All motor vehicle accidents are serious; however, some of the most significant motor vehicle accidents involved large commercial trucks and vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2018, 5,096 trucks or buses were involved in fatal crashes, with an additional 121,000 crashes where injuries were reported. Commercial trucks and vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and easily outmatch a sedan-sized automobile that the average person is driving on the roads and highways in New Jersey.
Not only are accidents involving large commercial trucks and vehicles more significant, but filing a lawsuit against a commercial trucking company is complex and involves not only the laws of New Jersey, but Federal laws, as well. This is why it is crucial to ensure that the lawyer you choose to represent you in a trucking accident has expertise in handling trucking accident cases.
The attorneys at the law firm of Cerussi & Gunn have experience handling trucking accident cases and expertise in the State and Federal laws governing trucking accidents. The attorneys are also familiar with investigating and litigating such cases. This means you are in good hands when seeking compensation for a trucking accident with the attorneys at Cerussi & Gunn.
You may be overwhelmed as the victim of a commercial truck accident in New Jersey. You may not know where to turn for help. The insurance companies involved in your case will not be on your side, nor will the truck company want what is best for you. A personal injury attorney can be your advocate during this difficult time.
Our trucking accident lawyers can immediately go to work on your case, giving you time to focus on healing from your serious injuries. We can take over tasks such as investigating how the truck accident occurred, investigating why the truck accident occurred, and collecting evidence. Then, we will file a claim on your behalf and build a case against the truck driver and trucking company, with the assistance of accident reconstructionists and trucking experts.
Our attorneys will be with you to answer all of your questions, provide honest advice, and worry about building a case, so you can focus on your recovery.
Commercial truck accidents are often catastrophic for the occupants of the passenger car. With an average weight of about 80,000 pounds, an 18-wheeler can crush or obliterate smaller and lighter vehicles, resulting in life-threatening injuries to the passengers within. If a person survives a truck accident, he or she may require emergency medical care and ongoing treatments during recovery. Sadly, many victims never fully recover from truck accidents.
Some of the most common injuries suffered in truck accidents in New Jersey are:
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident with a large truck, seek legal assistance now. If we take your injury case at Cerussi & Gunn, P.C., we will work vigorously on your behalf, investigating every aspect of what happened. Our goal is to secure the compensation you are entitled to for all accident-related losses. This can include medical bills, lost income and benefits, as well as pain and suffering damages. Our injury attorneys will even pursue punitive damages against a negligent truck driver or truck company if warranted.
Determining why a motor vehicle accident involving a commercial truck or vehicle occurred is not as easy as reviewing the police report and determining whether a driver received a summons. Accidents involving commercial trucks or vehicles occur for the same reasons that motor vehicle accidents occur involving private passenger cars, i.e., speeding, driver inattention, failure to yield, etc. However, trucking accidents also happen due to fatigue of the driver, failure to properly and timely inspect the truck, failure to properly train the driver of the commercial truck, and failure to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Common types of driver error include:
Most accidents result from carelessness, but that does not necessarily mean the truck driver’s negligence caused the accident to occur. The people who are supposed to maintain the truck or the manufacturer of one of the truck’s parts might be the ones that were actually responsible for the accident. Commercial trucks are subject to significant wear and tear, so they need to be properly inspected and maintained. State and Federal laws govern the inspection and maintenance of commercial vehicles. Our trucking accident law firm can help you hold trucking companies accountable for not properly inspecting and maintaining their commercial vehicles.
Another common cause of truck accidents in New Jersey is trucking company negligence with regard to qualifying its drivers. If a trucking company is careless and fails to fulfill its legal obligation to conduct business reasonably with regard to the drivers it hires, it can cause accidents. This can make the company liable for the crash.
Common examples of trucking company negligence with regard to its drivers include:
A trucking company is guilty of negligence if it commits any unreasonable action or omission that resulted in an accident. If an investigation finds evidence of any type of trucking company negligence, the company’s insurance company may be responsible for your losses. This can include medical bills, lost income and benefits, as well as pain and suffering damages. Our trucking accident attorneys will even pursue punitive damages against a negligent truck driver or truck company, if warranted.
New Jersey is in the minority as a no-fault insurance state. In auto accident law, a no-fault insurance system requires all involved drivers to seek medical benefits from their own auto insurance companies, regardless of who caused the collision. After a truck accident in New Jersey, therefore, you will file a claim for medical benefits with your insurance provider. Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will pay for your medical bills.
Suppose you have grounds to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for a truck accident. In that case, you can receive compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages outside the no-fault system. However, you or your commercial truck accident attorney will need to identify the defendant and prove that party’s fault to recover financial compensation through an injury lawsuit in New Jersey.
Liability in a truck accident lawsuit can be challenging to determine. Unlike a typical car accident case that only involves two drivers, a truck accident case will also involve the trucking company and other parties, such as a cargo company. Your case will likely use the legal doctrine of vicarious liability. An experienced trucking accident law firm can help you sort through the challenges of these cases.
Vicarious liability is a legal doctrine wherein one party is held responsible for the actions of another party. This rule is most commonly used in cases involving negligent company employees or minors. In such a situation, the vicarious liability doctrine states that an employer will be responsible for the negligent actions and/or omissions of its on-duty employees.
In a truck accident case, a trucking company may be vicariously liable for the negligence of its truck drivers, cargo loaders, maintenance teams, and other employees. If the truck driver was an independent contractor (or an owner/operator) and not an employee, the driver might be independently liable and the trucking company may not be responsible for the negligence of the driver. Work with an attorney to determine liability for your specific truck accident case.
When purchasing or renewing their automobile insurance, every New Jersey driver determines whether they want to be subject to the limitation on lawsuit, also known as the verbal threshold. If a driver chooses the limitation on lawsuit option, the driver’s premiums will be considerably less; however, that driver, if injured in a motor vehicle accident, can only recover from pain and suffering if that driver sustains a more severe type of injury.
However, if the driver of a commercial vehicle causes a motor vehicle accident, the individual who sustains personal injuries as a result of the accident likely would not be subject to the limitation on lawsuit, even if that is what they had chosen on their own policy of automobile insurance.
Notwithstanding, their own motor vehicle insurance would still cover the injured individual’s medical bills.
A truck accident lawsuit in New Jersey has many unique elements compared to a traditional car accident case. For example, the injuries suffered are typically much more severe due to a big rig’s immense size and weight. Something else that makes these accident cases unique is the types of evidence available to support a claim.
Common types of evidence used in truck accident cases include:
Another factor that makes truck accidents unique is the number of resources the average trucking company has to fight lawsuits. For example, most companies deploy rapid response teams immediately to the scenes of accidents to try to collect evidence before anyone else has the chance to do so. This is why it is essential to consult with a commercial truck and 18-wheeler accident attorney right away — to even the playing field between you and the trucking company. A truck accident lawyer can help you preserve key evidence from the scene.
At Cerussi & Gunn, our law firm’s trucking accident attorneys know our clients are pursuing much more than just financial compensation when they file claims. However, we also recognize how important it is for injured accident victims to receive the compensation they deserve, especially after a truck accident that causes catastrophic injuries and long-term medical needs. That is why we work hard to obtain the settlements or jury verdicts our clients deserve.
If your truck accident case succeeds, you may receive financial compensation for the following damages:
Bringing an injury claim against a trucking company or another defendant is about more than just monetary gain. Holding a trucking company accountable for a preventable accident can push for safety changes on an institutional level, potentially preventing future truck accidents from taking place. Having a negligent party legally and financially responsible for your accident can also give you and your family a sense of justice and closure. Partnering with an experienced trucking accident law firm can get you that closure you need.
The attorney you choose to represent you concerning a trucking accident must be thoroughly familiar with the New Jersey and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
The attorneys at Cerussi & Gunn, located in Monmouth County, NJ, are familiar with the New Jersey and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and have handled numerous cases involving commercial trucks and vehicles.
At Cerussi & Gunn, we have the experience to handle your case against a trucking company whose driver’s negligence or its own negligence causes a motor vehicle accident that causes you injury. The NJ trucking accident lawyers at Cerussi & Gunn will be able to answer your questions and properly prepare your case.
If you are dealing with life-changing injuries from a preventable truck accident, you have rights. You do not have to defend them alone. The truck accident lawyers from the law firm of Cerussi & Gunn can stand by your side to make sure you and your family have everything you need during this difficult time.
If you or a loved one has injuries from a trucking accident in the following communities, please contact our law firm to request a free consultation.
Call Cerussi & Gunn at (732) 936-9920 or contact us online anytime, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
We also help clients with cases involving: