South Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers
Getting Compensation for Injuries in a Truck Accident in New Jersey
Because of the size and weight of big trucks, truck accidents can result in serious injuries or death. If you suffer an injury in an accident involving a big rig, you may get compensation for your injuries. A trucking accident attorney can evaluate your case and determine whether you can get compensation from a truck driver, the driver’s employer, the owner of the truck or someone else responsible for the accident.
Statistics on truck accidents
Statistics compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show an increase in the number of truck accidents from 2016 to 2017 in the United States:
- Fatal crashes involving large trucks spiked by 10 percent — to 4,657 from 4,251.
- The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled rose six percent — to 1.56 from 1.48.
- Injury crashes involving large trucks went up five percent — to 107,000 from 102,000.
- Crashes with property damage only involving large trucks increased by three percent — to 363,000 from 351,000.
If you suffer an injury in a trucking accident, you will need a lawyer with a thorough knowledge of trucking regulations. On the federal level, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FMCSA regulate drivers and trucking companies. On the state level, the New Jersey Department of Transportation governs the trucking industry.
A trucking accident lawyer will investigate your case to determine whether drivers followed applicable regulations. A driver of a commercial vehicle weighing over 26,000 pounds must have a Commercial Driver’s License. The driver must comply with physical and entry-level training requirements. They cannot drive over 11 hours after 10 consecutive off-duty hours. The driver must also keep logbooks.
Causes of truck accidents
What are the common causes of truck accidents?
- The driver falls asleep or drives when exhausted.
- The driver is distracted, for example, texting and driving or checking GPS.
- The driver is exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for weather conditions.
- The driver is inexperienced or lacks proper training.
- The truck is defective or has a defective part, like faulty breaks.
- The truck is not properly maintained.
- The load in the trailer is unsecured or stacked improperly.
- The driver is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or using medication that they should not take when driving.
- The driver engages in road rage or drives aggressively.
- The driver changes lanes without checking blind spots.
Injuries in trucking accidents
Accidents involving large trucks can result in devastating injuries. You can suffer head injuries, broken bones and internal injuries. Injuries can be life-changing, result in permanent injuries and require long-term treatment.
Proving liability for a truck accident
In a truck accident, you must prove the truck driver was negligent to impose liability. For example, you can show the driver was operating their truck recklessly or over the speed limit. If you show the driver is liable, the driver’s employer is also liable. In negligence cases, you cannot recover compensation if your fault caused over 50 percent of the accident. If your fault is 50 percent or less, it reduces the amount of your recovery.
Parties other than the driver and their employer may be liable. The company that owns or maintains the truck may be at fault. A lawyer may show a repair shop performed work on the truck in a negligent fashion.
A manufacturer can be liable if a defect in the truck or a part of the truck caused the accident. You do not have to prove the manufacturer or seller of the truck or part was negligent. You only have to show that the truck was defective and that the defect caused the truck accident.
Getting compensation for injuries in a truck accident
If you suffer injuries in a truck accident, you can get compensation from the at-fault person. You can recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
What to do after a truck accident
If you of someone you loved was involved in a truck accident, they you may be unsure what to do next. What you do immediately after an accident is important. Here is a list to steps to follow in the aftermath of a truck crash:
- Call 911.
- Get medical attention. If you or someone else is injured.
- Take pictures. Get phots of any debris scattered at the scene, damage to the vehicles and skid marks on the road.
- Get contact information. Get the name and phone number of anyone who witnessed the accident.
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s).
- See a doctor right away. Some injuries do not manifest right away.
- Keep all records of medical treatment and doctor visits.
- Report the accident. In New Jersey, you must report a truck accident to law enforcement and the Motor Vehicle Commission Agency if a person is injured or killed, or there is over $500 in property damage.
- Contact a lawyer. A lawyer can begin to investigate the truck accident and start to negotiate a settlement to get you reasonable compensation for your injuries.
Getting legal help
You can get a free consultation with a lawyer to evaluate your case. What will a truck accident lawyer do after you hire them to take your case?
- Visit the scene of the accident.
- Talk to witnesses.
- Hire experts to examine the truck for defects or to reconstruct the accident.
- Check to see if the driver and trucking company followed trucking regulations.
- Get information from the truck’s electronic control module, the equivalent of an airplane’s black box, about the accident.
- Review your medical records and talk to your doctors to determine the extent of your injuries.
In New Jersey, you have two years to bring a suit to recover compensation for your injuries in a truck accident. Truck accident cases are difficult, so you need to hire a lawyer soon after the accident. While you recover from your injuries, you attorney will negotiate with the insurance company or attorneys on the other side to get you reasonable compensation for your injuries. Most cases settle, but if a settlement is not reached, the lawyer will take your case to court.
Did you suffer an injury in a truck accident? You may get compensation for your injuries. Talk to an experienced truck accident attorney at Petrillo and Goldberg at 856.249.9295 or visit https://www.petrilloandgoldberg.com to learn more.