If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, speak with a New Jersey truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Truck accidents can be particularly devastating, and if you’re not represented by an experienced legal professional, you could end up getting taken advantage of by the insurance company.
As one of the premier personal injury law firms in New Jersey, Stark & Stark understands how insurance companies think. Thanks to our extensive litigation expertise, our New Jersey truck accident lawyers can give your case the time and attention it deserves.
As soon as you contact Stark & Stark, we’ll take over handling all communication with the insurance company. From that point on, you can focus on getting well while our attorneys work to secure a fair settlement for you and your family.
Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.
What to do after being in a truck accident
The moments immediately after a truck accident are extremely chaotic. Our truck attorneys urge you to take several steps to preserve the evidence of the accident.
First, we strongly advise tractor-trailer accident victims to call 911 immediately after an accident occurs. This preserves any physical evidence of the crash, including skid marks or other tire tracks that might help prove negligence on the part of the trucker.
Once you have sought police help, you should also consider whether or not you need immediate medical attention.
After a truck accident, most victims in smaller vehicles need to see a doctor as soon as possible. They may even be removed from the scene due to severe injury, and be unable to connect with witnesses or to take photos of the scene.
In this case, it is important to contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Make sure you file a claim on time
In New Jersey, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for damages in a truck accident. This is a very strict deadline and it can be difficult to meet if you aren’t ready. For that reason, it’s a good idea not to delay in getting help from an attorney.
What damages can I collect in a truck accident?
There are several types of damages in truck accident injury claims. These include:
Medical expenses and associated costs
Stark & Stark injury claims also allow accident victims to recover their medical expenses. This includes money spent on surgeries, hospital stays, prescription drugs, physical therapy, home health care costs, and any other medical expenses.
Lost wages and future earning capacity
Often, Stark & Stark attorneys can show that a victim’s injuries reduced their ability to earn money. This is especially true for individuals who suffer from new disabilities that make it impossible to return to their profession.
Stark & Stark attorneys are always examining the circumstances surrounding an accident to see if there was any property damaged as a result of a crash. You can request reimbursement for the cost to repair or replace damaged property in addition to providing compensation for lost value.
Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages
Truck accident victims suffer greatly in the aftermath of their accidents. They experience physical pain, stress, and emotional trauma. Pain and suffering is an umbrella term that covers several different types of suffering. Here are a few that our New Jersey truck accident lawyers pay special attention to.
- Loss of enjoyment of life, loss of quality of life, and loss of consortium.
- Disfigurement, scarring, and physical impairments.
- Mental anguish like anger, fear, and anxiety.
- Emotional trauma like PTSD, grief, and depression.
We fight trucking insurance companies to get you full compensation
Our team works diligently to achieve the maximum results possible for our clients. If you choose us, we’ll work hard to help you receive a cash settlement that covers as much of your expenses and lost income as possible as a result of your truck wreck.
In some cases, we can also seek punitive damages from defendants whose actions were egregiously negligent or reckless. Our goal is to restore your financial well-being as much as possible so you can get back to your life.
Parties who may be liable for the crash
The truck operator, the trucking company that employed the driver, and any companies involved in the transportation of goods are all potential defendants. Trucking companies can also be held responsible for inadequate training, fatigue, and oversight for their drivers.
Operators can be held responsible for failing to inspect and maintain their vehicles, failure to properly secure cargo, and failure to suggest or require that a driver take rest breaks. When it comes to filing a claim, you do not need to know who specifically is responsible for your injuries. That is something your truck accident lawyer in New Jersey can help you determine.
How our New Jersey truck accident lawyers can help you
Our team has handled countless truck accident claims. If you or a loved one is injured in a tractor-trailer accident, we can help. Below are just a few of the services we offer clients.
Medical bill review
Our attorneys can review all of your medical bills to see if any of the charges were done incorrectly. We’ll go over each line item and determine if they represent appropriate and necessary care.
Property damage review
Our attorneys look closely at the types of damages you can claim in a truck accident. If your vehicle suffered damage, we’ll review the report and estimate to ensure it is complete and accurate. This includes any items lost in the wreck too, like phones, electronics, car seats, and more.
Loss of income review
If your accident was so bad that it kept you from going back to work, our attorneys can review the medical evidence and supporting documents to determine how much money you lost due to your injuries.
We can then seek reimbursement for your lost wages and future earnings, so you don’t have to worry about how you’ll survive without them.
What is the truck’s “black box” and how can it be used in my case?
A truck’s “black box” monitors the vehicle’s movement, speed, and braking distance. It can be used to determine whether or not the driver was negligent in any way that contributed to the accident.
A black box is actually made up of multiple logging devices inside a truck. The event data recorder (EDR) is the most important type of tracking software.
Event data recorders
The event data recorder (EDR) records every movement, acceleration, and deceleration inside a commercial truck in real time.
EDRs record so much data that it is impossible for them to run 24/7. Instead, they are triggered by an event leading up to an accident, such as losing traction on the road or sudden braking.
This allows the device to capture immediate information on all of the vehicle’s operations at the moment before impact.
Why black boxes are crucial for tractor-trailer accident victims
Commercial truck black box data records how a truck is being driven and prevents drivers from falsifying logs to conceal negligent driving. This can be invaluable for accident victims.
When we review the data recorded by a commercial truck’s black box, we look for red flags that indicate negligent behavior, such as:
- Speeding – Did the driver speed excessively?
- Distracted driving – Was the driver distracted while behind the wheel?
- Extreme braking or acceleration – Did the driver brake harshly or abruptly before impact?
Commercial truck black boxes can also help our attorneys determine whether or not a trucker was fatigued or overworked. By collecting data points on engine power, acceleration, and braking before the crash, our lawyers can tell how the driver reacted before the crash, which can help determine whether or not they were negligent.
For example, drivers who fall asleep at the wheel often don’t brake until it’s too late, or brakes are applied erratically before a crash.
We can look for these red flags to determine fault in a truck accident.
Common causes of truck accidents
Truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but some causes are more common than others.
- Driver fatigue – Truck drivers often drive long hours, which can lead to dangerous levels of fatigue. They must catalog their driving vs off-road hours, so a lawyer will examine these records to make sure the driver wasn’t exhausted during the time of the accident.
- Distracted driving – When truck drivers are distracted, they may not see smaller vehicles in their path, leading to an accident. Drivers spend weeks on the road at a time. That is a lot of miles of asphalt. Being distracted by truck pets, other passengers, or eating while driving can all contribute to a truck accident.
- Poor Road conditions – Truckers must operate at a higher level of vigilance when roads are slick or conditions are obscured. The stopping distance on a semi is much greater due to the size of the vehicle and a truck not paying attention can plow through smaller vehicles if not given enough room.
- Poor truck maintenance – A trucker is responsible for checking the maintenance on his vehicle. Brakes, wiring, lights, and everything else need to be in operational condition or it could lead to accidents on the road.
- Speeding – Speeding is illegal for all drivers, but when a semi weighing several thousand pounds comes barreling up the left lane, other vehicles scatter to get out of the way. Speeding truckers could be late to a delivery, impatient, or too distracted to notice the speed limit, but they should be held accountable.
- Driving under the influence – If a driver drinks or uses pharmaceuticals that affect their driving, whether or not they are legal, they are still responsible for any accident they cause under the influence.
If you were injured in a truck accident, give us a call today. Our attorneys can determine if negligence on the part of the trucker was involved and help you prosecute your case to recover compensation for your injuries.
Common types of truck accident injuries
Truck accident victims suffer a range of different injuries, but some are more common injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries – Concussion, contusions, brain bleeds, and lingering neurological side effects. These injuries can cause lifelong changes and permanent care even if treated in a timely manner.
- Whiplash – Whipping the head forward and back can cause damage to the muscles and ligaments in and around the neck and head. It can lead to migraines, stiffness, dislocated discs, and herniated discs.
- Back injury- Back pain is one of the most common complaints after a truck accident. It can be caused by a number of reasons. A few reasons for a back injury is bruising of tender muscle tissue, a damaged spinal cord, or bulging discs.
- Spinal cord injury – One of the most potentially devastating injuries that can lead to paralysis. A spinal cord injury isn’t always immediately apparent, so any truck accident victim should see a doctor to be checked out. MRIs may be needed to detect what X-rays may miss.
- Soft tissue damage – Any tenderness, ligament or tendon damage, and over extension caused by the accident can be called soft tissue damage. This includes bruising as well.
- Internal injuries – Not obvious to the naked eye, internal injuries or bleeding can occur frequently in high impact accidents. Though high impact isn’t needed, it’s important to be assessed by a medical professional to make sure your organs like your bladder, kidneys, and spleen aren’t damaged.
Serious injuries can be part of a truck accident, but some accidents may also result in minor injuries that don’t require immediate medical care.
If this is the case, it’s important to document the extent of your injuries as soon as possible after the crash. This can help us prove that an injury was the result of an accident and not something else.
Dealing with insurance after the crash
You should not speak with the defendant’s insurance company until you’ve contacted a New Jersey truck accident attorney. Tell them that you will be communicating through a lawyer, regardless of whether or not you have one yet. They don’t need to know that you are still looking for a lawyer.
Get their information, but make no statements. Then immediately seek a truck accident lawyer in New Jersey, such as Stark & Stark Attorneys at Law.
Cost of hiring a New Jersey truck accident lawyer
After a major incident like a truck accident, your money is going to be tied up in medical bills and rehabilitation fees. Our lawyers understand that you can’t afford more out-of-pocket fees, especially for a legal claim
That’s why our NJ personal injury lawyers are offering to take your case on contingency. That means if we don’t win, you don’t pay. If we do win, our lawyers take a percentage of your settlement as payment, so there is no upfront cost for you.
Our NJ truck accident lawyers are here to help
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a truck accident, it is important that you contact one of our skilled attorneys as soon as possible. We can review the circumstances and determine the best course of action for protecting your rights and interests.
Once we have reviewed your case, we can determine if it warrants further action. If so, we’ll take it all the way through court. If not, we’ll give you our honest opinion and let you know if your case is worth pursuing.