Trucking accidents are an unfortunate fact of life and trucking is a backbone-essential logistical component in the economy. The US trucking business is worth almost $800 billion and operating revenues for the US business is around $420 billion.
One source indicates that truck accidents have increased by over 50 per cent since 2009 and nearly three quarters of all fatal crashes involving vehicles also involve trucks. About 130,000 people are injured through the trucking accidents.
It is therefor a major issue and one that confronts road users on a daily basis (and most trucking accidents do occur during the day).
But what are the requirements to prove fault in a trucking accident. LawFuel sought the help of experienced New Jersey truck accident lawyer to gain an understanding of that state’s truck accident laws, which provide an insight into many of the requirements those affected by such accidents need to be aware of in other states, too.
Whether the trucking accident occurred in New Jersey or California, when determining who is at fault, you’ll need to identify the key factors that resulted in the collision and do so with as much expertise as you can obtain.
If the causation is due to driver error, the truck driver will be held responsible for any damages. On the other hand, the trucking company may be at fault if the driver had improper training or was required to drive long hours. This sort of eventuality is a too-common occurrence that can lead to compensation claims.
Data compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has identified that passenger vehicle drivers were impacted more by issues relating to fatigue, adverse physical conditions, alcohol, illegal drugs and illness moreso than in trucking crashes, which tend more towards liability in respect of driving problems, road issues, brake issues, truck design or build issues.
Additionally, other parties, like the trucking manufacturer, may ultimately be deemed liable. Truck manufacturers are keenly aware of the risks they can run and there will be cases where they are held liable and also when they will recall trucks to correct a fault, such as a recent occurrence when Nissan recalled trucks in respect of a possible transmission issue, which could lead to accidents occurring.
New Jersey Truck Accident Laws
Trucking accident investigations can be a challenging battle. Insurance companies, trucking companies, and at-fault drivers have incentives to avoid compensating what you deserve.
Because of all the documentation required, gathering proof, and finding witnesses, it’s advisable to seek so they can assist you in getting the compensation you need.
Before consulting with a lawyer, it’s also a good idea to understand how liability and compensation work in truck accident cases as they can vary considerably from other auto injury cases.
Below, we’ll explain how negligence is determined and give you a few tips to keep in mind.
Determining Who Is Negligent
New Jersey law follows the modified comparative negligence scheme when determining liability in negligent driving cases.
Simply put, if the jury finds that the plaintiff is over 50% responsible for the collision, the plaintiff may not recover damages from the other driver. However, if the jury finds the opposite, the other driver will be liable and pay damages according to the percentage of liability the jury assigns the individual.
Although proving negligence is the initial step when determining whose at fault in a truck accident, New Jersey plaintiffs may be barred from recovering damages in car accident cases if the jury finds them partially liable for the collision.
In typical collision cases, plaintiffs will allege that the driver involved in the accident is at fault due to negligence or distracted driving.
Negligence occurs when an individual fails to follow driving laws, resulting in a car accident.
A driver may be negligent (and liable for the accident) if the driver does one of the following while driving:
- Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Fidgeting with the GPS
- Texting or talking on the phone
- Changing the radio station
- Failing to maintain their vehicle in proper condition
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Searching for an item on the floor of their vehicle
- Failing to adhere to traffic signs or signals
With trucking accidents, there may be several parties who will be held accountable. The trucking company, maintenance company, truck manufacturer, loading facility, or truck driver may be responsible depending on the cause of the accident.
Experienced truck accident lawyers, you can look at the information associated with the collision to identify the at-fault party or individual.
What Should I Do if I Was Involved in a Truck Accident?
Although it’s crucial to hire an attorney, your well-being comes first. After enduring a severe truck accident, your top priority should be your recovery and health. Seek medical attention to ensure you get proper treatment for any injuries from the accident. However, you should seek out an attorney as soon as you can.
Trucking accidents are different from other motor vehicle crashes because there may be more than one party who is responsible and should be found liable. Identifying the causation is vital because this is what determines which party is liable for damage, injuries, and other costs associated with the collision.
We suggest you find a top attorney to build your case so you can focus on recovering from the accident. An experienced lawyer will enthusiastically assist you in determining what the at-fault party owes for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Obtaining the appropriate level of compensation from the culpable party is something that requires effort and assistance from those experts who can work towards achieving the outcome the injured party receives.