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Truck Accident Litigation: What You Should Do After a Crash

best new york truck accident lawyer

First, safely move your vehicle off the road and turn off the engine. Then, promptly seek medical help for any injuries sustained by you or others and report the accident to the police. Additionally, seeking guidance from a qualified truck accident attorney is advisable. A skilled lawyer can manage all aspects of your claim, including truck accident litigation, and strive to attain fair compensation for your losses from the accident.

If you need expert legal assistance with your truck accident litigation, reach out to Uptown Injury Law, PLLC. Our truck accident lawyers have 15 years of experience fighting personal injury cases. We can ease your stress by handling the legal process and fight for maximum compensation for your damages. So, don’t wait to start your FREE CASE REVIEW, or call us at 917-540-8728.

How Does Truck Accident Litigation Work? 

The process of truck accident litigation can be quite complex. Generally, it involves a thorough investigation of your accident, gathering evidence, filing a claim, negotiating a settlement, or going to trial. To ensure effective litigation in your truck accident case, you must first consult an experienced truck accident lawyer.

1. Contact an Expert Truck Accident Lawyer

In the event of a semi-truck accident, your legal battle may not be limited to the driver alone. You may find yourself dealing with the trucking company, their insurance provider, and possibly other involved vehicles as well.

Additionally, large trucking corporations have expert legal teams to minimize their liability in personal injury claims. They are prepared to utilize significant resources to reduce your compensation or possibly deny it altogether. However, a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer by your side can enhance your ability to navigate claims effectively and employ strategic legal tactics to strengthen your case.

2. Initiate the Accident Case Investigation

When you decide to initiate a truck accident lawsuit, starting a thorough investigation into the accident is paramount. This process is critical for establishing a solid foundation for your case. An experienced truck accident attorney will lead this investigation, employing various methods to gather all necessary evidence. This evidence in turn will help you understand the accident’s circumstances and will support your claim effectively. It may include the following, such as:

  • Capturing images of the accident location and damages.
  • Acquiring accident reports.
  • Interviewing witnesses.
  • Consulting with accident reconstruction experts.

3. Establish Fault and Liability

Establishing fault and liability is a critical step in truck accident litigation. This involves identifying all parties responsible for the accident, which may include the following:

  • The Truck Driver: Liability is considered if the accident was due to the driver’s negligence, such as violating traffic laws or hours-of-service regulations.
  • The Trucking Company: The company might be liable for its driver’s actions under vicarious liability or for inadequate vehicle maintenance or driver training.
  • Manufacturers and Other Entities: If the manufacturer caused the accident due to defective parts, they could be held responsible. Additionally, parties responsible for cargo loading or vehicle maintenance could also be at fault.

A comprehensive investigation, often involving expert analysis, is necessary to pinpoint liability. Clear establishment of fault among these parties is essential for pursuing compensation.

4. Assess the Comprehensive Value of Damages

After a truck accident, understanding and accurately calculating the total value of your damages is critical for ensuring you receive fair compensation. This step goes beyond merely including your immediate medical bills or repair costs. It involves a detailed analysis of the economic and non-economic damages you incurred from the accident. 

Economic Damages: These damages are the tangible, out-of-pocket expenses of the accident. They include medical expenses, both current and anticipated future costs for treatments or rehabilitation, and lost wages from time off work. It also includes diminished earning capacity if you cannot return to your previous job and the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Gathering and organizing documentation for these losses is essential for substantiating your claim.

Non-Economic Damages: These damages are more challenging to quantify as they pertain to the accident’s impact on your quality of life. They compensate for emotional distress, the loss of companionship, disfigurement, and the diminished enjoyment of life. Although these damages are intangible, you can calculate them. Your attorney will employ various methods to assign them a monetary value, often using expert testimony.

Punitive Damages: When the court finds the responsible party’s actions to be reckless or egregious, it may decide to grant punitive damages. These are intended not as compensation for you but as a punishment for the defendant and a deterrent against future misconduct. While not applicable in every case, your attorney will assess whether you can receive punitive damages in your lawsuit.

5. Take Legal Action by Filing a Lawsuit

After calculating the value of your damages and establishing liability, your truck accident lawyer will initiate a lawsuit to secure appropriate compensation for you. This marks the beginning of the formal legal proceedings. Conversely, the complexity and duration of your legal process is influenced by several factors, including:

  • The severity of your damages and injuries.
  • Issues related to fault determination.
  • The legal jurisdiction under which you file your claim.

In truck accident cases, insurance company attorneys will safeguard the defendant’s interests. To do this, they will actively oppose your lawsuit and will try to dismiss your claim.

6. Engaging in Negotiation and the Pre-trial Process

During the pre-trial phase, negotiations take center stage. Your attorney will engage in settlement discussions, aiming for fair compensation based on the case’s merits and the evidence collected. This period is crucial for achieving a resolution without going to trial.

Key Pre-trial Activities:

  • Negotiations: Your lawyer will negotiate with the at-fault party, using the case’s evidence and damage assessments to argue for a satisfactory settlement.
  • Pre-trial Motions and Hearings: These address legal issues, compel evidence, or resolve the case favorably before trial.
  • Discovery: Both sides exchange information to build their cases. This includes depositions, document requests, and interrogatories.
  • Mediation: Often, cases go through mediation or alternative dispute resolution to settle before trial. A neutral third party facilitates these discussions.
  • Trial Preparation: If negotiations don’t lead to a settlement, your attorney prepares for trial, organizing evidence, witnesses, and legal arguments.

The purpose is to secure compensation that reflects your losses, utilizing negotiations, legal strategy, and preparation for trial if necessary.

7. Proceed to Court Trial

If you proceed to a court trial, it’s essential to understand that the process can be lengthy and complex. Your lawyer will be there to guide you throughout, but it’s essential to be ready for what’s to come.

During the trial, you and other parties will actively present their arguments and evidence to the judge or jury. This can include witnesses and other documents. The jury may also cross-examine witnesses, and lawyers may make objections. However, responsibility rests on you and your lawyer to prove that the defendant is liable for your damages. Similarly, the defendant may also present evidence in their defense to reject your claim.

At the end of the trial, the judge or jury will decide by reviewing the presented evidence. If you successfully prove your case, you may receive monetary compensation for your damages. However, if the defendant is not liable, you may not receive any compensation.

It’s essential to understand that a court trial can be a stressful and emotional experience. Nevertheless, with strong legal representation, you can build a solid case in your favor and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Factors That Can Complicate Your Truck Accident Lawsuit

Determining liability is one of the most significant factors that complicate truck accident lawsuits. Unlike car accidents, truck accidents typically involve multiple parties, including the driver, the trucking company, and even the truck manufacturer. Determining who is responsible for the accident often demands the expertise of a seasoned attorney.

Another factor to consider is the severity of the injuries sustained in the accident. If your injuries are severe, it may be more challenging to determine the full extent of the damages and the cost of medical treatment and ongoing care. This can make securing a fair settlement or winning a lawsuit more challenging and time-consuming.

Finally, the statute of limitations in your state can also impact your lawsuit. This is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after the accident has occurred. For instance, in New York, the statute of limitations allows you three years to initiate a lawsuit following an accident and a two-year window in cases of wrongful death. If you wait too long to submit your claim, you may lose your legal right to seek compensation for your damages.

What Are the Average Truck Accident Settlements? 

Truck accident settlements can cost tens of thousands to millions of dollars. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the value of a truck accident settlement can vary widely based on several factors, such as:

  • The severity of injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages.
  • The extent of property damage.
  • The level of fault assigned to each party involved.

However, determining the value of a truck accident settlement is a complex process that an experienced attorney should handle. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a truck accident, seek expert legal help from Uptown Injury Law, PLLC to ensure you receive full compensation for your losses.

How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Claim in New York?

In New York, you have a three-year window from the date of your accident to file claims for personal injury, property damage, and emotional distress. However, if the accident involves a truck owned by New York’s government, you are limited to just 90 days to submit your claim. On the other hand, if the truck accident resulted in losing a loved one, you have two years to file your claim.

However, it’s always best to act quickly and contact an experienced attorney immediately following the accident to build your case and collect evidence. Time can go by quickly, and if you delay, you can miss the deadline to submit your claim and risk your chance to seek the compensation you deserve.

Risks of Self-Representing in a Truck Accident Case

Without the guidance and expertise of a skilled attorney, you may make mistakes or fail to fully understand the implications of particular legal decisions. This could impact the outcome of your case and potentially result in less or even no compensation. 

Furthermore, truck accident cases can be complex and challenging to navigate, especially when you’re dealing with multiple parties or jurisdictions. Without an experienced attorney, you may find it challenging to gather evidence and present a strong case in court. It’s always wise to consult with an experienced lawyer who can help you tackle the legalities and safeguard your rights as a truck accident victim.

What Should You Do Following a Truck Accident? 

If you’ve been in a truck accident, make sure to call 911 and report the accident. Then, seek immediate medical care for any injuries sustained. Following this, you should also collect as much information as possible at the scene, including:

  • Witnesses’ contact information
  • Truck driver’s license details
  • Insurance information

Additionally, take photos of any damage to your vehicle and the accident scene. Lastly, contact a qualified personal injury attorney at Uptown Injury Law, PLLC. We will help you submit a claim and recover your damages.

Mistakes to Avoid After a Truck Accident

You should avoid certain actions that could jeopardize your claim and diminish the chances of obtaining total compensation. These involve:

  • Refrain from accepting blame or apologizing to anyone at the scene, including the other victims, truck drivers, police, or insurance representatives.
  • Avoid signing documents, such as settlement offers, without consulting your lawyer. These actions can restrict your compensation rights and give insurers a chance to dismiss your claim.
  • You should refrain from posting any accident-related or personal activity updates online until your case is settled. This is because insurance investigators might scrutinize your social media for evidence to undermine your claim.
  • Avoid accepting the initial settlement offers because these offers are lower than your actual damages. Accepting them can leave you without recourse for additional compensation.
  • File your lawsuit promptly and seek the right legal assistance immediately to protect your rights. A lawyer will manage all the communications with an insurance company, gather evidence, and guide you through legal proceedings. So that you can concentrate on your recovery.

Connect with Uptown Injury Law PLLC New York Truck Accident Attorneys

Injured in a truck accident? At Uptown Injury Law PLLC we understand the physical, emotional, and financial burdens you face after a truck accident. Our experienced truck accident attorneys will help you deal with the complexities of your case and will fight for the compensation you deserve.

Why Does Choosing Us Make a Difference?

  • Proven Experience: We have 15+ years of experience handling accident claims and have secured $100 million in settlements and verdicts
  • No-Win, No-Fee Guarantee: We are committed to your case and take on the financial risk. You won’t pay unless we win a settlement or verdict amount in your case.
  • Personalized Attention: We understand your unique situation and provide compassionate and attentive legal representation.

So, don’t wait and book your FREE CASE REVIEW today or call us at 917-540-8728.

FAQs

How Do I Choose the Right Truck Accident Lawyer for My Case?

Selecting the right lawyer involves evaluating their experience, specifically in truck accident cases, understanding their track record of success, and ensuring they have a deep understanding of the regulations governing trucking accidents. 
Additionally, effective communication and a commitment to prioritizing your case are paramount. This ensures they’re representing you and safeguarding your legal rights every step of the way.

What Steps Should I Take Immediately After a Truck Crash?

After a truck crash, your immediate priority is your safety and that of others involved. Once you’re out of danger, call the police to have a report filed. Take pictures of the accident site and exchange contact information with witnesses. Moreover, seeking immediate medical attention, even for minor injuries, is essential. These steps are foundational in protecting your legal rights and serve as critical evidence for your lawsuit.

How Can a Police Report Help in My Trucking Accident Claim?

A police report captures an official narrative of the accident, detailing the drivers involved, witness statements, and, occasionally, an initial fault assessment. On the other hand, photos offer visual evidence of the accident’s impact and injuries. They also play a critical role in demonstrating the severity of the accident and the injuries, which is vital for personal injury claims.

What Should I Do If the Insurance Adjuster Is Pressuring Me to Settle?

You should consult a seasoned truck accident lawyer before engaging with an insurance adjuster or accepting any settlement offers. A lawyer can evaluate the offer, negotiate with the insurance company, and ensure that any settlement reflects the full extent of your injuries, including long-term impacts and costs.

Can I Seek Compensation If I Was Partially Responsible for the Trucking Accident?

Yes, you can still seek compensation under comparative negligence laws in many jurisdictions (including New York), even if you were partially at fault. However, your compensation may decrease by your percentage of fault. An experienced lawyer can advise on how these laws apply to your case and help maximize your financial recovery.

What Type of Compensation Can I Pursue in a Trucking Accident Lawsuit?

Compensation for catastrophic injuries may cover medical expenses, lost income, and emotional and punitive damages in instances of gross negligence. Moreover, it may include future medical care, ongoing rehabilitation, loss of earning capacity, and life quality, reflecting the profound impact of such injuries.

Who Can Be Held Liable Besides the Truck Driver in a Truck Accident Case?

In truck accident cases, responsibility isn’t limited to just the drivers. Other entities, such as the trucking company, vehicle manufacturers, fellow drivers, and government agencies, might also bear responsibility for your losses. Therefore, you should consult a lawyer to properly understand who is at fault and seek compensation for your injuries and damages.

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Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

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