If you’re ever injured in a tractor trailer accident in New Jersey, it can be tempting to think that your insurance company will take care of you. After all, you diligently pay your insurance premiums every month in the hopes that, should you ever need financial assistance because of a tractor trailer accident or for any other reason, your insurance company will step in to help.
Unfortunately, this is far from reality. It’s important to always remember that insurance companies are not charities, they are not government departments, and it is not in their best interests to pay you a lot of money. Insurance companies are private corporations with the primary aim of turning a profit. The profit equation of an insurance company is simple: bring as much money in as possible through insurance premiums, and pay out as little as possible in insurance claims.
After an accident with a tractor trailer in New Jersey, you will likely rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills, property losses, lost income, and so much more. And while insurance companies will do their best to make you feel like they’re on your side, it’s important to always remember that a big payout to you means a reduction in profit for the insurance company: the exact opposite of what they’re trying to achieve.
If you can’t rely on your insurance company to take care of your current and future financial needs following a New Jersey tractor trailer accident, what can you do? Rather than holding your breath waiting for an insurance company to go against its corporate aims and do the right thing by you, work with someone who actually is on your side.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks the number of tractor trailer accidents that occur every year across the country. The most recent statistics issued in 2012 by the agency reveal that there were 61 fatal truck accidents in New Jersey – accounting for 7.4 percent of the total number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in our state. Contact our New Jersey truck accident lawyer today.
Of all accidents on the road, truck crashes consistently prove to be the most devastating, often leaving victims with catastrophic or fatal injuries.
NJ Truck Accident Lawyer
Anthony Vecchio is a personal injury attorney with decades of experience in helping people just like you who have been injured in a truck accident. But unlike an insurance company whose corporate aims are directly in opposition to your financial needs, Anthony Vecchio’s role is to maximize your financial settlement. It makes sense to work with someone who wants the exact same thing that you do: the largest possible financial settlement to take care of your financial needs.
Truck accidents account for 8.3 percent of all fatal traffic accidents nationally. About 73 percent of the persons injured or killed in tractor trailer accidents are the drivers or passengers of the other vehicles. In the majority of cases, the driver of the truck is left unharmed. Our NJ semi-truck accident lawyers can help.
Tips for Sharing the Road with Semi Trucks in NJ
Drivers must be on high alert when sharing the road with commercial trucks. Follow these safety tips when driving in the vicinity of a large truck:
- Pay attention: Be vigilant if you are travelling on a road or highway with semi-trucks. Many accidents are the result of a truck driver drifting between lanes, or changing lanes and impacting a passenger vehicle. If a truck driver appears to be travelling too fast or driving dangerously, drop back to stay safe.
- Maintain a safe distance: If you must pass a commercial truck, leave plenty of room and keep your attention focused on passing safely. A tractor-trailer needs a much longer distance to come to a stop due to the weight of the vehicle. A rear-impact can be deadly, so whether the truck is ahead of or behind you, do all you can to leave enough space between your vehicle and the truck.
- Stay visible: Never drive in a truck’s blind spot. If you cannot see the driver’s face in the rear-view mirror, he or she cannot see you. You may not be able to avoid driving near a large truck, or need to pass one of the vehicles. When doing so, ensure there is adequate room to do so safely. If there are oncoming lanes of traffic, wait for the traffic to clear before passing. It is always best to allow more space than you think necessary.
How Truck Drivers Cause Accidents in New Jersey
A truck driver may be held liable for careless driving behavior, including fatigued driving, distracted or aggressive driving, impaired driving, driving too fast for conditions or violations of federal trucking safety regulations. When a tractor-trailer wreck occurs, one of several factors is likely to be present, according to the NHTSA. If you need a NJ truck accident lawyer, contact us. The truck driver or trucking company may be liable if these factors caused the accident:
- Drivers were negligently hired, trained or supervised. A trucking company may have hired drivers without checking their criminal background or commercial driver’s license records.
- The truck driver of trucking company failed to inspect, maintain or repair the truck, leading to tire blowouts, faulty brakes or other equipment failures.
- The truck driver drove carelessly or recklessly, for example, by speeding in poor weather or following too closely.
- The truck driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- The driver was either driving distracted while using a smartphone or other device, or driving while fatigued from a long shift.
- The truck’s cargo was not properly loaded, leaving it unsecured or allowing it to shift.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) looked at data from 141,000 large truck crashes where an injury or fatality occurred.
The agency identified four critical factors that pointed to driver error or negligence in truck accidents:
- Failure to physically perform.
- The driver fell asleep, had a heart attack or seizure, or had some other physical impairment.
- Failure to recognize dangers.
- The truck driver was not paying attention, was distracted by something or failed to adequately recognize a developing situation.
- Failure to make the correct decision.
- The driver was driving too fast for conditions, misjudged the speed of other cars or trucks, or followed other cars and trucks too closely.
- Performance issues.
- The truck driver panicked, overcompensated, or exercised poor directional control.
The FMCSA said these 10 factors were most commonly associated with the above:
- Brake problems
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
- Required to stop before crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
Understanding the Types of truck Accidents in New Jersey
In New Jersey, it’s common for tractor trailers and pedestrian vehicles to share the same roads. Getting into an accident with a tractor trailer is entirely different to a standard car accident, which in itself can cause severe or even fatal injuries. The sheer size and weight of a tractor trailer, combined with the increased number of moving parts and sometimes fatigued or untrained drivers, can cause a number of different collision types.
- A jack-knife accident occurs when a tractor trailer brakes suddenly, causing the trailer to swing outwards. The name itself is from the visual appearance of the angle formed between the tractor trailer’s cab and the trailer itself.
- A truck rollover is a common occurrence when a truck begins to slide sideways after the driver loses control. Sadly, most truck rollover accidents are easily preventable and are caused through simple breaches of state and federal regulations like speeding, distracted driving, reckless behavior, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- A tire blowout in a small passenger vehicle can almost immediately cause the vehicle to become extremely difficult to control. Imagine, then, the effects of the tire blowout in a tractor trailer weighing as much as 60,000 pounds.
- Wide turn accidents are, in the vast majority of cases, caused by improper driver training. Completing left- and right-hand turns in an enormous vehicle like a tractor trailer require additional skills and training than completing the same terms in a passenger vehicle.
- A blind spot accident occurs when a tractor trailer changes lanes without properly checking their blind spot to see if there are any vehicles traveling alongside. Again, blind spot accidents usually occur because of insufficient driver training and skills or through reckless driver behavior.
- Improperly loaded freight can cause cargo to move and disrupt the balance of the vehicle, or can dislodge entirely and strike another vehicle or cause an obstruction on the roadway. When truck drivers follow state and federal regulations, all loads will be properly secured and inspected before travel to ensure that accidents caused by improperly loaded freight are avoided altogether.
- As the name suggests, a head-on collision occurs when the front of a tractor trailer collides directly with the front of another vehicle. Head-on collisions can cause devastating or even fatal injuries and are often brought about by an overworked truck driver falling asleep at the wheel and veering on to the wrong side of the road, straight towards oncoming traffic.
- A T-bone accident is a colloquial term for a side impact collision and occurs when the front of the tractor trailer collides with the side of another vehicle. T-bone accidents can cause devastating injuries because the side of a vehicle is relatively weak compared to the front and back, which are protected by bumpers. This type of accident tends to be caused by reckless driving on the part of the tractor trailer driver, failure to yield, or running a red light.
Common Accident in New Jersey Our Freight Truck Accident Lawyers Handle
Like other motorists, truck drivers may be involved in a rear-end collision or an intersection accident. But tractor trailers are also prone to accidents that are unique to those vehicles. Those accidents include:
- Rollovers: Cargo tank trucks are especially prone to rollovers, which may occur when a driver is traveling too fast through a turn or an exit ramp.
- Underride accidents: An underride accident occurs when a tractor-trailer hits a smaller vehicle, and the smaller vehicle is forced under the trailer or truck. While many trucks have guards, these guards do not always stop this kind of accident.
- Jackknives: Jackknife accidents may result from a slick road or the quick application of a truck’s brakes, causing the trailer to swing in one direction and the cab of the truck to swing in another direction. Other vehicles and traffic are often caught up in these accidents, leading to serious injuries.
- Tire blowouts: A tractor-trailer blow out can cause the driver to lose control of his or her truck. The truck may leave its lane or swing into oncoming traffic, leading to truck accident with severe or fatal injuries.
The Steps We Take To Win Your Truck Accident Personal Injury Case
When you trust the Law Offices of Anthony Vecchio with your truck accident personal injury case, we follow a proven step-by-step process to win your case.
- First, we communicate with insurance companies on your behalf. This prevents the unfortunate yet all-too-common situation where clients inadvertently say the wrong thing to an insurance company representative, causing their financial payout to be drastically reduced.
- Next, we guide you on how to get the best medical attention and diagnosis to suit your circumstances. It is often the case that victims of tractor trailer accidents are advised to see their family doctor, however, experience has told us that this is usually not the best idea. While your family doctor may have treated you for decades, they are probably not a specialist in tractor trailer accident injuries and may not be able to give you the most accurate diagnosis.
Tractor trailer accidents can result in devastating, life-threatening, or even fatal injuries including spine injuries, neck injuries, and paralysis. In fact, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center has said that vehicle injuries, including those involving tractor trailers, are the leading cause of spine injuries. Only an expert in spinal and other injuries caused by tractor trailer accidents will be able to properly and accurately diagnose you following an accident, and we can put you in touch with the right medical specialists to assist your case.
- The next step of the process is to deal with industry experts to strengthen your case. Our years of experience in New Jersey truck accidents has given us an extensive network of industry experts and professionals who can provide expert opinions to help work towards the best possible financial settlement for you.
- Next, we navigate the complex personal injury legal system. Personal injury law is difficult and sometimes needlessly prescriptive and drawn out. When you add insurance companies to the mix, the legal landscape can become even more complex. Luckily, our decades of experience makes us the go-to people for navigating NJ’s truck accident personal injury claim process with ease: and without letting insurance companies get the better of you.
- Perhaps most importantly, we are completely invested in your outcome. Our no-win, no fee policy means that we don’t make a cent unless you get the financial settlement you deserve. This means that – unlike the insurance companies whose aim is to minimize your financial payout – we don’t charge a penny until you’ve received your maximum payout.
Injured in a New Jersey Semi Truck Crash? Anthony Vecchio, NJ Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
Serious injuries occur at a much higher frequency in accidents involving a tractor-trailer, big rig, 18-wheeler or other commercial truck. The size discrepancy between commercial trucks and a passenger vehicle is significant; a loaded truck can weigh as much as 25 times more than a standard passenger vehicle. It is easy to see why an accident involving a commercial truck often ends badly for drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. An added risk is that a tractor trailer may be transporting dangerous cargo, leading to secondary injuries from toxic exposure, burns or other serious injuries. If you need a NJ truck accident attorney, contact us.
The most common types of injuries sustained in an 18 wheeler accident include head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burns and scarring, back injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, knee damage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, paraplegia or quadriplegia, shoulder injuries or permanent disabilities. Any of those injuries can leave you with thousands of dollars in medical bills.
After a New Jersey truck crash, it can be difficult to know what to do and where to turn for help. The truck accident lawyers in NJ at The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, we act as advocates for 18 wheeler accident victims, and help them to seek fair compensation for all damages. In cases in which a loved one died in a semi truck accident, our firm can assist the family to seek justice and compensation through a wrongful death claim. It is important that your injury claim or lawsuit is handled professionally, and you can rely on us to help you recover the damages you deserve. Click here to find our NJ offices. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
The Law Offices of Anthony Vecchio are available right now for a free tractor trailer personal injury case evaluation and free advice. Rather than being pushed around and given wrong information by insurance companies, work with someone who has your best interests at heart. Let Anthony Vecchio use his decades of personal injury experience to give you the very best outcome in your case.