Top NJ Trucking Accident Attorney’s
We are your New Jersey- New York Trucking Accident Lawyers
A truck crash can be a commuter’s worst nightmare. In any truck accident, a car’s smaller size is an extreme disadvantage. When an 18-wheeler collides with a car, the car’s occupants face even greater risk, and injuries and deaths are more likely in a trucking accident than any other type of car accident. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that, in accidents involving a large truck and another vehicle, the driver or occupants of the smaller vehicle are over four times more likely to be killed than the truck driver (7.4 percent chance of a small vehicle driver being killed vs. 1.6 percent chance of the truck driver being killed).
Long-haul trucking makes up the backbone of U.S. industry, and the need to ship products and materials back and forth across the country puts hundreds of thousands of big rigs on the road every day. Nearly 70 percent of all freight tonnage in the U.S. rides on trucks, and the trucking industry moves more than 9 billion tons of freight every year.
There were more than 1.7 million truck drivers employed in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number will continue to grow, as the employment of heavy truck drivers and tractor-trailer drivers is projected to increase by 11 percent by 2022.
In 2012, 500 truck drivers were killed in work-related accidents. The number of trucking fatalities has increased every year since 2009, showing a troubling trend for both truck drivers and other drivers on the road.
What Causes Trucking Accidents?
Big rig accidents can have a variety of causes. Some common causes include:
Driver negligence, including fatigue, distractions, speeding, and careless or reckless driving. Drivers are required to follow hours of service regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Truck drivers are limited to 11 hours driving per day and 14-hour workdays. Drivers are not allowed to work more than 70 hours per week without resting for 34 consecutive hours, and drivers must take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.
Driver error is ten times more likely to be the cause of a trucking accident than other factors, including weather, road conditions, and vehicle performance, according to a study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Substance abuse, most commonly involving drugs to stay awake. The use of prescription drugs, over-the-counter energy pills, or illicit drugs affect a driver’s judgment and can contribute to deadly accidents.
Defects, including insufficient lighting, worn brakes, overweight trailers, or lack of reflective surfaces. Equipment failure as a result of manufacturing or design defects opens up the truck manufacturer to liability for crash-related injuries.
Company negligence, including improper training of the truck driver or lack of maintenance of the commercial truck. Failure to service brakes, change tires, secure cargo, properly attach the trailer, or attend to other maintenance needs creates a dangerous situation for the truck driver, other motorists on the road, and the trucking company or lessor.
A study from the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that traveling in poor weather, driving on curved roads, and driving at speeds of 55 mph or higher significantly increase the risk of rollover and jackknife for large trucks.
What Are the Different Types of Truck Accidents?
Types of trucking accidents include:
- Improper lane changes
- Underride accidents involving smaller vehicles
- Sleeping behind the wheel
- Falling debris
- Runaway trailer
- Blind spot
- Rear end collision
- Driving in hazardous conditions
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the most common type of trucking accident is a rear-end collision. The second-most common type was “right roadside departure,” meaning one vehicle involved drifted off to the right and entered another lane or the shoulder.
What Laws Govern Trucking in the U.S.?
Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations covers the transportation industry. On the federal level, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulate truck driving.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation and New York Department of Transportation govern trucking on the state level. Commercial truck drivers operating any vehicle over 26,000 lbs. are required to carry a Commercial Driver’s License by passing skill and knowledge tests. States also require trucks to display certain information—like corporate identification numbers, gross vehicle weight rating, and primary place of business—and complete other requirements, such as a Department of Transportation physical and complete entry-level training requirements.
What Can You Win in a Personal Injury Case?
If you suffer an accident as the result of a truck driver’s negligence or defective parts, you could recover a variety of damages. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you could win compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Loss of income and decreased earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
When a big rig collides with a motor vehicle, the vehicle occupants are at a high risk for severe injuries and even death. Injuries from trucking accidents tend to be more severe and more costly than regular vehicle accidents, and you and your family deserve compensation for trucking negligence.
Call us now. We successfully handle trucking cases with multimillion dollar recoveries.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, you probably have plenty of questions to be answered. Trucking accidents are typically more complicated than regular motor vehicle accidents because of the players involved; the driver of the truck and the owner of the trucking company or individual truck both play a part in operating the truck in a safe and responsible manner. If the truck was leased from another company or the accident involved defective parts, even more parties could become involved.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have handled numerous trucking accident cases, and we will investigate thoroughly to determine who and what caused the accident. We will protect your legal rights for compensation and fully assess the damages to make sure you receive the full compensation for your injuries. Contact us at (201) 585-9111 or fill out an online form to schedule your free and confidential consultation.