If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a commercial truck, semi-trailer truck, or another type of commercial vehicle, you know all too well the damages and impact one of these accidents can have on your life. Unfortunately, it is all too common for an accident between a passenger vehicle and an 18-wheeler to disproportionately affect the passenger vehicle due to the massive discrepancy between the size and weight of these vehicles.
What Causes Commercial Truck Accidents on Interstate 295 in New York?
Interstate 295 is a major highway that passes through multiple states, including New Jersey, New York, and Delaware, establishing key routes into and through New York City. The Delaware and New Jersey portions of I-295 run from its south end near Newport, Delaware to its north end in Lawrence Township, New Jersey, while the New York portion runs from Cunningham Park in Queens to the Hutchinson River Parkway at the Bruckner Interchange.
This highway is used by thousands of drivers every day, and among them are numerous truckers. Any time anyone is on the road, they have a duty to drive as a reasonably safe driver would. However, truck drivers have an elevated duty to operate their vehicles as safely as possible. Nonetheless, though truckers are expected to be safe, thousands of truck accidents still occur every year.
These safety standards are specifically intended to prevent commercial truck crashes, such as 18-wheeler wrecks, which can be caused by any of the following factors:
- Driving while fatigued, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has adopted and enacted laws specifically designed to keep drivers from being on the road for excessive periods of time. However, driver fatigue remains one of the leading causes of large truck accidents.
In fact, some reports indicate that when the truck is at fault, fatigue is a factor in nearly 90% of all accidents. Unfortunately, drivers who spend long hours on the road often turn to narcotics and other illegal substances in an effort to combat the effects of driving while fatigued. However, instead of preventing accidents, drug use may actually cause them. The drugs that are most used by truck drivers are:
- Alcohol and marijuana (about 13% of all drugs used)
- Cocaine (9%)
- Amphetamines and methamphetamine (7%)
- Other stimulants (5%)
- Phencyclidine (PCP) and codeine (less than 1%)
- Poor truck maintenance. The FMCSA has created a detailed list of inspection points that drivers and trucking companies are supposed to comply with before they send their vehicles out on the road. However, all too often an accident happens because one of the numerous moving parts of a truck does not operate the way it should. For example, the brakes or steering system can be defective.
- Reckless driving and speeding. Reckless driving – particularly speeding – is another leading cause of accidents on I-295. Speeding has been consistently linked to truck accidents, and is often the cause of fatal collisions and crashes.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in New York, or were hurt in an accident with another type of commercial vehicle, the responsible party should pay for your injuries and damages. However, this is often a complicated process that requires an intensive review of your case and the reasons behind your accident, which is one of the reasons it is so vital to be represented by a knowledgeable and experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer.
How Much is My I-295 Commercial Trucking Accident Claim or Settlement Worth?
When someone has been the victim of a truck accident, they are often truly concerned about the cause of the crash, but worry more about how they are going to pay for their medical bills and repair their car, as well as how they are going to cope with any long-lasting injuries. When a driver seeks to file a lawsuit against a truck driver, they will often bring their lawsuit under the theory of negligence, which is just a legal way of saying that one driver was careless when they were behind the wheel of their vehicle, leading to a preventable injury.
If the other driver was at fault for your accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Property damage, in the amount of damage done to your car, or for the value of the car in the event that it is totaled.
- Injuries that require medical attention and therefore incur medical bills. These economic damages can also provide an injured driver with money and income that they lost as a result of their accident.
- Some injuries are not as clear as, for example, a broken bone. However, state law also allows a person who has been injured to recover for their pain and suffering, mental anguish, and impairments.