Truck Accident Attorney Serving New JerseySchedule a Free Consultation
Experience, skill, and determination yield consistently excellent results
Accidents involving large commercial have the potential to cause devastating and life-altering injuries. A serious injury can disrupt your life and upend your future. An experienced attorney from Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers can help. We have a strong reputation as a premier personal injury law firm in the Garden State, based on highly personalized service and a track record of excellent results. We have recovered more than $125 million in compensation for our clients and are ready to put our knowledge and skills to work for you.
Let the New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (973) 364-8300, fill out our online contact form, or chat live for a free consultation. We will handle your truck accident case on a contingency fee basis, so we won’t get paid until we help you recover compensation.
Why do I need a lawyer after a truck accident?
While any type of accident is scary, truck accidents can be particularly devastating. Because trucks like tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and semis are much larger than typical passenger vehicles, injuries from these crashes are often much more severe and can even be fatal.
On top of that, multiple parties might be liable in truck accidents, making it even more challenging to recover fair compensation, especially if you’re trying to deal with insurance companies alone. Truck drivers are typically employed by large companies that will do everything they can to protect their reputation and reduce the money they have to pay out after a crash. The company’s insurance representatives and lawyers might try to talk you into a low settlement or trick you into saying something they can use to avoid paying you.
An experienced truck accident lawyer can help relieve many of the hassles that come with truck accidents. They will fully investigate your crash to help determine liability and gather all the evidence vital to proving your case. They will use this information to pursue compensation from all responsible parties and negotiate with these insurance companies on your behalf. If insurance won’t agree to a fair settlement, they will help you get full compensation by taking all the necessary steps to file a lawsuit and fighting for you in court.
Common causes of truck accidents in New Jersey
The first step in recovering compensation for a commercial truck accident is determining who or what caused the accident. We have vast experience proving causation in truck crashes, including those resulting from such frequent causes as:
- Driver Error – To operate a commercial vehicle, drivers need to undergo specific training and obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Unfortunately, this specialized training does not eliminate the chance for errors or oversight made by drivers in real-world driving conditions. Severe or fatal accidents can easily occur when a driver fails to operate their vehicle with the adequate care, attentiveness, and skill.
- Driver Inattention —Driver inattention, the most common cause of trucking accidents, includes speeding, distractions such as texting, reckless or careless behavior, and fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration holds truck drivers to strict hours of service (HOS) standards. These rules limit truck drivers to 11 hours of driving per day and 14-hour workdays. Additionally, drivers cannot drive more than 70 hours in a workweek and must rest for at least 30 minutes during the driver’s first eight hours of a shift. Although various regulations are in place, studies still show that some drivers continue to drive long hours to meet company deadlines.
- Blind Spots — Commercial trucks are large and have “no zones” or blind spots with the potential to cause an accident if a truck driver does not see a vehicle traveling nearby. A truck’s blind spots are on its sides, rear, and directly in front.
- Rollovers — Unfortunately, a rollover collision is a common truck accident. Trucks are more prone to rollover than other types of vehicles, given the size and weight of the vehicles. Rollover collisions often result in serious injury or death and are commonly caused by improper loading resulting in an imbalanced trailer. A truck that turns too sharply is also at risk for rollover, especially if carrying a full or unbalanced load. In addition, if a driver begins to lose control of his truck, uneven ground, a curb, a guardrail, or even another vehicle can cause the truck to roll.
- Stimulants — Drivers are often faced with time constraints and long hours. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for drivers to resort to stimulants to stay awake and keep up with the demands of their schedules. Stimulants can be purchased over the counter as energy drinks, prescribed pills, or acquired illegally. Once these stimulants have worn off, drivers can tire quickly and easily fall asleep at the wheel.
- Malfunctioning Brakes — Trucks are often required to travel vast distances for over ten hours daily. This type of use can significantly impact the truck’s braking system. Most trucks have air brakes designed to stop a loaded truck at about 100 feet when traveling 35-40 miles per hour. A malfunction or improper maintenance can result in brake failure on these 80,000-pound trucks.
Understanding the severity of these accidents and their causes, we work hard to fight for the rights of victims of truck accidents. Unlike a typical motor vehicle accident, you must battle not only the driver and the insurance company, but also a large trucking company. Our team of attorneys has decades of experience and a proven track record in taking on large trucking companies to recover money for our clients.
Types of Truck Accident Cases
The commercial trucking business moves the majority of freight over land to serve the American economy, and the construction industry also relies heavily on trucks to transport materials and perform substantial tasks. Accidents will happen with so many of these vehicles on the road, and they can be devastating for the other drivers. These are the most common types of accidents involving trucks:
- Jackknife – A jackknife accident happens when a semi-truck hauling trailer skids because the driver brakes too quickly or the brakes lock up. The trailer will swing toward the cab at a 90-degree angle, and sometimes the trailer will block the entire road.
- No-Zone – No-zone is a term for the dangerous areas to the side, rear, and front of a truck where other vehicles disappear from a truck driver’s view. Crashes are more likely to occur when a car lingers in one of these blind spots.
- Head-On – The term for when two vehicles moving directly toward each other crash is a head-on collision. These occur most often in rural areas and involve brake malfunction, speeding, improper passing, or disregarding a traffic sign.
- Tire Blowout – A blowout occurs when a tire bursts and loses all its air pressure. The driver can lose control of the truck and swerve into another vehicle. Tire blowouts are common and can stem from inadequate tire maintenance, poor road conditions, manufacturer defects, too much weight, or excessive heat.
- Rear-End – This type of collision happens when a truck hits the back of the vehicle directly in front of it. Large trucks have an increased stopping distance compared to standard-size vehicles, so their drivers may be unable to slow down in time to avoid a crash. Distracted or impaired driving is commonly associated with rear-end accidents.
- Under/Override – These are accidents that happen when a large truck rides over the back of a smaller vehicle or a smaller vehicle hits the truck from behind, pushing it under the truck. A truck can easily crush the smaller automobile and cause severe or fatal injuries.
- Lost Loads/Improperly Secured Loads – If a truck’s cargo is not adequately balanced and secured, it can shift or come loose during transit. A shifting load creates imbalance, making it more difficult for the driver to control the truck. If cargo on a flatbed truck comes loose, it can spill onto the road, creating hazards for other drivers.
- T-Bone – When the front end of one vehicle strikes the side of another, it’s often called a T-bone accident. That’s because the subsequent wreck resembles the cut of meat. Many of these crashes happen when one motorist attempts to run a red light as the other vehicle travels at high speed. When a T-bone accident involves a truck, the injuries are often serious or fatal.
Types of Commercial/Big Vehicle Accidents We Handle
There are numerous types of large commercial vehicles designed to perform various duties. Here are some of the most common vehicles we see in truck accident cases and the risks they pose:
- Dump/Garbage Trucks – These kinds of trucks have limited views and large blind spots. They can be especially dangerous because many operate in residential areas.
- Tractor-Trailers – Tractor-trailers, also called semi-trucks or 18-wheelers, are designed to haul cargo. They require a longer stopping distance, have large blind spots, and are prone to rolling over.
- Tanker Trucks – These carry liquids or gases, including hazardous materials. A large tanker is prone to rollovers, which can be very dangerous if it hauls a flammable substance.
- Flatbed Trucks – With a flat, open trailer, these trucks leave their loads exposed. Many accidents happen when flatbeds have improperly secured or loaded cargo that gets loose.
- Tow Trucks – These trucks transport other vehicles. Cars loaded on tow trucks can sometimes shift in transit or become disconnected and fall off the tow truck.
- Busses – The purpose of buses is to transport multiple passengers. They can be public or privately owned, and each accident case is different based on the type of bus. Both passengers on the bus and other vehicle occupants can be seriously injured in accidents.
- Construction Vehicles – Numerous types of vehicles are used in construction work, including bulldozers, backhoes, cranes, tractors, and forklifts, and they are capable of copious damage to other vehicles. Accidents can take place in work zones or during transit.
- Delivery Trucks – Many industries use delivery trucks, so they are everywhere. The drivers are typically on a tight delivery schedule and can compromise safe driving to get their job done.
What should I do after a truck accident?
Truck accidents are terrifying, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but there are steps you can take after a truck accident to protect your legal rights.
- Call 911 and get medical attention: First responders, such as police and EMTs, are trained to handle the severe injuries that truck accidents usually cause. They can provide immediate help with property damages and medical emergencies. If you do not receive medical attention during the crash, get your injuries evaluated as soon as possible. A doctor can treat your injuries and help avoid long-term complications. Their report will be important evidence if you make a claim related to the accident. Additionally, police called to the accident scene will file an official report that will be crucial evidence.
- Gather evidence: Write down what witnesses saw in the crash and get their names and contact information. Photograph your injuries, damage to your car or other vehicles involved in the crash, and weather or road conditions like malfunctioning traffic signals or loose gravel. Get information on the other drivers involved in the accident, including their names, contact info, insurance information, and driver’s and license plate numbers.
- Don’t admit fault: Even saying sorry to another driver can be taken as an admission of guilt. The insurance company can use that to reduce or deny your compensation. Even if you think you might have contributed to the accident, avoid speaking with the other party’s insurance company without a lawyer and refuse to sign anything unless required by the police. Many different factors contribute to truck accidents, so it’s difficult to understand liability without a full investigation.
- Contact a truck accident lawyer: The truck driver’s insurance company and legal representatives will do all they can to avoid paying you full compensation. They might even arrive at the accident scene and try to talk you into a low settlement offer. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you fight against these tricks, protect your rights, and help you get the compensation you’re owed.
What kind of compensation could I get in a truck accident case?
Because truck accidents are so catastrophic, compensation in these cases can reach millions. Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers has helped clients win verdicts and settlements like $5.35 million and $4.77 million in truck accident cases. How much money you might be able to get depends on the details of your case. No matter the amount, compensation typically covers things like:
- Outstanding medical bills
- Disability accommodations
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage or destruction
- Reduced earning ability
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Safety Council, nearly 5,800 people died in crashes with large trucks in 2021, a 17% increase over the previous year and a dramatic 47% increase over the decade. Only 17% of these fatalities were occupants of the truck, while 72% were in other vehicles, and 11% were outside the truck – primarily pedestrians or cyclists.
A further 155,00 people suffered injuries, a 5% increase over 2020. Seventy-two percent of these injuries were to people in other vehicles, while 27% were to truck occupants, and 2% were to people not in vehicles.
About 3% of truck drivers in fatal accidents in 2021 tested positive for alcohol, per the NHTSA.
Eighty-eight of the 974 vehicles involved in fatal traffic accidents in New Jersey that year were large trucks, or about 9%.
Accomplished truck accident lawyers ready to help with your claim
We are proud of how much we have gotten for our clients who have filed personal injury claims due to a truck accident. Our attorneys can help you to get the compensation you deserve. If a large, commercial vehicle hits you, the injuries to yourself and your vehicle can be very serious. The amount of your medical bills is going to add up fast.
We know the legal system and the pitfalls you may experience if you try to get that money alone. Hire us as your lawyer, and you can focus on getting well. We will help you to get through the process. Our lawyers will discuss what you can expect during that process and how much your claim is worth based on the circumstances and your injuries. We also get money for pain and suffering and any lost wages.
We work hard to get you the most money possible, just like we do for every single one of our clients. Our legal team knows this type of truck accident has shaken you up and completely changed your day-to-day life. We want you to be able to focus on getting well and not worry about the bills or your family. If you want to see the difference our services can make, call us to schedule a free consultation.
It’s All About Results
We are the trial attorneys with the experience and knowledge to get you the results you deserve. At Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers, we take time to get to know you, as well as your case. We are committed to excellence. It is important for our team to understand your fears, concerns and expectations. We are always available to answer any questions, and are willing to come to you if you are unable to come to us.Contact Our Experienced Law Firm
Knowledgeable assistance in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, and Middlesex County
The weight and the overall size of a commercial truck and trailer are going to be very damaging. The larger it is and the heavier the load in the trailer, the more potential for serious injury or death when there is an accident. The average 18-wheeler weighs about 80,000 pounds. This is significantly more than the average car.
This is why it doesn’t take a high speed to result in serious injuries or death when a commercial truck is involved. The sheer force due to the size and weight of that vehicle is going to take it to a level, unlike your typical motor vehicle accident out there involving two passenger cars. In addition to the impact and the force of the truck itself, there is the risk of what the truck may be hauling.
They haul food, clothing, household goods, and also dangerous types of cargo. This includes chemicals, hazardous materials, and liquids that could be flammable, including gasoline. This only further creates a dangerous situation where someone could be very seriously harmed. It could cause harm to people around the accident, too, not just those directly involved in the collision.
You may be the victim of a truck accident because you were unlucky enough to be in a certain place at a certain point in time. You may not have caused that accident, but you are now hurt and have pain. There are many causes of truck accidents, and most of them are due to either a defect in the vehicle or a driver error.
Truck drivers are considered to be professionals, but they are also humans. Mistakes can happen when they take risks, such as driving too fast for the posted speed limit or too fast for adverse weather conditions. Driver error can result from ignoring who has the right of way or not paying attention to various safety laws and rules of the road.
Truck drivers often have a higher risk of an accident than the typical driver due to their lifestyle and habits. They often drive for extended hours at a time, they often have tight schedules for deliveries and pickups, and they may become distracted by others around them or the use of a mobile device. The congestion on busy roads can also make it harder for them to do their job properly.
We want to point out, though, that it isn’t always errors on the part of the truck driver that create these accidents. Time and time again, drivers aren’t paying attention behind the wheel. They drive irresponsibly, which can cause several drivers and vehicles to pile up in a single accident.
Sometimes, the drivers of a large truck get cut off, or they can’t get out of the way when another driver isn’t responsible. Part of our job as your lawyer is to find out who is actually responsible for the accident and then to hold them accountable. In some situations, there is more than one party responsible, and we will pursue a claim against all of them.
Ready to assist with truck accident claims in Passaic County and Morris County
Not all of the truck-related accidents out there are the result of errors. Some of them result from vehicles that aren’t operating as they should. When trucks aren’t routinely maintained, all on the road are at risk. Various parts of these large trucks wear out quickly due to the miles and hours they are on the road. This includes the brakes and the tires.
There can be design flaws in many of the trucks out there on the road as well. The most common one is a blind spot which increases the risk of an accident happening. Visibility is an essential part of driving such a vehicle. When that is lacking, it is only a matter of time before an accident is going to take place.
It also takes longer for a big truck to stop due to its size and weight. They can’t just push on the brakes and stop without plenty of distance being covered before that happens. This is why truck drivers have to strive to keep a good distance between themselves and other vehicles. Yet when drivers have vehicles cutting in front of you on busy roads, that can be almost impossible.
The road rules apply the same to all vehicles out there, including larger commercial trucks. However, some specific rules can apply to large trucks, but the average person is usually unaware of this. When you have an accident with a commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to a larger settlement. The insurance company won’t tell you this, but your lawyer certainly will!
The good news: Higher amounts of insurance coverage for New Jersey truck accidents
There is typically more insurance coverage for commercial truck accidents than other vehicles. This is important since, with a typical auto insurance policy, there will be a maximum amount the insurance company is willing to pay you. It doesn’t matter if you deserve more. The coverage is limited.
We find it upsetting, and our clients do too. When the amount of coverage is so low it doesn’t give the victim the compensation amount they should have been awarded. Regarding trucks used commercially, the policies must have higher coverage than typical auto-passenger vehicle policies. This means you don’t have to be stressed about getting enough money to pay your medical bills, supplement lost income, and compensate for the pain you have endured.
Your insurance coverage thresholds do not affect your claim
Depending on where you reside, you may get a choice regarding how much insurance coverage you have on your vehicle and as a driver. However, that could bite you hard if you are involved in an accident. The more coverage you have to protect yourself, the higher your premium will be. Many consumers are forced to go with the lowest amount required by law to budget for it. However, this can mean you aren’t able to get enough money if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.
You may not realize that such options don’t apply to commercial truck owners. Regardless of any threshold limits you have selected on your policy, it doesn’t apply if you are involved in a truck accident where they are at fault. Too often, people don’t know this, which is why you need an excellent lawyer to share such details with you!
How our determined trial lawyers manage your New Jersey truck accident claim
It may blow you away to learn that hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are injured in truck-related accidents annually. Thousands of people either die or suffer from very severe life-altering injuries. Ninety-seven percent of those injured in a commercial accident are passengers in other vehicles, not in the commercial truck.
We have handled a wide range of types of truck-related accidents, and we will be able to take a unique approach with yours. We look at all the applicable laws and the information in the police report. We conduct an investigation and talk to witnesses. We do whatever it takes, including taking the insurance company to court to get you money.
We do all we can to assist you, including:
- Make sure you understand your legal rights and the legal process so you are aware of the necessary steps you need to take and what we need to take to process your claim correctly.
- Taking care of all interactions and communications with the insurance company that insures the commercial truck involved in the accident. We focus on the paperwork and phone calls instead of you having to do it.
- We help with any type of property damage you may have so you can get your vehicle fixed or replaced in less time.
- We assist with your medical bills, so you don’t have to worry about trying to pay those while you wait for your claim to be processed. We take care of everything so you can focus on your needs.
- You can count on us to get access to all your medical information and records for your case. We will follow up with your doctors, assist with keeping billing agents from harassing you, and make sure you are seeing a doctor who can help you with your types of injuries.
- We have a team dedicated to investigating the accident, and we will do all we can to prove they are liable and get you the compensation you deserve.
- We know how insurance companies work to ensure they don’t take advantage of you with their settlement offer. They may try to decline or decrease what they offer you, but we aren’t going to let them get away with it. We make sure they give you a fair amount of money.
- We strive to negotiate your settlement and keep it moving forward. Our case will be strong, and if the insurance is dragging its feet, we will take them to court to get a judgment.
Once your claim is settled, we contact your medical bill providers and ask them to reduce the balance if a lump sum payment is sent. Most will agree to do so, which means more money stays in your pocket.
Successfully investigating a commercial truck accident
There is plenty of work behind the scenes regarding successfully and correctly investigating any commercial truck accident. We want a solid case to present it well to their insurance company or the courts. We want to leave no doubt that they are responsible, and you deserve the compensation we are asking for.
We start by gathering all the information we can. We obtain footage of videos of the incident, the aftermath, and the police report. There may have been a dash cam in the commercial truck, and we will request that too. We find out if that company has any previous history of negligence. Did the driver follow the hours of service laws etc.? We look at every possible element to build a strong case for you.
We encourage you to contact us about your truck accident claim immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get our hands on such evidence or to secure information with witnesses. The more evidence we have to help support your claim, the harder it is for the insurance company to deny your claim or to offer a low settlement amount.
Let our skilled attorneys get your truck accident claim in motion
You don’t have to feel intimidated by the thought of filing a lawsuit against a large commercial company. They may have lots of money and lawyers, but if they or their driver was in the wrong and caused you harm, the law holds them accountable, and they know it. All it takes is the right team of New Jersey truck accident attorneys on your side who will stand up to them and demand it.
Pursuing your claim doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful for you. You need to work directly with us, and we will take care of the rest. We are qualified to handle these types of cases and will go the distance to get you the settlement you deserve.
“Who is liable in a truck accident?”
Liability is especially complicated in truck accidents because numerous parties could be liable, depending on the circumstances. Beyond the truck driver, some of the other parties that might be responsible include the truck’s owner, the driver’s employer, the cargo owner, the people who loaded the truck, the truck’s mechanic, the truck’s manufacturer, other drivers, or even a government entity. An experienced truck accident attorney can help determine who is liable and help you pursue compensation from each responsible party.
“How can I prove fault in a New Jersey truck accident?”
Since so many different parties might be liable, gathering evidence is crucial to getting full compensation. Pictures and witness testimonies are pieces of evidence that are usually easiest to obtain. Getting other important evidence, such as data from the truck’s computer, driving logs, and maintenance records, can be difficult without the help of an experienced investigator.
“How long do I have to file a lawsuit?”
According to New Jersey’s “statute of limitations” laws, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of most accidents. Once this period has passed, getting compensation could not be easy.
“What if I don’t win?”
While we have a very high success rate, no lawyer out there wins 100 percent of these cases. Nothing is lost if you don’t win – you won’t owe us any money. You will never get a bill from us for our services. You only pay us if we get you the settlement we feel you deserve. You don’t pay us anything out of your pocket. Any payment comes from your settlement when you receive it.
There is no risk for you to obtain our representation and excellent services. We take care of everything for you and never rush to resolve the case. The more money we get for you, the more we get. We can’t ignore your case and leave it hanging out there, as that means neither of us will receive any money.
Let our team pursue the compensation you deserve for your NJ truck accident claim
We take on all aspects of personal injury law, and we know what to do to get you money. We have been able to get large settlements for those clients injured in commercial truck accidents. It isn’t your fault you have pain or injuries or can’t return to work. With our help, you can hold those responsible accountable. Don’t sabotage the outcome by trying to do this alone. The insurance companies are never on your side. They want to save money. Give us a call, and let’s work as a team to get the money for you that you deserve.