Have you been in a crash with a truck in NY? It’s crucial you understand what steps to take next. How do you make an insurance claim – and do you have a personal injury case? We understand how confusing the laws may seem. To help you take the first step in your claims journey, here’s how to seek compensation after a NY truck crash.
Truck Accidents in New York
Truck crashes occur for many reasons. While they can occur anywhere, they often occur on freeways, at intersections, and on urban roadways. Common types of road collisions include:
- Debris/loose cargo
- Head on collisions
- Jackknife crashes
- Rear end collisions
- Sideswipe accidents
Truck Accident Injuries
Truck crashes often cause serious (or fatal) injuries. This is due to the size, scale, and weight of the vehicle. Injuries include:
- Back and spine damage
- Cuts and bruising
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Nerve damage/paralysis
- Soft tissue damage e.g. muscle tears
Severe injuries include internal bleeding, organ damage, traumamatic brain injury, and limb loss.
Fatal Truck Crashes and Wrongful Death Claims
Some truck crashes result in fatalities. There’s a separate claims process, known as wrongful death claims, for loved ones left behind. Our team can explain who can claim, what losses you may sue for, and how to proceed.
You only have two years from the date of death to make a wrongful death claim. Call our attorneys to discuss your legal rights.
Who Can Claim Truck Accident Compensation?
New York is what we call a “no fault” state. This means that, no matter who caused the crash, you can file an insurance claim to help cover your medical bills. You do this by calling upon your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Every driver must carry this cover, by law.
However, your insurance may not cover all your losses. In which case, you may be able to file a personal injury claim, too.
Personal Injury Claims
You can claim damages for a truck accident injury if you can prove four things:
- A truck driver (or trucking company) owed you a duty of care.
- The driver or employer breached this duty of care. For example, the driver was speeding, or the employer forced the driver to drive fatigued.
- You were injured in a crash with this vehicle.
- The driver or employer’s actions caused the accident leading to your injury.
Our team can explain, based on the facts, if you have a damages claim.
How to Claim Compensation for a New York Truck Accident
There are various steps involved in the claims process. Although our team can explain the steps in more detail, here is an overview of what to expect.
- File an accident report with the DMV within 10 days of the accident.
- Contact your insurer to start the claims process. File your claim within 30 days of the crash.
- Gather evidence, such as photographs and proof of losses, to support your claim.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. They will handle negotiations and legal matters so you can focus on recovering.
- Discuss settlement offers with your attorney. They will explain if the offer is fair so you can decide whether to accept it.
- Should there be no offer, or if it’s too low, the case may go to trial. Your lawyer can explain the pros and cons of a court trial so you know what’s involved.
If you accept a settlement offer, you normally lose your right to sue for further damages. It’s therefore not recommended to settle unless you consult an attorney for advice first. This is true even if you’re only making an insurance claim and not a personal injury lawsuit.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Truck Crash
There’s never any guarantee that a claim will be successful. However, here are some steps you can take to improve your chances of success.
- Report the crash to law enforcement. They will complete an accident report which may help to prove your case. Failing to report a crash can be a criminal offense!
- You should also report the crash to the DMV if there are injuries and/or property damage.
- Contact your auto insurance carrier. Don’t say anything which implies fault, though. Stick to the facts and let your car accident attorney handle the rest.
- Get medical help immediately after the crash. The longer you wait, the easier it is for the at-fault party to claim they didn’t cause your injuries.
- Take pictures of your injuries. The more evidence you have to support your injuries, the easier it is to build a case.
- Get quotes for repairing or replacing property. These quotes can help when negotiating a settlement.
- Keep a record of lost income. Again, your truck accident lawyer can use this evidence to help you get a fair settlement.
Why You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer in New York
The next step to claiming compensation is hiring a New York truck crash attorney. Although you can negotiate a settlement alone, it’s usually best to get legal advice. Here’s why.
- You only have three years from the accident date to claim damages. The more you delay, the harder it is to preserve evidence. Our attorneys will ensure you don’t miss any critical deadlines in the claims process.
- Insurers will do everything they can to limit their responsibility. A lawyer will protect your legal rights and ensure that the right parties are held responsible.
- If you don’t have legal experience, you may be unsure what your claim is worth. A truck accident attorney in New York can accurately value your claim. This helps to prevent you settling for what your case is worth.
Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys in New York
Do you need a lawyer after an accident with a New York truck? Look no further than RF Injury Law. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through the claims process. We will answer your questions and help you get the justice you deserve.
Truck and semi truck accident compensation claims are complex. Luckily, you don’t need to pursue this matter alone. For a free initial consultation, call 212-725-5755. Or if you have questions first, contact us online.