Tractor-trailers are huge compared to passenger vehicles, especially motorcycles and compact cars. Eighteen-wheelers average about 80 feet in length, with a standard height of 13½ feet tall. This size, combined with a legal weight limit in the neighborhood of 80,000 pounds, means that big rigs are harder to control and less maneuverable, and they need a considerably longer stopping distance than a car, van, or SUV. When truckers and trucking companies are careless, people in smaller vehicles are at a substantial risk of injury or death. If your family has been affected by a truck crash in the Greater New York region, Rockland County truck accident lawyer Valerie J. Crown can help. As an experienced injury lawyer, she understands the pain, stress, and uncertainty that you may be facing. Valerie keeps a clear line of communication with each client and vigorously asserts their rights.
Proving a case of negligence may be a complex process. First, the plaintiff in a truck accident case must establish the duties owed by the truck driver or the trucking company under the circumstances that led to the crash. State statutes, federal regulations, and local ordinances may help shape the applicable duty of care, but in general, a driver is required to act reasonably under the circumstances to avoid putting other people on the road at risk. Proving that there was a breach of this duty is usually a factual issue. Testimony from witnesses may be part of the plaintiff’s proof, as well as the opinion of a professional expert like an accident reconstructionist. Photographs or video footage of the accident scene may also aid the jury in understanding what happened and who was at fault.Determining Liability and Damages in a Truck Accident Case
As with the duty and breach of duty elements in a negligence case, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove their damages and the proximate cause of the accident by a preponderance of the evidence. An injured person’s damages award may vary significantly, depending on the type of harm that they sustained. A truck accident attorney can help Rockland County residents pursue the full scope of the damages that they deserve. For example, a case in which the injured person suffered a permanently disabling injury, such as a traumatic brain injury or paraplegia, is likely to yield a more substantial verdict or settlement than a case involving a less severe injury. Medical testimony by the plaintiff’s treating physician may help prove that their medical expenses were reasonable and made necessary by the injuries suffered in the accident. A doctor may also render an opinion on whether the plaintiff was able to work after the accident and whether they had pain and suffering resulting from the collision.
Since New York is a pure comparative fault state, it is possible that the plaintiff’s compensation may be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to them by the jury. For example, if the jury decides that both the plaintiff and the defendant bear some responsibility for the accident, there will need to be an allocation of fault between them. If the jury assigns 10% of the fault to the plaintiff, their total damages award will be reduced by 10%. While comparative fault may result in a substantial reduction in the compensation ultimately collected by the plaintiff in a truck accident case, legal representation by a skilled advocate may minimize its impact in a particular case.Hire a Knowledgeable Truck Accident Lawyer in Rockland County
Truck accidents may cause catastrophic, life-altering injuries in just a few seconds of time. An innocent person or family should not bear the financial burden of injuries caused by negligent or reckless truckers or trucking companies. For a free consultation with a Rockland County truck accident attorney, call the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, P.C., at 845.708.5900 or contact us online. You can also reach Valerie’s cell phone 24/7 at 845.598.8253. We serve people who need a motor vehicle collision lawyer throughout Rockland, Westchester, and Orange Counties, as well as elsewhere in the Greater New York area.