Buffalo is located in Western New York and is the second largest city in the state behind New York City with a population of 1.13 million. With many major roads filled with thousands of commuters going back and forth to work, it is easy to see why accidents with large trucks can happen in Buffalo. Not only do truck accidents happen, but a large percentage of them—nearly twenty-five percent—result in serious injuries. 23 percent of truck accidents result in injury.
If you have been seriously injured by an unsafe truck or a careless, distracted commercial driver, you may have suffered serious injuries requiring substantial medical care and treatment. When facing these costs, it can be essential to hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries, rehabilitation costs, and other damages. To speak to one of the aggressive and determined injury lawyers of Reiff & Bily’s The Truck Accident Team, call 800-896-6173 today or contact us online.
Common Types of Truck Accidents in Buffalo
Large trucks including tractor-trailers, semis, 18-wheelers and big rigs, can be found on almost every road in Buffalo, and are a common fixture on all roads. Large commercial vehicles collectively driver nearly 288 billion miles each year. Tractor trailers and other large trucks are unfortunately prone to accidents, and some of the most common accidents include:
- Rear-End Collisions are one of the most common accidents in the trucking industry. These accidents are so common partially because of the distance it takes for a truck to come to a stop. While most rear end accidents are minor and have earned the name “fender benders,” when there is a tractor, semi, or other truck involved it often involves severe damage to both the car and the occupants inside.
- Jackknife Accidents are common accidents that occur when the drive axel either jams of locks up which is usually caused by the driver engaging in some dangerous driving behavior such as speeding or making sudden turns. In a jackknife accident, the trailer behind the cab swings uncontrollably in either direction until it comes to a 90-degree angle with the cab. The swinging trailer can sweep cars out of the way crushing them and pushing them into other lanes. Because of the violent nature of these accidents they often result in a rollover.
- Construction Accidents are common because construction zones can be difficult and hazardous for any vehicle. Construction zones often do not have much room for cars to maneuver and if a driver is not paying close attention can cause a truck to slam on their brakes resulting in other accident types.
- Runaway Trailer Accidents are a unique and devastating accident type that is largely unique to tractor trailers. A runaway accident most often occurs when trucks brakes are not properly functioning, or the driver is going too fast when they are on a decline. You may have noticed truck ramps on the side of the road on interstate highways after a decline. These are in place in the event that a truck is unable to slow their vehicle.
- Rollover accidents are another devastating type of truck accident. While these accidents are not unique to trucks, and it is not uncommon for a car, van, or SUV to rollover, these accidents are not only more frequent for large trucks, but also are more deadly. These accidents often happen because of a large trucks size paired with high speeds, tight turns, steep inclines or declines, or sudden movements.
- Underride Collisions are an accident that is unique to tractor-trailers and can be some of the most devastating and deadly accidents on the road. In an underride accident, a smaller vehicle will be shoved underneath of the trailer resulting in crushing injuries and catastrophic impact.
Buffalo drivers know that the weather is also a major factor in many accidents, and when drivers do not accommodate for the poor weather they can find themselves in an accident.
New York Insurance Laws
When you are involved in an accident in New York, the first thing to understand is how the insurance laws work and operate.
New York is one of a minority of states that employs a “no-fault” system. Under a “no-fault” system it does not matter who is at fault for the accident, your insurance company will automatically pay a portion of your medical bills. In addition to paying a portion of your medical bills the no-fault insurance system will also pay a portion of your lost wages. Under this no-fault insurance system in New York 50,000 of your expenses stemming from an injury can include the following benefits:
All necessary doctor or hospital bills and other health service expenses, payable in accordance with fee schedules established or adopted by the New York State Insurance Department.
80% of lost wages up to a maximum monthly payment of $2,000 for up to 3 years following the date of the accident.
Up to $25.00 per day for a period of 1 year from the date of the accident for other reasonable and necessary expenses the injured person may have incurred because of an injury resulting from the accident, such as the cost of hiring a housekeeper or necessary transportation expenses to and from a health service provider.
A $2,000 death benefit, payable to the estate of the covered person, in addition to the $50,000 coverage available for economic losses.
The Law states that you may only recover from a negligent driver if you have sustained a “serious injury.” The Law goes on to define serious injury as follows:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature that prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts that constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
Injured in Buffalo New York and In Need of a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Trucking accidents don’t discriminate, leaving victims emotionally, physically, and economically devastated. When you choose Reiff & Bily’s The Truck Accident Team, you choose a team of trucking attorneys who will give undivided attention to your cause no matter what time of day. We return your calls within 24 hours, making house calls if we need to. To schedule a private, no-cost evaluation, call the law offices at (800) 861-6708 or contact us online.