​​What Happens When a Truck Driver Has an Accident?

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If the truck driver is at fault for the accident, you have the right to seek compensation for damages. First, contact law enforcement to report the incident. Next, gather accident details such as photographs of the scene, license plate numbers, and witness information. Seek medical attention promptly and document injuries. Finally, notify your insurance company and consult an experienced truck accident lawyer to navigate the legal process effectively.

If you are in an unfortunate situation due to truck driver negligence in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the New York City Metro Area, Uptown Injury Law PLLC is here to help. With 15+ years of experience, our team is dedicated to providing the legal support you need during this challenging time. Contact us today at 917-540-8728 to schedule a free consultation.

Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in New York

what happens when a truck driver has an accident

After a truck accident, promptly notify law enforcement and emergency medical services. Exchange information with involved parties, including names and insurance details. Identify and speak to potential witnesses, gathering their contact information. Moreover, inform your insurance provider, document the accident scene, and preserve relevant records. Discuss with an experienced truck accident attorney for expert guidance on your next steps.

1. Notify Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services

The huge size and force involved in a truck accident can lead to significant damage and injuries. In such situations, informing law enforcement and seeking emergency medical services promptly is crucial.

Police officers will gather information, interview witnesses, and create an official report. This report becomes crucial for your insurance claims and any legal actions that may follow. Their presence ensures a comprehensive account of the events leading to the accident.

Simultaneously, the need for emergency medical services is paramount. Truck accidents often result in serious internal injuries that may not be immediately apparent. Seeking medical attention promptly is essential, as it helps identify and address injuries, preventing potential complications.

Emergency medical services provide on-the-spot medical care and transport to hospitals, ensuring you receive timely and appropriate treatment. Moreover, quick medical attention can also help document the extent of your injuries, providing crucial evidence for insurance claims or legal actions that may follow.

2. Exchange Information with All Involved Parties

After ensuring everyone’s safety, the next crucial step for you is to exchange information with all parties involved. This exchange is essential for the forthcoming insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

Initiate the exchange by gathering details from the other parties – names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, and any affiliations with trucking companies. Be sure to provide your own information as well. This data becomes the foundation for communication between parties and helps streamline the claims process.

3. Identify and Speak to Potential Witnesses

Identifying and speaking to potential witnesses is a key step for you after a truck accident. Witnesses offer valuable insights and testimonies that can be pivotal in supporting your case during insurance claims or legal proceedings.

Begin by identifying individuals who may have witnessed the accident. Approach them calmly and respectfully and ask for their names and contact information. Politely request if they would be willing to share what they observed regarding the incident.

Speaking to potential witnesses gathers additional perspectives on the events leading up to the accident. Their accounts can contribute essential details that might strengthen your position. In a situation where every piece of information matters, engaging with witnesses is a proactive measure in building a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances surrounding the truck accident.

4. Inform Your Insurance Provider About the Incident

Whether you are a driver, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or any other party involved in the truck accident, your immediate responsibility is to inform your insurance provider about the incident. Swift communication with your insurer is crucial for initiating the claims process and ensuring a smooth resolution.

Regardless of the nature of your involvement, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide accurate and precise information about the accident, including the date, time, location, and parties involved. Be ready to share any documentation, such as the police report and information exchanged with other parties.

By promptly informing your insurance provider, you initiate the necessary steps to assess damages and address potential liabilities. Furthermore, this proactive approach contributes to the efficiency of the claims process, helping you navigate the aftermath of the truck accident with greater ease.

5. Document the Accident Scene When Possible

After the accident, if you feel like you can, it’s crucial to document the scene for future reference. Take photographs and videos of the entire accident site, focusing on key aspects such as damages to vehicles, road conditions, any relevant signage, and close-up shots to highlight specific injuries, such as bruises and cuts.

Start by capturing the overall scene before moving on to close-ups of vehicle damages. Include shots from different angles to provide a comprehensive view. When focusing on injuries, zoom in to highlight any visible wounds, ensuring clarity in the documentation.

This comprehensive visual documentation serves as essential evidence during insurance claims and potential legal proceedings. It not only provides a clear record of the conditions at the time of the accident but also highlights any physical injuries sustained, contributing to a more accurate assessment of the overall situation.

6. Preserve All Relevant Records and Documentation To Claim Damages

You must meticulously preserve all relevant records and documentation to claim damages after a truck accident. This proactive step strengthens your position during insurance claims and any potential legal actions.

Compile and organize all essential documents related to the accident, including medical treatment bills, repair estimates, and correspondence with insurance companies. Ensure you have a comprehensive record of expenses incurred due to the accident. This may involve medical treatments, vehicle repairs, or any other relevant costs.

By preserving these records, you create a solid foundation for your claim. It provides clear evidence of the financial impact the accident has had on you. In the event of legal proceedings, having well-documented records enhances your ability to seek a fair settlement for the damages suffered.

7. Refrain from Admitting Fault of a Truck Accident

After a truck accident, it is crucial to refrain from admitting fault. Regardless of the circumstances, avoid making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. This precautionary measure is essential to protect your legal interests.

Avoid taking responsibility for the accident, even if you feel pressured or compelled to do so. Moreover, admitting fault prematurely can complicate the claims process and potentially hinder your ability to seek compensation. Let investigations and legal processes determine the responsible party based on evidence and facts.

Your focus should be on gathering information and cooperating with authorities rather than accepting responsibility. This approach ensures that the determination of fault is based on a thorough examination of all relevant factors, providing a fair and accurate representation of the truck accident.

8. Consult with a Qualified Truck Accident Attorney

Trucking accidents come with complexities that necessitate expert guidance. If you’ve been involved in one, it is necessary to consult with a qualified truck accident attorney. These legal professionals specialize in navigating the intricacies of such cases, ensuring your legal rights are protected, and you secure the fair compensation you deserve.

A skilled accident attorney will assess the details of your case, review evidence, and provide expert advice on the best course of action. They understand the specific regulations and nuances associated with commercial truck accidents, enabling them to build a robust case on your behalf.

By seeking the help of a qualified truck accident attorney, you enhance your chances of a favorable outcome. They can negotiate with insurance providers, represent you in legal proceedings, and work towards securing the compensation needed for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and other damages resulting from the accident.

What Regulations Are Set By FMCSA for Truck Drivers?

To uphold safety standards and regulate the conduct of commercial truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the United States has established a comprehensive set of regulations. These regulations cover various aspects of a truck driver’s responsibilities, aiming to ensure both the safety of drivers and other road users.

One of the central regulations pertains to Hours of Service (HOS), which dictates the maximum time a truck driver can spend on duty and driving. HOS rules include specific driving hour limits, mandatory rest periods, and off-duty requirements, all designed to combat driver fatigue and enhance road safety.

The FMCSA also sets strict requirements for driver qualification and licensing. Commercial truck operators must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and adhere to specific qualification standards, assuring they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to operate large vehicles safely.

Moreover, the FMCSA mandates drug and alcohol testing for truck drivers to maintain a drug-free driving environment. Drivers are subject to pre-employment, random, post-accident, and reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing to ensure they are fit to drive commercial vehicles safely. These testing requirements are essential for preventing accidents caused by impaired driving and promoting overall safety on the highways.

Vehicle maintenance standards are another crucial aspect of FMCSA regulations. Regular inspections are mandatory for commercial trucks, and drivers hold the responsibility of performing pre-trip and post-trip checks to detect and rectify possible safety issues.

What Negligent Actions of Truck Drivers Cause Accidents?

Negligent actions by truck drivers leading to accidents often include fatigue from violating Hours of Service regulations, distracted driving, speeding, and impaired driving. Inadequate training, improper loading, and neglecting vehicle maintenance are also significant factors. Let’s explore these negligent actions further:

  • Fatigue and Hours of Service Violations: Driving for extended hours without adequate rest can lead to fatigue, impairing a driver’s ability to react quickly and make sound judgments. Violating Hours of Service (HOS) regulations can exacerbate this issue.
  • Distracted Driving: Engaging in activities like texting, using a phone, or other distractions diverts a driver’s attention from the road, increasing the chances of accidents.
  • Speeding: Driving at excessive speeds reduces a truck driver’s ability to stop in time, making collisions more severe. Speeding is one of the significant factors in many truck accidents.
  • Impaired Driving: Driving a commercial vehicle under the alcohol or drug influence is a severe safety hazard, impairing a driver’s coordination and decision-making.
  • Inadequate Training: Lack of proper training in handling large commercial vehicles may result in improper maneuvering, failure to anticipate road conditions, and difficulty controlling the truck.
  • Improper Loading or Cargo Securement: Incorrectly loaded or unsecured cargo can lead to imbalanced weight distribution, causing a truck to tip over or lose control.
  • Neglecting Vehicle Maintenance: Failure to perform regular inspections and maintenance can lead to mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts, contributing to accidents.

How Common Are Truck Crashes In NYC?

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The news about truck crashes in NYC is concerning because New York is among the top 10 states with a significant number of these accidents. In 2021, there were about 16,467 of these accidents in NYC, and a whopping 15,606 were severe enough to be reported to the police. These accidents can lead to intense injuries like fractures, knee injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries.

Now, if we look at the whole United States in 2022, there were around 166,833 truck accidents causing injuries to about 75,000 people. Sadly, about 2.8% of these accidents were so bad that they led to fatalities. The states with the most truck accidents were Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. New York City had about 5,000 truck accidents causing injuries in the same year. It’s essential to be aware of these numbers and stay extra cautious around big trucks on the NYC roads!

What Are the Types of Truck Accidents?

Commercial trucks, including tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, big rig trucks, dump trucks, and delivery trucks, are involved in various types of accidents on the roads. Some common types of truck accidents are:

  • Rear-End Collisions: When a truck hits the vehicle in front of it, often due to sudden stops or traffic slowdowns.
  • Jackknife Accidents: Occur when a truck’s trailer swings outward, forming an L or V shape with the cab, often due to sudden braking.
  • Rollover Accidents: Involve a truck tipping onto its side or roof, often caused by high-speed turns or uneven road surfaces.
  • Wide Turns: Occur when a truck makes a turn, and its wide turning radius may lead to collisions with vehicles in adjacent lanes.
  • Blind Spot Accidents: Result from a truck driver being unable to see smaller vehicles in their blind spots, leading to collisions during lane changes.
  • Lost Load Accidents: This happens when improperly secured cargo falls off a truck, posing a hazard to other vehicles on the road.
  • Head-On Collisions: Involve a truck colliding with another vehicle coming from the opposite direction, often causing severe damage and injuries.

Uptown Injury Law, PLLC: Your Trusted Truck Accident Lawyers in New York

At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, we’ve been advocates for truck accident victims across the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the New York City Metro Area for over 15 years. Whether you’re a car driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian, we understand the challenges that follow a truck collision.

Why Choose Us?

  • Years of Experience: With over 15 years of specializing in truck accident cases, our team has an in-depth understanding of the complexities involved.
  • Client-Centric Approach: We prioritize your needs, providing personalized attention and crafting legal strategies tailored to your unique situation.
  • Proven Success: Our results, surpassing $100 million, showcase our capability to secure favorable outcomes for our clients.
  • No-Risk Representation: Our no-win, no-fee commitment ensures that you only pay if we successfully recover compensation for you.
  • Free Consultation: In order to discuss your case, schedule a free consultation with us online or call our toll-free number at 917-540-8728. We are here to listen, guide, and fight for the justice you deserve.


Who Can I Sue After a Truck Accident?

After a truck accident, potential parties to sue may include the truck driver, truck company, or even the manufacturer if a vehicle is defective. A legal expert can assess your case and guide you appropriately.

Do I Need To Hire An Attorney For A Truck Accident?

While not mandatory, hiring an accident attorney is highly recommended for truck accidents. An experienced lawyer can navigate complex regulations, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure you get rightful compensation.

What Happens If A Driver with CDL Gets In An Accident?

If a driver with a CDL has an accident due to negligence, they may face consequences such as the potential loss of their commercial driving license. Furthermore, the incident will be noted on their record for three years, impacting their driving history. This could potentially affect their ability to continue driving commercially.

How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a truck accident is generally three years. This means you have a three-year window from the accident date to initiate legal proceedings. It’s essential to be mindful of this time frame, as exceeding it may jeopardize your ability to pursue legal action.

What Damages Can I Recover After a Truck Accident?

Following a truck accident, you may recover damages such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages might be sought, especially if the truck driver’s actions were particularly egregious.

Can I Sue for Emotional and Mental Distress After a Truck Accident?

Yes, you may be able to sue for emotional and mental distress in addition to physical injuries. However, proving distress can be challenging, and consulting with an accident attorney is essential to understand your eligibility.

Is the Trucking Company Always Liable for an Accident Involving Their Truck?

Not always. In addition to the trucking company, other liable parties in an accident might include the truck driver, maintenance contractors, cargo loading companies, or even government entities responsible for road conditions. Therefore, identifying all responsible parties is crucial for building a comprehensive case and pursuing rightful compensation after a truck accident.

Can I Still Sue If I Was Partially at Fault for the Truck Accident?

Yes, you can still pursue a lawsuit in New York even if you were partially at fault for the accident. NY follows the pure comparative negligence rule, allowing you to seek compensation based on the percentage of fault assigned to each party. This legal principle enables you to recover damages even if you bear some responsibility for the truck accident.


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
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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