Long Island Truck Accident Lawyer
Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers Serving Long Island, NY
Many roads on Long Island are shared with large commercial vehicles such as Box Trucks, Eighteen Wheelers and Dump Trucks. The weight of these types of vehicles is usually 20 to 30 times more then the average car. Therefore, an accident involving a large truck can have devastating results for the operator and passengers of smaller vehicles. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident on Long Island, you need an experienced Long Island Truck Accident Lawyer.
The most common losses following a truck accident:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and Suffering
If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident it is a good idea to consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney early on in the process will help protect your legal rights, ensure your medical bills and lost wages are paid and give you an advantage building a strong personal injury case. An early investigation will also help preserve key evidence in your case.
Important deadlines to know for your Long Island truck accident case:
Medical bills and lost wages are paid through no-fault insurance. All no-fault insurance carriers require a no-fault application be filed within thirty days. Failing to do so may result in denial of your no-fault benefits and may make you personally responsible for the bills.
In car accident cases there is generally a three-year statute of limitations to initiate a lawsuit. However, that time period may be reduced to as little as 90 days if your truck accident involves a municipal, state or federal entity. So, it’s best to check with a qualified car accident attorney as soon as possible.
How much is my Long Island truck accident case worth?
The value of an injury suffered in a truck accident is an accumulation of several different factors. These include any accident related economic expenses such as damage to your car as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. At Palermo Law, our experience in handling thousands of accident cases allows us to accurately assess the value of your case to determine the fairest settlement or jury award. In cases of long-term injuries, we partner with experts in the fields of medicine and economics to make sure that your compensation is adjusted for future inflation. This allows you the peace of mind knowing that you will be compensated for years to come.
Common causes of Long Island Truck accidents
Any activity that distracts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. These types of distractions include the use of a hand held navigation device, cell phone use and texting.
Driving above the legal limit is a leading cause of truck accidents. Further, high impact accidents often result in significant injuries.
Following too Closely
Tailgating, especially at high speeds reduces reaction times and often leads to rear-end accidents.
Operating a truck in a hostile or aggressive manner may include following to closely, failing to signal and repetitive lane changes.
Other factors to consider exclusive to truck accidents:
- Was the truck not properly loaded?
- Was the truck driver overly tired from driving long hours?
- Was the truck driver properly licensed to operate a big rig?
- Was the truck driver taking medications or drugs to help stay awake?
Five Essential Tips for Long Island Truck Accident Victims Immediately following an accident
- Seek medical attention for any injuries, even minor injuries. Often injuries that result from a motor vehicle accident intensify in the hours and days following an accident. It’s good to be cautious.
- Obtain a Police Accident Report. It is always a good idea to call the police to the scene of the accident. However, it is also possible to file a police report following the accident.
- Contact your automobile insurance carrier to report the accident. Any medical bills will need to be paid by your no-fault insurance.
- Do not give any statements to the other vehicle’s insurance company without first consulting with an attorney.
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer for a free consultation.
What About No-Fault Insurance?
What is no-fault insurance?
No-Fault insurance is an insurance program that provides medical benefits, lost wages, and other incidental expenses for victims of truck accidents in New York. Every car insurance policy in New York is required to provide this coverage. The insurance policy of the vehicle that you are occupying at the time of the truck accident is the policy that is responsible for paying your no-fault benefits, regardless of fault.
If you are struck as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle, the vehicle that struck you is going to pay your no-fault benefits. The minimum amount of coverage that is required in New York State for no-fault is $50,000 – once your benefits exceed $50,000 the no-fault carrier will not be responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, or other incidental costs unless you have purchased additional no-fault benefits.
Palermo Law is a Long Island Truck Accident law firm that is fully familiar with all aspects of no-fault car insurance. We will complete your no-fault application, apply for lost wages, coordinate independent medical examinations, and ensure that all medical bills are being paid by the insurer.
How will I pay for my medical bills following a truck accident?
The primary source of medical insurance following a truck accident is no-fault insurance. The insurance carrier of the vehicle you are traveling in is responsible for all of your medical bills related to your car crash regardless of whose fault the accident was. The only obligation that you have in order to get those bills paid is to complete and file a no-fault application within thirty days of your accident. Failure to do so, could result in your medical bills being denied. Although not necessary, It’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney to make sure that you completed the application properly. If we are retained to handle your truck accident case, our law firm will file all the insurance forms necessary on your behalf, free of charge.
How can I get lost wages if I am in a truck accident?
If you are injured in a truck accident in New York State then you are eligible to receive lost wage compensation through your no-fault insurance carrier. Every motor vehicle insurance policy issued in New York requires at least two thousand dollars a month of lost wage protection and you are eligible to receive 80% of your total salary up to the two thousand dollars per month limit.
If you have purchased additional lost wage coverage you may be eligible for a higher amount. If you are a high-wage earner, this amount will not be sufficient. In those instances, any unreimbursed wages will have to be recovered from the responsible party’s insurance carrier at the end of your case.
In order to receive lost wages from your no-fault carrier, they must receive a completed no-fault application, verification of your employment, and a disability note from a healthcare provider. The no-fault application must be filed within thirty days of the date of the accident, or your carrier may deny the claim. Further, the wage verification must be completed by your employer, as soon as possible (there is no specific deadline for this).
Once you start receiving lost wages from your no-fault carrier, you will need to submit updated disability notes from your doctor from time to time. Also, your lost wage benefits may be terminated by your no-fault carrier should you be deemed to be fully recovered during a no-fault IME.
Dealing with no-fault insurance can often be confusing and frustrating. There is so much red tape that it usually requires a professional such as a personal injury law firm to get your full benefits. At Palermo Law, our Long Island truck accident lawyers are dedicated to all aspects of your personal injury claim. That means that we not only file a bodily injury claim on your behalf but also handle all no-fault paperwork and all property damage claims. It is our goal to take as much stress off your shoulders as possible, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery.
Our law firm does not charge a fee for handling no-fault claims and we only receive compensation if we win your bodily injury claim.
Who will pay my medical bills and lost wages once no-fault is exhausted?
If you should suffer a serious injury in a truck accident, it is possible that your no-fault insurance will not be sufficient to cover all of your accident-related expenses. If this should be the case, there are other options to get coverage for these expenses.
Once no-fault is exhausted, any additional medical bills should be submitted to your private health insurance carrier. If you are a Medicare or Medicaid recipient, your medical bills should be submitted to those agencies.
In certain situations, your private health insurance will be entitled to reimbursement for any costs related to your accident should there be a recovery. Medicare and Medicaid are always entitled to reimbursement for any expenses they incur should you receive a recovery for your accident.
When no-fault insurance is exhausted, there are several possible ways to receive lost wages. First, most private disability policies will cover your lost wages following a car accident. Second, if you are disabled for more than twelve consecutive months, you can apply for Social Security Disability. Finally, you can include any lost wage claim into your bodily injury claim against the responsible party’s car insurance policy. Unfortunately, this will mean that you will have to wait until your claim is resolved to receive your lost wages.
What is an Independent Medical Exam?
If you’ve suffered an injury from a truck accident on Long Island and are receiving medical treatment, the insurance company of the vehicle that you were occupying at the time of your accident will be responsible for paying all medical bills with respect to the injuries that you suffered in that accident. Further, there are no co-payments or referrals needed. You are free to see any doctor that you decide as long as they accept no-fault.
However, if your treatment lasts for an extended period of time, the insurance carrier has the right to request that you see a doctor to see if the treatment that you are receiving is still necessary. This exam is known as an “independent medical exam.” That name is somewhat misleading because while the doctor is not technically an employee of the insurance carrier, he is subcontracted by them to do the exam. What is more, the doctor may do hundreds if not thousands of exams for that carrier over the course of the year. This can lead to a bias on the part of the examining physician because that doctor knows the more patients that they allow to continue treating, the less likely they are to get the exam work from the insurance carrier.
If you are summoned for a no-fault exam, you do have some rights. First, you are allowed one reschedule. But, if you miss a second appointment, your benefits will be denied. Further, the exam has to be conducted within a reasonable distance to your home. Finally, re-exams cannot be scheduled too closely to the original exam. The carrier must wait a reasonable amount of time before calling you back for a re-exam.
If after the exam you are denied medical benefits, you still have some options. First, you can arbitrate the denial of any medical bill with an independent arbitrator. If that arbitrator decides in your favor, the carrier will need to pay the bills.
Second, you can decide not to arbitrate and just switch to using your private health insurance to pay for your bills. This is likely the best option for most people because the arbitration process is long and complicated.
Finally, if you are summoned for an independent medical exam, and are not represented by an attorney, you may want to consider hiring one. An independent medical exam is an indication that payment of your continued medical treatment is going to get complicated and an attorney will be able to guide you in procuring appropriate payment from insurance carriers.
Who determines fault in a car crash?
Fault is ultimately an issue for a jury to determine with the guidance of a Judge. However, most cases never go to trial. Therefore, the representatives of the parties involved in the accident will usually try to come to an agreement as to who is at fault for the accident.
Attorney Steven Palermo answers your questions
Should I Hire an Attorney for my Truck Accident Injury?
I think it’s always a good idea to at the very least consult with a qualified truck accident attorney so you understand what is involved in a truck accident claim. Most attorneys offer a free consultation. So, there’s no risk in speaking to an attorney. Also, attorneys work on a contingency basis. That means they do not charge a fee unless they win your case. So, there’s no financial risk. However, since attorneys work on a contingency basis, they will not usually take on a case unless they believe they have a chance of winning compensation for you.
Our Long Island Truck Accident Law Firm has handled victims of truck accidents for over two decades. We are fully familiar with the devastation that a truck can cause as well as the obligations that the drivers of those trucks are required to follow. We are aggressive advocates for the seriously injured and will use all of our knowledge and experience fighting for you.
Where Are You Located?
We have six locations throughout Long Island. Our main office is in Hauppauge. But we also have offices in Huntington, Babylon, Patchogue, Riverhead and Garden City. We can also arrange in home or hospital appointments if you are unable to make it to one of our locations. We even offer after hours and weekend appointments.
What Does it Cost to Hire your Truck Accident Law Firm?
There is no upfront cost to hire us. Our firm works on a contingency basis, meaning that we do not charge a fee unless we win your case. So, there’s no financial risk in hiring us. We also offer free consultation to discuss your case. At your consultation, you will be provided with all the information you need in how we will go about handling your case. Ultimately, the decision to hire us will be up to you.
How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To After My Long Island Truck Accident?
It is the goal of any personal injury claim to gain compensation for the losses resulting from an accident. To put a number on how an injury affects your life can be difficult, and an experienced attorney can help put together those losses into a monetary figure. Calculating compensation involves summing up all economic and noneconomic losses, resulting in the total compensation you are entitled to.
Economic losses include medical bills, lost wages and other out of pocket expenses. In most cases your medical bills will be paid for by some form of insurance. However, any co-payments and unreimbursed medical expenses that you incur are reimbursable through your lawsuit. Sometimes, you may even be required to reimburse your healthcare provider for medical expenses that they have incurred if you do receive a settlement. In those instances, that amount of money will be passed onto the defendant in the case. For example, if you incur $15,000 in medical expenses that have to be reimbursed to your health insurance company, that amount of money would be added to your settlement so that the cost is passed on to the responsible party.
Also, many people have disability policies that pay them a portion of their salary following an injury. In a personal injury lawsuit, you are entitled to receive your total lost wages from the defendant. If your insurer is entitled to reimbursement from your lawsuit, then you will receive the total amount of lost wages from the defendant and be required to repay the insurer the amount that was already paid to you.
In addition, other out of pocket expenses may be added to your entitled compensation. For example, if you had any travel expenses due to the injury or if you had to pay for any modifications on your home or car. Even further, sometimes the seriousness of the injury results in lasting economic damages in the future. Sometimes, these losses are permanent. In a case where returning to your employment is no longer possible because of the injury, you are entitled to life-long wages. Our firm will hire an economist to accurately calculate the reimbursement for those kinds of future losses.
Non-economic Losses: Non-economic losses include your pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and other emotional injuries. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are more subjective. Therefore, it can often be difficult to put a financial figure on such damages. The way it is usually done is by comparing people that have suffered similar injuries and seeing what juries have awarded them at trial. However, if a settlement cannot be reached then that amount of money is decided by a jury. This can often lead to a wide discrepancy from case to case. Also, like economic losses, non-economic losses can also be permanent. In such cases that will have to be accounted for in the jury’s verdict or in the settlement.
Finally, perhaps the most important factor in determining the amount of money that you are entitled to following an accident is the amount of insurance the responsible party has to satisfy any judgment you obtain. For example, if your total losses equal $1,000,000 but the responsible party is only insured for $25,000, your only way of recovering the difference will be by personally enforcing the judgment you obtain at trial against the responsible party’s assets.
Should I Still File A Truck Accident Claim If I’m Partly At Fault?
The rule in New York is called “comparative negligence”. A plaintiff, even if they are found to be partly at fault in an accident, can still receive compensation for their damages offset by the percentage they are found at fault.
For example, if you are in an accident, and bring a truck accident claim toward the other party in the accident, it must be decided if the defendant is at fault. The comparative negligence defense then takes place – an investigation into whether or not you shared fault with the defendant in the accident. Say you are a plaintiff and your damages are assessed at $100,000, but you are found 10% liable for the accident that caused your injury. You would only receive 90% of your damages, an award of $90,000.
The comparative negligence defense takes place in truck accident cases all the time. Say, for instance, you were making a left turn on green, but a truck sped through the intersection and hit you. You may be liable for making what’s considered an “unsafe turn” but the other party may be liable for speeding.
If you do plan to file a claim, do so as quickly as possible. Following an accident, insurance companies involved will reach out to you. Don’t admit any fault. It’s imperative that you have an experienced personal injury attorney stand up for you and obtain the financial compensation you’re entitled to.
What should I do if I’m injured in a truck accident?
Because of the immense size and weight of a truck, a truck accident can be especially devastating. The most important steps to take after a truck accident are as follows:
First, assess your injuries and any injuries of your passengers and if necessary call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. If there are no injuries you should still call the police to have the accident documented.
Second, gather the contact information for any witnesses. Don’t rely on the police to do this as they often do not do it right and witnesses are lost.
Third, contact your insurance carrier to report the accident. Since New York is a no-fault state, it is your insurance carrier that will be paying for any medical treatment and lost wages even if the accident is not your fault. If you were a passenger in the truck accident, it is the no-fault insurance of the driver of the vehicle that will pay for your medical bills. Keep in mind that you only have 30 days to complete a no-fault application.
Finally, if your injuries are serious you should call our Long Island truck accident law firm right away. This will not only protect your legal rights, it will also make your life easier as we handle all no-fault and property damage issues for you while we fight to get you the most compensation possible. This way you can concentrate on your recovery.
What is the “Serious Injury” Threshold?
While any injury from a car accident can completely disrupt your life, New York has a statute called the “Serious Injury” Threshold that determines whether or not a person is able to file a personal injury claim. Here is what the State of New York considers to be a serious injury:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of fetus
- Permanent loss of use of body organ, member, function or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment
Clearly, not all of these types of injuries are straightforward, so it is still a good idea to get a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney to see if you are eligible to file a claim.
What Should I Bring to My Free Consultation?
You are not required to bring anything to your initial consultation. However, if you have certain information with you it will make it easier to fully evaluate your case and discuss it in more detail. All documents that detail how you’ve been affected financially, physically, and emotionally should be brought to your case evaluation. The more documentation you have, the more accurate your claim can be evaluated. The items that might be helpful are the following:
- Copies of police reports or incident reports connected to your incident
- Copies of records as well as bills from all medical providers that treated your injuries since your accident, including emergency medical services, physicians, and physical therapists
- Documentation from medical providers that detail a diagnosis/prognosis of your injury
- Any information from insurance companies that detail their coverage of your medical bills
- Any documentation of missed work (due to your injury) and the income you’ve lost due to missed work
- A list of important dates, such as your date of injury, dates of surgeries you needed performed, and dates of medical treatment
- If you’ve experienced emotional distress since your incident and required professional counselling as a result, bring documentation with the names and phone numbers of your therapist or psychiatrist and copies of documents detailing how much they’ve billed you, and dates you were treated
- Copies of claims that have been filed in connection with your accident (such as the No-Fault application)
- Any photographs you may have taken related to the incident, such as images of the scene, property damage, your injury, and anything that may be relevant to your claim or serve as photographic evidence
- Journal entries describing the emotional and psychological impact your accident, treatment, and the pain you’re enduring from your injury
Why Hire Palermo Law?
- We always offer a free no obligation consultation.
- We never charge a fee unless we win your case.
- We provide personal one on one attention to client.
- We handle all no-fault insurance communications and paperwork for you free of charge
- We have over two decades of experience litigating truck accident cases on Long Island.
- We have obtained numerous million-dollar verdicts and settlements including a 3.2 Million dollar settlement and a 1.7 million dollar settlement for truck accident victims.
We are a true Long Island truck Accident law firm. With two decades of experience, Long Island Truck Accident Attorney Steven Palermo heads the legal team at Palermo Law. He personally handles each client’s truck accident case from its inception through conclusion. He has litigated hundreds of accident cases and won several million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients. He has a passion for helping injured people find justice in their fight against large multi-million-dollar insurance companies that try and minimize his client’s injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as a result of another persons negligent driving and would like schedule a free case evaluation from an experienced Long Island Truck Accident Attorney, call or email us today.
We can also arrange an in home or hospital consultation with you. Further, we handle all accident cases on a contingency basis meaning we never charge a fee unless we win your case.
Keep in mind
Trucking companies aggressively defend cases involving their drivers do to the often-serious nature of the injuries suffered by victims. Many times they employ emergency response teams that arrive at the scene of the accident immediately. These teams start working right away gathering evidence to protect their client’s interests. So don’t delay. It’s important to hire an experienced lawyer right away.
Trial Ready Strategy
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court at some point before a trial. Many personal injury law firms on Long Island don’t fully prepare their cases for trial when anticipating a settlement. This weakens their position when it comes time to negotiating a settlement. At Palermo Law, we always fully prepare every case as if it is going to trial. This level of preparation gives us the leverage to negotiate the highest possible compensation for our clients and puts us in a strong position should a trial become necessary.
Focused on Helping the Injured
We realize that being really well versed in any one area of law takes focus. Personal injury law is no exception. That’s why our Long Island personal injury lawyers only handle personal injury cases. Steven Palermo, our managing partner, has been exclusively handling personal injury cases for the last two decades. We handle all types of personal injury cases for the injured, including car accidents, slip and falls and work related accidents. We have never represented an insurance company and never will. We do what we do because we love helping people.
We offer every potential personal injury client a free, no obligation consultation at any of our five locations throughout Long Island. During the consultation, we will discuss your case in detail and give you our opinion on the chances of success. We will also discuss our potential strategy and our process for handling your case. If after fully discussing your case we feel it is a good fit for our Long Island Personal Injury law firm, we will discuss our fees and give you the option of moving forward with us as your lawyers.
One of our attorneys along and case manager will meet with you for a free initial consultation taking the time to fully get all of the details of your case. Once they have obtained all the necessary information, they will discuss the likelihood of success in your case and decide whether we can help you out. If your case is a good fit for our law firm and you want to hire us, we will complete all of the necessary paperwork to begin the case.
Every case is fully investigated upon being retained. We will gather all accident reports, witness statements, photograph, videos, medical records and insurance policies to support your case. We have a team of support staff members to help build your case. We even engage the services of a private investigators and expert witnesses, if needed.
After we complete our investigation, we will file your claim with the responsible party’s insurance company and obtain all policy limits and have a claim number and adjuster assigned. We will then file all the necessary documentation with that adjuster to establish your case. Once the adjuster has had an opportunity to review the case, we will allow the insurance carrier 30 days to make a settlement offer. If that offer is reasonable, we will negotiate with the adjuster to obtain the maximum amount possible for your recovery.
In instances where litigation is necessary, we will file a law suit on your behalf, complete all discovery and set the matter down for trial. Often this will lead to the insurance company making a good settlement offer.
At some point there will either be an acceptable settlement offer or a trial. If a favorable settlement can be reached, we will draft all of the needed paperwork and obtain the settlement funds on your behalf and disburse them to you accordingly. If the insurance company refuses to take responsibility for its insured’s actions, it may become necessary to have a trial. In those situations, we will be ready to present all evidence on your behalf and fight to obtain the compensation that you are entitled to.
Additional Truck Accident Resources
- Why Truck Driving is One Of the Most Dangerous Jobs in America
- Sharing the Road with Truck Drivers
- Understanding a Truck Accident Lawsuit
- What Is No-Fault Coverage?
- How To File Your New York State No-Fault Application
- What To Know Before Handling Your Own No-Fault Claim
- Understanding New York State’s “Serious Injury Threshold” Statute
- Additional No-Fault Coverage (“APIP” & “OBEL”)
- Understanding MVAIC – For Victims Of Motor Vehicle Accidents With No Access To No-Fault or Bodily Injury Coverage
- Receiving Compensation For Household Help Through No-Fault Benefits
- Receiving Compensation For Transportation To/From Medical Appointments Through No-Fault Benefits
- Liability In Pedestrian Accidents
Hire a Long Island Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Truck accidents happen fairly frequently, therefore it is important that you are prepared in the case you experience one. Just like in a Long Island Car Accident, it is crucial you hire a lawyer that knows how to fight for your specific case. The attorneys at Palermo Law have over 20 years of experience in personal injury cases. A long island truck accident lawyer is available to fight for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.