According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), truck routes in and out of New Jersey extend to nearly every state of the continental United States, and New Jersey’s reliance on trucking is greater than many realize. Trucking remains the lifeblood of the American economy, and New Jerseyites involved in one or more segments of the trucking industry know this well. Trucking, when combined with negligence, also presents extreme danger to people on and near the roads of Union City.
If you or your loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident, you may have a legal route to obtaining compensation. If you want a Union City truck accident lawyer at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C., call our team today (201) 585-9111 for a free consultation.
The Legal Definition of What Constitutes a Truck
The term “truck” covers an array of different vehicles, and not all trucks present the same level of danger. The possibility for a truck to inflict significant damage to humans and their property depends on:
- The length and height of the truck
- The weight of a truck
- The nature of the truck’s function
- The load being carried on a truck at any given time
The differences that exist between trucks, such as their weight, determines the classification that a truck falls into. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, there are eight truck classifications. The higher a truck’s classification, the higher its potential to cause serious injury or death when involved in an accident. Accidents involving trucks that are used for commercial purposes come with a few legal considerations that are not applicable in collisions that do not involve commercial vehicles.
Responsibilities of Truck Owners and Drivers
When a Union City truck accident involving a commercial vehicle occurs, there are three parties who may be examined for liability:
- The truck driver
- The person who employs the truck driver
- The person who contracts the truck driver
These parties have several responsibilities that fall within their duty of care. For people who own and maintain truck fleets driven by employees or contractors, responsibilities include:
- Vetting all drivers (both employees and contractors) for red flags or disqualifiers in their personal and professional histories
- Maintaining their fleet of trucks, including purchasing new parts and making necessary repairs in a proactive way rather than reactive, to avoid a dereliction of duty
- Training all employees and contractors on best driving practices, safety practices, driving hour limits (As per the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA)), and the importance of safety over speed
- Implementing a clear, consistent system for gauging driver performance and doling out punishment for violation of safety and performance expectations
- Implementing random drug and alcohol testing for all drivers
Taking these steps is meant to minimize the odds that an unfit driver will get behind the wheel of a rig or engage in behaviors that increase the risk of an accident. Drivers also have several responsibilities that are paramount to others’ safety, which include the following duties:
- To refrain from using drugs or alcohol before or during driving
- To abide by limitations on driving periods
- To obey speed limits and other rules of the road
- To ensure their truck has no mechanical problems that could pose a risk
- To ensure that their load is secured before departing
- To refrain from any behavior that qualifies as distracted driving
- To be aware of the danger trucks can pose to others
Most truck drivers recognize the immense risk that their vehicle—which may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds—poses to other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. When a driver does not act accordingly, they may act negligently and possibly cause serious injury or death.
If you or a loved one was impacted by a New Jersey truck accident, call our team at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. today at (201) 585-9111 for a free consultation.
A Union City Truck Accident Lawyer May Be Able to Help
A Union City truck accident lawyer can lay out the steps for you to pursue compensation after a New Jersey truck accident if you or your loved one was the victim of negligence. A lawyer can help assess your case and determine who should be the subject of your lawsuit.
Truck Drivers and Their Employers May Share Liability
Depending on the circumstances of your New Jersey truck accident, your lawsuit will name one or more people as defendants. Defendants in your case could include:
- The driver of a truck
- The owner of a truck
- The person who pays the truck driver, which could be a private individual or government entity
- Another party who contributed to your accident in some way
Your Union City truck accident lawyer will familiarize themselves with the facts and evidence of your accident to help you determine who should be named as defendants in your lawsuit.
A Lawyer’s Goal Is to Prove the Presence of Negligence
People who own trucks, pay drivers, and drive trucks are responsible for taking every foreseeable step to prevent harm to others. Any failure to adhere to this responsibility may become the focus of your case if it proves that you were the victim of negligence. In other words, your lawyer may argue that the defendants in your case did not take every foreseeable step to protect you from harm.
Your lawyer will work toward this goal by:
- Conducting an investigation into the history of any companies or individuals who are named as defendants in your lawsuit
- Collecting evidence pertaining to your specific accident
- Formulating an evidence-based case for why you are entitled to compensation
- Completing every legal requirement to bring your lawsuit to completion
- Representing you in settlement negotiations or at trial
- Defending your rights
Your lawyer’s central mission, which includes proving negligence, is to help you obtain any compensation that you are entitled to. This may include coverage for:
- Your medical expenses originating from the truck accident
- Lost income due to the injuries you have suffered
- Pain and suffering caused by the accident and its aftermath
Call Our Team at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. Today
A New Jersey truck accident can knock you out of the workforce, require you to endure medical care, and derail your life. You may be entitled to financial coverage for your losses if negligence played a role in your truck accident. Call our team at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. today at (201) 585-9111 for a free consultation.