Accidents involving semi-trucks or big rigs can result in extremely serious injuries, or even death. A fully-loaded large truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds, while a typical passenger vehicle weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. In a collision between vehicles of such different sizes, there is a strong likelihood of significant or even fatal injuries. For this reason, it is vital that you retain a Long Island Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer with expertise in trucking accidents to handle your case.
On Long Island, residents are all too familiar with the rumble of semi-trucks, particularly on the Long Island Expressway (I-495). The sheer number of these trucks on our roadways not only contributes to traffic jams, but increases the likelihood that you may be involved in a trucking accident. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4,317 people killed in trucking accidents in 2016, a 5.4% increase since 2015, and 72% of those killed were occupants of vehicles other than large trucks.
Winkler Kurtz, LLP is committed to helping victims of trucking accidents recover compensation for their losses. We understand the complex laws governing truck crashes, including both state and federal regulations, and put that knowledge to work for you. For a trusted Long Island Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer, give our firm a call at (631) 928-8000.
Our Long Island Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
JASON W. HAKE
Jason W. Hake is a Partner at Winkler Kurtz, LLP and is dedicated to representing individuals who have been injured through the wrongful acts of others. Acknowledged as a skilled litigator, Jason aims to resolve every matter in a professional and civil manner while ensuring his clients are fully prepared and educated on every aspect of their case.
Jason believes that each client is valuable and deserves responsive, compassionate and diligent representation. As such, Jason prides himself in maintaining communication with his clients and providing them with the legal and factual information required to make meaningful and well-informed decisions regarding their case. Whether his clients have been injured or are related to someone who has tragically lost their life as a result of someone’s negligence, Jason understands that each case carries its own unique challenges and possibilities. Jason’s practice is shaped around his attentiveness to the specific details and law governing his cases as well as his commitment to the needs and goals of each individual client.
As an active member in the law community, Jason is a proud member of the New York State Bar Association, Suffolk County Bar Association, and Nassau-Suffolk Trial Lawyers Association.
He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2013, concentrating his practice in the area of personal injury law. Jason has handled numerous cases involving significant injuries, automobile accidents, premises liability, construction site accidents and medical malpractice.
Born in Suffolk County, Long Island, Jason received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2007, where he earned a “Socratic Legacy Award” for his scholarship in the area of American Philosophy. Afterwards, Jason earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Maurice A. Dean School of Law at Hofstra University in 2012, additionally earning numerous academic awards and graduation honors for excellence in the study of tort law. While in law school, Jason joined Winkler Kurtz, LLP as a Law Clerk in 2011, becoming partner in 2016 for his exceptional contributions the firm.
Causes of Semi Truck Accidents
As with other types of motor vehicle accidents, there are numerous potential causes of trucking crashes. This can include aggressive driving, speeding, driving under the influence, or distracted driving. However, there is one type of accident that is unique to the trucking industry: unrealistic schedules set by trucking companies.
In an era of razor thin profit margins and an increased pressure to produce, many trucking companies have established compensation systems that encourage their drivers to move goods faster. In other words, drivers are rewarded for getting from Point A to Point B in shorter amounts of time, which may lead to drivers being on the road for more hours than permitted by law or to drivers speeding to meet these deadlines. When trucking companies set unreasonable goals, drivers may risk their safety and the safety of others on the road, increasing the overall risk of road accidents.
Trucking companies may also cut corners on fundamentals such as training their drivers on driving techniques, defensive driving, and safe operation of semi-trucks. This may ultimately lead to even more accidents, with unskilled drivers operating 80,000 pound trucks in an unsafe manner.
If you have been injured in a collision with a truck, an experienced Long Island trucking accident lawyer can thoroughly investigate every aspect of your case. This includes the possibility that the policies and training practices of the trucking company may have contributed to the accident. In this way, you may be able to demonstrate that it was more than just negligence on the part of the driver that led to your injuries — it was a failure on the part of the entire company.
Filing a Lawsuit With A Long Island Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
The trucking industry is tightly regulated by both state and federal authorities. Filing a claim in a trucking accident requires an understanding of the complex state and federal regulations that govern truck drivers and trucking companies. For example, a Long Island trucking accident lawyer may be able to demonstrate that a truck driver failed to comply with a mandatory New York rest period before getting behind the wheel again and proceeding to hit your vehicle. Having an attorney who understands these laws and regulations is critical to achieving an optimal result.
Trucking accidents may also involve multiple responsible parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the equipment or vehicle manufacturer, government entities, and other negligent drivers. In some cases, the manufacturer of a hazardous material that is being carried by a truck may also be named in a lawsuit. A skilled Long Island trucking accident lawyer will examine every angle of your case, from the equipment maintenance schedule to the trucking logs to witness accounts, to put together a strong case for compensation.
Work with a Long Island Trucking Accident Lawyer
After a collision involving a semi-truck, the truck driver will contact his employer and insurance company. The driver will likely have a team of insurance adjusters and attorneys on his side, pushing his version of events and downplaying his role in the accident. To level the playing field, you will need a seasoned Long Island trucking accident lawyer. Your attorney can advocate for your best interests and protect your right to compensation for your injuries so that you can focus on your health and well-being.
At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, our firm is devoted to helping victims of accidents. Since 1987, we have dedicated our practice to working for clients who have been hurt due to the negligence of other parties — including truck drivers. We understand the law, and use our knowledge to help our clients receive the compensation that they deserve. Contact us today at 631-928-8000 or by contact us online to schedule a consultation.
What Percentage Of Truck Accidents Are Caused By Cars?
Trucking accidents are all too common on Long Island. If you spend any time on the road, you are no stranger to the risk of accidents involving big rigs and semi-trucks. Accidents involving semi-trucks can result in severe injuries, and in some tragic cases, can result in death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, our Long Island commercial vehicle accident attorney at Winkler Kurtz, LLP can provide you with the expertise you need to handle your case.
What Percentage Of Truck Accidents Are Caused By Cars?
Unfortunately, the majority of truck accidents are caused by cars. According to the American Trucking Association, 80% of all truck accidents are caused by vehicles. Large trucks present unique dangers to smaller passenger cars. Truckers should be highly aware of the dangers presented by their vehicles, and other drivers need to exercise caution in their presence. As with any other motor vehicle accident, various factors cause trucking accidents. Drivers of passenger cars are often to blame for accidents involving large trucks. Some common things that drivers do that can cause accidents to include:
- Quickly changing lanes in front of a truck.
- Driving in the areas behind or beside the truck where the driver can’t see them.
- Improperly merging into traffic.
- Brake checking a truck.
- Unsafe passing.
- Driving between trucks.
- Distracted driving.
A large truck can weigh over 8 tons, and a collision between vehicles of different sizes presents a significant risk of injury or even death. To become a truck driver, you have to undergo many hours of training. However, some companies can cut corners on driving fundamentals like defensive driving and safe operation of semi-trucks. The trucking industry can be quite demanding. Unrealistic schedules set by companies to increase profits can put a lot of stress on drivers. When these goals are set in place, a driver might compromise their safety and the safety of others in order to meet the expectations set in place for them. Trucking accidents can also involve multiple responsible parties. This can include the driver, the trucking company, the vehicle manufacturer, and other negligent drivers. Filing a claim in a trucking accident can be complicated and requires a strong understanding of state and federal regulations governing truck drivers and trucking companies. Our Long Island commercial vehicle accident attorney understands the regulations and laws set in place. This knowledge is critical for achieving the best results.
Long Island Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney
After an accident involving a commercial truck, you will need an experienced Long Island commercial vehicle accident attorney to advocate for you and protect your rights so you can get the compensation you deserve. Our team at Winkler Kurtz, LLP, is dedicated to supporting our clients that have been harmed in accidents. To schedule a consultation, call 631-928-8000 or contact us online!
Seven of New York State’s Ten Most Dangerous Roads on Long Island
Pedestrian accidents are far too common in New York. These types of accidents can have a devastating impact on their victims. When a car or other vehicle strikes an unsuspecting walker or jogger, serious or even deadly injuries can result.
Unfortunately, Long Island is home to some of the most deadly roads in the state for pedestrians. There are a large number of cars commuting on Long Island roadways on any given day. Many of these roads lack the safety features that would otherwise protect pedestrians from being struck by vehicles.
As a Long Island pedestrian accident attorney can explain, there are challenges associated with recovering after this type of crash. However, with a knowledgeable lawyer by your side, you can achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
New York’s Most Dangerous Roads
News 12 recently ran a piece on the ten most unsafe roads for pedestrians in the state of New York. Of these roads, seven are on Long Island — demonstrating the need for improvements to our roadways and traffic systems to protect pedestrians and bicyclists.
The seven dangerous roads on Long Island include Middle Country Road, Sunrise Highway, Route 110, Wicks Road, Jericho Turnpike, Hempstead Turnpike, Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road. Rounding out the list were Broadway in Manhattan, Queens Boulevard, Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.
Jericho Turnpike (also known as State Route 25) is the deadliest area for pedestrians, according to this report. From 2010 to 2012, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign reported that 16 people were killed along the Jericho Turnpike in Suffolk County. Approximately half of the deaths occurred on an 11.5 mile stretch between Centereach and Ridge.
This road is designed to move a high volume of traffic quickly through residential and commercial areas, yet has few safety measures that are designed to protect pedestrians. Simple measures, such as crosswalks and pedestrian islands, could help to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths.
Downstate, approximately half of pedestrian deaths occur on roads like the Jericho Turnpike. According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, these type of roads make up just 14% of the roadways in the state of New York.
Previously, Hempstead Turnpike (Route 24) in Nassau County was considered the most dangerous road in New York. This 16 mile stretch of road is routinely listed as one of the most unsafe roads for pedestrians in the tri-state survey.
New York Laws on Pedestrian Accidents
There are few things more frightening than being hit by a car, truck or SUV when you are walking, jogging, or running alongside a road, or attempting to cross the street. Unfortunately, this happens far too often in New York. According to the New York Department of Health, there are an average of 12,506 emergency department visits each year due to motor vehicle traffic-relation pedestrian injuries. Each year, there are an average of 312 deaths due to these accidents.
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, working with a skilled lawyer such as our Long Island Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer can help you recover the money that you deserve for your injuries. In New York, there are a number of laws that govern personal injury claims. If these rules are not followed, your claim may be denied.
First, the statute of limitations governs all personal injury claims in New York. Generally, you will have two years from the date of a pedestrian accident to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. However, if the person responsible is a government employee — or if a governmental entity is liable for your injuries — then there are different time limits.
Second, New York law requires you to prove that the driver was negligent in causing your injuries. While this may seem obvious in a case where a driver hit a pedestrian, there are many factors that could go into a determination of negligence. For example, if you were on your phone and not paying attention when you stepped out into the street, that may reduce the amount of compensation that you are entitled to recover.
This is known as comparative negligence. In New York, if you are partially at fault for an accident, your recovery will be reduced by the percentage that you are at fault. In the example above, if a jury determines that you are 30% at fault for the accident by stepping out into the street without looking, and awards you $90,000, your recovery will be reduced by 30%, or $30,000. That will leave you with a total award of $60,000.
Call A Long Island Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you are likely overwhelmed with stress, anxiety and pain. The thought of dealing with a legal claim may be too much to handle. Winkler Kurtz, LLP can help. For over 25 years, our dedicated team of legal professionals has worked with victims of all types of accidents to help them recover the compensation that they deserve for their injuries. Call us at 631-928-8000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced Long Island pedestrian accident attorney.