Commercial Truck Accidents
For many motorists, nothing is scarier than the thought of colliding with a commercial truck. Commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than the average passenger vehicle, putting other drivers and passengers at a serious disadvantage on the road.
Approximately 500,000 commercial truck accidents occur every year in the U.S. leading to the deaths of about 5,000 drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. The trucking industry continues to grow, bringing in more than $600 billion every year, which puts more and more commercial trucks on American roads.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can help. Our personal injury lawyers have more than 80 years’ worth of experience in personal injury litigation, and we have the resources and skills to fight for you. We have collected more than $300 million for the injured in New York and New Jersey, including several large verdicts and settlements in semi truck accident cases:
- $6.2 million for a commercial truck driver who was struck by another truck driver while pulled off on the side of the road, resulting in a disabling brain injury
- $5 million for a husband, wife, and four children after they were struck by a semi truck making an improper turn
- $2.8 million for a driver who crashed into the side of a truck that pulled into his path, resulting in multiple knee surgeries
- $1.067 million to a truck driver who suffered fibromyalgia after a multi-vehicle accident
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are committed to thoroughly investigating who and what caused your accident. Contact The Law Offices of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (201) 585-9111 or fill out an online form to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.
Injuries in a Commercial Truck Accident
Drivers and passengers of smaller cars involved in commercial truck accidents are at risk for a number of injuries, including:
- Brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Severe burns
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries
- Psychological injuries
It is very important to seek medical attention right away after a commercial truck accident. Many serious injuries are apparent right away, but certain injuries—like a concussion or whiplash—may not appear for hours or even days after an accident. Seeing a doctor right away can help identify internal injuries, and it can actually bolster your lawsuit, should you choose to file a personal injury claim. Seeking medical attention right away gives you reliable medical evidence from right after the accident, and it helps prove that you suffered serious injuries.
Damages in a Commercial Truck Accident
Personal injury cases come down to “damages,” or the monetary compensation for harm caused by the accident. Damage awards comprise the monetary, mental, and physical harm of the commercial truck accident. These amounts are often agreed upon during settlement negotiations, during which both parties and their attorneys negotiate a fair amount of compensation based on the circumstances of the accident. If the parties are unable to agree, the case can go to court, where a judge or jury will hear the case and choose whether or not to award damages.
There are two types of damages available in a New Jersey personal injury lawsuit: compensatory and punitive damages. The vast majority of personal injury cases deal with compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate the plaintiff for the financial, physical, and mental cost of the commercial truck accident. Compensatory damages include compensation for:
- Current and future medical treatment: includes hospitalization costs, ongoing treatment expenses, rehabilitation costs, and any expected future medical expenses
- Lost wages: compensation for wages lost while out of work due to the injury, as well as decreased earning capacity in the future if the injury will continue to affect the victim
- Loss of enjoyment of life: covers loss of enjoyment of day-to-day activities, recreation, hobbies, and exercise
- Pain and suffering: the physical and emotional pain caused by the accident, including the pain of the physical injuries and ongoing emotional trauma
- Wrongful death: compensation for the family or estate of someone killed by a negligent driver
Punitive damages are reserved for cases of extreme negligence or intentional conduct. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct and are awarded rarely.
When determining liability and damages, New Jersey operates under a “modified comparative fault” system. Under this system, the plaintiff does not have to prove the defendant was 100 percent at fault in the accident to win damages; rather, the plaintiff only needs to prove that the defendant was more at fault. So long as the plaintiff can prove he or she was less than 50 percent at fault, damages may still be awarded. However, the total damage amount will be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.
For example, say a woman was driving on the interstate next to a commercial truck when she takes her eyes off the road for a moment to change the radio station. At that moment, the truck driver gets distracted by his cell phone and drifts into the woman’s lane, causing $100,000 worth of medical expenses and damage to her vehicle. If the court decides the woman was 10 percent at fault for not having her eyes on the road, then the truck driver is 90 percent at fault for the accident. Therefore, the woman will be eligible to win up to $90,000 in damages (reduced by 10 percent from $100,000).
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer
Commercial truck accidents are serious and often devastating events. If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial truck accident, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi. Our skilled personal injury attorneys have more than 80 years’ worth of experience fighting for clients throughout New York and New Jersey, and we have the resources to fight for you. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, including collecting maintenance documentation, interviewing witnesses, tracking down service logs, and consulting medical experts. Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.