Truck Accident Lawyers Serving New Jersey

Truck accidents are a major focus of our practice at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi. We have been repeatedly recognized as the best in our field by a number of elite legal organizations and leading publications.

Our truck accident lawyers are top-rated for their experience, knowledge, and use of the latest technology in handling these complex claims. We have achieved millions of dollars in trial awards and settlements.

If you have been seriously injured or a member of your family was killed in a truck accident, it is important to seek experienced legal guidance as soon as possible. The truck accident attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi handle claims in Fort Lee and throughout New Jersey. Please call (201) 585-9111 today for a free case review.

truck accident lawyer

Few motor vehicle crashes are more traumatic than those involving tractor-trailers. Heavy trucks dwarf the majority of vehicles on the road. When truck drivers and other parties in the trucking industry are careless or ignore rules and regulations, the results can be catastrophic. So, you’ll need a truck accident lawyer with experience.

New Jersey is home to a number of busy highways with a high volume of commercial trucks. This poses a significant risk for the drivers of passenger vehicles, particularly in high traffic areas such as:

  • The New Jersey Turnpike
  • The George Washington Bridge
  • The Lincoln Tunnel
  • And More

What Causes Truck Accidents?

Many different issues can lead to accidents involving big rigs. To recover compensation, you must prove that the truck accident was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of one or more parties.

Our truck accident attorneys fully investigate the factors that led to the crash. Some of the most common causes of 18-wheeler accidents include:

Any one of these errors can lead to a truck accident. Oftentimes, however, a combination of issues (as well as the negligence of multiple parties) causes truck drivers to crash.

What Are the Different Types of Truck Accidents?

A number of different vehicles can be involved in truck accidents. Different rules and legal procedures may be involved depending on who owns and operates the truck.

Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi has extensive experience representing clients in claims involving:

  • Semi-truck accidents
  • Tractor-trailer accidents
  • Box truck accidents
  • Delivery truck accidents
  • Tanker truck accidents
  • Municipal vehicle accidents
  • Utility truck accidents

Our trucking accident lawyers have also seen the many ways truck accidents can harm others. Some of the most common types of accidents we see involving commercial and municipal trucks include:

Many different factors can give rise to these and other collisions involving big rig trucks. A truck accident attorney will examine the actions of the driver (e.g., speeding, tailgating, etc.), the performance of the truck and trailer (e.g., tire blowouts, brake failures, etc.), and other potential issues to get to the bottom of how the crash occurred.

truck accident lawyer

What Are the Most Common Injuries in Truck Accidents?

Fully loaded tractor-trailers weigh 80,000 pounds. Most cars weigh anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 pounds. This difference in size and weight results in a high likelihood of serious and even fatal injuries for the occupants of vehicles other than the 18-wheeler.

Catastrophic injuries come in many different forms. Our trucking accident lawyers are committed to pursuing maximum compensation on behalf of victims who suffer injuries such as:

  • Complex bone fractures
  • Joint and soft tissue injuries
  • Serious lacerations
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Eye injuries, including vision loss, blindness, and loss of the eye
  • Damage to the inner ear resulting in hearing loss or deafness
  • Injuries to the neck and back
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Nerve damage
  • Amputation injuries
  • Damage to soft tissue
  • Burn injuries

Tragically, it is not uncommon for motorists to suffer fatal injuries in the event of a truck accident. If your loved one was killed in a crash with an 18-wheeler, our semi-truck accident lawyers can pursue compensation on your family’s behalf through a wrongful death claim.

How Are Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?

Trucking accident litigation involves a number of complex challenges not present in most auto accident claims. It is crucial to hire an experienced New Jersey truck accident attorney who can help you navigate and overcome some of the following issues:

Trucking Industry Regulations

The commercial trucking industry is subject to a wide range of federal regulations and state laws. Truck drivers, their employers, and other parties in the trucking industry are required to obey state and local laws and abide by the federal code. Serious accidents can and do occur when they fail in this duty.

The success of your claim rests on your ability to prove negligence. Your truck accident lawyer needs to have advanced knowledge of the applicable laws and regulations to determine how the parties at fault violated the rules and caused your injuries and damages.

Evidence in Truck Accident Claims

Proving negligence in a truck accident case is also more complicated than it is in other types of motor vehicle accident claims. Often, trucking accident lawyers have to look beyond the obvious (i.e., the truck driver’s actions) to uncover how the accident occurred and who is at fault.

Evidence in a commercial truck accident can be divided into three distinct categories:

  1. Driver evidence, which includes the driver’s qualifications file, the driver’s training file, the hours of service documentation, the driver inspection records, and post-collision drug and alcohol screening results
  2. Vehicle evidence, including downloads of the onboard systems, maintenance history documentation, inspection history, and data GPS tracking systems
  3. Cargo evidence, including weight tickets, trip envelopes, dispatch instructions, delivery documents, and bills of lading

None of this evidence is readily available. In some cases, trucking companies might even attempt to hide or destroy these records. As such, you need a qualified truck accident lawyer who can investigate the crash and collect and preserve the evidence you need for your claim to succeed.

Complex Liability in New Jersey Truck Accidents

Another major factor that separates truck accident claims from other kinds of vehicle accidents is the complicated nature of liability. Unlike a “standard” car accident case where the driver is usually the one and only party responsible, multiple parties can be held at fault for a big rig collision.

Investigation of the truck accident may reveal negligence on the part of the truck driver’s employer, the company that loaded the truck, and much more. The only way to uncover evidence of wrongdoing is to investigate the accident thoroughly. Experienced trucking accident attorneys know where to look and how to get the necessary evidence.

Client Success Story
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After thirteen surgeries, multiple procedures and over two months in the ICU, all due to the negligence of one of my doctors, I was referred to Michael Maggiano to pursue a medical malpractice case. I had never been involved in a lawsuit in my life and from the moment I met Michael and his team at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi I knew I was in extremely competent hands. Michael is the best lawyer you could imagine – he is intelligent, detail oriented, extremely knowledgeable and passionate about his work and his clients. Michael is a consummate professional and I will forever be impressed by, and indebted to, both him and his team. The entire staff at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi is friendly, welcoming and do everything to make their clients comfortable. I would like to specifically thank Linda Reid and Bernadette Elbert who both went above and beyond to make my experience as comfortable as possible, from including me in all detailed correspondence to sending encouraging texts and even giving hugs when needed. Thank you so much to everyone at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi – I highly recommend this law firm to anyone looking for a compassionate team to handle a personal injury claim.

- Confidential Client

Client Success Story
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Words cannot express how tremendously grateful I am to Mr. Lizzi for his sincere compassion and legal assistance during one of the most challenging times in my life. While coming highly recommended to me, Mr. Lizzi’s level of expertise and professionalism surpassed my greatest expectations. Regardless of the time or the importance of my matter, every phone call and email was promptly and personally returned. With each circumstance that arose, Mr. Lizzi gave practical advice and supplied necessary information to allow me to make my own informed decisions. The paralegals working with him kept in constant contact if any issues arose. Your office has been able to answer all of my questions and made me feel that I am important.

Simply put, lawyers like Mr. Lizzi are truly and exceptionally rare. I give the law firm of Maggiano, DiGirolamo, & Lizzi my highest recommendation, and should my family or I ever need assistance in the future, I will definitely give them a call.

- Adrienne Pelta

Client Success Story
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My experience with Maggiano office is incredible. I have been working with Michael’s firm for almost two years now and I always felt that they really cared for their individual client. Personally I loved that Michael would spend the time to get to know me as a person and care about my feelings and well being so he can truly protect me. Him and his firm is super kind and always willing to work with my demanding work schedule. They are very responsive and keep me in the loop of everything. I am very meticulous when it comes to follow up and getting tasks done in timely fashion.. and this firm definitely impressed me (and it is not easy to impress me).

If there is a family member or a friend looking for a law firm, I would recommend this firm in a heart beat.

Thank you very much to Michael and his team (especially Linda and Bernadette).

- Grace

How Will a Truck Accident Attorney Help Me After an Accident?

The aftermath of a trucking accident is overwhelming. You or a member of your family may be seriously injured. Even worse, someone you love may have been taken from you far too soon.

In any of these situations, you shouldn’t have to face the challenges alone. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer in Fort Lee can help.

One of the major roles our trucking accident attorneys can fulfill is investigating the crash on your behalf. We have the experience and resources to:

  • Examine the damage to your vehicle and other vehicles involved in the accident – where the damage is located and the severity thereof can tell a lot about how the sequence of events in the accident
  • Inspect the scene for vital evidence, including skid marks, damage to the roadway, etc.
  • Speak to witnesses who saw the truck accident
  • Obtain and review copies of all accident reports, including those prepared by local and state police and the National Transportation Safety Board (if applicable)
  • Perform a background check on the truck driver
  • Reconstruct the truck accident using photographs, witness testimony, and other evidence
  • Assess the nature and seriousness of your injuries by reviewing medical records and talking to your doctors
  • Demand copies of trucking company records and electronic data such as the driver’s cell phone records, data from the truck’s “black box,” etc.
  • Hire experts to provide testimony concerning the cause of the accident, who is at fault, the severity of your injuries, the damages in your claim, etc.

All of these steps enable a semi truck lawyer to develop a personalized strategy for pursuing the full compensation you deserve for the losses you sustained in the truck accident.Common Causes of Truck Accidents | Maggiano, DiGirolamo and Lizzi

How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?

The high likelihood of serious and catastrophic injuries in semi truck accidents means that the damages involved are often substantial. Our Fort Lee truck accident lawyers account for all of your losses and pursue fair compensation on your behalf.

You may be entitled to compensation for the following damages if you were injured in a truck accident:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Medical-related travel, attendant care, home-based services, and other out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of support, services, and guidance

Your eligibility for full compensation is based in part on your insurance coverage. New Jersey is one of only a few states to offer motorists a “choice” no-fault option. If you purchase standard auto insurance and retain your right to sue, you can bring a claim regardless of the seriousness of your injuries. However, if you have basic insurance or opt for a limited right to sue, you must sustain a significant injury for a truck crash lawyer in NJ to bring a fault-based truck accident claim.

Verdicts and Settlements

$5,000,000 - Trucking Accident

Recovery to a husband, wife and four children as a result of a tractor trailer making an improper turn into the right of way of the family SUV in which the husband was operating with wife in the front passenger seat and four children secured in the rear seat compartment area.

$6,200,000 - Truck Accident

A commercial truck driver disabled after a crash which resulted in a traumatic brain injury.

$1,067,000 - Truck Collision

To a female truck driver who suffered fibromyalgia following a multi-vehicle accident.

Wrongful Death Compensation for Truck Accident Fatalities

Unfortunately, the severity of injuries in truck accidents often results in loss of life. In the most recent Fatal Vehicle Crash report, the New Jersey State Police recorded 169 deadly truck accidents over a 5-year period.

If you lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by someone else, you have the right to bring a fault-based truck accident claim regardless of the insurance policy. Compensation that may be recoverable in a wrongful death claim includes:

  • Funeral expenses
  • The cost of burial or cremation
  • Loss of financial support, including income, benefits, inheritance, etc.
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of services
  • Medical expenses (if paid by the family)

The estate of the deceased can also recover compensation that the victim would have been entitled to had he or she survived the truck accident. This could include pain and suffering, medical expenses paid by the estate, and more.

Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?

Liability for a truck accident is rarely confined to just one person or entity. It is crucial to identify any and all potential defendants in building your truck accident claim. Knowledgeable trucking accident attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will perform a comprehensive investigation to determine what led to the crash and who is liable.

Are Truck Drivers Liable for Damages?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires commercial truck drivers to carry public liability insurance to cover damages if they are at fault for an accident. Coverage requirements range from $750,000 to $5 million depending on the size of the load and the type of cargo being transported.

If you were injured or lost a family member in a truck accident and the truck driver was at fault, you are entitled to bring a claim against the driver’s public liability insurance. However, the truck driver might not be the only liable party.

Are Trucking Companies Liable for Accidents?

Although some truck drivers are classified as independent contractors (known as an owner-operator), many more are employed by trucking companies to move freight. Generally, employers are exposed to liability when the carelessness or misconduct of a worker causes injury.

It is crucial to establish that the truck driver was operating within the scope of his or her job when the accident happened. It is also important to investigate the role the trucking company might have played. Many truck accidents can be attributed to various acts of negligence on the part of the carrier, including:

  • Failure to hire qualified truck drivers
  • Negligent hiring practices, such as ignoring previous violations and accidents
  • Inadequate driver training and supervision
  • Failure to test drivers regularly for alcohol and drug use
  • Negligent inspection and maintenance of trucks and trailers
  • Hours of service violations – the company may coerce drivers to operate rigs longer than they are legally allowed or forgo mandatory rest breaks

The potential consequences of trucking company negligence are easy to anticipate: unqualified, untrained drivers carelessly operating unsafe rigs. However, actually finding evidence of the carrier’s wrongdoing can be extremely challenging.

Our truck accident lawyers know what it takes to hold commercial trucking companies accountable for negligence that results in crashes. We will take decisive action to preserve and obtain documents, electronic records, the truck and trailer, and other evidence.

Who Else Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?

Every truck accident is unique. Full investigation of the crash might show that one or more additional parties could be at fault.

Other possible defendants in your truck accident case could include:

  • A shipping company that improperly loaded the trailer
  • A mechanic or repair center that performed faulty maintenance on the rig
  • Companies involved in the design, manufacturing, sale, and marketing of defective trucks or components
  • A careless driver who causes the truck driver to crash
  • A government entity – the carelessness of a municipal employment or negligent maintenance of public roads can lead to truck accidents

Identifying all of the at-fault parties is essential for recovering maximum compensation after a truck accident. Trucking accident lawyers at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will dig into the facts of your case, determine who is responsible, and present compelling evidence of their negligence and the damages you are entitled to as a result.

truck accident lawyer

How Long Do I Have to Bring a Truck Accident Claim?

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for truck accident claims is 2 years from the date of the crash (see New Jersey Statutes § 2A:14-2). Similarly, a wrongful death claim must be brought within 2 years of the date your loved one died from injuries sustained in a trucking accident (see New Jersey Statutes § 2A:31-3).

There is no time to lose if you suffered injuries or lost someone you love in a collision with an 18-wheeler. Our truck accident lawyers take immediate steps to start building your claim and pursuing the compensation you and your family deserve.

What Is the Truck Accident Claims Process?

Just as no two truck accidents are exactly alike, no two legal claims are identical either. Generally, however, your case will involve the following steps:

1. Filing a Claim with Your Insurance

You need to notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. Regardless of your injuries and the coverage you have, you can file a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP coverage will pay for medical expenses related to the crash and part of your lost wages (up to the policy limits) regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

2. Bringing a Fault-Based Claim

After all of the evidence is collected and a determination is made concerning who is at fault, the next step is bringing a claim against the insurance companies for all liable parties. The initial claim consists of a demand letter outlining the circumstances of the accident, allegations of fault, and the damages you are pursuing.

3. Settlement Negotiations

Ideally the insurance carrier(s) will agree to negotiate and ultimately offer you a fair settlement. Most truck accident claims are settled out of court. However, if the insurer or insurers refuse to settle, a truck accident attorney may need to file a lawsuit on your behalf to recover the compensation you deserve.

4. Filing a Lawsuit

A lawsuit is an official complaint filed with the appropriate court. Once the lawsuit is filed, the next step is preparing for trial. A key part of trial preparation is the discovery process, where both sides request and exchange information.

5. Going to Trial

Settlement is possible even after a lawsuit is filed. The defendant(s) may return to the negotiating table to avoid the uncertainty inherent in any trial.

However, if the court date arrives and no settlement has been reached, your truck accident lawyer will present your case. This involves questioning witnesses, introducing evidence, and arguing your case in court.

Throughout the process of your truck accident claim, it is essential for you to be represented by an experienced trial lawyer. Even if your case doesn’t go to court, a reputation for going to trial and winning carries a lot of weight with defendants and insurance companies.

Why Hire Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi?

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Truck Accident?

Although the majority of accident claims settle – even those involving 18-wheelers – the unique characteristics of trucking accidents can make negotiations more challenging. Some of the issues that may arise in trying to settle your truck accident claim include:

  • Disputed liability: If defendants and their insurance carriers can pass blame to someone else, they will.
  • Serious and complex injuries: The more serious the injury, the more it costs to treat. Injuries resulting in permanent impairment or disability carry additional costs.
  • High damages: Commercial truck accidents adversely affect victims’ lives in many different ways. Experienced trucking accident attorneys know how to quantify the damages associated with these losses, frequently resulting in substantial demands for compensation.
  • Available insurance coverage: Insurance companies will never agree to a settlement that exceeds the policy limits.

Negotiating an accident settlement always takes time. However, the issues above can make reaching a settlement after a truck accident more time-consuming. In our experience, it can take anywhere from six months to more than a year to settle a truck accident claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Truck Accidents So Serious?

Truck accidents are particularly serious due to the substantial size and weight difference between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger car weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. This disparity significantly increases the risk of severe injury and fatality in collisions.

Moreover, trucks have longer stopping distances, larger blind spots, and are more susceptible to rollovers due to their high center of gravity. The complexity of truck accidents is further compounded by factors such as cargo load, which can shift or spill, causing additional hazards.

Given the severe implications of truck accidents, seeking the expertise of a Fort Lee truck accident lawyer can be crucial in addressing legal, medical, and financial challenges.

What Are the Fatality Statistics in Crashes with Large Trucks?

In 2021, truck accidents tragically claimed 5,788 lives (National Safety Council Injury Facts (NSC)). A significant portion of these fatalities (approximately 17%) were occupants of the large trucks themselves. However, the majority (approximately 72%) were occupants in other vehicles involved in the collision, revealing the disproportionate impact these accidents have on passenger vehicle occupants. Additionally, pedestrians or bicyclists accounted for 11% of these fatalities.

This data illustrates the severe consequences of truck accidents and the need for safety measures and legal protection. A Fort Lee truck accident attorney is a valuable ally should you or a loved one be injured in a truck accident.

What Type of Vehicle Qualifies as a Large Truck?

A large truck is defined as any commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) exceeding 10,000 pounds. This category encompasses a wide range of vehicles used for business, including delivery trucks, eighteen-wheelers, semi-trucks, and big rigs.

These vehicles are significantly larger and heavier than passenger cars, making them capable of carrying substantial cargo loads. Due to their size and weight, large trucks require specialized training to operate and have distinct safety and regulatory requirements.

Where Do Truck Accidents Happen?

Truck accidents can occur on various types of roads, but they are most commonly reported on highways and interstates where high speeds and heavy truck traffic are prevalent. These accidents also frequently occur on rural roads, where narrow lanes and sharp turns present unique challenges for large vehicles. Urban areas are not exempt; congested city streets, intersections, and areas near ports or industrial zones where trucks load and unload goods also see a higher incidence of truck-related collisions.

Fatal crashes occur slightly more often in urban areas (54.53%) over rural areas (45.47%). However, according to the NSC, most fatal truck accidents occur on non-interstates (73.99%) rather than interstates (26.01%).

Each location presents specific hazards, from high-speed impacts on freeways to complex navigation and stop-and-go traffic in cities, significantly influencing the dynamics and consequences of these accidents.

Can You Sue for Whiplash in NJ?

In Fort Lee, New Jersey, you can sue for whiplash and other injuries sustained in a truck accident due to another party’s negligence. However, the ability to sue depends on the insurance policy you’ve chosen.

New Jersey offers a “limitation on lawsuit” option, which restricts the right to sue for pain and suffering unless the injury is deemed serious, such as significant disfigurement or loss of a body part. Whiplash could qualify if medical documentation supports its severity. Consulting with a Fort Lee truck accident attorney can help determine if your whiplash injury meets the criteria for legal action in New Jersey.

How Long Does an Insurance Company Have To Respond to a Claim in Fort Lee, NJ?

Insurance companies are required by state law to respond to a claim within a specific timeframe. The New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C. 11:2-17.7) mandates that insurers must acknowledge receipt of a claim within 10 working days.

Additionally, they must provide a decision or update on the claim’s status within 30 days of receiving all necessary documentation and information. If more time is needed, the insurance company must inform the claimant of the delay and the reasons for it, ensuring transparency throughout the claim process.

Is a Settlement Negotiable?

Yes, a settlement is negotiable. In personal injury and truck accident cases, the initial settlement offer from insurance companies or the responsible party is often not the final word. Both parties can negotiate to reach a fair agreement that adequately compensates for damages and injuries. It’s advisable to have a skilled attorney represent you during these negotiations to protect your rights and help secure the best possible settlement outcome.

What Happens After You Agree to a Settlement?

After agreeing to a settlement, the insurance company or responsible party will typically require you to sign a release form, relinquishing your right to file any future claims related to the accident. Once the release is signed, the insurer or defendant will process the agreed-upon settlement amount.

This process can take a few weeks, after which you’ll receive the settlement check. It’s important to review any settlement agreement and release forms carefully, preferably with the assistance of a lawyer, to ensure your rights are fully protected and the terms are clearly understood before finalizing the agreement.

Is Settlement Money Taxable?

Generally, settlement money received from personal injury claims, including truck accidents, is not taxable under federal or New Jersey state tax laws. This exemption applies to compensatory damages for physical injuries or sickness.

However, punitive damages awarded in addition to compensatory damages are taxable. Also, if your settlement includes compensation for lost wages, that portion may be subject to taxation. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional and an attorney for personalized advice based on the specifics of your settlement.

How Much Do Lawyers Take From Truck Accident Settlement in Fort Lee, New Jersey?

Lawyers handling truck accident settlements in Fort Lee typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they receive a percentage of the settlement or award obtained. This percentage varies but is commonly between 25% to 33% of the settlement amount, depending on the case’s complexity and the agreement between the lawyer and client.

It’s important to discuss and agree upon this fee structure upfront. Additionally, New Jersey law caps contingency fees in certain cases, and any fee agreement should comply with state guidelines and be approved by the court if required. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we are in it together, and we don’t get paid unless we win your case!

Do You Have a Truck Accident Case in New Jersey?

Hiring a lawyer for truck accident cases is essential. For qualified assistance, we encourage you to contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi as soon as possible after a collision with a big rig.

Truck accidents are serious, and they require serious representation. Our attorneys have achieved significant compensation on behalf of those harmed in crashes involving 18-wheelers, including:

  • $6.2 million for a truck driver who suffered a disabling brain injury after his parked rig was struck by another tractor-trailer
  • $5 million on behalf of a family of six when a truck driver executed an illegal turn in front of the family’s SUV
  • $2.8 million for a man who required total knee replacement after a big rig pulled into his path
  • $1.478 million for an off-duty police officer who sustained injuries when a truck collided with the door of his personal vehicle
  • $1.067 million on behalf of a truck driver who developed fibromyalgia from injuries she sustained in a multi-vehicle accident

These results demonstrate our experience and success handling truck accident claims. Our clients inspire us to take positive action and pursue favorable outcomes by developing unique legal strategies and fighting for justice.

View Our Verdicts & Settlements

Please call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (201) 585-9111 today for a free review of your case. Our truck accident lawyers serve clients in Fort Lee and throughout New Jersey.