Riverhead Truck Accident Lawyer
Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Serving Riverhead, NY
There are traffic accidents every day in Riverhead, and the outcome for those involved can range from inconvenient to life-changing. Unfortunately, when it comes to accidents that involve trucks, those consequences tend toward the more long-lasting side – these types of vehicles present a very real and very serious risk to the health and safety of other road users. If you have been involved in an accident with a truck – be it an 18-wheeler, a delivery truck, or another type – one of the very first things that you should do is get in touch with a truck accident lawyer. Palermo Law has been dealing with these types of accidents in Riverhead for two decades – our managing partner Steven Palermo has personally litigated hundreds of cases and won millions of dollars for his clients.
Why are trucks such a high risk?
The very nature of a truck is what makes them so dangerous to other road users. Trucks are so large that they present blind spots that other vehicles do not have, making it difficult for drivers to keep abreast of the ever-changing road around them. They are so heavy that stopping distances are many multiples of what you would expect from other vehicles. Trucks are also cumbersome – the driver cannot simply swerve out of the way of danger, or even take corners neatly. Often trucks will need to straddle lanes to take a tight turn, something that other road users might not be prepared for.
The nature of truck driving is another key issue. Often trucking companies force their drivers to work long hours, driving huge distances, and fatigue can kick in. This means a reduced reaction time, an increase in driving errors, and in the worst-case scenario – falling asleep at the wheel.
Feel free to get in touch with us anytime to discuss your case. We have offices across Suffolk County, as well as one in Nassau County, and we will even come out to you if that is easier. Our attorneys are available for appointments in the evenings and at weekends, so whenever works best for you, we can see you.
When should you contact a Riverhead truck accident lawyer?
As soon as you are able to after the accident, you should get in touch with a lawyer. You may think that there is no rush – you may even think that there is no need, particularly in cases where there can be no doubt about who is at fault. Unfortunately, though, trucking companies and insurance firms employ staff specifically to minimize liability and payouts in these types of accidents – as soon as the accident has occurred there will be a team of investigators from the trucking company on its way to the site to start building a case which reduces the amount that will have to be paid.
The only way to combat this is to have your own investigators on site. Our team will collate all the necessary evidence, including photos, videos, witness statements, and police reports, as well as document any physical evidence so that a full recreation of the accident can be made if and when it is needed.
Getting in touch with us early costs you nothing – delaying may cost you a lot. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to all our clients, as well as a no-win, no-fee guarantee, so contact us to discuss your case today.
From the moment that your accident happened, a clock started ticking. If you are not intimately familiar with the different deadlines associated with dealing with the fallout of your accident, then you run the risk of missing out on any accident compensation entirely.
In the event that you were injured, you must complete a no-fault application with your insurer within thirty days. Exceeding this time frame means that you may be denied any payments, and your medical bills will have to be paid by you personally. Even if the other party is entirely at fault for the accident, this part of the process must be completed with your insurance carrier – or that of the vehicle that you were traveling in, if you were a passenger.
For truck accidents, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for injuries incurred is three years. In cases where there was a wrongful death, that is dropped down to two years. Notably, if your accident involved a truck that is municipally owned, then you only have thirty days – and it is not always obvious that a truck or other vehicle is owned by the municipality. Another great reason to get in touch with a Palermo Law truck accident injury lawyer as soon as possible: one of the first things we do is check who owns the vehicles involved in the accident, so you won’t miss any deadlines.
How much is my Riverhead truck accident worth?
There is no fixed payout figure for truck accidents in Riverhead. This can make it difficult when you deal with insurance or trucking companies – how do you know that the figure they are offering you is fair? What if you could have been awarded a significantly larger sum? Thankfully, we are here to help. Over the decades that we have been handling these types of cases, we have gained the experience necessary to accurately assess the value of an accident, so when we reach the negotiation table we know what we are looking to achieve.
We calculate the value of an accident based on two key factors:
- Economic damages – the amount it would cost to get your vehicle, property, or belongings back to the condition they were in before the accident. This might mean repair costs, or it could be the price of a full replacement.
- Non-economic damages – the price of your pain and suffering, both physical and mental. We often use external experts from the fields of medicine and economics to ensure that non-economic damages take into account future inflation, particularly in cases that have resulted in long-term injuries.
Common Causes of Riverhead 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 handheld 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 too 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 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?
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 Suffolk County 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 Suffolk County 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.
Truck companies will aggressively defend cases that involve their drivers, due to the often very serious consequences of the accidents. The best way for you to protect your interests – and get the full compensation that you deserve – is to fight fire with fire. Our team is here to represent your interests, and we are not afraid to go up against these multi-million dollar companies to ensure that you are protected.
When you engage Palermo Law, you can be assured that your case will be ready for trial. Often, accident law firms will build their cases for an out-of-court settlement – something that the truck and insurance companies are well aware of. This means that those practices start off any negotiations on the back foot, as the threat of going to court is actually a bad thing for them.
We would prefer to settle your case out of court, as it saves you the time and stress of going through that process, but we are more than happy to appear before a jury and aggressively represent your interest when necessary.
When it comes to accident law, we are laser-focused. Everyone within our firm is dedicated to this area of the law, from the support staff to the paralegals, to the attorneys. This means that the team has a collected experience of over one hundred years, so we have seen everything and dealt with every scenario. Our experience can help you to get the compensation that you deserve.
Our work is always offered on a contingency basis: if we do not win your case, then you do not owe us any money. We also cover all the expenses involved with your case while it is ongoing, so you do not have to worry about coming up with retainer fees or other costs. It is a testament to how confident we are that we can win, and a way of ensuring that the barriers stopping individuals from pursuing negligent drivers in court are removed. We hate it when huge companies take advantage of the injured people that they should be compensating – that is why we do what we do.
Hire a Trusted Riverhead Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The truck accident practice is built on the desire to help the individuals that sustain injuries in accidents to fight against the large insurance and trucking companies for the justice and compensation that they need. If you have been injured due to the negligent or dangerous driving of a truck driver, then you can contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.