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
- 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
- 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
An Elma attorney can advise someone on the best course of action for recovering compensation after a commercial vehicle collision.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Elma, call (716) 300-5885
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.
Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me (716) 300-5885
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.