New York City Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer
A tractor-trailer accident can be a very difficult case to handle. Not only do trucking accident victims have tremendous injuries, even at the lowest of speeds, but the right claim of which violation by the trucking company of the many applicable federal and state rules and regulations contributed to the accident. In most cases an accident involving a tractor-trailer and passenger vehicle usually results in the passenger vehicle – and its occupants – sustaining the most damage. In addition to property damage, a driver and/or passengers in the vehicle may suffer serious or even fatal injuries.
At The Law Office of Jay D. Jacobson PLLC, clients can rely on our knowledge and care for exceptional legal guidance and support. Those in need of a highly experienced New York City tractor-trailer accident lawyer can count on our firm to fight vigorously on your behalf in an effort to recover the full damages you deserve.
Whether you are a resident of Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester, the Bronx, or any of the surrounding area, a tractor-trailer crash can literally turn your life upside down. Often referred to as 18-wheelers, accidents involving these enormous vehicles occur every day on our nation’s roadways. While an accident is not always the fault of the truck driver, in many cases it is the fault of the driver or his/her company when equipment is not properly maintained or drivers misjudge or fall asleep at the wheel. Regardless, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately in these types of cases as trucking companies and their legal representatives will be on top of an accident right away in order to minimize their liability to the greatest extent possible.
Common Reasons for Tractor-trailer Accidents
As with other motorists, some truck drivers operate their vehicles in a responsible manner, while others drive as though they own the road. Drivers of tractor-trailers often tailgate, make sudden lane changes or drive at speeds greater than the posted speed limit. Some use drugs in an effort to stay awake and alert on very little sleep. No matter the cause of the accident, the impact to your life can be devastating. Not only may you have serious or even permanently disabling injuries, you may be unable to work for a period of time. The expenses you face may include medical costs, lost wages, loss of future income, property damage, pain and suffering, the list goes on. The financial impact can change your life, on top of the injuries and pain you have suffered. A tractor-trailer accident may occur for many reasons, some of the most common including:
- Aggressive driving or speeding
- Brake failure
- Drug or alcohol use
- Driver fatigue
- Drivers attempting to meet unrealistic pick-up or delivery schedules
- Improper loading or securing of cargo
- Improper braking technique
- Poor road or weather conditions
- Inadequate truck maintenance
- Stopping distance / rear end collisions
Accidents caused by braking, or lack of braking, can occur in several ways, including brake failure, improper braking technique, or stopping distance:
Brake Failure. Brake failure can occur due to installation, maintenance, age and/or overuse of brakes. It is important to seek the responsible party of this failure because it can be one of many parties (i.e. tractor or trailer owner, lessee, lessor, mechanic, etc.). In addition, a truck or buses’ brakes can heat up from overuse (riding the brakes on a long downgrade, sudden stopping at high speeds, improper loading).
Improper Braking Technique. Large vehicles should apply their brakes in a way that will reduce their speed by about 5 to 6 mph with each application. An improper braking technique can reduce a vehicle’s braking and lead to their failure.
Stopping Distance / Rear-end Collisions. Because of their size and weight, trucks and buses require a much greater stopping distance to stop than smaller vehicles. Logically, the heavier the vehicle, the greater the distance needed to stop. Obviously, when a driver fails to realize the distance needed to stop, the risk of a rear-end collision increases. However, the heavier the vehicle, the more damage it will cause when it strikes the vehicle in front of it. According to the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course for Professional Truck Drivers, the stopping distance for an 80,000-pound tractor trailer, traveling at 30 mph on a dry, level road, is 100 feet. If we double the speed to 60 mph, the stopping distance for that truck doesn’t double, it increases over four-fold to 426 feet. If we increase that speed another 5 mph, to 65 mph, the distance needed to stop increases almost another 100 feet, to 525 feet (compared to 316 feet for a car – more than 200 extra feet). Because many drivers of large vehicles do not understand the distance discrepancy between cars and trucks and drive accordingly, many rear end accidents occur.
Swinging Turns, “S” Turns and Squeeze Play
Trucks and buses make turn different than smaller vehicles. The driver must take into account that the rear wheels ‘track’ differently than the front. Therefore, they must enter a wider turn than smaller vehicles for the front wheels and take into consideration. This will enable the turn distance for the rear wheels will be much smaller. When a large vehicle operator fails to take this rear wheel tracking into consideration, the rear wheels can strike other motor vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians with terrible results. In addition to taking into account the turning ratios between the front and rear wheels, the driver of a truck or bus must take into account the blind spot on the right side of their vehicle. The term “Squeeze play” describes an accident involving a right turn that squeezes a car between the truck or bus and a curb. This can occur because the driver is often unable to see cars right next to their vehicle. Also, cars attempting to pass on the right, or driving on the right, but in the driver’s blind spot, are susceptible to accidents from the “squeeze play.”
Trucks and buses have large blind spots. Usually, the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. We all know about blind spots on the sides of our vehicle. The driver has a blind spot in the rear of the truck, as well as in the front of the truck or bus. Many accidents are caused when either the truck/bus driver does not take into account the blind spot when he or she makes a move, or the other motor vehicle does not take into account the truck or buses blind spot.
Contact The Law Office of Jay D. Jacobson PLLC Today
As a trusted Long Island tractor-trailer accident attorney, Jay D. Jacobson understands the pain, frustration, and uncertainty victims face. It is impossible to try to collect fair compensation and attend to legal issues when you are seriously injured or in severe pain. Your lawyer will handle the legal issues for you by working with the insurance companies to ensure they treat you fairly. When necessary, your lawyer can take the case to court in order to recover the damages you deserve. The process can be quite complicated, something an injured victim should not attempt to handle on his/her own. As a victim, you should focus on healing while trusting your tractor-trailer accident attorney to handle the rest. Contact a trucking accident lawyer at Jay D. Jacobson, PLLC, today to schedule a free case review consultation and to learn more about how we will help you negotiate your truck, tractor trailer, or bus accident claim. Se Habla español.
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