If you’ve been in a semi-truck accident in New York State, understanding how your claim differs from a standard car accident can help you prepare for your legal journey. Truck accidents often involve more complex legalities and higher stakes.
As a crash victim, you’ll face unique challenges in seeking fair compensation. This can include dealing with federal trucking regulations, larger and stricter insurance policies, and more severe injuries. Knowing these differences and having a Syracuse truck accident lawyer from Catalano Law on your side can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Car Accidents vs. Truck Accidents: What’s Different?
Truck accidents differ from standard passenger vehicle collisions in several key aspects, including:
|Large Truck Collisions
|Severity of Injuries
|Injuries are often less severe and may include whiplash, broken bones, minor soft-tissue injuries. There are lower fatality rates due to less force during impact and smaller vehicle sizes.
|Often features catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and multiple fractures. There is a high fatality rate for car occupants in truck collisions due to the size and weight of trucks.
|Typical scenarios include side-swipe collisions, rear-end collisions, and fender benders.
|Crashes may have complex causes, such as jackknife accidents, cargo shifts, rollovers, and wide-turn accidents.
|Subject to stringent federal regulations: Hours of service limitations, logging requirements, and safety standards impact liability.
|NY only requires $25,000 in minimum bodily injury liability coverage per person for standard vehicles.
|Higher insurance limits (up to $5,000,000) per FMCSA mandates can lead to larger compensation claims.
How Your Legal Process Might Differ
Seeking compensation following a truck crash often involves a different legal process than a typical car accident. Some challenges you might encounter in filing a claim after a truck collision include:
- Liability determination: Determining liability can be more complex in truck accident cases due to the involvement of multiple potentially at-fault parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, and manufacturers of truck components. Establishing who is at fault may require a thorough investigation and consulting accident reconstruction specialists.
- Compensation sources: In truck accident cases, there may be several possible avenues for compensation, such as the trucking company’s insurance, the driver’s insurance, and the manufacturer’s liability insurance. Car accidents typically only involve the at-fault driver’s insurance, making the process less complicated.
- Aggressive insurers: Insurance companies for trucks frequently employ assertive strategies to reduce their liability and compensation payments. They might urge you to accept a lower settlement or attempt to interview you without legal representation, using your statements to their advantage. A skilled attorney from Catalano Law can protect your rights during the claims process and handle all communication with insurance on your behalf.
- Preservation of evidence: Issuing a Letter of Spoliation ensures the preservation of critical evidence like black box data, driver logs, GPS records, and the truck’s maintenance history. This step is less common in typical car accident scenarios, where the evidence involved is usually not as complex or susceptible to loss or destruction.
- Filing with commercial insurance carriers: Truck accidents often involve filing a claim with commercial insurance carriers. These carriers usually have higher policy limits, meaning a more bureaucratic and time-consuming claim process. This can require detailed documentation and stricter adherence to reporting and filing deadlines.
- Multi-state jurisdiction issues: Many trucking companies operate across state lines, which can introduce jurisdictional complexities not typically found in standard car accident cases. If the trucking company is based in a different state from where the accident occurred or if the driver is from another area, it could affect where you file the claim and which jurisdiction’s insurance rules and state regulations apply.
Get Aggressive Representation with Catalano Law
In New York State, car and truck accident cases vary greatly in severity of injuries, causes of crashes, federal regulations, and insurance limits. These differences influence both the legal proceedings and the compensation possibilities for victims.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck or car accident in New York, seek legal guidance from experienced professionals who understand these cases. At Catalano Law, we specialize in handling car and truck accident cases, ensuring our clients receive the representation they deserve.
Contact us today to discuss your case in a free consultation and explore your legal options for financial compensation.