Over 5,000 people are killed in truck accidents each year. Tens of thousands are left with often horrific injuries.
Did you know that each year in the US there are over 500,000 accidents involving trucks? If you’re in a passenger car the odds are never in your favor. A truck can weigh 20 times as much as a family car. If you’re involved in such a collision you’re lucky if you get out alive. Many are not. Over 5,000 people are killed in truck accidents each year. Tens of thousands are left with often horrific injuries.
If you live in the Garden State and were recently injured in this type of collision you need to get in touch with experienced New Jersey truck accident lawyers right away. Until you do that, make sure you don’t talk to the insurance company or with any representative of the trucking company. Even if you are required to inform the insurance company about the accident, don’t give them anything other than the date and location. Above all, don’t admit to any guilt and don’t let them know you feel partly responsible for the crash.
Whether you’re looking for Hamilton truck accident lawyers or a legal representative anywhere in the state you need to know what to expect at the initial consultation, which is usually free. Your lawyers need to evaluate your case so make sure to bring all relevant documents, such as your medical file, with all the bills, the police report if you have it, your insurance policy and a written account of the accident as you recall it. If you’ve managed to get contact info of the eyewitnesses make sure to give them to your lawyers as they will need to talk to them.
For his part, your lawyer will request documents from the trucking company to see whether they were in compliance with federal road safety regulations for commercial drivers. The driver’s log contains valuable information regarding the number of hours they were on the road during the last few days. According to regulations, a commercial driver cannot be on the road for more than 11 hours in one shift, and they need to take a 10 hours break after that. If the data on the truck’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) indicates otherwise, one can assume driver fatigue might have played a part in the accident. In this case, the trucking company can be held accountable for either forcing the driver to work overtime or for failing to monitor their activity.
At the same time, seasoned truck accident lawyers always study the technical report on the truck to determine whether the crash was caused by a malfunction or by an unbalanced load.
The next step is establishing what sort of compensation you are entitled to. One thing to keep in mind is that even if you were partly to blame for the accident, you can still get damages. New Jersey uses the modified comparative negligence rule. This rule is used to calculate blame by percentage if both drivers were at fault. For instance, if you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident, this might make you 20% to blame for the injuries you sustained. This means that you still get damages, but the total amount will be reduced by 20%. If you have a good lawyer this will still leave you with plenty of money to cover your medical bills and your lost wages.