Truck Driver Negligence
A commercial truck accident can be a devastating and life-altering event. These large trucks have a major size advantage over typical vehicles, putting other drivers at a major risk for serious injuries in the event of a crash. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the driver and occupants of a smaller vehicle are over four times more likely to be killed in a collision between a commercial truck and a vehicle than the truck driver him or herself (7.4 percent change of a small vehicle driver being killed compared to 1.6 percent chance of the truck driver being killed). The sheer size and weight, not to mention the different physics involved in commercial truck operation, of a truck requires semi drivers to exercise the utmost caution on the road.
But unfortunately, not all truck drivers exercise this high level of care, and other drivers are hurt as a result. Whether it’s distracted driving, driving under the influence, or reckless maneuvers, too many innocent drivers are killed in negligence-related truck accidents every year.
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 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 pursuing justice. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, using our resources to interview witnesses, collect police reports, and obtain medical evidence. We are prepared to take your case all the way through court if necessary, and we will fight for you in settlement discussions to ensure you are compensated fairly. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as a result of truck driver negligence, contact us today for a free consultation. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers.
Types of Truck Driver Negligence
According to a study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver error is 10 times more likely to be the cause of a truck accident than other factors, including weather, road conditions, and vehicle malfunctions.
Driver negligence can take a number of forms, including:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter energy pills, or illicit substances
- Careless or reckless driving
- Failure to adjust for weather conditions
- Driving for too many consecutive hours
- Driver fatigue
However, this is not a comprehensive list of negligent driving activities. Essentially, it comes down to proving that the truck driver acted without regard for the welfare of other drivers and/or acted in a way that, presented with the same circumstances, a reasonable driver would not have.
Evidence in a Truck Accident Case
Any experienced car accident attorney is familiar with the process of collecting evidence after an accident, including photographs of the vehicles involved, witness statements, police reports, and security camera footage. However, a truck accident requires a different collection of evidence, and this evidence must be collected in different ways. Especially when it comes to issues of driver negligence, collecting the right evidence—and in the right way—can make or break your case.
Evidence in a commercial truck accident can be divided into three distinct categories:
- 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
- Vehicle evidence, including downloads of the onboard systems, maintenance history documentation, inspection history, and data GPS tracking systems
- Cargo evidence, including weight tickets, trip envelopes, dispatch instructions, delivery documents, and bills of lading
In cases of truck driver negligence, the “driver evidence” category will be the most important to gather. However, other evidence can also be extremely important, such as the GPS tracking system information, because it can show abnormalities in the driver’s route or actions.
Evidence must be preserved more quickly in a truck accident case because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations only require documents be kept for a certain amount of time; for example, logbooks are only required to be kept for six months. If you wait too long to consult an attorney, it could be too late to preserve certain documents.
Contact a New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyer
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are proud to represent the injured throughout New Jersey and New York. Since opening our doors in 1974, we have been committed to the highest standards of excellence in personal injury litigation. Our million-dollar and multi-million-dollar settlements have earned us inclusion in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, of which fewer than 1 percent of U.S. lawyers are members. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi was named to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Firms list of 2013, and Michael Maggiano and Christopher DiGirolamo have received the highest possible ratings as car accident attorneys by the AVVO Lawyer Ratings service.
With more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience, we are prepared to investigate your claim and fight to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by truck driver negligence, contact us to discuss your legal options. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.