In 2012, the most recent year for NYSDMV statistical reports, there were 10,345 truck accidents across the state. Almost 5,000 people were injured, and 92 died. Not all truck incidents involve high-speed crashes; unsafe reversing, changing lanes without due regard, driving when fatigued, even driving at slow speeds – all these are contributing factors. In addition, there are mechanical causes too, such as defective tires and brake failure. Furthermore, many accidents involving trucks occur in and around construction areas, where roads may be defective.
When we think of truck accidents, very often what comes to mind is an image of a truck, or a semi, being involved in a multi-vehicle pile-up on the freeway but the reality is often somewhat different. While some truckers are certainly guilty of tailgating, speeding, and failing to secure their loads properly (debris falling off overloaded trucks is a big problem), the fact is that a large number of truck accidents occur on the streets, and involve garbage trucks and transit vehicles.
If you (or a loved one) is the victim of a truck, or semi truck, accident, you’ll quite naturally want to seek compensation for your injuries – physical and mental – and ensure that whoever is responsible also covers your medical expenses. Last week we talked about how to get the best possible result when pursuing a claim without engaging the services of a personal injury lawyer, so this week we’ll concentrate on how to find the best truck accident attorney for your needs.
What to look for when choosing a truck accident lawyer
Experience is paramount
While there are scores of experienced personal injury lawyers in NYC, when looking for a truck accident attorney – or a semi truck accident attorney – in New York, it’s vital that you do your homework and pick a lawyer who has as many years’ experience in this field as possible. The longer they’ve been dealing with truck accident claims, the better-placed they are to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Along with experience, you should look at lawyers’ skillsets, and choose an attorney who specializes in accident and personal injury law. You wouldn’t expect your eye doctor to fix your teeth, so why would you choose a general practice attorney to represent your needs as a victim of a truck accident?
Check them out
One of the beauties of the Internet is that it gives people a voice, and that voice can be – and is – used to review products and services. You could do a Google search for what lawyers’ clients have to say about the service they’ve received, however, you should bear in mind that these reviews will be highly subjective, and in some cases, may be unfairly negative. Far better then, to find peer-reviewed sources, not least because they constitute an official lawyer rating system. Here are three sites you should be looking at when choosing your truck accident attorney in New York:
It’s standard practice these days for personal injury lawyers to offer free consultations but do check before you commit to an initial meeting. Similarly, most attorneys will also operate on a “no win, no fee” basis. However, you should be aware that some lawyers may imply that they are giving you a special deal by offering free initial consultations and no fees if there is no recovery – it’s up to you whether you believe they have your best interests at heart.
Also, do bear in mind that free consultations mean you can afford to shop around – you don’t have to go with the first accident lawyer you meet with.
Finally, a note of caution
Increasingly some personal injury attorneys seek out traffic accident reports to find names and addresses of victims, and then send out unsolicited mail (virtual and/or physical), offering to represent them. Victims may receive more than a dozen of these letters from different law firms. Follow-up letters/emails usually ensue, and it’s not unknown for victims to also receive unsolicited telephone calls to check whether the mailings have been received. Needless to say that these law firms rarely get referrals from peers or satisfied clients, and some states are in the process of making it illegal for law firms to send unsolicited mail to victims of accidents.
At Antin, Ehrlich, and Epstein LLP, our New York truck accident attorneys are dedicated to helping accident victims, so if you are a victim of a truck – including semi trucks – accident, you may be entitled to damages, including compensation for medical expenses and loss of earnings. Contact us today on 212-221-5999 to schedule a free, no obligation, consultation to help you understand your rights.