Recovering compensation from a trucking company after an accident involves different challenges than in most personal injury cases. Because truck accidents tend to cause more severe injuries and there are complex laws regulating the trucking industry, plaintiffs frequently call on a truck expert witness to explain key concepts and bolster their case for compensation. If your truck accident attorney does not have access to expert witnesses, you’ll have a harder time recovering compensation for your injuries.
The New York truck accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. understand the unique challenges in truck accident cases and have a network of experienced experts that can help you recover the money you need. Below you’ll find more information on some of the unusual legal issues you might encounter in a truck accident case, the types of experts who can substantiate your case, and how our New York truck accident lawyers can help you.
Legal Challenges in New York Truck Truck Accident Cases
You might run into several issues in a truck accident case that you don’t typically see in other personal injury cases. Some of these challenges include:
- Catastrophic Injuries and High Damages: Truck accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities, increasing the potential value of a settlement. Insurance companies often fight truck accident claims aggressively to minimize the compensation they pay to injured parties. A skilled attorney can help counter their tactics, negotiate effectively, and advocate for fair compensation on their client’s behalf.
- Complex Insurance Policies: Truck accidents often involve multiple insurance policies, which can make the claims process confusing and challenging. For example, the trucking company, truck owner, and cargo owner may each have separate insurance policies. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the intricate web of insurance policies and ensure you receive the appropriate compensation from all relevant parties.
- Establishing Liability: One of the most significant challenges in a truck accident case is determining who is liable for the crash. In addition to the truck driver, the trucking company, cargo loaders, or truck manufacturers might share liability for the accident. Establishing liability requires a thorough investigation to demonstrate the negligence of each party involved.
- Federal and State Regulations: The trucking industry must follow numerous federal and state regulations meant to ensure safety on the road. These regulations address issues like driver qualifications, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and properly securing a truck’s cargo. To hold the responsible parties accountable, a plaintiff must prove that a violation of these regulations contributed to the accident.
- Preserving Evidence: Preserving crucial evidence is essential in truck accident cases. However, there’s a risk that critical evidence could be lost, destroyed, or altered, either intentionally or unintentionally. An experienced attorney can take immediate action to preserve essential evidence, such as the truck’s electronic data recorder (also known as the “black box”) and maintenance records.
The Role of a Trucking Expert Witness in Truck Accident Cases
A trucking expert witness plays a critical role in accident cases. They provide specialized knowledge and objective opinions to help establish the cause of the accident, the extent of damages, and the potential liability of the parties involved. By leveraging their expertise, expert witnesses can help strengthen your case and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
Types of Expert Witnesses
In truck accident cases, expert witnesses can provide valuable information to bolster your claim. Some common types of expert witnesses in truck accident cases include:
- Accident Reconstructionists: These experts analyze the accident scene and use their knowledge to recreate the events that led to the collision.
- Economic Experts: These experts can help determine the financial impact of the accident, such as lost wages, future earning potential, and other economic damages.
- Medical Experts: Medical professionals can provide insight into the severity of your injuries, future treatment needs, and the long-term impact on your life.
- Trucking Industry Experts: These professionals can help explain trucking regulations and industry standards that the truck or another party may have broken, contributing to the accident.
Critical Laws in New York Truck Accident Cases
Several laws and regulations impact truck accident cases in New York. Some of the most important laws to know include:
- Comparative Negligence: New York follows a comparative negligence rule, meaning you could lose some of your compensation if you are partly at fault for the collision. A truck accident attorney can present evidence showing why you should receive full compensation for your injuries.
- No-Fault Insurance: New York is a no-fault insurance state, which means that you must first seek compensation through your own insurance policy before pursuing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
- State and Federal Laws: Trucking companies and truck drivers have to follow many more regulations than passenger drivers. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set rules for how long truck drivers can drive without taking a break and how many hours they can work in a given week. These rules, known in the industry as “Hours of Service” regulations, are just one set of many laws that apply to the trucking industry.
- Statute of Limitations: In New York, you typically have three years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. Missing this deadline can prevent you from pursuing compensation.
How Our New York Truck Collision Attorneys Can Help
Our experienced New York truck accident attorneys understand the complexities of these cases and can help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Some of the ways we can help with your case include:
- Building a strong case to maximize your recovery in a settlement or trial
- Filing your claim prompt to avoid any issues with New York’s personal injury statute of limitations
- Identifying and consulting the appropriate trucking expert witness
- Investigating the accident and gathering critical evidence
- Negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf
Contact an Experienced New York Truck Accident Attorney Now
If you have sustained injuries in a truck accident in New York, don’t wait any longer. Time is of the essence, and your future depends on the strength of your legal representation. Contact the experienced New York truck accident attorneys with Finz & Finz, P.C. today for a free consultation.