A can and truck locked in a collision. | Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi

What Happens When You Get Hit By a Truck?

Getting hit by a truck is a nightmare. In the bustling streets of New York City, especially areas like Manhattan and the Bronx, the heavy flow of truck traffic is a daily reality. Accidents involving these massive vehicles can be terrifying, with a devastating aftermath for victims and their families. The physical and emotional ramifications are overwhelming; meanwhile, the bills keep piling up.

If you are injured or a loved one is lost when hit by a truck, knowing what steps to take immediately after and understanding your rights can be critical. At this confusing and trying time, you need a knowledgeable advocate to aid you while you focus on healing. It is critical to consult a truck accident lawyer to determine if you can pursue compensation for your losses.

Call the attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (212) 543-1600 today for a FREE case review. We are constantly inspired by the courage of our clients and driven to obtain the justice they deserve.

Common Injuries in Truck Accidents

The sheer size of large trucks makes them a destructive force when involved in an accident. 18-wheelers typically outweigh passenger cars by 20–30 times, and when they collide, it is the occupants of those cars that suffer the brunt of the collision. Of the truck accident fatalities in 2021, only 17% were truck occupants—72% were occupants of other motor vehicles, and 11% were pedestrians or bicyclists.

Some of the common injuries suffered in truck accidents are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Severe lacerations
  • Loss of limbs
  • Internal injuries & organ damage
  • Bone fractures
  • Burn injuries
  • Facial injuries

Some of these injuries can be catastrophic, others even deadly, leaving the victim and their family at sea. Healing can be physically and emotionally taxing, made worse when the bills are mounting. For these reasons, it is vital to contact a New York truck accident attorney. They can ensure that every route to just compensation is taken.

Next Steps After You’ve Been Hit By a Truck

1. The Immediate Aftermath

If you’re hit by a truck, your first priority should be safety and medical attention. Even if you believe you’re uninjured, the shock and adrenaline can mask symptoms. Always consult a healthcare professional following an accident.

In New York, the Vehicle & Traffic Law (VAT) § 600 requires drivers involved in an accident to stop and exchange information if there are injuries or property damage. Failure to do so can lead to severe penalties.

2. Collect Evidence

If you can, capture photos of the accident scene, the truck, your vehicle, and any injuries. This can be invaluable for a truck accident lawsuit. And, if possible, gather statements and contact details from witnesses.

3. Report the Accident

In New York, it’s mandatory to report motor vehicle accidents to the police under certain circumstances, such as when there’s physical injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 (VAT § 605). A police report can be a vital document in pursuing a truck accident lawsuit later on.

It is also essential to report the accident to your insurance company. New York operates under a no-fault insurance system for vehicular accidents, which means your own insurance policy is your first source of compensation regardless of who caused the accident.

It’s imperative to report the incident promptly, as insurers typically have stringent deadlines for notification if you intend to claim benefits under your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This report is also important to establish a record of the accident and can be crucial if there are disputes about the facts later on.

4. Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

Once you’ve reported the incident, it’s advisable to consult a truck accident lawyer, especially before you discuss the ins and outs of the accident and any sort of settlement. Truck accidents can be legally complex due to federal regulations governing the trucking industry and the multiple parties that may hold liability, including truck drivers, trucking companies, cargo loaders, and manufacturers.

Read More: Things To Know Before You Talk to a Truck Accident Attorney

A lawyer with experience in truck accident cases can navigate these regulations, handle communications with insurance companies, and work to determine liability, ensuring that your rights are protected and you are positioned to receive the compensation you deserve.

6. Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Trucking companies usually have substantial insurance policies. While this means there’s a potential for victims to recover a significant amount, it also implies that these insurance companies will have aggressive legal teams to minimize payouts.

It is important to defer to your truck accident attorney when dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies are not interested in doing what is best for you. They prefer to prioritize their own bottom line. If they can catch you in an apparent admission of liability or convince you to take a lowball settlement offer, they will consider that a win.

Let your lawyer advise you on all communications with insurance companies. They have vast knowledge and experience negotiating with opportunistic insurance adjusters, and they will keep your best interest in mind as they pursue just compensation in your case.

7. Pursuing a Truck Accident Lawsuit

Given the complexities involved when hit by a truck, it’s essential to consult with an experienced Bronx truck accident lawyer. They can guide you on the best way forward, from initial investigations to negotiations with insurance adjusters and, if necessary, representing you in court.

New York follows a comparative negligence rule per C.V.P. § 1411. This means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you could still recover damages, though they would be reduced by your percentage of fault.

8. Compensation: What Are You Entitled To?

Victims hit by a truck might be eligible for various damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain & suffering
  • Property damage

In tragic cases resulting in a loss of life, the families can pursue wrongful death claims. Possible damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral & burial expenses
  • Pain & suffering before death
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of guidance
  • Loss of future earnings & benefits

9. Act Within the Statute of Limitations

In New York, you typically have three years from the date of the accident to initiate a personal injury lawsuit. After that date, you will likely be unable to file an action or collect compensation for your losses. The sooner you act, the fresher the evidence and the more robust your case.

Hit By a Truck? Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi Today!

Being hit by a truck or losing a loved one in a truck accident can turn your life upside down. While the road to recovery might be long and challenging, understanding your rights and the legal pathways available is crucial.

Having an experienced lawyer on your side, especially one familiar with the Bronx and Manhattan and with New York State laws, can make a significant difference. They can ensure your rights are protected, gather evidence, negotiate with insurers, and, if necessary, advocate for you in court.

Contact the truck accident injury attorneys of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi if you are injured or a loved one is lost following a truck crash. The strength of our clients inspires us. It drives us to pursue justice in each case, providing them with the compensation they deserve for their terrible losses. We represent clients throughout New York and New Jersey. Schedule your FREE case review today!