After a truck accident, what happens next? If you suffered serious injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage, you could expect substantial medical bills and a long healing process. But can you pursue a claim against the trucker or trucking company? Do you have the right to compensation?
Following a serious commercial vehicle accident, an attorney could help you determine whether you can seek compensation and how much compensation you should pursue. Contact the New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Console & Associates today to learn more about your legal rights.
We have experience in a range of personal injury claims, having reached successful resolutions in several truck collision cases—including one in which the injured party received $750,000 and one in which the victim received $515,000. While no lawyer can guarantee an outcome, Console & Associates work diligently for our clients to help them get the best outcome possible.
In an auto accident that involves only two vehicles, you would pursue compensation from the liable driver’s insurance company. The investigation would primarily center around any actions the driver took that led to the accident.
On the other hand, semi accidents can require a much more in-depth investigation.
Your New Jersey personal injury attorney could investigate the truck driver, of course. Most often, the truck driver bears some liability for a wreck that occurs due to negligence. A truck driver’s negligence many include drinking and driving, driving while distracted, and ignoring the rules of the road. The truck driver may also bear liability for choosing to drive during unsafe conditions.
However, in some cases, an investigation by our New Jersey truck accident lawyers can reveal that the truck driver shares liability with a trucking company or other parties. The investigation may include:
Legally, a truck driver can spend a total of only 11 hours a shift, driven within a 14-hour window, behind the wheel. Often, a truck driver who exceeds those hours does so at the behest of the trucking company.
The logbook can provide a better look at the semi truck driver’s expected deadlines and delivery times. Sometimes the trucking company places unrealistic expectations on its drivers, including demanding that they reach a destination faster than the speed limit allows or that they meet specific deadlines even in unsafe conditions.
Truck drivers must adhere to high standards. A truck driver who causes crashes regularly poses a liability to the trucking company and to everyone who shares the road with him or her. The trucking company should deal with a driver who routinely causes accidents through training, discipline, or firing. The driver’s record, especially the record with the company, may display a long accident history that the company knew about but failed to address.
Big 18 wheelers require a lot of maintenance. Most trucking companies have clear requirements in place. The driver might, for example, have to conduct a full inspection at the beginning and end of every trip, and maintenance workers might have to sign off on the truck before it can go out for delivery. Drivers should also report any maintenance issues as soon as possible. If the trucking company ignores needed maintenance, it may bear liability for any accident caused as a result of mechanical failure, including tire blowouts, engine failures, or brake problems.
Many modern trucks now carry GPS devices that let the trucking company see where their trucks are. This GPS data can provide valuable information about how fast a truck driver traveled and any hazards that should have slowed it down.
In a truck rollover accident or jackknife accident, or a truck accident involving loose cargo, the attorney may investigate who loaded the cargo. Loose cargo can shift during transport, causing the trailer to swing away from the cab and leading to a truck accident.
In addition to the truck driver and trucking company, a mechanic who recently certified the truck as road-safe despite serious issues with the truck’s functionality may also bear liability for an accident that occurs as a result of mechanical failure. In some cases, the company responsible for the cargo transported by the semi, or the company that loaded the cargo, may share liability.
Consult Console & Associates’ New Jersey truck accident attorneys to learn more about what may have caused your crash and how it may affect your claim. We are here to help.
Truck accidents often involve a great deal of force. Even the safest cars on the market have far less mass than a big truck. As a result, many New Jersey truck accident victims sustain serious injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries can change the course of a victim’s life forever. In addition to suffering physical symptoms like sleep disruptions or headaches, many traumatic brain injury victims suffer ongoing challenges with focus and concentration. They may struggle with short-term memory loss. Some traumatic brain injury victims even suffer from personality changes.
Many patients also deal with extreme emotional reactions or mood swings that can become even more difficult to moderate in stressful environments. Victims with traumatic brain injury may struggle to return to work or to deal with social activities. While some victims recover within weeks or months, even mild traumatic brain injuries can cause symptoms long after the initial accident.
Victims with spinal cord injuries may find themselves permanently confined to a wheelchair or dependent on mobility aids for the rest of their lives. In addition to affecting limb function, a spinal cord injury can decrease the function of organs below the injury site, leading to additional complications.
A limb can separate from the body during a truck accident. Crushing damage may cause such a severe injury that the victim requires a surgical amputation. Restricted blood flow to the injury site can also lead to amputation well after the initial collision.
Amputees may use prosthetic devices to restore some mobility or allow more independence. However, prosthetic devices are often expensive. That expense can continue for the rest of the patient’s life, since amputees must replace their prosthetics every three to five years.
During any car accident, the damaged vehicles can catch on fire. A spark can quickly set spilled gas alight. Truck accidents involving tanker trucks may have an even higher risk of burns, since the tanker’s contents may quickly catch on fire or pose a chemical burn hazard. In addition to the extreme pain of recovering from severe burns, burn victims have to deal with a high rate of complications.
Many burn victims require multiple skin grafts. Burns can even lead to amputation. Often, burn victims suffer from psychological trauma as they struggle to manage the impact of scarring.
Truck accidents often result in multiple broken bones. The driver of the other vehicle may suffer breaks in the hands and arms due to bracing against the steering wheel during the accident. Broken ribs or legs are also common. Broken bones can prevent the victim from returning to work for some time after the accident. Many victims require surgery to set the breaks and increase the odds of complete healing. Victims with broken bones may suffer some mobility and flexibility challenges, even long after the initial accident.
You may deserve compensation after a commercial vehicle accident, but many victims have no idea how much compensation they actually deserve. Truck drivers must carry insurance policies that offer considerably more coverage than the policies most private drivers carry. How much compensation you ultimately receive, however, may depend on:
If you have grounds for a claim against the trucking company, for example, you may obtain more compensation than you would if you filed a claim against the semi truck driver alone.
In most New Jersey truck accidents, the injuries will form the foundation of your claim. Severe injuries often leave you with substantial medical expenses. You may have expenses for emergency treatment, a long-term hospital stay, or multiple procedures after your accident. You may also face bills for therapy or expensive medical devices designed to aid you in mobility or recovery. Keep track of all medical bills related to your accident. These bills can serve as vital evidence of the injuries you suffered.
You may have needed time away from work to recover or been unable to return to work at all, leading to lost income. You could claim compensation for your lost earnings, current and future, as part of your truck accident claim.
Your unique experience following the wreck can affect the extent of pain and suffering you claim. Discuss your losses with your attorney, including the physical pain of your injuries as well as emotional losses, social isolation, and other challenges.
Truck drivers must carry insurance policies that provide a considerable amount of protection following an accident. The companies that provide those policies, however, may try to minimize your compensation. They may offer you a settlement soon after your accident. The adjuster who speaks to you might sound convincing. They might even convince you that he or she wants to help you.
This truck accident settlement offer, however, may not reflect the full compensation you deserve for your injuries. Consult our experienced truck accident attorneys before accepting a settlement from the insurance company to ensure you get the money you need to cover your injuries.
Console and Associates, P.C.
1 Holtec Drive, #100
Marlton, NJ 08053
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