Navigating the parkways, highways, roads, and streets of Long Island is daunting since drivers must share the road with commercial trucks. In spite of state and federal truck safety laws that are designed to protect the public, truck accidents are common. Given the size and weight of a typical truck, a collision with a smaller vehicle will inevitably result in serious injuries to its occupants. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
The Law Offices of Robert Purzak has been handling truck accidents in Nassau and Suffolk Counties for over 35 years. Well-versed in the applicable truck safety and negligence laws, we have a proven history of helping truck accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve.
Backed by proven legal strategies, we know how to hold negligent trucking companies and truck drivers accountable. Our truck accident attorney has a well-deserved reputation for providing our clients with aggressive legal representation and caring, personal service. When you work with our personal injury lawyer, you will have peace of mind in knowing that exceptional advocates are in your corner.
CALL US AT 516-222-1188 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!
Common Causes of a Truck Accident
While state and federal laws govern the activities of trucking companies and truck drivers, truck accidents occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Driver Fatigue — Despite hourly driving limits and mandatory rest breaks imposed on truckers by federal law, driver fatigue is a systemic problem in the trucking industry. Not only must truck drivers meet strict delivery deadlines truckers are also paid based on mileage. When drivers are forced to cover vast distances over long period of time, however, they are prone to becoming fatigued. If a truck accident occurs as a result of driver fatigue, the trucking company or the trucker can be held liable, or both.
- Distracted Driving — Truckers are at higher risk of becoming distracted than other motorists, due in part to the rigors of trucking. Truckers also typically rely on GPS navigation devices to plant routes and locate destinations, which lends itself to distracted trucking. Truckers can also become distracted by smartphones, eating or drinking. Ultimately, truckers can be held liable for accidents caused by distracted truck driving.
- Improper Maintenance — Truck owners and trucking companies have a legal obligation to make sure vehicles and components — braking systems, engines, tires braking lights, hitch assemblies, and straps — are properly maintained. A trucking company may be held liable for an accident caused by improper maintenance.
- Inadequate Training — A common practice in the trucking industry is for companies to pay drivers to complete trucking courses. Inexperienced truck drivers are invariably put on the road too quickly since they are usually paid less per mile than seasoned truckers. Lacking the necessary experience and skills to safely maneuver these vehicles, inadequately trained truck drivers are more likely to become involved in accidents which means that trucking companies can be held liable.
- Improper Loading — Even though state and federal laws regulate truck cargo weight, improper loading is not uncommon. This can make a vehicle harder to stop or maneuver, which can cause a jack-knife incident. The party responsible for loading the truck — the trucker, the trucking company or a third party (e.g. a freight, cargo or warehouse operator) — may be held liable.
Common Types of Truck Accidents on Long Island
Through the years, our legal team has handled personal injury claims arising from all types of truck accidents, including:
- Rollover Accidents — Rollovers are often caused by speeding and improper loading and typically occur on steep inclines or declines. If a trucker hits a curb or swerves around other vehicles or objects on the road, or takes a curve too fast, a rollover accident is also likely.
- Jackknife Accidents — A “jackknife” occurs when the drive-axle brakes of a tractor-trailer lock, which causes the trailer to skid and come to a stop at a 90-degree angle with the tractor. A trucker can easily lose control of the vehicle as the rig jackknifes and rolls over.
- Brake Failure Accidents — Poorly maintained or improperly installed brakes are prone to failing while aging brakes and sudden stops cause overheating, which increases the risk of brake failure.
- Runaway Truck Accidents — Using improper breaking techniques can cause brake failures that result in runaway trucks. Such accidents often occur at intersections, toll booths, off-ramps, and railroad crossings. A properly trained and mindful trucker knows how to apply the brakes gradually, slowly reducing the truck’s speed.
- Blind Spots — Given their length and height, commercial trucks have blind spots along the sides and rear, referred to as “No-Zone” areas. The driver of another vehicle who fails to avoid a No-Zone area can easily be involved in an accident when the truck changes lanes or turns.
- Rear-End Accident — These accidents involve a commercial truck impacting the back of another vehicle, which can cause catastrophic injuries to the occupants of smaller vehicles.
- Under-Ride Accident — When a trucker suddenly slams on the brakes, vehicles traveling behind that fail to stop in time can become crushed under the rear of a truck or trailer, causing severe injuries or wrongful death to the occupants of the trailing vehicle.
- Wide Turn Accidents — If a truck driver underestimates the amount of space needed to complete a turn or fail to notice a smaller vehicle in trailer’s path, the other vehicle can be pinned against other vehicles, medians or other obstacles.
Contact Our Long Island Truck Accident Attorney
At the Law Offices of Robert Purzak, we are committed to holding negligent truck owners, trucking companies and truck drivers accountable for accidents that lead to injuries. We are keenly aware that truck accident victims are often at a disadvantage against trucking companies and insurance companies that attempt to minimize their liability. We have the legal skills and resources to level the playing field and know how to fight back.
When necessary, we collaborate with credentialed accident reconstruction specialists to demonstrate the responsible party’s liability. Above all, we will work tirelessly to make sure you receive the medical care that you need and the compensation you deserve. Knowing that being injured in a truck accident is an overwhelming experience, we will offer you trusted advice and personal attention. Please contact our office as soon as possible to set up a free consultation. We help the injured throughout Long Island, including the towns of Brentwood, Coram, Deer Park, Hempstead, Islip, Roosevelt, and Wyandanch.