Semi-trucks, when fully loaded, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can be up to 70 feet in length. Compared to the average car, which weighs between 3,000 and 7,000 pounds and averages 14 feet in length, it is easy to understand how these large vehicles can cause so much damage when an accident occurs.
To file for compensation, your attorney must establish who was at fault for the accident. This may not always be as easy as you would think when it comes to semi-truck accidents. Even if it appears obvious that the driver of the truck was responsible for the accident, there may be additional underlying factors. It is not uncommon for trucking accidents to have multiple responsible parties.
Because of the complexity of these cases, your NJ truck accident attorney will have to do a complete investigation of the accident and its causes. Some of the things that will be investigated will include:
Negligence on Behalf of the Driver
When examining the information surrounding the accident, your attorney will lok at the performance of the driver. This will include areas such as:
- Distracted Driving
- Driving While Fatigued
- Driving Over Daily Hours Limit
- Driving Over Speed Limit
- Reckless Lane Changing
- Proper Training
This type of investigation applies to both owner-operators and employee drivers.
Negligence on Behalf of the Trucking Company
There are many areas where the trucking company can be held responsible for the accident, even though they were not physically operating the vehicle. Some of these areas include:
- Improper Training of Drivers
- Scheduling Tight Deadlines Forcing Driver To Speed or Work Over Hours
- Failure To Maintain Trucking Equipment
Negligence on Behalf of the Shipping Company
The company that is shipping the freight and loads the truck may also be held liable for the accident if:
- If the Freight Was Loaded Incorrectly
- The Freight Did Not Match Weigh Bill for Weight
Negligence on Behalf of the Maintenance Company
If the accident was due to mechanical failure, your attorney would investigate the company that provided the maintenance on the truck to see if:
- Correct Parts Were Used on the Truck
- Certified Truck Mechanic Performed Services
In addition to these areas of investigation, your attorney will also conduct investigations by:
- Working With Accident Reconstruction Specialists
- Interviewing Police Officers and First Responders
- Interviewing Witnesses
- Taking Pictures of Vehicles and Scene of Accident
Trucking Accident Victims Benefit From Legal Representation
Trucking accidents are almost always catastrophic events for the people in the much smaller passenger vehicle. Trucking accidents are associated with multiple and serious injuries for the parties involved. Many of these injuries take extended periods of time to recover from or need life-long care.
Establishing fault in a trucking accident is crucial to the success of the case. If multiple parties are responsible, there will be multiple insurance companies covering the event. This is when it becomes very complicated. For the injury victim who is already trying to manage their injuries, this can become frustrating. Having quality legal representation can help ease the chaos associated with these types of accidents.
When you have been involved in a trucking accident, you want legal representation that understands the industry. You want to work with a law firm that has the resources that can effectively investigate the accident and make those who are responsible for the accident accountable for their actions.
Having an attorney manage your case will also provide you with the much-needed relief you deserve from dealing with the insurance company. It is difficult enough to try to manage your injuries, the doctor appointments, the changes to your lifestyle, and the pain you have to endure from the injuries without having the hassle of the insurers.
Insurance companies will say or do anything to reduce the amount of the claim and deny you coverages that you should receive. They “forget” benefit that they should provide, deny coverages that you need, and low-ball settlement offers to save their profits. Allowing an attorney to handle these issues ensures that you get everything that you are entitled to under New Jersey law.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, your best decision will be to hire an attorney. When you have legal representation, you can devote your time to recovering from your injuries.
Further reading: Truck Accident Statistics