New Jersey Garbage and Dump Truck Accident Lawyers
Did you get hurt in an accident involving a garbage truck or dump truck in New Jersey? Do you need help filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the negligent driver? Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers is ready to provide the legal representation you need and deserve to hold them liable for the pain and suffering you endured.
Garbage trucks and dump trucks are a common sight throughout the Garden State. The drivers are responsible for removing trash from neighborhoods, transporting materials to and from construction sites, and ensuring other drivers’ safety in the process. Any error the truck driver makes could cause a devastating accident. When a large truck and small car collide, the smaller vehicle’s occupants typically end up suffering the most. Injuries can be severe, and in some instances, there are fatalities.
You deserve to pursue compensation for your medical bills, prescription costs, and other expenses due to the injuries you sustained. At Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers, we’ve been able to recover over $300 million for our clients and are ready to help you seek justice for the accident that left you in pain. Call us at (973) 364-8300 today for a free consultation with one of our New Jersey garbage and dump truck accident lawyers.
Main Reasons for Garbage and Dump Truck Accidents in New Jersey
Multiple factors could result in an accident between a truck and a passenger vehicle. Truck drivers must operate a large and heavy truck carrying various materials on the back. Due to the significantly larger size of a garbage truck and dump truck, it can be challenging to navigate traffic. Inexperienced drivers don’t know how to handle emergencies or operate the vehicle safely. In some situations, the driver might become distracted by their cell phone, preventing them from noticing what’s happening in front of them.
The most common causes of garbage and dump truck accidents include:
Poor visibility – The container used to transport different materials on a dump truck or garbage truck blocks the driver’s view of any cars behind or next to them. Blind spots are much larger than on a compact car, requiring more diligence in checking for other vehicles before merging or changing lanes.
High center of gravity – Commercial trucks have a high center of gravity. They can roll over much easier than other vehicles. Truck drivers should ensure the materials they’re carrying are evenly distributed on the back. Improperly loaded cargo could cause an imbalance in the truck’s weight, leading to a rollover accident or preventing the driver from having full control during a sharp turn or another maneuver.
Other causes associated with garbage and dump truck accidents include:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Fatigued driving
Federal Regulations for Securing and Transporting Cargo Loads
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the trucking industry. They issue standards every trucking company and truck driver must follow while performing their job duties. Violating these regulations could result in severe accidents and penalties.
Trucking employees who fail to comply with certain regulations could be held liable for any accident that occurs. Some of the most common regulations include:
- A driving shift is not to exceed 14 consecutive hours
- A specialized container is required that holds recyclables, trash, and other discarded materials
- Inspections must be performed on trucks to check for cracks, holes, and other damage that could cause a lost load
- Prompt repairs must be made on damage and defects discovered during inspections and maintenance
- Cargo loading personnel must use the correct property securement systems and observe weight and size limits while loading cargo
Colliding with a garbage or dump truck can lead to severe injuries and fatalities. You’re not only dealing with the initial impact of a large and heavy vehicle against your car but also with any cargo that comes flying off or spilling out of the back during the crash. When the truck driver or trucking company fails in their duties to prevent causing other people harm, it is your right to pursue compensation from them.
Trucking Companies Can Also Be Held Liable for A Garbage or Dump Truck Accident
You might think the truck driver is the only person to blame after an accident since they were the ones operating the vehicle. However, their employer could share some of the blame. Trucking companies should perform thorough background checks on all drivers to ensure they have the experience, qualifications, and licensure to operate a commercial truck. If they knowingly hire someone who doesn’t have the necessary experience or training and an accident happens, they could be held liable for their negligent hiring practices.
Trucking companies also have a requirement to perform maintenance, inspections, and repairs on their vehicles regularly. They should inspect every truck in the fleet for defects, damage, or malfunctioning systems. If they discover a problem, they should address it promptly by repairing the damage or replacing an improperly functioning system or part.
A dump or garbage truck driver’s employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring that everyone follows federal and state regulations. They must inform their drivers of these regulations and adequately supervise each employee to ensure compliance. Violations of these regulations could fall on the truck driver’s shoulders as well as on the company.
Compensation You Could Pursue After a Dump or Garbage Truck Accident In New Jersey
New Jersey uses a no-fault system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. That means that even though someone else caused the crash, you have to turn to your own auto insurance company first for compensation. Insurance is a legal requirement for all motorists. Personal injury protection (PIP) is the available coverage you should have on your policy if you get into an accident. You can file a claim for compensation regardless of who was at fault.
The minimum required coverage for PIP insurance is $15,000. That means you could receive up to that amount to compensate for your various losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Essential service benefits
- Death benefits
- Funeral expenses
Unfortunately, PIP coverage usually isn’t enough money for many truck accident victims. Garbage and dump trucks tend to cause severe injuries, requiring extensive treatment and expensive medical bills. If PIP doesn’t cover the costs associated with the accident, you might be entitled to compensation from a lawsuit against the truck driver.
There is an Unlimited Right to Sue and Limited Right to Sue option on everyone’s policy. If you chose the first option, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you chose the second option, you’re only allowed to sue if you suffered any of the following injuries:
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of a body part
- Permanent injury
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
There is a statute of limitations in New Jersey if you want to file a lawsuit against someone. It is two years, meaning you must sue within two years from the accident date. It is a strict deadline, and if it passes, you could lose your right to compensation through the court system.
The losses you can seek in a lawsuit are more comprehensive than in a PIP claim. When you file a lawsuit against the dump or garbage truck driver, you could pursue:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium or companionship
Shared Fault Could Lower the Amount of Compensation You’re Entitled to After An Accident in New Jersey
The modified comparative negligence rule diminishes an accident victim’s compensation by the percentage of fault they share. If it is found that you were 20% to blame for the garbage or dump truck accident and you incurred $50,000 in expenses, you would only be allowed to pursue up to $40,000 in compensation. Additionally, if you are more than 50% at fault for the crash, you won’t be able to seek any amount of compensation.
Speak To A Dedicated New Jersey Garbage and Dump Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers has decades of experience fighting for the rights of our clients. After an accident, the responsibility to pursue legal action can seem overwhelming. You might not want to add more stress while you’re recovering from your injuries. That’s where we come in. We’re happy to take over your case and handle every legal aspect while you’re attending your doctor’s appointments. We have the resources and knowledge to pursue the financial compensation necessary to cover your expenses successfully.
Our New Jersey garbage and dump truck accident lawyers will remain by your side until the very end of your case. Our legal team is available 24/7 to provide guidance, support, and advice when you need us the most. You will receive personalized attention from start to finish of the legal process because we believe every accident victim deserves to feel like a priority.
If you were involved in a garbage or dump truck accident and suffered injuries through no fault of your own, call Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers at (973) 364-8300 for a free consultation.