Archive for the ‘Truck Accident’ Category

Buffalo Drivers Are Endangered by Truck Driver Fatigue

Dec 2017

Buffalo truck accident attorneyTruck accidents can be among the most injurious of all crashes on the roads of New York. This is because large, heavy vehicles create more powerful force in a collision, and therefore cause more damage than smaller passenger vehicles. While fatigued driving is dangerous for any motorist (it’s been likened to alcohol impairment), it is particularly problematic for commercial truck drivers. The advice of a Buffalo truck accident attorney can help improve victims’ access to compensation for their injuries.

New Yorkers Suffer Real Losses as a Result of Fatigued Truck Driving

The consequences of truck driver fatigue have proven severe for New York motorists.

For one example of the potential damage, consider a recent report from The Drive, which detailed a truck accident in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn early one morning. The operator of a private garbage collection company truck fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into 13 parked cars. Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but the accident caused thousands of dollars in damage to the cars involved. It is unknown whether the garbage collection company carried sufficient insurance coverage to pay for the extensive damages caused by its driver. Surprisingly, the New York Police Department confirmed that the driver was neither arrested nor ticketed as a result of the incident.

Unfortunately, the consequences of fatigued truck drivers are not limited to monetary damages. Some families will never see their loved ones again as the result of a fatal truck accident caused by a tired driver. This is what happened after a devastating hit-and-run accident in Lancaster, New York. According to WKBW, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a Canadian truck driver, who told police he fell asleep behind the wheel and woke from the force of the impact. The trucker also told police that he stopped a short distance later, but “didn’t see anything.” He thought the small crack in his bumper was from a deer. He was arrested after his truck was spotted at a port of entry between New York and Quebec.

What is Being Done About Fatigued Truck Driving?

For years, federal regulations have restricted the hours of service a commercial truck driver may work. These regulations create required rest breaks and sleep periods and limit the number of hours that may be driven in a given day or week. Now, the Federal Register reports that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking permission to conduct a study into excessive hours on the road by those employed in the commercial motor vehicle industry. The results of this study could provide life-saving insight into the causes of commercial truck driver fatigue.

The problem of commercial truck driver fatigue is best addressed by instilling a sense of personal responsibility in truckers and the transportation companies which employ them. Because truck drivers are often paid by the mile, not the hour, many drivers have a financial incentive to push the boundaries of safety and squeeze in as many miles as possible. Some transportation companies even encourage their drivers to engage in such safety violations. Such behavior puts other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians at risk wherever the truck happens to travel. It is important for injury victims to hold truck drivers and transportation companies accountable for this dangerous conduct. Consult with a Buffalo truck accident attorney as soon as possible after any traffic accident to protect your important legal rights.

New Safety Technologies Can Prevent Thousands of Truck Accidents Every Year

Nov 2017

Buffalo truck accident attorneyFor years, truck accidents have been a significant public safety hazard on American roadways. Drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians are all at risk when encountering large trucks.

Due to the size and weight of large trucks, the damage and injuries caused by an accident can be devastating. But new and improved safety technologies may offer important opportunities to substantially reduce the number of truck accidents in New York state.

Life-Saving Safety Technology

As safety technologies are developed, improved, and made prevalent in new vehicles, research has focused on how effective these new systems are at preventing accidents and injuries. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted an investigation into four such technologies.

Researchers concluded that onboard video based safety monitoring could prevent up to 63,300 crashes per year. All other systems investigated were also found to prevent accidents and save lives. They include: lane departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking, and air disc brakes.

Electronic Logs to be Required on Trucks

Another potentially monumental change involves holding truck drivers and carriers accountable for honest reporting of hours. This ultimately drops the risk of fatigued trucking accidents. For years, commercial truck drivers have been required to keep travel logs of the time and distance they drive each shift. However, hard copies of these pen-and-paper logs are not always accurate. The system relied on honest self-reporting from truck drivers. Because truck drivers are often paid by the mile – not the hour – truck drivers had a financial incentive to push the federal limits for daily driving, and squeeze in as many miles as possible.

Now, federal law will require that commercial trucks be equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs), to relay tamper-proof data directly from the vehicle. This will allow federal inspectors to ensure that drivers and companies are complying with federal laws – restricting the number of hours a trucker can drive within a 24 hour period. reports that all commercial trucks must be equipped with ELDs no later than December 18, 2017. Electronic logging devices do not change the number of hours a truck driver can drive in a single day. Rather, they provide a more accurate reporting system, to ensure that drivers are complying with the law. Commercial truck drivers are currently limited to eleven hours per day. ELDs link to a truck’s engine to monitor its run time, and send alerts when it exceeds the federal limit.

There are many ways in which truck drivers and transportation companies can reduce the risk of accidents. Failure to do so may constitute negligence, which creates a legal obligation to compensate truck accident victims for financial losses. Contact an experienced Buffalo truck accident attorney as soon as possible after any type of injury. Truck accident victims have the legal right to be compensated for their injuries and financial losses.

How Federal Rules Affect Buffalo Truck Accidents

Feb 2016

Buffalo truck accident attorneyWhen truck accidents in Buffalo occur, it is very often not the person who is in the truck who gets hurt in the incident. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicated the victim who is killed in a deadly truck accident case is outside the truck and in a different passenger vehicle 70 percent of the time.

Whenever a victim is injured or killed in a collision involving the truck, the victim needs to know his rights. There are federal rules, called Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) which can have a profound impact on how a collision victim’s case goes against a trucker or trucking company.

How Federal Rules Affect Buffalo Truck Accident Cases

In a typical Buffalo car accident, the victim of the crash has the opportunity to sue a driver who caused the accident provided the victim’s injuries are more serious than would be covered by NY’s no fault insurance. Victims have to prove the other motorist was negligent, which is usually done by showing the driver was unreasonably careless.

Victims who sue will recover compensation paid by the insurer of the careless driver. Drivers have to buy $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in liability coverage. As a result, insurers pay out a maximum of $25,000 to each injured person and a maximum of $50,000 total to all victims of a particular accident if the driver who caused the crash only had minimum coverage. Victims need to take insurance policy limits into account when deciding whether to settle because insurers don’t pay more than policy limits.

In a truck accident case, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 387.9 ensures there will be much more insurance coverage available. Trucks covered by FMCSRs have to have at least $750,000 in liability coverage.  If the truck is one which transports hazardous materials, the minimum amount of liability coverage could be $5 million.  The high coverage limits mean there is a lot more money available for victims of truck crashes to be compensated after a collision occurs.

FMCSRs can also help crash victims in another way. These federal rules dictate a lot of aspects of truck operation, truck maintenance, and truck driver behavior. In the event any of the rules are broken, the victim can show the violation of the safety regulation to create a presumption of negligence. This can make it easier for victims of truck accidents to meet their burden of proof and demonstrate they are entitled to damages.

Because FMCSRs dictate so many different aspects of truck operations and truck maintenance, the federal rules also require truckers and trucking companies to keep extensive records.  Victims of truck collisions can subpoena the records during the discovery process as they prepare their case and seek compensation. These records can serve as important evidence to help crash victims prove how their accident happened and to help crash victims show they should be entitled to compensation for losses from the trucker and/or trucking company.

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Buffalo Driver Safety Around Large Commercial Trucks

Jul 2014

Buffalo truck accident attorneyTruck accidents are often deadly because the force and size of the truck can have a devastating impact on a standard passenger vehicle. Truckers need to do their part to operate their vehicles safely and to follow the rules of the road. However, drivers also need to understand the risks that truck accidents present and should do everything possible to avoid becoming an accident victim.

Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the number of truck accident deaths is on the rise. This is an important wake-up call to motorists to remember to follow safety rules. Those who are hurt or people whose family members are killed in a trucking accident should also consult with a personal injury lawyer for help pursuing a claim for compensation.

Truck Accident Death Rate Rising

The NHTSA data showed that the number of truck accident deaths increased from 2011 to 2012. There were 3,921 people killed in large truck accidents in 2012, which was a four percent increase compared with the number killed in 2011.

Large trucks are defined by the NHTSA as vehicles that have a gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more. Trucks meeting this description were in a total of 330,000 accidents over the course of 2012. In total over the course of that year, there were 104,000 people injured in truck collisions in addition to the almost 4,000 deaths.

Truck accidents were most likely to cause fatalities to non-truck occupants. Drivers and passengers in other vehicles accounted for 73 percent of the victims who lose their lives in collisions with large trucks. People who were not in any vehicle at all accounted for 10 percent of the deaths and truckers made up 18 percent of victims.

The number of people who were not vehicle occupants who were killed in truck crashes went down in 2012, but there was a significant increase in both trucker fatalities and in fatalities among occupants of other vehicles. Five percent more people in other vehicles died in 2012 and nine percent more truckers were killed.

Because trucks can be so dangerous and cause such a significant risk of death among people in cars, motorists need to ensure that they are doing everything possible to try to reduce the risk they will become involved in an accident. Geico has provided some tips to drivers to follow related to truck blind spots; truck stopping distances; and passing.

Drivers are urged to remember that trucks have larger blind spots than passenger cars. To tell whether a trucker can see you or not, check if you can see him in the truck’s mirrors. If you cannot, you are in the “no-zone” or blind spot and you are at risk because the trucker is not able to see you.

Drivers should also be sure that they can see the truck’s front in their rear view mirror before pulling over when passing and should avoid ever cutting off a truck because trucks have such large blind spots.

Contact a Buffalo personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of James Morris at 1-800-477-9044 or visit  Attorney advertising.

Runaway Trailer Blamed for Seven Fatalities in NY Trucking Accident

Jun 2013

According to, a tragic accident in Central New York recently led to the loss of seven lives. The accident occurred when a trailer hauling crushed cars slammed into a minivan carrying two families. The trailer had disconnected from a big rig that was traveling south, before colliding with the van traveling north.

Our Buffalo injury attorneys know that tractor-trailers can be very dangerous on the roads. When a trailer is not properly secured and the trailer comes loose from the rig, the accident can have devastating consequences. Truck drivers and trucking companies have a legal obligation to ensure that this type of disaster does not occur and can be held legally responsible for losses when they fail to live up to their responsibility to the public.

Tractor-Trailer Accident Has Devastating Outcome

The tractor-trailer was a salvage truck that was driven by a 26-year-old Manlius man. There was an additional passenger in the truck at the time of the accident.  Neither of the two people in the truck suffered injuries in the crash.

When the trailer came lose from the rig, the driver of the van reportedly saw it coming and tried to swerve off of the road and out of the way. Unfortunately, this effort to avoid a collision was not successful as the trailer was moving too quickly. The trailer tore the van apart, with some of the victims ending up under the trailer.

Rescue workers at the scene of the accident had to jack the trailer up in order to retrieve the victims. Unfortunately, seven of the passengers in the van died as a result of the crash. The seven victims included four children between the ages of four and seven as well as three adults in their early 20s.

Investigators are attempting to determine the cause of the accident, with possibilities including actions on the part of the trailer driver as well as mechanical failure. The salvage company that owned the truck has been operational since last year and the truck was subject to one roadside inspection in March of this year. When the truck was inspected, there were minor violations found including the vehicle being four pounds overweight and lacking in both required reflective tape and a mandated fire extinguisher. The truck was not taken out of service as a result of this inspection.

It is clear, however, that something went very wrong leading up to this tragic crash.  Whether the trucking company or driver failed to inspect the truck, or whether the driver did something dangerous or negligent that led to the trailer detaching, there is a good chance that the driver and trucking company will be held legally liable for the wrongful death of those killed in this tragic crash.

Trucking companies can be held responsible not only for their own negligence or failure to inspect a vehicle, but also if their drivers do anything careless or negligence that leads to a crash occurring.

If you’ve been injured in Buffalo or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of James Morris today for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-477-9044.

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How to Work Effectively With Your Lawyer

It is important to work effectively with your lawyer so you can have a satisfying working relationship with one another. This is an excellent article about the subject, which we wanted to both share and elaborate upon.

It is a good idea to bring a copy of your own insurance documents (declaration page), when you first meet with your attorney. Your attorney’s office can also obtain this information if necessary, but as the article above mentions, the client can sometimes access this information quicker.

You should also bring with you other information your attorney may need to begin working on your file. For instance, for a personal injury matter, this may include the names and contact information for all your treating physicians, or copies of police accident reports. There are often key deadlines early on in a potential lawsuit, so the more information your attorney has on hand from the outset of your case, the better.

Keep all documentation, including letters and bills from doctors and insurance companies. Discuss with your attorney early on what types of documents they may want you to forward to their office, and be sure to do so in a timely fashion. This will help to ensure the attorney will always have up to date information in your file when they need it. Sometimes it is as simple as mailing (or e-mailing) it to the office when you receive it, or leaving it with the assistant or paralegal in charge of your file.

Keep a list of questions you would like to discuss with your attorney, as well as notes about what happened since the last time you spoke, which will help you make the most of your next appointment.

For a personal injury or medical malpractice case, it can be useful to keep a calendar documenting symptoms and keeping track of all your medical appointments.

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New York bus drivers asleep at the wheel put everyone at risk

Fatal bus accidents caused by bus drivers falling asleep at the wheel happen all the time. A recent New York Times article documents just how common and dangerous accidents caused by sleeping bus drivers can be in America. Studies show that 13 percent to 31 percent of commercial vehicle crashes are due to driver fatigue, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

What would you do if you were injured by a bus driver who fell asleep at the wheel in New York State? You need a determined New York bus accident lawyer on your side. You need the Law Offices of James Morris. An experienced Buffalo bus accident attorney at our firm can fight for your rights if you’ve been hurt in a crash. Serious accidents demand serious attention. Turn to a New York bus accident attorney with years of experience fighting for clients. Contact the Law Offices of James Morris.

Many bus drivers push themselves too hard. They work long hours, skip sleep and avoid taking breaks. The result: many bus drivers fall asleep at wheel. That’s when accidents happen, often with deadly consequences.

Each year, driver fatigue causes 100,000 car accidents nationwide. That’s one accident every five minutes. Sleeping driver accidents result in roughly 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities each year across the country.

More than 60 percent of adult drivers have admitted driving while feeling drowsy in the past year. Even more shocking, 37 percent or 108 million drivers nationwide have confessed to falling asleep at the wheel.

Bus accidents can be complicated. We understand complex state and federal transportation laws. We know how to hold bus companies responsible and unresponsive insurance companies accountable. We work tirelessly for results.

Don’t let someone else’s reckless behavior ruin your life. Take action. Contact James Morris today. We mean business.

The information contained in this communication is provided for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as legal advice on any subject matter.

Tractor trailer trucks a hazard in New York State? Know the facts

Tractor trailer trucks can be intimidating. These large, 18-wheeler trucks tower over our cars as we travel on our nation’s highways. There seems to be more of them than ever as well – and you’re right.

In the last 40 years, the number of tractor trailers has more than doubled. In 1970, there were 905,082 tractor trailers. By 2008, that figure had skyrocketed to 2,215,856. The number of all large trucks (vehicles over 10,000 pounds) has also increased sharply in recent years, from 7.7 million in 1998 to 9 million in 2007.

Not surprisingly, large trucks are involved in many accidents. One out of nine traffic fatalities in 2008 resulted from a collision involving a large truck, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In New York State, 112 large trucks were involved in 6.6 percent of all fatal accidents statewide in 2008. Just recently, a 32-year-old Niagara Falls woman was killed when a large truck ran a red light and slammed into her in Niagara Falls, New York.

In an effort to prevent such accidents, numerous laws exist governing the trucking industry. Drivers must undergo rigorous training to obtain a license. Strict rules govern exactly how many hours drivers can operate a truck. Weigh stations make sure trucks do not exceed legal limits. And this year, the federal government banned texting while driving for all commercial truck drivers nationwide.

But accidents happen. Truck drivers flaunt the law and send text messages. Others ignore rest breaks and fall asleep at the wheel. Some drivers overload their trucks and lose control of their vehicles. Such irresponsible behavior is unacceptable.

Some truck companies will use every trick in the book to get out of compensating you for your injuries or your family’s loss. Insurance companies can be just as frustrating, doing everything they can to blame you for something you didn’t do.

Don’t be intimidated by their scare tactics. Fight back. Get the professional help you need to defend your rights. Get someone who knows how to win complicated cases. Go with the Law Offices of James Morris.

James Morris is a member of the American Association for Justice’s Interstate Trucking Group and he has attended their national conference.  The information obtained from this national network of attorneys with expertise in large truck accidents is invaluable in handling cases against trucking or bus companies.  Please call Mr. Morris if you have a truck or bus accident case and need an experienced lawyer.

Get your life back. Take action. Contact James Morris today. We mean business.

The information contained in this communication is provided for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as legal advice on any subject matter.