Each day, people are injured and lives are lost because of trucking accidents.
Research by New Jersey trucking accident lawyers shows the following: On average, there are more than 1,300 truck crashes in the U.S. every day. Most trucks weigh between 12,000 and 36,000 lbs. Even at low speeds, they can cause significant forces and impact. At 60 mph, the speed of most of our highways, they can cause tremendous forces.
Many times, a crash involving a truck causes severe personal injury, paralysis or the death of a loved one. Although the police and the DOT will likely do their own investigation, there are some basic steps that you can take to protect your rights should you or a loved one be injured in a truck crash.
What should I do first after a trucking accident?
Every action you take after the accident can have major consequences later — positive or negative. A New Jersey trucking accident lawyer might not be the first person you need to call, but you should get legal advice early. With that said, our philosophy is safety first.
Here’s a short checklist of what to do:
1. Seek medical help immediately. Even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, see your doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries may not surface for days or even weeks after the accident, so it’s best to make sure you catch any minor injuries before aggravating them.
2. File a police report. Check to make sure a police report was filed at the time of the accident. If it wasn’t, notify the police immediately. You’ll want to get all the details into the official report.
3. Collect names and contact information. Make sure you have the names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident as well as any witnesses.
4. Gather information. Take pictures of your injuries and damages to your car. Also, gather your insurance policies and notify your insurance company of the accident.
5. Start a journal. The best way to keep track of the mental/emotional impact of the injury is to keep a daily journal describing how the accident is affecting you and your immediate family. You should also write down all your expenses, notes, transportation costs, lost wages and any other relevant details.
6. Consult with a New Jersey trucking accident lawyer. It’s important to discuss your case with a New Jersey trucking accident lawyer before you fill out any insurance forms, sign any checks, or meet with an insurance company representative — particularly the other driver’s insurance company.
You can request a free case evaluation with one of our New Jersey trucking accident lawyers by filling out the Free Case Evaluation form on the left side of this page.
What causes trucking accidents?
New Jersey trucking accident lawyers have handled cases where poor judgment, a simple driving mistake, an unsafe act or excessive speed are causes of accidents. Research by New Jersey trucking accident lawyers show that about 500,000 trucking accidents occur in the U.S. every year, and many of them are preventable.
Here are common causes:
• Lane changes in front of another truck — it takes 40 percent longer for an 18 wheeler to stop than it takes a regular car, so if a driver doesn’t leave the other truck enough room to slow down, an accident will likely happen
• Driving between other trucks
• Misjudging speeds or distance of other vehicles
• Careless merging onto highway lanes
• Violation of road rules like traffic signs or speed limits
• Driver fatigue — causes more than 30 percent of all trucking accidents; can be lack of rest or lack of sleep
• Poor training — truck drivers have to pass several tests (from drug tests to road tests), attend truck driving schools, so if a truck driver is not fit to be behind the wheel, that’s a major problem
• Cell phone usage — a common problem for all drivers is greater with truck drivers because it takes longer for larger vehicles to stop
If I contact a New Jersey trucking accident lawyer, what can I expect?
A New Jersey trucking accident lawyer will help you through a very difficult time in your life. A New Jersey trucking accident lawyer will contact you within 12 hours of you requesting a Free Case Evaluation. The attorney will discuss the details of your case with you, including:
• Interviewing you to learn your side of the story
• Determining who’s at fault for the auto accident
• Evaluating the extent and severity of your injuries
• Estimating the amount of your loss
If your New Jersey trucking accident lawyer and you think there’s a strong case, your civil trial lawyer will take the next steps. This includes:
• Collecting all available information including the police report and other documents
• Interviewing all witnesses
• Reviewing your medical records including doctor reports and hospital records
• Finding an expert witness trained in accident investigations, if needed
Your lawyer does this so that he or she can re-enact the accident scene before a judge or jury. It is critical to have all the information available so you can paint as clear a picture as possible of what actually happened and who is at fault.
Do I have to file a lawsuit?
No, you don’t necessarily have to file a lawsuit. Many minor cases are settled without filing a lawsuit.
However, if you have suffered an injury that required medical attention and/or rehabilitation, an attorney can help you recover the expenses you incur as well as compensation for pain and suffering by presenting a strong case supported by irrefutable evidence.
How do I prove who was at fault in the trucking accident?
As mentioned earlier, it’s important that you file all of the appropriate reports and take note of everything that happens in your case. This way, when you need to protect yourself and prove who is at fault, you are able to do so. The heart of your case will involve proving what rules the other person violated and what conditions influenced the situation. These may be:
• Violation of traffic signals or signs
• Speed limit violations
• Weather conditions
• Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Traffic violations like driving on the wrong side of the road
Your NJ personal injury attorney will look at sources including police reports, state traffic laws and witnesses to present the strongest case for you.
How do I prove who was at fault in the trucking accident?
The exact amount of money you can recover can’t be determined without analyzing all information related to your injury including your medical bills, loss of income, and the severity of your injury. Each case involves a different set of circumstances, and therefore different amounts of money.
NJ law allows recovery for pain and suffering, disfigurement, past and future medical bills, and past and future lost wages. Also, if you have a previous injury, you may be able to recover damages for re-injuring or aggravating it.
What if none of the vehicles are insured?
Even if all cars involved do not have insurance, you may still be able to receive compensation for your injuries. If you were a passenger or driving someone else’s car, you may be able to recover uninsured benefits from your own car insurance.
Injured in a car or tractor trailer accident? We can help
If you or a loved on has been injured in an automobile crash or wreck, please contact our civil trial lawyers.
You can contact the Mininno Law Office by filling out the form on the left side of this page or call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.
|(c) Copyright 2011 Mininno Law Office|