Brooklyn Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents can seriously injure drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other people sharing the road. If you were injured in a collision, or if a loved one passed away in an accident, your family may be eligible for compensation to help cover your medical bills, restore lost income, and ease your pain and suffering. Let the attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw help handle the legal process, so that you can focus on what really matters: being with your family and making a recovery.
At Sullivan & Galleshaw, our aggressive legal team has more than 16 years of experience litigating a wide variety of personal injury and wrongful death claims related to truck crashes, collisions, and other accidents. We take a strategic and personalized approach to suit the specific needs of each client, and offer free initial consultations to our new clients. To get started discussing your claim in a private legal consultation, call our Brooklyn truck accident attorneys at (718) 843-0300 today.
Personal Injury Claims Our Attorneys Handle
Truck accidents can cause many different types of injuries, depending on factors like speed, weather, road design, and the position of the vehicles involved. To help meet our clients’ legal needs, our lawyers handle claims relating to a wide variety of injuries and medical problems, such as:
- Brain Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Dismemberment (Loss of Limb)
- Eye Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Loss of Bodily Functions
- Loss of a Fetus
- Organ Damage
- Severe Burns
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
The Dangers of Trucker Fatigue: Liability for Safety Violations
Trucks of all sizes can get into accidents, whether they’re small trucks for private use or 18-wheeler rigs designed for commercial transportation. However, commercial trucks in particular face an industry-specific issue: trucker fatigue.
The transportation industry leans very heavily on trucking, with trucking accounting for nearly 84% of the industry’s total revenue compared to only 5.6% for railroads and 3.2% for airlines. As a result, truckers are under enormous pressure to cover as much distance as possible — in as little time as possible. As a result, truckers sometimes exceed their maximum allowable shifts, become fatigued, and get into accidents because they are exhausted or even asleep behind the wheel. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that on average, trucker fatigue needlessly injures over 20,000 people every year, as well as causing about 750 fatalities.
To help combat the risk of trucker fatigue, the FMCSA has adopted strict shift maximums which are outlined in the Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service. Interstate commercial truckers must comply with the terms of the Guide if they are transporting weights over 10,000 pounds, and/or if they are transporting hazardous materials, such as flammable oil or waste products. The hours-of-service limits contained in the Guide are:
- 14-hour driving window. Not to be confused with driving limit, this means truckers “are allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours.”
- 11-hour driving limit. Not to be confused with driving window, this means truckers can only drive for 11 consecutive hours at time inside of their 14-hour windows.
- 30-minute breaks. Truckers must take half-hour breaks “if more than eight consecutive hours have passed since the last off-duty… period of at least half an hour.”
- 60-/70-hour duty limit. This limit fluctuates depending on the motor carrier and time-frame being applied (seven or eight days). The duty limit approximates a weekly limit.
- 34-hour restart. Truckers may only “restart” their time limits after they have been off duty for at least 34 consecutive hours.
The Guide also provides that truckers must accurately track their hours in a driver’s daily log, accounting for all 24 hours of each day. Government inspectors with appropriate clearance may check these logs at any time. If a trucker is found in violation, he or she may be fined and/or taken out of service. Companies may be fined with up to $11,000, while individual truckers may be fined with up to $2,750.
Of course, in addition to complying with special FMCSA shift limits, truckers are also obligated to follow the standard rules of the road. If a truck driver causes an otherwise avoidable accident because he or she is driving recklessly and disobeying traffic rules, he or she could be liable for any deaths or injuries which result. Some examples of negligent and reckless driving could include:
- Excessive speeding.
- Driving while intoxicated (DUI).
- Failure to signal properly.
- Failure to obey red lights and stop signs.
- Disregarding posted weight or height limitations.
- Driving at speeds inappropriate for the weather and/or road conditions.
If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one, call our Brooklyn truck accident lawyers at (718) 843-0300 to see how we can assist you. We keep our case evaluations confidential and your first consultation is free of charge, so contact Sullivan & Galleshaw today to get started.