Semi-trucks (also known as large commercial trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, or big rigs) often weigh over 80,000 pounds as reported by the United States Department of Transportation. When such a large vehicle, often carrying substantial or even toxic cargo, has an accident on the roadways, the results often prove catastrophic. Victims suffer severe injuries or even fatalities if they are in a semi-truck accident.
If you experienced an accident with a semi-truck in either Long Island, or anywhere in the state of New York, you may have the legal right to pursue a claim against the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo-loading company, or even a manufacturer of a defective trucking part. Trucking accidents are much more complicated cases to pursue, and visiting with a Semi-truck accident attorney at the Law Office of Jeena R. Belil, P.C. at (631) 828-5552 can help you understand which parties you may have a legal right to file a claim against, and how to build a strong personal injury case to receive compensation for your injuries and losses.How Evidence Makes a Difference in Semi-Truck Accident Cases
The evidence will always make a difference in any accident case, however, the evidence involved in a semi-truck accident can be challenging to obtain and interpret. Both electronic and physical evidence from a semi-truck accident can help prove negligence and determine liability.Types of Evidence
Some of the types of evidence that can make a substantial difference in semi-truck accident cases include the following:
- Daily logs and documentation regarding whether the truck driver and trucking company followed the Hours of Service Regulations required under federal regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Complete data history of the “black box” electronic device of the semi-truck which contains evidence related to the speed of the truck, the length of time it was in operation, daily inspection reports, GPS locations, and more
- All inspection reports of the semi-truck and trucking company including periodic inspections throughout the year as well as inspections regarding the loading and securement of cargo within the semi-truck
- The trucking company’s documentation regarding the background checks, employment history, training procedures, and more on file with respect to the truck driver and the procedures established by the trucking company for hiring truck drivers
- A complete history of any and all complaints filed against either the trucking company and/or the truck driver of the semi-truck
- A complete listing of any recall notices issued by any manufacturer or designer of any defective part or component of the semi-truck, the cargo straps or fasteners, or other items that may have contributed to the semi-truck accident.
In many semi-truck accidents, insurance companies and trucking companies will immediately send investigators to the scene of the accident in order to attempt to establish that their semi-truck driver was not responsible or liable for the accident. The preservation of evidence in semi-truck accident cases becomes critical. Find out how a semi-truck accident attorney at the Law Office of Jeena R. Belil, P.C. can issue a spoliation letter on your behalf to ensure that the truck driver, the trucking company, the insurance company, and even the manufacturer of a trucking part or component must preserve all evidence related to the case, even if they would have a legal right to otherwise destroy it. Without evidence, victims often fail to receive the compensation they deserve under the law.Types of Compensation Available to Victims of Semi-Truck Accidents
Every victim of a semi-truck accident will have different injuries and losses. However, in the state of New York, victims have the right to seek the following types of compensation for their injuries and losses following a trucking accident:Medical Costs
The state of New York is a “no-fault” state under Section 11 NYCRR 65, which means that any victim of a vehicle accident will receive reimbursement for their injuries and medical costs directly from their insurance company, regardless of which party is at fault for the semi-truck accident. However, if your medical costs exceed the amounts of coverage available in your insurance policy, you will have the legal right to pursue the additional costs and expenses from the negligent party.Loss of Wages
If a victim experienced a semi-truck accident and suffers injuries, it is extremely likely they will remain unable to return to work for a considerable period of time as a result of their medical issues. Again, because the state of New York is a “no-fault” state, lost wages remain reimbursable through a victim’s own insurance policy up to their specific policy limit. Victims of trucking accidents that experience lost salary or wages, may also have the ability to receive compensation for lost bonuses or promotions, used vacation and sick leave, missed employee benefits and pension contributions, missed transportation allowances, and more.Pain and Suffering
No amount of financial compensation will ever take away the pain or replace the suffering a victim experiences following a semi-truck accident. However, calculating pain and suffering amounts can prove legally complex and challenging. Visiting with a semi-truck accident attorney can help you better understand the actual amount of compensation you may have a legal right to under the laws of the state of New York.Ensure Your Legal Rights Remain Protected by Contacting a Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
While there may be many moving parts and multiple layers of complex legality to a semi-truck accident case, you still have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Find out all of your legal options and ensure your legal rights remain protected by contacting an experienced personal injury and semi-truck accident attorney at the Law Office of Jeena R. Belil, P.C. at (631) 828-5552 today. We can work with you to help conduct an independent investigation, preserve all evidence related to your case, calculate the amount of compensation you have a legal right to receive and negotiate with insurance companies so that your settlement offer is both fair and just. We only work on a contingency fee basis, therefore we only get paid when we win your case on your behalf. We look forward to visiting with you soon and helping you understand all of your legal rights.