Dedicated advocates for victims and their families
More than 500,000 trucking accidents occur each year in the United States, and about 5,000 of these result in fatalities. Those not deadly often result in devastating injuries. With the sizes of the vehicles involved, it’s not hard to see why.
The lawyers at DeToffol & Gittleman have more than 100 combined years of experience in trucking accident cases. We put the full force of the knowledge we have amassed to work to help those who have been injured by the negligence of the driver and trucking companies.
Truck accident cases can be difficult to pursue. An attorney must have a complete understanding of trucking laws and the drive to stand up to even the toughest insurance companies. Our lawyers never back down from a tough fight. We see the difference we can make in our clients’ lives and are inspired to pursue the best outcome for them.
Investigating 18-wheeler accidents in New York
One of the most important decisions you can make in the aftermath of a truck accident is contacting a lawyer who immediately can safeguard evidence. Once we collect and protect evidence, we review it, interview witnesses and review company records with a fine-toothed comb.
During the investigation, our legal team reviews evidence and interviews witnesses, examines trucking company polices and training methods, and obtains trucking company inspection records and maintenance and driving logs.
Intricate trucking regulations
New York, like many states, has adopted and modified the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to govern truckers in the state. One of many regulations for commercial truck drivers relates to hours of driving and hours of rest. The law states:
- A driver may not drive without first taking ten consecutive hours off duty.
- A driver may drive during a period of 14 consecutive hours only after coming on duty following ten consecutive hours off duty. The driver may not drive after the end of the 14-consecutive-hour period without first taking ten consecutive hours off duty.
- A driver may drive a total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period.
- After June 30, 2013, driving is not permitted if more than eight hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.
- No driver may drive after having been on duty 60 hours in any period of seven consecutive days if the employing motor carrier does not operate commercial motor vehicles every day of the week. A driver also may not drive after having been on duty 70 hours in any period of eight consecutive days if the employing motor carrier operates commercial motor vehicles every day of the week.
- After June 30, 2013, a driver may not take an off-duty period to restart the calculation of 60 hours or 70 hours until 168 or more consecutive hours have passed since the beginning of the last such off-duty period. When a driver takes more than one off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours within a period of 168 consecutive hours, the driver must indicate in the remarks section of the record of duty status, which such off-duty period is being used to restart the calculation.
As is evident, truck accident cases can be far more complex than a typical auto accident case and require specific wisdom and resources that an attorney who only handles car crash cases is unlikely to have. We understand the unique factors involved in these cases because we have handled so many of them.
We pursue claims against owners and operators of 18-wheelers when injury results from any type of negligence — poor driver training, texting while driving (which is illegal for all motorists in New York), inadequate vehicle maintenance or unsafe driving of any kind. Our attorneys take on cases involving even the most serious physical damage, including brain injuries and spinal injuries.