Since clients often ask many of the same questions upon first speaking with one of our lawyers, we’ve set forth some of their most common ones below to help you.
You must always first check to see what injuries you and any other passengers in your vehicle have sustained – and then call 9-1-1 to have an ambulance sent to your location. Also ask the operator to send the police – and ask them when they arrive to file a report.
If your own injuries are not too severe, you should then obtain all pertinent driver’s license and car insurance information from every other driver involved in the accident. Be sure to write down each driver’s name, the state which issued their driver’s license – its number and expiration date. You must also write down the name of each driver’s insurance company, the policy number, and the phone number of that insurance company.
>Make sure to also write down the driver’s home address and phone number. Even if the driver claims to be self-employed, you still need the name of the company that the truck driver was working with while hauling goods or driving an empty vehicle. Also ask for that truck company’s insurance company name, policy number, and address. If the driver claims to not have this information, make sure you can call him later at home to obtain that information. Always write down any company name on the truck and the license plate number and issuing state.
Take photos of the accident scene, concentrating on showing were each vehicle ended up immediately after the accident – before being towed away. Also, be sure that someone takes photos of your injuries on that same day and keep those photos in a secure place.
Look for accident witnesses. While standing apart from any other drivers or passengers, ask these individuals for their contact information, telling them that you would greatly appreciate having them speak to your lawyer on your behalf.
Move away from the accident area as soon as possible with all passengers able to also do so without further harming themselves. If an ambulance doesn’t arrive soon, call 9-1-1 again and ask the operator to request one again.
One general warning: Do not provide an oral or written statement about the cause of the accident to anyone – except the police. When talking to them, try to do so out of earshot of any of the other drivers. Just tell the truth, without volunteering any more information than is requested.
Call your New York City personal injury attorney on the day of the accident if you can – this allows us to send someone out to take additional photos of the accident scene – hopefully before everything has been cleaned up or moved. You can personally call us from the hospital – or ask a family member to contact us.
Once you’ve made sure everyone who needs medical car is receiving it, you’re free to leave the area. Of course, you should also call a tow truck (unless someone else has handled that for you because you had to be rushed to the hospital).
Your assigned attorney, paralegal, and other support staff members will always be available to answer any questions that you have over the phone or via email. While there may be times when we are waiting to receive information from other parties, we are fully committed to keeping you informed about all major aspects of your case.
If your car was not totaled and if you were carrying collision insurance on the vehicle at the time of the accident, you should be able to get your insurance company to fix it after paying any applicable deductible. We will also put you in touch with an agent with the defendant’s insurance company to see what they will offer you to fix your vehicle.
Our firm has a highly responsible support staff of paralegals and other professionals who will stay in touch with you to be sure we’re receiving complete copies of all your medical records and bills. We will then handle the interactions with the healthcare providers who are treating you for all your injuries – knowing that they may not be paid until your case is successfully resolved.
Yes. Our New York City personal injury lawyers are experienced professionals who are fully prepared to file a wrongful death claim after a party has died as a direct result of injuries sustained in a collision with a large truck. In general, this type of case can be brought on behalf of any immediate family member. The deceased person’s estate can also usually bring this type of lawsuit under certain circumstances.
These types of accidents often involve far more serious physical injuries due to the weight of many large trucks and big rigs – and the high speed at which many truck drivers travel. We also find that most truck drivers – even the small percentage who are independent contractors – work with trucking firms that employ high sophisticated legal teams to trying and discourage all accident victims from pursuing full compensation.
Trucking firms know that they will likely face a certain number of accident claims each year and they’re very aggressive in how they try to frustrate injured party’s claims. Of course, some of these same tactics are employed when both drivers were in passenger vehicles. However, far more money is potentially at risk in the cases involving truck drivers since they are required to carry far higher insurance coverage amounts, often based on the nature of the goods or substances that they are transporting.
While some cases are very straightforward and the defendant truck driver’s liability is clearly 100% — it often takes time to fully discover all the facts pertinent to any one case. For example, in addition to determining each party’s potential liability for an accident (you can still usually recover compensation when liable for only a small percentage of an accident), we must review all pertinent state and federal laws that govern commercial truck drivers – so we can be sure to plead all pertinent violations that the truck driver may have been committed that impact your case.
Please know that our entire team of lawyers, paralegals, experts and others are always eager to help you recover for your losses as soon as possible. Yet it’s important to keep in mind that insurance companies often stall the process – frequently hoping that an accident victim will accept an early low settlement offer when they know the facts justify a much larger one. We will do all we can to move your case along as promptly as we can.
While we respond compassionately to all potential clients when they first contact us, we will need to evaluate the facts of your case to help you determine the likelihood that you can recover for most of your injuries and losses. For example, some clients come to us who believe that they are likely to be found at least partially liable for the accident. When that happens, we must then explain how New York’s comparative negligence law affects a partially liable plaintiff’s potential compensation.
As for a more specific explanation of how insurance companies and others classify injuries as “serious,” we can tell you that the following results of an accident are nearly always viewed as serious.
Any loss of life
Disfigurement – especially the type that may require long-term corrective surgeries
Permanent disability. This is usually based on one or more major body part injuries – or damage to internal organs or systems (like the central nervous system)
Significant loss of bodily functioning – usually long-term or permanent Injuries so severe that the accident victim can no longer do any type of work – or handle any similar types of activities – like they could prior to the accident. This often means that the person may need to simply adjust to a far more sedentary life in the future.
No fully trustworthy lawyer can tell you this right away. It takes a bit of time to fully investigate the facts of a case and fully review all the medical records. We must also wait until your treating physicians have determined how much more treatment you may need in the future – so we can properly estimate your long-term medical expenses and other losses. However, please know that we will be ready to discuss with you how similar cases have been resolved in the past – with the understanding that every case is different. Some truck drivers’ insurance companies fight very hard to avoid paying very much to accident victims. Nevertheless, we know how to use the facts of each client’s case to the best advantage.
You will only owe us legal fees if we win your case – and we will subtract our legal fees and costs (these are all fully explained in our initial contract with you) from any lump sum awarded to you. We will be covering the costs of the lawsuit for you before it’s settled or before we try to win it in court. Once you receive an award, then we’ll recover all our fees and expenses.
Being paid in this manner involves signing a contingency fee contract. We’re glad to do this for clients once we accept their cases since we know that most injured people cannot afford to pay us until their cases have been successfully resolved.
Like most states, New York has a statute of limitations that dictates the timetable for properly filing this type of lawsuit. In general, an injured party has three years to file from the date of the accident. However, if your loved one passed away in this type of accident, you will need for us to file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf – this type of case must be brought within two years from the date the injured party dies (directly due to injuries caused by the accident.
There’s still another filing deadline that may apply – if you were hit by a truck that is owned by a city or other government entity – you may be allowed even less time to file your truck accident insurance claim. Your lawyer can readily explain which deadline applies to your case during your initial consultation.
It’s always best to hire an experienced New York City personal injury attorney to help you handle your truck accident claim. We’re able to research all the state and federal laws that govern lawful truck driving activity and can make sure the driver who hit you was in full compliance with all applicable laws.
Our firm’s staff also includes investigators and experts who help us analyze the basic facts of your case so we can present a demand for full compensation to the liable truck driver’s insurance company. We want to help you recover for all your pain and suffering, lost earnings, past and future medical expenses, and other losses. Having an attorney advocate for you is also important since large trucking companies often try to make it very difficult to negotiate fairly with them. Our experience helps us negotiate properly with them and move your case along toward completion.
If you’ve been seriously hurt in an accident with a large truck or big rig, be sure to contact your New York City personal injury attorney right away. We can investigate the facts of your case and advise you about whether we should file a claim on your behalf. Our experienced lawyers regularly obtain large compensation packages for many of our clients.