New Jersey Brake Failure Truck Accident Attorneys
If you sustained injuries in an accident because the truck driver’s brakes failed, you should contact the New Jersey truck accident attorneys of Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers, so we can begin working on your case. You could hold the truck driver, trucking company, or another negligent party liable for the expenses you incurred while treating your injuries. You deserve to receive compensation, so you’re not forced to pay out-of-pocket for these costs.
Large commercial trucks contain various parts that can fail if they’re not maintained properly. Routine inspections must occur to ensure that all parts function correctly. If there’s damage or defects to one of the parts, such as the brakes, the trucking company should fix them promptly to prevent them from failing. Unfortunately, these companies will sometimes place profit or safety first and avoid costly maintenance and repairs to cut down on expenses. When that happens, catastrophic accidents can result.
At Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers, our New Jersey brake failure truck accident attorneys will advocate for your rights and fight for the justice you deserve. Call us for a free consultation at (973) 364-8300 to learn more about our legal services.
Types of Commercial Trucks
You might have noticed large trucks traveling on New Jersey roadways while you were commuting to work or school. They’re necessary to the nation’s economy. Truck drivers transport food, consumer products, construction materials, and other items to their destinations daily. These vehicles are not only useful; they’re also dangerous and can cause severe injuries and fatalities if the brakes suddenly fail.
The most common types of commercial trucks you could see in New Jersey are:
- Heavy haulers
- Tanker trucks
- Tow trucks
- Dump and garbage trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Box trucks
- Refrigerated trucks
- Delivery trucks and vans
Poorly maintained brakes can prevent the vehicle from slowing down in adverse weather or stopping when traffic comes to a standstill.
Accidents involving commercial trucks with brake failure can be complex because more than one party could be to blame for the accident. The truck driver might be responsible if they didn’t perform necessary inspections before their shift. Or, the brake manufacturer could be at fault for providing a product that contains a defect. That’s why it’s vital that you hire one of the experienced and knowledgeable New Jersey brake failure truck accident attorneys from Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers to assist you.
Common Causes of Brake Failure in Commercial Trucks
Brake systems use hydraulic pressure lines to ensure the vehicle slows down or comes to a complete stop when necessary. It’s effective for passenger cars that only weigh 3,000 pounds. However, commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. It’s much harder to stop this type of vehicle, especially if the driver is speeding.
The pressure exerted on a tractor-trailer’s brakes comes from a compressor that creates and feeds air pressure into tanks when the driver steps on the brake pedal. Overusing the brake system can drain air from the compressor much faster than it can replenish. With no air pressure to apply to the brakes, it can be difficult for the driver to stop their vehicle. This can become hazardous to the trucker and the occupants of other cars, especially on steep hills.
Other common causes of brake failure are:
- Lack of maintenance
- Mechanic error during service
- Failure to inspect the brake system
- Driver error
- Poorly or improperly loaded cargo
- Failure to repair defective or damaged parts
- Using recalled brakes
If any of these or some other factor resulted in a brake-related truck accident and you were injured, do not hesitate to contact Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We can determine which party should be held liable for the failing brakes and pursue the maximum compensation you’re owed.
Who’s Liable for a Truck Accident Due to Brake Failure?
It can be challenging to prove fault in a truck accident case, especially when it involves a defective part. You must prove not only that the failing brakes directly caused the crash but also show evidence that the party responsible for ensuring the brakes would function correctly failed in their duties. Depending on the specific circumstances associated with your case, multiple parties could be at fault, such as:
- Manufacturer – A defect could happen during any part of the manufacturing process from design to assembly. Manufacturers must construct brakes for commercial trucks to meet quality and safety standards. If they use a dangerous design, make an error during manufacturing, or fail to warn consumers of potential hazards they might face, they could be held liable for any accidents that occur.
- Trucking company – Just because the trucker was in the vehicle at the time of the crash doesn’t necessarily mean they’re to blame for your injuries. Their employer’s actions could have contributed if they didn’t maintain the truck involved in the accident. They could also be at fault for hiring an inexperienced driver or failing to provide adequate training.
- Truck driver – The truck driver might be liable if they didn’t inspect their vehicle. Federal law requires them to inspect the truck before and after each driving shift. They must ensure there’s no damage to any parts and everything is functioning normally.
- Third party – Sometimes, trucking companies hire third-party contractors to perform repairs and maintenance on commercial trucks. The company or employee working on the vehicle could be liable for not doing an adequate job of recognizing issues with the brake system and fixing them.
At Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers, our team of New Jersey brake failure truck accident attorneys has experience investigating the causes of crashes involving commercial trucks. We know how to obtain crucial evidence to prove what happened and who we can hold accountable for their negligence.
Compensation Available After a Truck Accident in New Jersey
Federal laws require trucking companies to purchase and maintain liability insurance for their drivers. Minimum limits depend on the truck’s weight and whether the cargo is hazardous or non-hazardous. Those minimums are:
- $300,000 coverage for a vehicle under 10,001 pounds containing non-hazardous items
- $750,000 limit for a truck weighing over 10,000 pounds and carrying non-hazardous cargo
- $1 million to $5 million liability coverage for trucks transporting oil and other hazardous freight
When you file a liability claim, you can pursue compensation to cover the past and future losses you suffered from the accident. Even if your injury is minor, you still deserve to recover the monetary value of your case. The losses you could seek are:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
The insurance company should provide an adequate settlement amount if the truck driver or trucking company didn’t maintain the brakes to meet standards set by federal regulations. Unfortunately, insurance companies typically want to avoid large payouts. They might look for evidence to prove you were at fault for the accident or your injury resulted from a preexisting medical condition. Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers is familiar with these tactics, and we will aggressively negotiate for the highest possible compensation so you can recover and move forward with your life.
Pursuing Compensation from a Lawsuit
If the insurance company offers a low settlement amount or denies your claim, you might have an opportunity to file a lawsuit. There’s a specific timeframe you must follow to sue someone after a truck accident in New Jersey. This is called a statute of limitations. Personal injury cases have a two-year statute of limitations. It’s critical that you adhere to this deadline, or you could lose your right to recover compensation in court.
There are, however, two significant exceptions to this rule that could delay or pause the statute:
- The at-fault party left the state before you could file the lawsuit. Their absence would not count towards the two-year timeframe. The clock would start again once they return.
- You were under 18 years old or of unsound mind at the time of the accident. The clock would stop temporarily and only begin once you turn 18 or gain mental competency.
It can be overwhelming and stressful to handle a lawsuit alone. That’s why hiring a New Jersey brake failure truck accident attorney from Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers in the immediate aftermath of the crash is critical. If you attempt to pursue compensation without seeking legal representation, you’re more likely to lose your case or end up with much less money than you deserve.
At Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers, we know the financial burden you might face after the accident. Injuries are typically severe and require months or years of expensive treatment for your recovery. When you’re paying your medical bills, the last thing you want to worry about is the cost of hiring a lawyer. We take cases on contingency, so you won’t be expected to pay upfront fees or costs. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.
If brake failure was the reason you were hurt in a collision involving a commercial truck, call Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers at (973) 364-8300 right now. One of our New Jersey brake failure truck accident attorneys can discuss the details of your case with you during a free consultation and advise you about the available options for meeting your needs.