Large trucks are ubiquitous on the roads of New Jersey and New York; it’s impossible to travel down a highway without seeing at least one large truck transporting goods or products.
While large trucks and their drivers may be an integral part of the economy, large trucks can be dangerous – when these trucks are involved in accidents, the damages are often catastrophic.
At the office of Kreizer Law, our experienced New Jersey and New York trucking accident lawyers understand the trauma and shock that you’re experiencing after a serious truck accident.
For help navigating the claims process and recovering the damages that you’re owed, call our New Jersey and New York truck accident attorneys today for your free, no-obligation consultation.
Truck Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in a single year throughout the United States, there were approximately 450,0000 large truck accidents reported. Of those, about one percent were fatal, and about ¼ resulted in injuries to those involved.
About 20 percent of fatal crashes involved a single vehicle, which means that the party that was hit by the truck was a bicyclist, pedestrian, or another non-motorized vehicle.
According to the data, the majority of truck accidents occur in rural areas; about 27 percent occurred on interstate highways.
How Truck Drivers Cause Accidents in New Jersey and New York
Truck accidents happen so frequently that one may begin to think that such accidents are unavoidable and inevitable. However, this is far from the truth – most large truck accidents would never occur but for negligence and preventable errors.
While truck drivers are not always to blame for large truck accidents, it is often truck drivers’ errors that lead to serious collisions. Common examples of drivers’ errors that can cause accidents to include:
- Driving while fatigued. Drivers are often tasked with driving for long periods of time and, sometimes, they do not get the rest and sleep that they need for safe operation. Driving while fatigued is a huge problem affecting truck drivers and leading to an increased risk of collision.
- Driving while impaired. Truck drivers may turn to various illegal, prescription, and nonprescription drugs and substances to help them maintain alertness while behind the wheel; sometimes, these drugs are impairing, and actually increase the risk of an accident. In addition to the use of these substances, other impairing substances, such as drugs and alcohol, may be consumed, too.
- Driving while distracted. It’s very important that truck drivers pay attention to their surroundings and keep their eyes on the road when behind the wheel. Daydreaming, eating, texting or using a cellphone, or engaging in any other activity other than driving can increase the risk of a collision.
- Driving aggressively. Aggressive driving refers to numerous different behaviors behind the wheel, including tailgating, failing to yield, speeding, performing illegal maneuvers, and more.
Of course, it’s not just the negligence of truck drivers that can cause a crash. Other parties whose negligence may lead to a truck accident include–
- Other drivers on the road. Other drivers on the road may be guilty of all of the dangerous behaviors listed above, too, including driving aggressively, driving while distracted, driving while impaired, driving while fatigued, and more.
- The trucking company. Trucking companies have a duty to hire truck drivers only after conducting thorough background checks, to property train truck drivers, to maintain trucks in good condition and to regularly service trucks, to hold drivers to federal hours of service requirements, and more. When these duties are breached and the breach is the cause of the collision, the trucking company can be held liable.
- A shipper or loader of cargo. If cargo is not properly loaded, stored, or secured, it could shift in transit. If cargo shifts, the entire body of the truck may shift, too, leading to an accident that a truck driver could not have prevented.
- A vehicle part manufacturer or distributor. Finally, another cause of truck accidents is vehicle defects. If a defective vehicle part is the cause of a crash, such as defective tires or brakes, then the vehicle part manufacturer or distributor could be held responsible.
How Are Trucking Accident Claims Different?
While a truck accident claim may follow the basic format and process as a regular car accident claim in New Jersey and New York, trucking accident claims tend to be more complicated. This is primarily because:
- The cause of the accident may be more difficult to determine;
- The injuries suffered by the victim may be very serious, increasing the value of the claim;
- There are multiple potentially-liable parties in a truck accident claim, and may be multiple sources of insurance available, too; and
- Trucking companies are usually armed with skilled, aggressive attorneys who will work hard to reduce a victim’s settlement.
The best way to protect yourself if you have been in a truck accident and to increase the value of your truck accident claim is to partner with an attorney who has experience in truck accidents and who isn’t intimidated by big companies.
Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
Our NJ and NY truck accident lawyers will work hard to help you recover the full value of your settlement. Types of damages that are recoverable in a truck accident claim include:
- Property damage expenses;
- Medical expenses, both present and future;
- Lost wages, both present and future;
- Any other economic damages you have suffered; and
- Noneconomic damages, including compensation for pain, suffering, and the value of your diminished quality of life, emotional distress, and more.
Call Our New Jersey and New York Truck Accident Attorneys Today
We know how serious the damages that you’ve suffered may be following a truck accident. We also know that if you attempt to file a claim on your own without legal representation, it’s more likely than not that you will be unable to recover your full settlement award.
The best way to protect your rights is to call an experienced New Jersey and New York truck accident attorney as soon as you can after being involved in a crash. Our lawyers will work hard to investigate your case, build your claim, calculate your damages, and negotiate a fair settlement. Call us toll-free (800) 4-JUSTICE ® – (800) 458-7842 to begin evaluating your case.
To schedule your free case consultation today, please just call our law office directly or send us a message requesting more information. We work on a contingency fee basis.