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New York Truck Accident FAQ

Q: What is a commercial truck?

A: A vehicle used for the operation of business or the transportation of commercial freight, such as a tractor trailer, semi-truck and trailer, 18-wheeler, dump truck, tanker truck or other freight truck.

Q: How is a truck accident different than a passenger vehicle accident?

A: Typically, a truck accident is more catastrophic than a passenger vehicle accident as a result of the weight and size of a truck. In most cases, a tractor trailer or big rig carrying a load of cargo may weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds, while a typical passenger vehicle weighs an average 3,000 pounds. As a result of the size and weight difference, a truck accident has a much greater probability of causing significant or fatal injuries.

Q: What are the common factors leading to a truck accident?

A: A truck accident is often the result of inadequate training, driver fatigue, speeding, alcohol or drug use, equipment failure, improper loading, defective parts or overloading the truck.

Q: What is an underride truck accident?

A: An underride truck accident occurs when a vehicle collides with a semi-trailer and drives underneath the trailer. Typically this type of accident results in the roof of the vehicle being sheared off.

Q: Is a special license required to operate a commercial truck or tractor trailer?

A: A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation to legally operate a commercial truck weighing in excess of 26,000 pounds, transport hazardous materials or transport more than fifteen passengers. In order to obtain a commercial driver’s license, a driver must successfully pass a driving skills and knowledge test regarding the type of truck they are expected to drive.

Q: Is there a limit to the amount of time a truck driver can operate a commercial vehicle?

A: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations restrict the number of hours a truck driver can operate a commercial vehicle. A driver may drive a maximum of eleven hours following a period of ten consecutive hours off duty. A driver may not drive past the fourteenth hour after coming on duty following a period of ten consecutive hours off duty. A driver may not drive in excess of 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.

Q: What types of injury can result from a truck accident?

A: Due to the destructive characteristics of a truck accident, numerous types of injury can be experienced, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, bone fracture, back injury, burns, head injury and wrongful death.

Q: If I file a truck accident injury claim, what damages can I recover?

A: Personal injury law allows for the recovery of compensation for hospital bills, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, future medical expenses, loss of future earnings, loss of quality of life and funeral expenses.

Q: Who can file a lawsuit for injuries resulting from a truck accident?

A: If you are not liable for the truck accident, you are eligible to file a lawsuit for any injuries resulting from the truck accident.

Q: How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a truck accident?

A: The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is typically 3 years. Numerous reasons exist to promote the timely filing of a lawsuit. In order to prove liability for the accident, the truck accident scene must be secured, witnesses interviewed, an investigation performed, the accident reconstructed, the damaged vehicles photographed and evidence preserved. Contacting our New York Truck Accident Lawyer team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC may be essential is preserving your rights and successfully pursuing a personal injury claim. Please call us at 800.696.9529, online or contact one of our New York City offices in Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx or Brooklyn, our New York office in Westchester County or one of our Long Island offices in Nassau County or Suffolk County.

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