Get Just Compensation for your Accident Injuries
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in New Jersey caused by a big rig driver, it’s essential to understand that you have legal options to seek compensation from the truck driver and their employer. If you’re looking for a big rig accidents attorney in Newark, NJ, New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C. can assist you in holding them responsible for your injuries and related expenses.
Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys understands the complexity of truck accident cases and can help you navigate the legal system to get the compensation you deserve. We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident and identify all liable parties.
If you believe that your accident was caused by a negligent truck driver or due to issues with the truck or trailer, contact us for a free case review. We will assess your case and determine if you have the right to file a lawsuit. If we take your case, we’ll offer representation in your large truck accident case and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you need.
Don’t wait – the sooner you contact us, the better. We understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with the aftermath of a truck accident, and we’re here to help you through every step of the process. Call New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C. today to schedule your free case review.
What is a Big Rig Accident?
A big rig accident refers to a collision involving a large commercial truck, also known as a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or 18-wheeler. These types of accidents can be particularly devastating due to the size and weight of the truck, which can cause serious damage to other vehicles and injuries to drivers and passengers.
What Are the Federal Trucking Laws That Concern Big Rigs?
If you are driving on interstate roads or highways, you must comply with federal trucking regulations. These laws are outlined in Title 49 of the US Government’s Code of Federal Regulations, which covers rules for truck owners, carriers, drivers, and maintenance workers.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) establishes safety rules, while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces them to prevent injuries. Other federal agencies also enforce these laws and require truckers or their companies to carry insurance coverage. The amount of coverage depends on the type and weight of cargo transported.
For instance, federal regulations set limits on the number of hours truckers can work and drive during a shift. They can only work for 14 consecutive hours and drive for 11 hours, after which they must rest for 10 straight hours. Truckers cannot work for more than 60 hours over seven days and must maintain detailed logbooks. Violations of these regulations can result in fines, license suspensions, or even criminal charges.
What Are State Trucking Laws Concerning Big Rigs?
In New Jersey, state trucking laws concerning big rigs require commercial trucks to comply with size and weight restrictions. The maximum allowable gross vehicle weight is 80,000 pounds, and the maximum length is 53 feet for semitrailers. Additionally, trucks carrying hazardous materials must adhere to special permits and restrictions.
New Jersey also enforces strict regulations for truck drivers, including licensing requirements, mandatory rest breaks, and logbook requirements. For instance, truckers are required to take a 30-minute break after driving for eight hours and maintain a logbook that accurately reflects their hours of service.
New Jersey state law prohibits texting while driving for all drivers, including commercial truck drivers. It also requires truckers to use hands-free devices while driving and to secure their loads to prevent shifting and falling cargo.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents?
New Jersey’s auto insurance law usually handles minor vehicle accidents on a no-fault basis. However, when a serious injury results from a crash, determining the responsible party becomes crucial. Our experienced attorney has extensive knowledge of the common causes of large truck accidents, including:
Exhaustion and Overwork
Typically, drivers are restricted to a maximum of 70 hours of work per week, with mandatory rest periods of at least 30 minutes during an eight-hour shift. They are also limited to 11 hours of driving and 14 hours of work per day. Despite these regulations, violations can still happen.
Speeding and Other Traffic Violations
Driving a tractor-trailer requires a lot of skill and concentration, even in ideal conditions. However, if a driver operates their vehicle at an unsafe speed or violates a traffic law, it can become extremely difficult to avoid a collision.
Cell Phone Use
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents involving various types of motor vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, and trucks. As a result, using handheld devices and texting while driving a big rig is strictly prohibited.
Substance and Alcohol Impairment
Driving under the influence of alcohol can significantly impair a driver’s abilities, concentration, and response time while operating a vehicle. Due to this, New Jersey and other states have reduced the legal blood-alcohol concentration level to 0.04 percent for large truck drivers.
Unsafe Large Trucks
If a rig is overloaded, poorly maintained, or contains defective parts, it could potentially lead to a catastrophic accident.
What Are the Different Types of Big Rig Accidents in New Jersey?
A jack-knife accident happens when a tractor-trailer suddenly brakes, causing the trailer to swing outwards and form an acute angle with the other vehicle. The term “jack-knife” comes from the appearance of this angle, resembling the folding of a pocket knife.
When a large truck loses control and slides sideways, it can result in a rollover accident.
When a tire suddenly bursts, it can be difficult for a driver to control a small car. Now imagine the impact of a tire blowout on a tractor-trailer that can weigh up to 60,000 pounds.
Wide Turn Accident
When a tractor-trailer completes a turn, it sometimes requires more space than a passenger vehicle.
Blind Spot Accident
Blind spot accidents happen when a large truck changes lanes without checking its blind spot for other vehicles.
Incorrectly Loaded Cargo
When the cargo inside a big rig is not properly secured or inspected, it can shift during transportation, throw the vehicle off balance, or even fall off and hit another vehicle, causing accidents and road obstructions.
A head-on collision happens when the front of a tractor-trailer crashes directly into the front of another vehicle.
A T-bone accident is when the front of a tractor-trailer collides with the side of another vehicle. The term “T-bone” comes from the visual appearance of the collision.
T-bone accidents are often caused by reckless driving on the part of the truck driver, such as failure to yield or running a red light.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Resulting From Big Rig Accidents?
Truck accidents can result in severe harm, even at low speeds, due to the size and force of commercial vehicles. Some of the injuries commonly associated with large truck accidents are:
- Fractures and breaks in bones
- Internal organ injuries
- Injuries to the neck and back, including whiplash
- Injury to the spinal cord and paralysis
- Amputated limbs
We are committed to fighting for fair compensation for our clients in New Jersey who have been injured or lost loved ones in big rig accidents. We are determined to pursue justice and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
What to Do Following a Big Rig Accident in New Jersey?
If you have been injured in a large truck accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, there are some steps you may want to consider taking.
Seek Medical Assistance
It’s essential to seek prompt and adequate medical attention after being involved in a big rig accident, particularly if you sustained injuries. Even if you do not notice any visible injuries, it’s still important to visit a doctor to assess whether there are any internal injuries or bodily harm. This will enable you to receive proper treatment and ensure your full recovery.
In case of a large truck accident caused by someone else, it’s important to gather information from the other party involved. If possible, try to exchange the following details with them:
- Telephone and mailing address
- Insurance specifics
- Driver license number
- Employer (if they work for someone else)
File a Police Report
It’s important to file a police report after an accident and obtain a copy of it from the police. The report can be valuable evidence when filing a big rig accident injury claim.
Collect and Preserve Evidence
If you can, take pictures of the accident and injuries, and keep all medical records like bills, reports, and X-rays. Gather contact information from any witnesses and note down any details about the accident that you remember. When you speak with your personal injury lawyer, provide them with all the evidence you have collected.
Report the Accident Carefully to Your Insurance Company
To ensure that your insurance claim for an accident is processed on time, it’s important to report it within the specified timeframe required by your insurance company. However, it’s crucial to avoid admitting fault or minimizing your injuries until you’ve consulted with a personal injury attorney.
Our versed big rig accidents attorney Newark NJ can guide you on how to interact with insurance adjusters and protect your legal rights.
Avoid Communicating With the Other Party’s Insurance Company
After an accident, the person injured may receive phone calls from the insurance company of the person at fault. They may offer a quick settlement, but it’s usually much lower than what the victim can receive by filing a big rig accident injury claim with a personal injury lawyer.
It’s important to avoid making any statements to the other party’s insurance company, as these statements can be used against the victim to reduce the compensation amount.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a big rig accident because of someone else’s negligence, it’s important to contact our personal injury attorney without delay. Our big rig accidents attorney Newark NJ will assist you throughout the case, ensuring that it progresses quickly and in the correct direction.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Your Big Rig Accident Injuries?
Establishing liability can be one of the most difficult aspects of a large truck accident case. When it comes to traditional passenger vehicle accidents, you can file a civil suit against the at-fault driver and make an insurance claim.
However, in the case of large trucks, some drivers are independent operators who lease their vehicles from third-party entities instead of being employed by trucking companies. This can make determining liability more complicated.
The Truck Driver
Truck drivers are usually skilled and licensed professionals who make an effort to comply with state and federal trucking regulations. However, some situations are beyond their control, such as bad weather, road hazards, heavy traffic, and faulty road signs that can lead to accidents.
But there are also cases where driver error or negligence is the cause of the crash, especially when they do not follow rules on rest and driving hours. If you were in an accident caused by the driver’s carelessness or violation of state or federal laws, you may have a valid claim.
If a truck driver causes an accident, their employer may also be held responsible. This is because the employer is responsible for the actions of their employees when they are working for the company’s benefit.
However, employers may try to avoid liability by arguing that their drivers are independent contractors or that they were not working at the time of the accident. It is important to consult our personal injury attorney who can help navigate these legal complexities and hold all responsible parties accountable for the damages caused by the accident.
The Cargo Loader and Shipper
When a trucker is transporting cargo on behalf of a third-party entity, that entity can share the responsibility for the accident if one of its workers improperly secured the cargo. For example, if the cargo is not adequately secured, it can become loose and fall off, causing a severe accident.
In this case, the cargo loader who failed to secure the items properly would likely share responsibility for the accident. It is essential to consider the liability of all parties involved in the accident to determine who is at fault and to seek fair compensation.
The Large Truck and Parts Manufacturer
If a truck component malfunctions, the cause may be due to inadequate maintenance, design, or manufacturing processes. If the issue is due to design or production flaws, the manufacturer or distributor may share liability. On the other hand, if the truck was inadequately maintained, the responsibility may fall on repair workers or companies.
The State Government
If the large truck accident was caused by a road design flaw or a maintenance issue, the local government can also be held responsible for the accident. For example, if a pothole or a hazard sign placed in the wrong location contributed to the collision, the local government agency could share liability.
However, proving fault against government agencies can be challenging. It is crucial to seek legal advice from our skilled big rig accidents attorney Newark NJ before proceeding with a claim against the government.
How Can I Determine Whether a Big Rig Accident Injury Claim Can Be Filed?
Four elements must be present for a large truck accident injury claim to move forward. These consist of:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- The plaintiff suffered injuries due to the breach
- The plaintiff’s losses can be compensated monetarily
If these conditions are met, you may file a big rig accident injury claim. Next, our knowledgeable big rig accidents attorney Newark NJ will examine the evidence and paperwork that you should bring to your large truck accident consultation.
What is New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence Rule?
In some cases, both the plaintiff and defendant may share fault in a truck accident. In New Jersey, the “modified comparative negligence” rule is used to determine the damages the victim can receive. The damages are calculated based on the relative fault of each party involved.
If the at-fault party is found to be 60% or more responsible for the accident, the injured party can recover full damages from them. This means that even if the plaintiff contributed to the accident, they can still recover damages. However, the victim’s fault cannot exceed the fault of the person being sued.
To recover damages in a large truck accident injury claim in New Jersey, the victim cannot be more than 50% at fault for causing the accident. If you are unsure about your contribution to the accident and want to file a big rig accident injury claim, you can seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney from New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C. who can help you navigate your case with compassion and success.
How to Handle Insurance Companies Following a Big Rig Accident?
It’s important for victims of accidents not to accept the first offer made by insurance companies. While insurance adjusters may seem friendly and helpful, it’s important to remember that they represent the interests of the insurance company, not the victim. Victims should avoid making any statements regarding fault or the extent of their injuries and damages, and they should not try to negotiate a settlement on their own.
Insurance companies deal with such claims regularly, but victims may not be aware of all the damages they are entitled to receive. Victims who have been injured in a large truck accident and are being contacted by insurance companies should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to help them negotiate.
Insurance companies may try to dissuade victims from hiring a lawyer by claiming it will be costly and time-consuming, but victims should not believe these statements. Having an accomplished personal injury lawyer can help victims obtain the maximum settlement possible from the insurance company.
At New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C., our big rig accidents attorney Newark NJ is a skilled negotiator and can handle insurance companies on behalf of victims. We know the negotiation tactics used by insurance companies and can determine whether the settlement offered is fair or not.
What Are the Damages Available in a Big Rig Accident Settlement in New Jersey?
Our team not only needs to establish negligence and causation through evidence collection but also prove the damages that you have incurred as a result of the accident and injuries. If you have been involved in a large truck accident in New Jersey, you may be entitled to damages such as:
- Medical care expenses
- Lost wages, benefits, and earning potential
- Replacement or repair of your damaged vehicle
- Personal accident-related out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Accident-related wrongful death damages for a deceased family member
What is New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations for Big Rig Accident Injury Claims?
If you have been injured in a big truck accident in New Jersey, you have a time limit of two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for compensation against the truck driver or trucking company.
This time limit is called the statute of limitations. Once this period expires, you may lose the opportunity to seek compensation for your injuries.
Why Do I Need a Big Rig Accidents Attorney in New Jersey?
If you have been involved in a big rig accident in New Jersey, it is important to consult with our versed personal injury attorney who focuses on handling these types of cases. Here are a few reasons why:
Knowledge and Experience
Big rig accident cases can be complex and involve many parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, and insurance companies. A big rig accidents attorney Newark NJ who has experience handling these types of cases will have a thorough understanding of the legal issues involved and the best strategies for pursuing your claim.
Investigation and Evidence Gathering
To build a strong case, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation and gather all relevant evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records. Our competent big rig accidents attorney Newark NJ will know how to conduct a thorough investigation and gather the evidence necessary to support your claim.
Negotiation and Litigation
Big rig accident cases often involve significant damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We can help negotiate a settlement with the insurance companies or, if necessary, take your case to court to seek the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations
In New Jersey, there is a statute of limitations on personal injury claims, which means that you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. Our personal injury attorney can ensure that your claim is filed within the appropriate timeframe to avoid missing out on your right to seek compensation.
Our Seasoned Big Rig Accidents Attorney in Newark NJ Can Assist You
If you or someone you know has been involved in a large truck accident in New Jersey, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C. is here to help. Our experienced big rig accidents attorney in Newark NJ can provide you with the advocacy and guidance you need to seek fair compensation for all the damages you have suffered.
In the unfortunate event that a loved one has died in a big rig accident, we can assist the family in seeking justice and compensation through a wrongful death claim. Our goal is to handle your injury claim or lawsuit professionally and efficiently so that you can focus on your recovery and moving forward.
We understand that dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating and stressful, which is why we work hard to represent your best interests. With years of experience in personal injury law, we have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.