Western New York sees more than its fair share of commercial vehicles. Accidents involving these large semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and big rigs are far more dangerous than collisions between passenger vehicles, and victims are often killed or sustain devastating injuries.

Truck accident claims can be incredibly complex. Multiple potentially responsible parties might try to shift blame onto each other or the injured motorist. Attempting to pursue a claim without a seasoned personal injury attorney’s assistance could be overwhelming and result in losing much-needed compensation.

An Elma truck accident lawyer has extensive knowledge of the trucking industry that they will put to work for you. With skilled legal help, you have the best chance of receiving full compensation for all your losses.

Truck Accident Claims Process

Anyone registering a vehicle in New York must have at least $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The no-fault system applies to truck accidents, so an injured person would turn to their PIP first, just as they would after a car wreck.

However, many parties who are injured in truck accidents can step out of the no-fault system to pursue damages through the civil court system. When an injured person’s economic losses—medical bills, lost wages, and injury-related incidental expenses—exceed $50,000, they could sue in court for damages.

New York also permits someone with a serious injury to bring a lawsuit. The law contains an expansive definition of serious injury that includes:

  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fractures
  • Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
  • Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • Dismemberment
  • Loss of a fetus
  • A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature that prevents the injured person from performing their regular daily activities for at least 90 days in the 180 days following the incident
  • Death

An Elma attorney can advise someone on the best course of action for recovering compensation after a commercial vehicle collision.

Identifying Potentially Liable Parties in Semi-Truck Wrecks

Driver error causes a significant percentage of truck accidents. A truck driver could be tired or distracted, speeding, or mishandling their vehicle. Although the driver could be responsible for an injured person’s damages in such cases, other parties may also be liable, including the shipping company, the truck’s owner, or a repair shop or maintenance contractor.

Other potentially responsible parties include the company that loaded the truck, the local government where the crash occurred (if road design or maintenance was a factor), and a vehicle or component manufacturer if mechanical failure contributed to the crash.

Sorting out who might have legal responsibility for a truck accident requires a thorough knowledge of the laws and regulations applicable to the trucking industry. It is also necessary to know where to look for evidence and what questions to ask. An Elma attorney has the experience to thoroughly investigate a truck crash and identify any party whose conduct could make them liable for an injured claimant’s damages.

The Statute of Limitations

New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 214 requires an injured person to file a lawsuit within three years of the incident that led to the injury. However, it is unwise to wait until close to the deadline to hire an attorney. Lawsuits related to truck accidents are most likely to be successful if the attorney has access to evidence and witnesses soon after the crash. Additionally, some instances may result in this statute of limitations being much shorter, including circumstances where a government or municipal entity owns the truck.

Let an Elma Truck Accident Attorney Help You Hold Negligent Parties Accountable

Truck accident injuries are often severe and require a long recovery time. While you are recuperating, an Elma truck accident lawyer can take the lead in gathering evidence, negotiating with responsible parties, and working to achieve a favorable settlement.

Do not speak with an insurer before you speak with a legal professional. Discuss your situation with a seasoned attorney from Richmond Vona, LLC today.

Meet Our Attorneys

With over 25 years of combined personal injury experience, our co-founding attorneys, John E. Richmond and Keith R. Vona, have helped injury victims and their family members recover more than $150 million in financial relief.
Attorney John Richmond
John E. Richmond
Co-Founding Member
As one of New York’s top personal injury attorneys, John E. Richmond understands that clients come first. With over a decade of experience representing plaintiffs, he knows how to hold negligent corporations and big insurance companies liable.
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Attorney Keith Vona
Keith R. Vona
Co-Founding Member
In his nearly 15 years in practice, Keith has been consistently recognized for his client service and record of results. He has been selected for inclusion in the New York Super Lawyers® Rising Stars list four times (2013 to 2016), an honor reserved for the top up-and-coming attorneys.
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Attorney Keith Vona
Attorney John Richmond

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