Benefits of having a New Jersey truck accident attorney on your side
Truck accidents are usually more complex than other types of motor vehicle accidents. Because of their size, speed, and heavy cargo, they are among the deadliest accidents and may result in serious and catastrophic injuries for those fortunate enough to survive. Experienced New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers can assist significantly with the legal process moving forward.
It can be difficult to obtain compensation for commercial vehicles or 18-wheeler accidents. Therefore, effective legal guidance can be useful for your case.
What are the common causes of New Jersey truck accidents?
There can be many reasons for truck wrecks contributing to minor or major injuries. It is vital to know the underlying cause and other essential criteria contributing to truck collisions. Truck crashes can be caused due to
- Driving under the influence;
- Distracted driving;
- When the truck driver violates the traffic signs on the highways.
In the trucking industry, driver fatigue is considered the primary cause of accidents. It happens because trucking companies try to give incentives if the truck drivers come ahead of schedule or on time after long hauls.
What are the fundamental injuries sustained after a commercial truck wreck?
Commercial trucks include semi-trucks, big rigs, and tractor-trailers, and can cause severe injuries. Some of the primary injuries that are reported are rib and torso damage, dislocated discs in the spine, lacerations, head injuries, long-term brain injuries, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and even wrongful death when the victim dies.
What To Do Following a New Jersey Trucking Accident?
You must take the following steps if you have sustained injuries in a trucking accident:
- Report the accident – You must immediately call the police and get the accident reported. You can even visit the police station if you are feeling fine and can move without serious injury.
- Seek medical attention – It is crucial to get yourself treated by a medical professional. Even minor injuries like road rash can lead to larger health issues in the future if you do not get immediate medical attention. Therefore, you must seek a doctor for any injuries suffered in the crash.
- Obtain the information of the other drivers – You should write down the vehicle plate number and record the driver’s contact details, license number, and insurance information. If multiple parties were involved, you should do your best to obtain as much information as possible about each.
- Gather evidence at the accident scene – The next step you should do following an accident should be to gather evidence. Evidence will help you prove negligence and will be necessary to support any future claim. Without proper evidence, your claim will be delayed and may even be denied.
- Check for witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to record their statements. It may be easier to collect their contact information and follow up at a later date, but the fresher the statement is after an accident, the better.
- Avoid posting on social media: Posting the accident on social media could create issues and may affect your claim. Therefore, you should avoid posting anything on social media.
Many people face injuries due to garbage truck accidents and are unsure about how to seek legal help. Whether it is a city garbage truck, a private commercial truck, or a tractor-trailer, you should never hesitate to discuss the accident with a competent New Jersey Truck Accident attorney.
How to determine liability in a New Jersey Truck Accident
In a truck accident, there are often several parties who may share liability. Determining liability is fairly straightforward in most passenger vehicle accidents.
Several parties potentially share responsibility for an accident involving a truck. Determining liability can be tricky and complicated. You can discuss your case with a New Jersey Truck accident lawyer to learn more about joint or shared liability.
To help you understand better, here are some examples of parties that can be held responsible for a truck accident. When you sustain injuries, you may have a claim against these parties:
- The driver;
- The manufacturer;
- The trucking company;
- The owner of the truck;
- The owner of the cargo.
A New Jersey auto accident Lawyer can help you to identify who is responsible for a truck accident. There are times when the company or the manufacturer may be responsible and liable for your injuries.
Liability varies from case to case, and they can investigate the facts of the case to determine which parties may be liable for compensation. You should discuss all aspects of the case to help achieve a full, factual picture of the accident.
What Is The Time Limit For Filing The Claim In New Jersey?
Under New Jersey state law, the plaintiff has a deadline of two years from the date of the accident to file a legal action. The process of getting compensation is complicated, and one should not delay.
Depending on the circumstances and available evidence, the process may take some time. The plaintiff, however, can contact a New Jersey truck accident lawyer for assistance throughout the process. They will evaluate the facts of the case, including documentation of any injuries, and will help the plaintiff receive just compensation for their injuries.
If a government entity is involved, you will have a shorter time to file a compensation claim. The laws differ slightly when government trucks or employees are involved. Therefore, the help of a legal professional may be crucial if you wish to proceed with a claim against a government entity. If the statute of limitations period expires, your claim may be dismissed at the outset. There are a few exceptions.
The insurance agency will not approve your claim, and the court will dismiss your case if you do not file within the 2-year statute of limitations. Therefore, it is important to follow deadlines and ensure that claims are filed within the requisite period. You will have a period of 90 days to file a notice of the claim.
Who Regulates New Jersey Commercial Trucks?
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) works toward creating a balance between the requirements of motorists and communities in the freight and trucking industry. NJDOT has some rules and regulations for maintaining the safety initiatives and regulations that are according to the trucking industry.
Further, commercial vehicles are regulated at both the state level by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and at the federal level by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). There are regulations on the securing of cargo, height, and weight of the trucks.
There is a reference guide that comprises the length, height, and weight limits for commercial trucks. On highways, commercial vehicles must not have more than 8 feet in width and 8 feet 6 inches on designated network routes. The combination of commercial trucks and other vehicle types must not be more than 13 feet 6 inches in height on all highways.
Length Limits for Different commercial vehicles
|Type of commercial vehicle||Length limit|
|Truck semi trailer||62 feet on all highways|
|Tractor Trailer||No limit on all highways|
|Semi trailer||63 feet when carrying a non-divisible load|
|Tandem trailer||28 feet with two trailers|
|Truck||40 feet on highways and 50 feet when carrying a non-divisible load|
The weight limits that are permitted are 80,000 pounds in overall gross weight, 34,000 pounds for a tandem axle truck, and 22,400 pounds for a single axle truck.
Victims who have suffered accidents with commercial trucks can also pursue a claim. The commercial trucks include tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, garbage trucks, dump trucks, semi-trucks, and other types of large trucks.
Important Information About Truck Laws in New Jersey
Before we discuss the legal process further, let us discuss what laws are applicable in New Jersey. The state has various laws to ensure the safety of drivers and minimize such accidents. When a driver or the company fails to obey the rules, they may be liable for your injuries.
You can file a legal action to sue them for their negligence or reckless conduct. The size and weight of trucks make them especially dangerous. Therefore, it is imperative for drivers and the companies they work for to obey the following laws when driving a truck in New Jersey:
- Getting a Commercial Driver’s License: Driving a commercial truck requires special training and knowledge. Therefore, a driver must pass state tests and get a commercial driver’s license. It is essential to pass both the written and driving skills test to obtain a commercial license.
- Hours of service: The state has strict laws on the number of consecutive hours a driver should remain on the road. Fatigue and drowsiness are some of the leading causes of truck accidents around the globe. Regarding these issues, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted certain guidelines for hours of service.
- Distracted driving policies: Drivers should not use any handheld electronic devices while driving. These devices can lead to distractions and may risk the lives of those who share the road or even innocent bystanders. There are penalties and fines for drivers who do not obey this law.
- Cargo securement: Drivers should inspect the vehicle before taking the road. They should check that the cargo does not exceed the applicable weight limits. The driver may be held liable for the accident if they violated these laws by failing to conduct pre-operational checks.
- Drug and alcohol policies: Drivers must pass a drug test and not operate the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Operating any motor vehicle under the influence of a mind-altering substance is a serious violation of the law that can result in criminal charges.
- Maintenance of the truck – Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that the equipment is safe. They should regularly inspect the truck and see if it requires any maintenance and repairs. You could sue the company if the company allowed the driver to operate the vehicle without taking proper care and maintenance, and that failure resulted in an accident.
Companies, manufacturers, and drivers must adhere to the laws noted above. You may be entitled to seek compensation in a personal injury claim if you violate the laws.
If the law imposes a duty on truck drivers, they can be considered negligent and liable for the injuries and harm caused to you for failing to meet their responsibilities under the law.
A Glimpse at the Truck Accident Statistics in New Jersey
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), if we analyze the 5 years, commercial trucks in the U.S. were involved with:
|3||Property damage crashes||1,144,000|
Driver’s error has been the fundamental factor that has caused tractor-trailer crashes in New Jersey
|Failure to yield right of way||320||4.3%|
|Impairment( Fatigue, alcohol, illness)||299||4.1%|
|Failure to keep in proper lane||248||3.4%|
According to Truck Accident Statistics, data compiled by the New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Investigation Unit reports that 524 fatal crashes occurred in the year 2018. The data reveals that improper driving is one of the primary causes of truck crashes.
Therefore, drivers and the companies they work for must obey applicable highway laws and regulations related to the trucking industry. An experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney will always stand by your side to help you in the claim process for your injuries and other damages.
Contact New Jersey Truck Accident Attorney at The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman
You may be entitled to compensation when you sustain injuries because of the negligent operation of a truck. You should speak to an experienced New Jersey semi-truck accident attorney to assist you with filing a compensation claim. They will go the extra mile to help their injury clients.
You may be able to seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and emotional suffering. Schedule a free case evaluation.