Accidents involving commercial trucks may result in serious injuries. Victims who are harmed in such crashes may be eligible to receive compensation for their damages, but these cases can prove to be complicated.

A truck accident lawyer in Jersey City, New Jersey from Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. may be familiar with the issues inherent to a truck accident personal injury claim or lawsuit. We can help start the process of protecting your rights as a plaintiff, establishing the liability of the defendant, and fighting to get you the compensation you may be entitled to.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

A truck accident may happen as a result of a wide variety of reasons. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) publishes an analysis of truck collisions and codes each accident according to the “critical reason” for its occurrence.

Driver Behavior

In the FMCSA’s report updated in 2014, the driver was the top critical reason for truck accidents. Making decisions like driving above the speed limit, not recognizing one’s surroundings, not completely performing their duties due to being asleep (or otherwise impaired), and behaviors like overcompensating or panicking were the four main categories that played a role in these types of accidents.

Other Causes

Problems with the vehicle were the second largest critical reason for truck accidents in the FMCSA report—brake issues, in particular, played a part in 29 percent of reported accidents. The third most frequently appearing critical reason named was the environment, including factors like inclement weather, slick roads, or poor lighting.

What Makes Truck Accidents So Complicated

A truck accident involves many moving parts. When a truck collides with another road occupant, it may be the truck operator’s fault, but this does not necessarily mean that the driver is whom accident victims will recover their damages from.

Verdicts and Settlements

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

To a 41 year old police officer injured off duty in his own parked car when a tractor trailer hit the officer’s open driver’s side door, forcing the car up onto the sidewalk.

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.

Different Types of Truck Drivers

Commercial truck drivers play different roles regarding liability in an accident than the driver of a passenger vehicle. The extent of their role has much to do with what type of truck driver they are. There are different types of truck drivers, such as:

  • Independent owners or operators: They own the trucks they drive to transport their own goods.
  • Company drivers: They drive company trucks belonging to an employer.
  • Owner-operators: They drive their own trucks but haul freight for other companies.

The type of truck driver involved in your case may determine whether the driver can be held liable for any damages.

Vicarious Liability

If a company driver’s negligence led to an accident, vicarious liability law goes into effect, enabling people injured in the accident to potentially seek compensation from the trucking company that employs them. To establish a case of vicarious liability, the plaintiff must prove that the truck operator was employed by the trucking company in question and was performing their work duties at the time of the accident.

A Jersey City truck accident lawyer may know how to gather the evidence to support this employer-driver relationship, so that they can help pursue a liability claim against the trucking company.

Other Potentially Liable Parties

Beyond the truck driver and their employer, several other parties could potentially be held liable for your accident damages.

Maintenance Service Providers

Some trucking companies outsource the maintenance of their vehicles to service providers. If the truck involved in your accident experienced a maintenance issue, such as faulty brakes or low power steering fluid, and the service provider did not catch and repair the problem, it may be liable for damages resulting from the accident.

Ultimately, the truck owner is responsible for maintenance, so these situations may sometimes generate claims against both the service company and the truck owner.

Parts Manufacturers

Sometimes a commercial truck is fitted with defective tires or brakes, or some other device or mechanism that is critical to the truck’s functioning properly. If this was the case in your accident, the part manufacturer may be held liable for your damages under a product liability claim.

Shippers

Uneven or otherwise poorly loaded trucks can also cause accidents. The FMCSA regulates cargo securement, outlining the types of materials that can be loaded, weight limits, and the method that must be used to load said materials. If the shipper failed to follow FMCSA regulations when loading its cargo onto the truck involved in your accident, you may be able to hold them liable for your injuries.

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Client Success Story

I wanted to make sure that you were aware of my extreme gratitude to Chris DiGirolamo, and his law firm, for the work done on my behalf.

As a 33 year licensed motorcyclist in the state of NJ, I have seen a lot of friends/family go through the process of a personal injury suit, and many times the outcome is less than favorable.  Let’s face it, there is a lot of bias against bikers out there…  So when it was my turn to experience the process first hand, I didn’t hold a lot of hope that I would recover any of what I lost.

Chris DiGirolamo not only got me enough of a settlement to recover what was lost, he got the max available, allowing me to have a little piece of mind for the future as well.

He was patient when I sent endless emails full of questions and kind and understanding with regard to my case.  I will ALWAYS refer my friends to this firm, and use them again myself, if the situation ever arises…

Thank you again for all your hard work!

- Jennifer Bounassi

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Client Success Story

Michael Maggiano is one of the hardest working, ethical attorneys that you can have represent you. When I was going through my injury, emotional pain and suffering, the last thing I wanted to think about was who would be the right lawyer who is caring and understanding of my situation. Well Michael was there every step of the way. Through his guidance, support and legal advice, somehow he got me through this ordeal. If I have to rate Michael between 0 to 10, he is definitely a 12! Believe it or not, if you call Michael on his telephone, he will call you back the same day or night to try to help you with your concerns and questions. Why? BECAUSE HE CARES

- Sal R.

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Client Success Story

In my Book Chris gets 10+ stars. An Incredibly Talented Attorney. I cannot begin to express my sincere appreciation for all that Chris DiGirolamo has done for me. He took on a most challenging Title59 Immunity Case, against all odds. He always leveled with me as to the complex nature of the case, but with a positive and professional attitude. He was aided in this case, by a fantastic Paralegal, Marisol Suarez. Marisol made a difficult time much easier with her courtesy, humor, and always being responsive. Chris made you feel at all times that he was fighting for you as he would fight for a member of his family. It would not be a trite statement to say that watching him prepare my case was like watching a Maestro conduct a Philharmonic Orchestra. He always kept you informed as to the latest developments in a case that took 3 1/2 years to settle. Chris was able to achieve a settlement that both of us were happy with especially considering the very complex set of circumstances. Simply put, Chris is an Incredible Attorney who is empathetic yet tough and most important ” A Good Guy.”

- Bob

Recovering Damages

An attorney may have to not only identify the at-fault party in your case, but also prove that the party owed you a duty to keep you from harm, violated that duty, and caused your injury, which led you to suffer damages.

The team at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. may be able to investigate the ways in which your injuries have led to current losses and losses you will face down the road, in terms of medical costs, decreased capacity to earn, and so on. Call (201) 585-9111 for a free consultation with a team member.

Type of Damages You May Be Able to Recover

Our team can help calculate your potential damages and give them to the insurance company of the at-fault company in the form of a demand letter. Some of the types of damages that might appear include:

  • Medical expenses (past, ongoing, and future)
  • Lost income and benefits
  • Replacement services
  • Diminished future potential earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life

If the insurer fails to agree to a fair settlement, we may be able to file a lawsuit and fight for your right to receive compensation you may be entitled to in a civil court.

The Clock is Ticking

New Jersey enforces a statute of limitations that requires any civil action for a personal injury case to be filed within two years of an accident. A Jersey City truck accident lawyer may be able to help you meet this deadline, but the earlier you bring them on board, the sooner they will be able to start the process so you can focus on your recovery while a case is built on the appropriate timeline.

Call a Jersey City Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Truck accidents may result in painful injuries and emotional trauma. The last thing you should have to deal with following an accident is chasing down evidence, negotiating with insurers, and filing lawsuits. A Jersey City truck accident lawyer can work on that with you.

Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. at (201) 585-9111 for a free case evaluation with a team member.