Have You Been Injured in an Accident Caused by a Negligent Truck Driver or Company?
Large trucks pose significant safety risks to other motorists because the vehicles can be difficult to control and often cause catastrophic damage and injuries when a collision occurs on the roadway. That is why particularly large commercial vehicles are governed by special laws in New Jersey and other states. When a truck driver acts negligently and fails to responsibly operate their vehicle, that negligence can turn a safely moving tractor-trailer into a dangerous weapon and cause a devastating tractor-trailer accident. Operating a truck or tractor-trailer requires a special license and strict adherence to safety and maintenance regulations. A truck driver who acts carelessly or recklessly on the road can turn innocent motorists into victims of a serious accident. Similarly, a company who fails to operate in accordance with the stringent regulations required of trucking companies in New Jersey can set the stage for a catastrophic collision.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a negligent truck driver, call an experienced New Jersey truck accident attorney at our firm as soon as possible. We represent clients in Monmouth County, Ocean County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, and throughout New Jersey in trucking negligence cases and we are here to help. We also handle accidents that occur due to trucking negligence on the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. Our team of highly skilled accident attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve and ensure your interests are aggressively advocated for throughout the legal process. Call (732) 303-7857 to speak with a lawyer on our team or reach out online to receive a free evaluation of your trucking negligence case.
Causes of Truck Accidents on New Jersey Roads & Highways
Trucks play a vital role in commerce in New Jersey, moving millions of tons of products and items within state borders every year. Yet these commercial trucks, which tend to be very large so that they can carry heavy cargo, also pose significant safety risks to other motorists, especially drivers and passengers in smaller cars. In fact, tractor-trailers represent a significant portion of the most serious and deadly accidents on the highways in the state of New Jersey.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most common cause of large truck accidents is truck driver negligence. Trucking negligence comes in various forms and can happen for any number of reasons. Some of the most common forms of trucking negligence include:
- Speeding: Trucking negligence can occur because a truck driver is driving above the speed limit. This is particularly dangerous when there is inclement weather, such as rain or snow, and the truck is moving too fast for the dangerous road conditions. Moreover, many truck accidents happen on the highway, where speeding poses a heightened risk of injury because a collision often involves multiple vehicles traveling at high rates of speed.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers who use cell phones to talk or text while driving place everyone at risk. Even a momentary distraction while driving can have tragic consequences, especially when the distracted driver is operating a truck and has already spent several hours on the road. A distracted truck driver could lose control of their vehicle and swerve across lanes, causing a deadly head-on collision or striking a pedestrian near the roadway.
- Drowsy driving: Truck drivers who skip mandated safety breaks to obtain rest place other motorists at risk of injury or death. Under both federal law and NJ law, commercial truck drivers are required to take mandatory half-hour breaks for every eight hours that they are on the road. Commercial vehicle drivers are also capped at 70 hours of driving in a single week. When truck drivers ignore these safety regulations and drive for excessively long hours, there is an increased risk of driver fatigue that puts other motorists at risk.
- Drunk driving: It is against the law for anyone to operate a motor vehicle, including a truck, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Intoxicated motorists are often responsible for the worst auto accidents because they have slow reaction times and struggle to avoid a collision. The consequences of drunk driving are magnified when the intoxicated driver is operating a truck or tractor trailer, as the sheer size of their vehicles compared with other motor vehicles can cause catastrophic damage when there is a crash.
- Overloaded truck: Truck drivers can be negligent even before they start driving. For example, when a truck driver fails to properly secure a load which is being hauled in their vehicle, they run the risk of overloading the truck and causing a spillover accident or a rollover accident. New Jersey law requires commercial truck drivers to secure cargo in the trailer before traveling on the road.
- Negligent truck maintenance: Truck drivers are expected to properly inspect the condition of the truck and perform general maintenance on the vehicle before they begin traveling on the road. For example, the New Jersey Department of Transportation requires commercial truck drivers to install lighting on the exterior of the truck and reflectors on the trailer, as well as inspecting the vehicle to ensure that it is in proper working order.
Liability for Trucking Negligence in NJ
Trucks that are involved in rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, and other types of motor vehicle accidents, can cause catastrophic injuries to other drivers and passengers. A rear-end accident on the highway, for example, can result in a multiple-vehicle pile-up that injures numerous motorists. Some of the worst injuries caused by trucking negligence include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, nerve and tissue damage, broken bones, paralysis, and wrongful death.
When a trucking accident occurs, you can expect investigators, police officers, insurance representatives, and other individuals to be on the scene very quickly. It is therefore important that you take immediate action and talk to a qualified attorney who can gather all the information needed to pursue your truck accident claim and protect your interests very early in the process. For example, it may be necessary to obtain the truck driver’s driving record to determine whether they have a history of dangerous driving. It might also be necessary to obtain the truck’s GPS monitoring device or black box recorder, which can help to determine whether the truck driver was speeding at the time of the accident.
Get Help from an NJ Truck Driver Negligence Attorney Now
Were you seriously injured in a trucking accident caused by a negligent truck driver? The attorneys at We Can Help Law are prepared to help you. Our experienced lawyers represent individuals who have been harmed in truck accidents involving driver negligence in Freehold, Middletown, Howell, Holmdel, Toms River, Atlantic City, and towns throughout New Jersey. Whether you were involved on a major highway or a local road our legal team will thoroughly investigate your claim and formulate the best case for maximum damages.
To speak with one of our experienced NJ truck accident attorneys, call our law firm anytime, day or night, or fill out the online contact form. We will schedule a time to meet with you and discuss all of your legal options. As with all personal injury matters, if you decide to hire us for your trucking negligence case, our attorneys will only receive a legal fee when we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
Large Truck Accident Statistics, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Regulations and Interpretations for Truck Drivers, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration