Central New Jersey Trucking Accident Lawyer

Hurt in a Trucking Wreck in New Jersey?

Your Rights to Compensation

Accidents involving trucks (18 wheelers, big rigs, semi-tractor trailers and tankers) in New Jersey are often some of the most catastrophic types of motor vehicle crashes. In 2017 alone, there were approximately 4,761 people killed in trucking accidents. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year approximately 116,000 are injured and over 4,700 people are killed in accidents involving trucks throughout the United States. Commercial truck accidents are often catastrophic in nature due to the large size and weight of the vehicle which generates considerable momentum and force on impact.

People injured in accidents involving trucks often experience severe injuries, including amputations, brain damage, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, disfigurement or death. . We are here to help you recover monetary compensation.

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Learn how we can begin to help your family after a truck accident by dialing (732) 992-3000 today.

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The Main Difference between 18 Wheeler Trucking Wrecks and Other Automobile Crashes

If you or your loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving an 18-wheeler truck, you cannot just hire any type of car crash or personal injury lawyer—you need a trucking accident lawyer. This is because semi-tractor trailer accidents are very different from other motor vehicle accidents. There is a completely different set of federal regulations which encompasses trucking company obligations, equipment requirements, and driver duties. Other personal injury attorneys who do not focus on big rig wrecks will not be familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, which are essential to effectively determine negligence against trucking companies and their drivers.

Analysis of a large commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler, semi-tractor trailer or other large truck is quite different from analysis of a car involved in an automobile accident with another accident. The braking system of trucks and steering systems are completely different. You require a skilled attorney to understand the mechanisms and possible cause of the accident. The attorney litigating a trucking accident case must understand these mechanisms and have the knowledge to check all of the things for liability purposes. We do everything appropriate, which may include assembling a team or co-counseling with other attorneys, to make sure your case gets the focused analysis it deserves.

Additionally, large commercial trucks have electronic control modules (ECMs) which record a great amount of information such as the vehicle speed, direction, acceleration of braking, how long the driver was driving, and so on. The information that can be obtained from ECMs is invaluable in trucking accidents. Think of ECMs as a black box. However, while the information is extremely important to your case, it is also very susceptible to being erased or even altered. This is why it is essential to hire an aggressive trucking accident lawyer to quickly secure the ECM data right after state police release the truck after their investigation.

18 Wheeler Wreck Personal Injuries

The vast majority of individuals involved in trucking accidents sustain some type of injury. Sometimes these injuries are catastrophic. Sadly, some involve or wrongful death. Obviously, trucks are large and heavy. Even a low-speed collision with a truck can result in very serious permanent injuries.

Victims involved in semi-tractor trailer accidents may experience life-long disability or may require years of rehabilitative services. There are many different types of injuries that people sustain in trucking accidents. Examples of these include the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Brain damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Nerve injury
  • Vision loss
  • Blindess
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries (i.e. disc herniation)
  • Knee and shoulder injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Hemorrhage
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Burn injuries
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Wrongful death, and
  • Many other types of catastrophic bodily harm.

These are just a few of the many injuries that a person may sustain in an accident involving a semi-tractor trailer. Always ask a law firm like Silverberg Law Firm LLC to help you handle your case in New Jersey.

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Causes of New Jersey Truck Accidents

There are many causes of trucking accidents in New Jersey. The vast majority of all trucking accidents are entirely preventable. Most of the time, these wrecks are caused by negligent, careless or reckless conduct. Sometimes the conduct goes beyond carelessness and is actually unlawful or may be a violation of federal regulations. Other common causes of box truck crashes are often due to poor priorities on behalf of the trucking industry, with more of a focus on money, and a lack of concern for drivers being overworked which often leads to accidents occurring.

Other common causes of semi-truck crashes include the following:

  • Distracted driving, such as texting, using a cell phone or handheld radio, GPS use, eating, drinking, or changing channels on the radio
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Inexperienced drivers without proper supervision or training
  • Improperly secured cargo, leading to cargo falling off of the truck
  • Excessive drowsiness, due to driving too long
  • Mechanical errors
  • Rollovers or jackknifing
  • Backing up unsafely
  • Driving unsafely in poor weather conditions, especially in snow and ice
  • Unsafe lane changes and merging
  • Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Hours of service violations
  • Braking errors
  • Poor maintenance record, and
  • Many other causes that are mechanical, truck driver error, or the fault of the trucking company.

As you can see, there are many, many errors that can cause trucking accidents. It takes an experienced trucking accident lawyer to understand these possible causes in order to know how to properly investigate the cause of the accident to determine liability and establish negligence. Our attorney at Silverberg Law Firm LLC will act as your personal concierge, either handling your case himself or helping you locate the perfect attorney to handle it, in which case we will supervise it for you.

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Click on the call icon to schedule your free consultation. You can also call us directly at (732) 992-3000 or email us at jay@lawjls.com to book an appointment today!

Violations of FMCSA Regulations Leading to Trucking Accidents

A federal agency known as the FMCSA regulates the conduct of trucking companies and their drivers. These regulations must be adhered to in all states. As it is federal, these regulations apply to all states and set the minimum requirements for all truckers, logistic companies, and other entities.

Most of the FMCSA regulations are focused on the safety of all drivers and passengers. Violation of these regulations can result in a catastrophic collision. When this occurs, state law allows an injured victim or their family to use proof that the regulations were violated as a basis to show that negligence has occurred.

Examples of the FMCSA regulations that a trucking company or their drivers may violate include the following:

Alcohol and Drug Prohibition

FMCSA regulations prohibit a driver from having any alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers should not have any BAC. The FMCSA does not allow any truck driver to consume alcohol within four hours of starting their shift. Sadly, many truck drivers violate this regulation, leading to catastrophic collisions.

Hours of Service Violations

Hours of service dictates how long a driver can operate their semi-tractor trailer. These regulations are put in place for the safety of the driver and for the general public. Some of the major HOS requirements include the following:

  • A driver may drive no more than 11 of 14 hours in a shift (24 hours)
  • Drivers must take a 30 minute rest after driving 8 consecutive hours
  • Drivers must drive no more than 60 hours in a 7 day period
  • Drivers must drive no more than 14 hours in a 24 hour period, with a requirement of 10 consecutive hours being “off duty”
  • Drivers must drive no more than 70 hours in 8 consecutive days

Cargo Requirements

FMCSA requirements state how cargo should be secured to prevent an accident. Examples include the type of straps/lashings, how often a driver should check the cargo to ensure it is safely secured, how many devices per foot of cargo, requirement of checking cargo before starting a trip, within 50 miles of starting and every two hours during the trip. Due to the frequency in how often cargo is supposed to be checked, accidents involving unsecured cargo should never occur if FMCSA requirements are adhered to.

Inclement Weather

Drivers must exercise caution during inclement weather to minimize the risk of collisions, including for snow, heavy rain, storms, fog or any other poor weather conditions. If conditions are unsafe, a driver should slow down or stop until conditions improve. This means almost all trucking crashes in snowstorms or heavy rain will violate this section and allow victims to have a strong liability claim.

Tire Blowouts

FMCSA regulations require trucking companies and their drivers to adhere to specific requirements regarding tire safety and quality. Truck drivers must ensure that tires do not have any tread or sidewall separation, no exposure of ply or belt material, and ensuring the  tire is not flat or has any audible or visible leak.

18-Wheeler Wreck Cases Are Not Like Other Personal Injury Cases

Make sure your attorney is prepared to go the extra mile on your truck accident case.

Contact Silverberg Law Firm LLC

We offer FREE consultations and can help advise you and your family on what your rights may be. You could also you can also send us a message using our convenient “contact us” box available here.

We are located in Monroe Township, New Jersey. We have meeting locations available throughout New Jersey and New York. We are happy to come to you or meet at a convenient meeting location near you. We also are happy to meet virtually or speak by phone.

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