Manhattan, New York Truck Accident Lawyer - Frekhtman & Associates represent victims of truck accidents within New York City (NYC) including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Long Island.
Our Law Firm represents individuals who have been injured due to the negligence of truck drivers and trucking companies.
Insurance companies have lawyers working hard for them. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, it is vital to hire an attorney to fight for your rights immediately. An investigation right after an accident is crucial as witnesses can be identified, witness statements obtained and photos of damage to the vehicles, points of impact, and location of accident can be taken. In some circumstances it is advisable to hire experts such as in the field of accident reconstruction.
Insurance companies contact truck accident victims, obtain statements, encourage victims not to consult with a truck accident lawyer, and sometimes attempt to settle a case right away for a small amount before the full extent of the injury is known. They contact truck accident victims before they have had a chance to speak with an attorney. Be wary of this practice in truck accidents and know your rights. The difference can be dramatic. Remember, the insurance companies are private businesses who care about their own financial well being. They have no obligation to pay you what your case is really worth. In most cases, insurance companies will pay the smallest amount they can get away with.
If an accident victim does not hire a truck accident attorney the insurance carrier will be much better off financially. That is why adjusters calls victims and offer anywhere from $500 to $5,000 settlements days after an accident in exchange for a signed release. Later if the victim develops a serious and permanent injury such as need for spinal surgery he or she cannot pursue any further claims. Yet, a back surgery case against a trucking insurance carrier may be worth well in excess of one million dollars.
It is important for potential clients to be educated about the process of what they should and should not do after a truck accident. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision which a client should make after being fully informed. For most people, a truck accident is something completely new and foreign. They have never been in a truck accident before and don’t know the process. This is where an experienced attorney can help.
Important Questions about a Truck Accident
Q: Should I consult with a Bronx, NY Truck Accident lawyer?
A: Yes, Consult an NY truck accident attorney right away. The trial lawyers at Frekhtman & Associates (866) ATTY-LAW specialize in truck accident cases and have recovered multi million dollar verdicts and settlements.
Q: What if I cant afford to pay a NYC Truck Accident Attorney ?
A: The consultation is free. All legal work is free. We only charge a percentage of the recovery we win for you. That means if we win monetary compensation for you, we charge a standard percentage set by the New York Appellate Division Court System. Usually it is one third of the recovery. Therefore you don’t need to worry about being able to afford a lawyer.
Q: How long can I wait before hiring a Queens NY Trucking Injury lawyer ?
A: It is always better to hire a lawyer immediately so a complete investigation can be conducted before witnesses or evidence disappears. A lawyer can also help in coordinating your medical care to ensure you are seeing the right doctors and getting top notch medical treatment. Since all cases are handled on contingency with the legal fee set as a percentage of the amount the attorney's win for you, there is no downside to hiring a New York Truck Accident Lawyer right away. Remember, insurance companies for the trucking companies will deploy accident investigation teams to go to the scene and collect evidence to support the truck driver's version of what happened. It is therefore important to have an attorney fight for your rights.
Q: Can I settle with the trucking company or insurance adjuster directly?
A: In most cases especially those with a serious injury or lost earnings/ wage loss claim, it is much more advantageous to hire a lawyer. By dealing with the insurance or truck company yourself, you are at a disadvantage in that an experienced professional adjuster or corporate attorney who makes a living settling claims every day is negotiating with someone who most likely has never been in a truck accident before and has never negotiated a settlement. In addition, insurance companies usually offer much less money to a lay person as compared to an attorney. And most importantly, they usually negotiate a case shortly after the accident at a time when the victim does not yet know the full extent and severity of his or her injuries. But a small settlement now will preclude you from ever bringing suit later.
Further, most lay persons don't know the full value of their case because they have no experience in comparing their case to other similar cases reported in the jury verdicts and settlements. Accident victims wont know they are entitled to past and future special damages such as lost earnings, medical care, and other economic damages which an expert can quantify. Accident victims wont know the value of their case in part depends on the legal venue where the case can be filed. These are just a handful of numerous pitfalls a lay person may run into. Just like someone would not attempt to perform surgery on themselves it is much better to retain an attorney in a truck accident matter.
Q: Why is an early investigation important ?
A: The scene of a truck accident changes in the minutes, hours, and days following the event. The weather may change. Accident debris may be removed or swept away. Tire marks on the roadway may disappear. Photos of the points of impact between the vehicles, the damage to each vehicle, and photos of the location of accident are crucial in proving your case.
Q: I got a call from the truck's insurance company. Should I give a statement?
A: No. The insurance company has one goal: to pay you nothing or as little as possible. This is an adversarial process meaning the trucking company and insurance company is an adversary or enemy in this process. Their interests are completely different from your interests. Often times they will record your statement and then introduce it as evidence against you at trial. For example, if someone says they are "okay", a recorded statement may be used to prove they were not injured even if they later developed symptoms which necessitated medical care.
Or an experienced adjuster may get a victim to state something against his or her interest with respect to how the accident happened. For these reasons, it is best NOT to speak with anyone except your lawyer who is fighting for your rights. Just tell the insurance company or trucking company you hired a lawyer and that they should call your attorney.
Truck accidents such as those with 18 Wheeler Tractor Trailers are some of the most dangerous accidents on the road today. On average, a loaded commercial trailer hauled by a tractor can weigh from 55,000 to 80,000 pounds, while an automobile weighs in the 3,000 pound range. The enormous size of trucks coupled with driver inattention, fatigue, and the pressure placed by employers on drivers to work long hours all lead to accidents. Additionally, many trucks carry flammable or other hazardous toxic materials which are inherently dangerous.
Winning a Truck Accident Case – What do I have to prove?
It is important to show that the truck driver failed to use reasonable or ordinary care in driving the tractor trailer and that this negligence caused the injuries in question. Early investigation is key. An examination of the tractor, the trailer, mileage, prior maintenance and repairs, log books, prior legal or regulatory violations by the driver or trucking company, location of impact, witness statements, truck speed, and other relevant evidence should be obtained.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you need sound legal advice and a knowledgeable trucking accident attorney who is willing to fight for the absolute maximum compensation possible under the law.
What to do after a Truck Accident
(* See our section entitled, Ten Things to Do After a Car Accident. )
Additionally, make sure not to say anything after an accident to the truck driver or to an insurance company as these statements can later be used against you. Often an insurance company will attempt to obtain a recorded statement. When you hire an NY truck accident lawyer and file a lawsuit, the litigation process will include a deposition or Examination Before Trial (EBT), in which the insurance company lawyer will ask detailed questions about how the accident happened as well as your injuries. Naturally, there will be slight differences between the tape recorded statement taken immediately after the accident and the deposition taken 6 months to 1 year or more after the accident. At the time of trial, the insurance company’s lawyer will point out little differences between the recorded statement, the deposition, and your trial testimony in an effort to discredit your case. Don’t allow the insurance company 2 bites at the apple. They are already entitled to a deposition and there is no reason to provide further statements unless your lawyer approves it.
After an accident, you MUST NEVER:
- Apologize to the truck driver or other involved parties
- Admit the accident or anything at all was your fault
- Say "I didn't see you" or anything of the kind
Comments like these could be taken as an admission of fault.
Contact Long Island NY Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is crucial to call experienced trucking accident lawyers,Frekhtman & Associates at (866) ATTY – LAW. A truck accident law firm can assist you with gathering evidence such as:
- Information about the tractor trailer’s repair and maintenance history
- The truck driver's log book, trip manifest, GPS information, truck speed, and the truck's "black box"
- Witness statements from eyewitnesses and first responders
- The truck driver's driving history, driver’s license abstract, prior violations of law or regulations, and prior accident information
- The trucking company's rules, regulations, manuals, policies, procedures, and or guidelines regarding safety and maintenance and the company's accident history.
Overview of Federal Trucking Regulations
Federal Law provides rules and regulations for truck drivers and trucking companies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 C.F.R. §§ 350-399) govern all vehicles engaged in interstate traffic.
49 C.F.R. § 382 - Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing
This regulation discussed programs that should be established by trucking companies to prevent accidents and injuries resulting from impairment because of the use of alcohol or drugs by commercial vehicle drivers. Drivers with a commercial drivers license (CDL) under Section 383 must be tested for drugs and or alcohol if they drive a vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds, has a gross vehicle range of over 26,000 pounds, is designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or is used to carry hazardous materials.
49 C.F.R. § 383 - Commercial Driver's License Standards; Requirements and Penalties
By requiring drivers of certain vehicles to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL), this provision aims to reduce or prevent truck accidents. Truck drivers must be educated and understand procedures that ensure safe operation of vehicles and be informed about the negative effects of driving when tired, with poor eyesight, alcohol or drug use and improper use of the tractor trailr’s lights, horns, mirror, brakes and other emergency equipment.
49 C.F.R. § 391 - Qualification of Drivers
Truck drivers must be at least 21, speak English, be physically capable of safely operating a truck, have a valid CDL and must not have been disqualified for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, committing a felony, leaving the scene of an accident, refusing to take an alcohol test or any valid other reason.
49 C.F.R. § 392 - Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles
Drivers must not drive while sick, fatigued, and may not use illegal drugs. Drivers must obey traffic laws, load cargo safely, perform inspections and drive cautiously in hazardous conditions. Drivers must be able to stop the vehicle before reaching railroad tracks, and must stop when carrying hazardous materials.
49 C.F.R. § 393 - Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation
Trucks may not be driven unless regulations with respect to lighting devices and reflectors, brakes, brake performance, tires, emergency equipment, protection against shifting or falling cargo, front-end structure, frames, doors, hood, seats, bumpers, wheels and steering wheel systems.
49 C.F.R. § 395 - Hours of Service of Drivers
A truck driver legally cannot drive 10 hours following 8 straight hours off duty or for any period after having been on duty 15 hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty. A motor carrier cannot require a driver to drive for any period after having been on duty 60 hours in any 7 consecutive days. Further, a driver cannot drive if he has been on duty 70 hours in any period of 8 consecutive days if the motor carrier operates trucks every day of the week.
49 C.F.R. § 396 - Inspection, Repair and Maintenance
The trucking company is responsible for ensuring that all parts are in proper working condition and must maintain and keep repair and inspection records. A driver is not permitted to operate a vehicle that is likely to break down or cause an accident. Drivers must inspect their trucks at the start of each day and report any defects.
49 C.F.R. § 397 - Transportation of Hazardous Materials
A driver of a commercial motor vehicle that is carrying explosives cannot leave the vehicle unattended. There are also restrictions about where a driver carrying explosive materials can park. Smoking is not allowed within 25 feet of a truck containing explosives or flammable materials.
Whether you are looking for a Manhattan Truck Accident Lawyer, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens or Long Island Trucking Accident Attorney then do consult with us at following address:-
Our Law Firm is Located at following addresses:
30 Broad Street, 14th Floor, New York, New York 10004
Phone : (866) 288-9529, (212) 766-5656, (917) 535-7392
60 Bay 26th Street,
Brooklyn, New York - 11214
Phone : (718) 331-7700
20 East 205th Street
Bronx, New York 10468
Phone : (718) 733-9300, 718 LAW BRONX
100-09 Metropolitan Avenue ,
Queens, New York 11375
Phone: (718) 232-4600
Free Consultation with a New York Truck Injury Attorney