Commercial Truck Accidents Can Have Devastating Consequences. Our Albany Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You Recover.

What happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen to you? A crash with a 40-ton commercial truck can result in devastating and catastrophic injuries. If a loved one was seriously injured or even killed in the accident, it can leave you wondering how you will ever possibly be able to move on.

As truck accident lawyers, these are facts we know all too well. While we are passionate about what we do, we also have no problem saying that representing truck accident victims and their families is hard and requires experience. We witness our clients’ physical and emotional struggles firsthand, and we are right there with them as they try to find ways to cope with their losses.

As Albany residents, we are committed to serving those in our community. If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one, we want to help you attain the compensation you deserve.

At Dreyer Boyajian LLP, we have an in-depth knowledge of the laws that are meant to prevent these catastrophic injuries from happening. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact our personal injury lawyers by calling 518-463-7784 for a free consultation. We want to help you recover the financial damages you deserve.

What Compensation Is Available to Victims of Commercial Truck Accidents in Albany?

What is “justice” if you have been permanently injured, disfigured, or emotionally scarred? What amount constitutes “just compensation” for a life-altering injury or the loss of a loved one? These are not easy questions to answer; for some people, no amount will make up for the loss.

But, our legal system is rooted in the concept of providing financial compensation for losses sustained in serious and fatal accidents. This includes compensation for both financial and non-financial losses. While it may not be possible for any amount of money to truly replace what you have lost, truck accident victims and their families will often be entitled to significant financial recoveries under New York law.

For example, in a typical case involving a serious but non-fatal truck accident in Albany, the damages available to victims of the crash will include compensation for:

  • Current and future medical bills, prescription costs, and other treatment-related expenses
  • Property damage and the cost of home modifications, home services (such as cleaning and landscaping), and other direct out-of-pocket costs
  • Lost income, benefits, and future earning capacity
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional trauma
  • The psychological and economic effects of permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, services, society, and support

In cases involving fatal truck accidents resulting in wrongful death, potential damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral, burial, and cremation expenses
  • Loss of future income and benefits
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • The victim’s pain and suffering prior to death

How much can you expect to recover? The answer to this question will depend on the specific facts of your case—from the factors involved in the accident to the extent of your financial and non-financial losses. During your free initial consultation, our attorneys will begin collecting the information we need to assess the value of your claim. 

Are You Entitled to Financial Compensation for Your (or Your Loved One’s) Truck Accident?

In New York, accident victims’ right to financial compensation is based on the legal principle of liability. In order to establish your claim for damages, you must be able to prove that someone else is liable for your losses. 

Within the context of a commercial truck accident, liability can arise in a variety of different ways. While this includes many different forms of truck driver negligence, it includes various other causal factors as well. For example, some of the most-common grounds for seeking financial compensation after a truck accident include:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving without a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • Exceeding federal driving hour limitations (or otherwise driving while fatigued)
  • Failing to perform necessary safety inspections
  • Failing to perform routine maintenance or necessary repairs
  • Failing to properly secure or pressurize cargo
  • Overloading or improperly loading a commercial truck
  • Selling defective trucks or truck components
  • Speeding, tailgating, and other forms of negligent truck driving

As you might expect, in many cases multiple factors will combine to cause a serious truck accident; here in the Capital District, weather can be a factor in commercial trucking collisions as well. While these types of issues can complicate the process of securing financial compensation, our attorneys have the experience required to ensure that all relevant parties are held appropriately accountable for our clients’ losses.

Who Is Liable for Your Losses Resulting from a Commercial Truck Accident?

Once the cause of a truck accident has been determined, the question then becomes: Who is liable for your losses? While it might seem like this should be fairly straightforward, there are several factors that can complicate the answer to this question as well.

For example, let’s assume that your accident can be attributed entirely to truck driver negligence. The truck driver was speeding while distracted behind the wheel, and you were driving the speed limit in your lane. Does this mean that you will need to sue the truck driver? Not necessarily.

In New York, trucking companies are subject to the law of “vicarious liability.” This makes them liable for their employees’ negligence in most cases. So, rather than suing the truck driver, your case will most likely involve a claim against his or her employer. If the truck driver was unqualified to be behind the wheel of a commercial truck, then the trucking company could also be directly liable for negligent hiring and entrustment.

Depending on the circumstances involved, other companies that could be liable for losses sustained in a commercial truck accident include:

  • Shipping company – Cargo loading errors may be attributable to the shipping company that filled a container or loaded the container onto the truck bed.
  • Truck manufacturer – Truck manufacturers can be held liable for brake failures, transmission failures, and other defects.
  • Component manufacturer – Component manufacturers can also be held liable for design, manufacturing, and failure-to-warn defects.
  • Dealership or repair shop – Dealerships and independent repair shops can face liability for performing negligent maintenance or repair work that leads to failures on the road.
  • Road authority, contractor, or other third party – In addition to truck-related issues, issues with the road, issues with other drivers’ vehicles, and various other factors can cause and contribute to commercial truck accidents.
18-Wheeler Catches Fire in Trucking Accident

How Do You Prove Negligence (or a Product Defect) After a Commercial Truck Accident?

Proving negligence or the existence of a product defect requires evidence. Whether your case is resolved through settlement negotiations or you ultimately have to take your case to court, in order to win you are going to need to be able to present clear evidence of liability.

This evidence could – and most likely will – come from several different sources. One of these sources is the scene of the crash. After any type of accident, it is important to conduct an investigation at the scene as soon as possible. Various types of forensic evidence may be available, but this evidence could also disappear if it is not preserved promptly.

The truck, your vehicle, and any other vehicles involved in the crash will also need to be carefully inspected. Depending on the circumstances involved, driver logs, phone records, employment records, and various other sources of documentation could all provide key evidence as well.

Of course, gathering all of this evidence is not easy. The on-scene investigation will need to be conducted by experienced forensic experts, and it may be necessary to utilize formal court procedures to obtain documents from the liable party.

At Dreyer Boyajian LLP, our injury attorneys have well over 100 years of combined experience asserting our clients’ legal rights, and we can do what is necessary to prove your claim for damages.

What Types of Vehicles Are Considered Commercial Trucks?

Commercial truck accident claims present unique challenges. One of the key differences between these cases and “ordinary” auto accident cases is the fact that seeking financial compensation rarely involves filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

When we (and other truck accident law firms) use the term “commercial truck,” we are referring to any type of truck that is used for business purposes. This includes:

  • 18-wheelers
  • Box trucks
  • Cement mixers
  • Dump trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Delivery trucks
  • Tanker trucks
  • Tractor trailers
  • Utility trucks

When dealing with the aftermath of a commercial truck crash, the type of truck is less important than the cause of the accident and the party (or parties) that are responsible. Ultimately, if you were injured or a loved one was killed in a commercial truck accident that was someone else’s fault, you and your family are entitled to just compensation.

Fault in Trucking Accident Claims

Q&A with the Albany Truck Accident Lawyers at Dreyer Boyajian LLP

Q: What is the first thing I should do after being injured in a commercial truck accident?

After being injured in a truck accident, the first thing you should do is always to seek medical attention. This is true no matter how serious (or not serious) your injuries may seem. If you are in pain, if you are experiencing limited mobility, or if you have any other reason to think that you might have been injured, you should see a doctor right away.

If you have concerns about how you will be able to afford your treatment, our attorneys can explain the options you have available.

Q:  How long do I have to seek financial compensation after a truck accident in New York?

People delay seeking financial compensation after an accident for various reasons. Maybe they are apprehensive about dealing with the insurance companies. Maybe their pain is debilitating. Or, perhaps they are in too much grief to confront reminders of the accident on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, while these are all understandable reasons for choosing not to file a claim immediately, delaying your claim for any length of time is ill-advised. Waiting can make it more difficult to collect the evidence you need to prove your claim, and it can also potentially give the insurance companies arguments to reduce or deny your financial recovery.

By law, you have three years to bring a personal injury claim in New York, and you have two years to file a claim for wrongful death. However, for the reasons discussed above, we strongly encourage you to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Q: How do I know when to settle my case?

As the victim of a serious truck accident, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is deciding when (or if) to settle your case. As your attorneys, we will help you make an informed decision when the time comes.

If we receive a settlement offer on your behalf, we will go over the offer with you in detail, and we will compare the offer to our calculation of your financial and non-financial losses. If, based on this information, you believe the offer is fair, you can choose to accept it. If you are not comfortable with the offer, we will keep fighting for additional compensation.

Q: Does Dreyer Boyajian LLP handle truck accident cases on contingency?

Yes. We handle all truck accident claims on a contingency-fee basis. This means that you pay nothing unless we win. We will advance the costs of pursuing your claim, and we will only recoup these costs (and earn our legal fees) if we are successful in securing a financial recovery on your behalf.

Q: Does Dreyer Boyajian LLP handle truck accident cases outside of Albany?

Yes. With offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs, we handle serious and fatal truck accident cases throughout the greater Capital District metropolitan area.

Need Help?

If you would like to speak with an attorney about filing a claim for financial compensation, we encourage you to get in touch by calling Dreyer Boyajian LLP 518-463-7784 or clicking the link below:

Contact Dreyer Boyajian LLP

Get your free and confidential consultation with one of our truck accident attorneys.

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