New York Truck Accident Lawyer
Long-haul trucking is a vital part of the national economy. We need folks moving goods from one state to another and across the country. Tractor-trailers, eighteen-wheelers, semi-trucks, and other large trucks are a constant presence on highways and freeways. They also pose a significant danger to other drivers and passengers on the road. When trucking companies fail to adhere to safety and maintenance regulations, or when drivers are allowed to operate trucks negligently, catastrophic accidents are likely to occur. When big trucks crash, it is usually not the truck driver who suffers; the victims are other drivers and passengers.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt or killed in a truck crash or other traffic accident anywhere in the Hudson Valley area, including Kingston, Marlboro and Ulster, contact a seasoned truck accident attorney at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, for a consultation with one of our attorneys. We will pursue your claims against the biggest freight companies, insurance companies, and any other parties who should be responsible for compensating you and your family for your injuries, your pain and suffering, your medical expenses, and other legal damages.
Who is Liable After a Large Truck Crash?
Traffic accident injury claims involving large trucks are often more complicated than accidents involving only passenger cars. Truckers are commercial drivers, meaning they report to their own employer as well as third parties who hire them. Truck accidents can be caused by anything from poor truck maintenance to driver misbehavior to negligent third-party contractors failing to load the truck properly. If you or someone you know was seriously injured in a truck accident, you need a seasoned and savvy truck accident lawyer on your side to identify the responsible parties and make sure they are held liable for the harm they caused.
Possible parties to a truck crash claim can include:
- Individual truck drivers, such as if an accident was caused by drowsy, distracted, or drunk driving
- Freight companies, such as if an accident was caused by poor safety training, lack of truck maintenance, or disregard for state and federal safety regulations
- Third-party subcontractors, such as if an accident was caused by an imbalanced or poorly-secured load installed by another company
- Government agencies, if an accident was caused by poor road maintenance
- Truck manufacturers, if an accident was caused by a defect in the truck itself
To ensure your full recovery, you need someone in your corner who knows how to fully investigate a truck accident and who understands all of the laws, regulations, and facts involved. At Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, our dedicated truck accident legal team knows the players and we know the game. We know how to get you the compensation you and your family deserve.
Hours-of-Service Regulations and Trucker Fatigue
One of the primary causes of large truck accidents is truck driver fatigue. Truckers work long, grueling, boring hours, often with nothing but hundreds of miles of empty freeway between them and their destination. After enough hours behind the wheel, truckers are liable to drift off or to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol in order to avoid fatigue and boredom. To combat the danger caused by trucker fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued “hours-of-service” (HOS) regulations that govern how many hours each truck driver can work.
HOS regulations set limits on how many hours a trucker can drive on a given shift, in a given day, over a given week and in between breaks. A property-carrying trucker, for example, must follow limitations including:
- 11 hours max driving time after 10 consecutive, off-duty hours (g., an overnight break)
- 14 hours max duty time after coming on duty following 10 hours off-duty
- 30-minute driving break after 8 cumulative hours of driving
- 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days
Commercial drivers who carry passengers face additional limitations, and there are special rules for driving in adverse weather and when conducting short hauls. Many drivers, unfortunately, flout these regulations. Truck drivers may be in a hurry to complete a haul, and their employer freight companies often encourage breaking the rules in order to complete more deliveries and earn more profit. When truck drivers and trucking companies disregard safety regulations, people get hurt. Those negligent drivers and employers are liable for the damages they cause.
Reach Out to a Zealous New York Personal Injury Lawyer for Assistance With Your Hudson Valley Truck Accident Claim
For a free consultation on your possible large truck accident claim, contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at the New York personal injury law firm Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, in Kingston at 845-331-4100 or in Marlboro at 845-236-4411.