff is entitled to monetary compensation in an amount determined by a jury to compensate for emotional distress.

However in some cases the actions of the injured plaintiff may affect the extent to which damages may be collected. For instance if the plaintiff has any fault in the incident or fails to mitigate the financial and physical damages resulting from the incident, damages may be cut or not given at all.  Lastly, all states have statutes of limitation. If the claim is not filed within the applicable time limit the injured person’s right to file a personal injury claim will be lost.

If you wish to learn more about the damages you can receive in a personal injury case, speak to an experienced attorney to help you understand your rights.