What to Do After a Truck Accident in New York

Situated near the Great Lakes, New Yorkers have experienced full well the lake effect snowfall and the dangers that this can create on New York's roadways. The state's weather conditions are even more hazardous for commercial trucks with their heavy loads and limited maneuverability.

While motorists can modify how they drive in difficult weather conditions, even the safest driver faces the risk of uncontrolled or negligently-driven trucks regardless of the road conditions. With fatality rates from truck accidents on the rise, below you will find helpful information on what to do after a truck accident in New York.

Steps to Take at the Scene

Once the immediate chaos of an accident subsides, there are a few important steps that you should take in the immediate aftermath. In New York, drivers are required to stop and exchange specific information and, if there are any injuries or any damages in excess of $1,000, to report the accident within 10 days. Failure to do so or failure to provide the correct information to another driver or a police officer is a misdemeanor and can lead to suspension or revocation of a driver's license. Given that a truck accident will often involve injuries or significant property damage, your best bet is to simply call the police at the scene and let law enforcement investigate and create a report.

Regulations and Violations

One factor that distinguishes truck accidents from other types of roadway accidents is that they will almost always involve a company. These businesses face a slew of rules and regulations under state and federal law relating to such things as the licensing and work hours of drivers as well as requirements to maintain records on driver performance and qualifications, substance abuse testing, and traffic violations. New York also requires companies to review the records of their drivers annually.

While promoting safety on the roads, these regulations, unfortunately, are often violated. This creates roadway hazards and it also exposes businesses to increasing liability. Trucking companies are often sued for negligence under a respondeat superior theory where businesses are held liable for the actions of their employees, but they can also be directly liable for negligently hiring drivers or failing to comply with federal and state regulations.

New York Truck Accident Laws at a Glance

View the chart below to learn more about New York Truck Accident Laws and how they might impact you and your loved ones.

Statutes

New York Code Section 214 (statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage)

New York Code Section 388 (negligence in operation of a truck is attributed to the owner)

New York Code Section 509-s (requiring commercial carriers to review the driving records of their drivers every 12 months)

New York Code Section 600 (requirements to stop, exchange information and make reports after accidents)

New York Code Section 603-a (requiring police investigations of accidents involving serious physical injury or death)

New York Code Section 605 (reporting requirements after accidents)

Statute of Limitations

Personal Injury: 3 years from the date of the accident

Property Damage: 3 years from the date of the accident

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New York Truck Accident Laws: Related Resources

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