Hackensack Truck Accident Attorney

The ripple effects of a truck accident can be far-reaching, impacting not only the accident victim but also their loved ones, who may suddenly find themselves thrust into a world of medical treatment, caregiving, emotional turmoil, and financial strain. During this difficult time, it’s important to have a compassionate and dedicated Hackensack truck accident attorney on your side.

At The Rothenberg Law Firm, our Hackensack truck accident attorneys understand the profound impact these types of accidents can have on victims and their families. We approach truck accident claims with a deep commitment to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain, and suffering.

We recognize that no amount of compensation can undo the trauma you have endured, but our goal is to alleviate the financial burdens and uncertainties that often accompany truck accidents. With our unwavering support and skills, our Hackensack truck accident lawyers strive to provide you with a sense of security and peace of mind, allowing you to focus on healing and moving forward with your life.

Truck Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, in a recent year, more than 5,600 people tragically lost their lives in crashes involving large trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds. This staggering figure represented a significant 13 percent increase over the previous year, marking the highest number of truck-related fatalities the country has seen in decades. The overwhelming majority of those who perished were occupants of other vehicles, underscoring the immense vulnerability faced by smaller vehicles when colliding with these massive commercial trucks.

In cities like Hackensack, the presence of 18-wheelers on major truck routes, such as Interstate 80, is a constant reality. In a recent year, a sobering 25 lives were lost in tractor-trailer accidents across the state of New Jersey alone. While the COVID-19 pandemic likely played a role in temporarily lowering the death toll compared to prior years, the issue remains a pressing concern. In the years preceding, the grim statistics painted a similarly dire picture, with 29 individuals losing their lives in truck crashes in one recent year, and a staggering 31 fatalities occurring in another recent year.

These figures serve as a stark reminder of the profound consequences that can arise from even a single truck accident. The sheer size and weight disparity between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles often results in catastrophic outcomes, leaving families and communities devastated in the wake of such tragedies.

Trucking Regulations and Laws for Truck Drivers

Truck drivers are highly regulated when it comes to how many hours they may work. These regulations were put in place to protect both drivers and other motorists on the road. Under federal law, truck drivers cannot drive for more than 11 consecutive hours after taking a 10-hour off-duty break. After this 10-hour break, they can drive up to 14 straight hours, including non-driving time spent on tasks such as fueling, inspections, and loading/unloading. There are exceptions to these hour limits for adverse weather and driving conditions, such as traffic jams, which allow drivers to extend their driving time to find a safe place to park.

Moreover, truck drivers are restricted in the total number of hours they can work within a given period at a trucking company. They may not drive after accumulating 60 hours on duty over a seven-day period or 70 hours on duty over an eight-day period. After reaching these limits, truck drivers must take at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty before starting another seven or eight-day cycle. When driving for eight consecutive hours, drivers are required to take a 30-minute break from driving.

In addition to these hour limitations, truck drivers are mandated to keep detailed records of their duty status, known as logbooks. These logbooks must accurately document the amount of time the driver spends driving, performing other on-duty tasks, resting in the sleeper berth, and off-duty. Traditionally, these logbooks were maintained in paper form, but modern regulations have led to the widespread adoption of electronic logging devices (ELDs) in tractor-trailers.

ELDs automatically record a driver’s duty status, including driving time, engine hours, and vehicle movement, making it easier to track and enforce compliance with the hours-of-service regulations. These devices are designed to reduce the risk of falsified logbook entries and ensure that drivers adhere to the strict rules governing their working hours.

Compliance with these regulations is crucial for maintaining safety on the roads and preventing fatigued driving, which can lead to accidents. Trucking companies and drivers who violate these laws may face substantial fines and penalties from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state agencies.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Hackensack, NJ

It’s important to understand the various factors that contribute to truck accidents, as their sheer size and weight often lead to more devastating consequences compared to collisions involving other vehicles. While many of these causes are also dangers for passenger cars, some unique challenges specific to tractor-trailers can significantly heighten the risk and severity of crashes. Let’s delve deeper into the common causes of truck accidents:

Driver Behavior:

  • Distracted driving: Texting, using mobile devices, eating, or even daydreaming can significantly divert a truck driver’s attention, hindering their ability to react to potential hazards on the road.
  • Driver fatigue: Long hours behind the wheel, irregular sleep schedules, and demanding delivery timelines can lead to truck driver fatigue, impacting a driver’s reaction time, judgment, and awareness.
  • Driving under the influence: Similar to any vehicle, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and extremely dangerous, significantly impairing a driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely.
  • Failure to yield and following too closely: These behaviors can lead to dangerous situations, especially when dealing with a large truck that requires more space and time to maneuver and stop.

External Factors:

  • Inclement weather: Rain, snow, fog, and strong winds can drastically affect road conditions, reducing visibility and making it harder for a truck driver to maintain control of their vehicles.
  • Poor road conditions: Uneven pavement, potholes, and inadequate signage can all increase the risk of truck accidents, especially when combined with other contributing factors.
  • Unevenly loaded cargo: Improperly secured or imbalanced cargo can shift during transit, causing the truck to become unstable and difficult for the truck driver handle, potentially leading to rollovers or jackknifes.

Mechanical Issues:

  • Malfunctioning brakes: Worn-out or faulty brakes can significantly impair a truck’s stopping ability, posing a major safety risk on the road.
  • Tire blowouts: Tire defects or improper maintenance can lead to sudden blowouts, causing the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.
  • Other mechanical failures: Malfunctions in steering systems, lights, or other critical components can compromise the truck’s safe operation and increase the risk of accidents.

Speeding:

  • Due to their significant size and weight, trucks require considerably greater stopping distances compared to passenger cars. Speeding becomes particularly dangerous for these large vehicles, as it exponentially increases the likelihood of a severe collision and the potential for fatalities.

If you were involved in a truck accident due to one of the reasons above, you may be entitled to compensation. However, it’s worth talking to a Hackensack truck accident lawyer to make sure you understand all of your legal options.

Common Truck Accident Injuries

Trucking accidents can have life-altering consequences, often resulting in serious injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries sustained in truck accidents:

  • Back and neck injuries: The force of a truck accident can severely strain or damage muscles, ligaments, and discs in the back and neck, causing lasting pain and limited mobility.
  • Burns: Trucking accidents can involve fires or explosions, leading to devastating burns that require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Internal organ damage: The impact of a truck accident can damage internal organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, or intestines, leading to internal bleeding and other complications.
  • Lacerations: Deep cuts and gashes are common in truck accidents, requiring stitches or even surgery to repair.
  • Loss of limbs or digits: In some of the most severe cases, truck accidents can result in the amputation of limbs or digits due to the significant force involved.
  • Multiple fractures: Broken bones are common in tractor trailer crashes, and the force of the impact can lead to multiple fractures, requiring complex surgeries and extensive recovery times.
  • Spinal cord injury: The most devastating consequence of a truck collision can be spinal cord injury, which can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, and lifelong challenges.

How Much is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in New Jersey, you may be wondering how much compensation you might be entitled to. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, understanding the types of damages recoverable in a truck accident claim can help you get a better picture.

Recoverable Damages in a New Jersey Truck Accident:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes all past, present, and future medical costs associated with your injuries. This covers things like ambulance rides, emergency room visits, doctor appointments, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and any future medical needs arising from the accident.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can recover compensation for lost wages. This includes both salary and benefits you would have earned during your recovery period. Additionally, if your injuries have long-term effects that limit your earning capacity, future lost wages can be factored into your claim.
  • Pain and Suffering: This covers the physical and emotional pain you’ve endured due to the accident. It’s important to note that pain and suffering damages are not solely based on the severity of the physical injury, but also the emotional distress caused by the accident and its aftermath.
  • Property Damage: This covers any damage to your vehicle or other personal property sustained in the accident.

New Jersey’s No-Fault Car Insurance and Truck Accidents:

New Jersey is a no-fault car insurance state. This means that regardless of who caused the accident, your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance will initially cover a portion of your medical expenses, up to your policy’s coverage limit. However, these limits are often much lower than the medical bills associated with a serious truck accident, especially those involving long-term care needs.

When PIP Coverage Isn’t Enough:

If your medical bills exceed your PIP coverage limit, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company to recover additional compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

Determining the Value of Your Truck Accident Claim:

The value of your truck accident claim depends on several factors, including:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The extent of your medical treatment and future medical needs
  • The amount of lost wages
  • The impact of your injuries on your daily life
  • The strength of the evidence proving the other party’s fault

Consulting with a Truck Accident Personal Injury Attorney:

A personal injury lawyers experienced in handling truck accidents can help you understand your legal rights, assess the value of your claim, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. They can also guide you through the process of filing a claim, dealing with an insurance company, and ensure you understand your rights throughout the process.

When a Truck Crash Leads to Wrongful Death

Tragically, many truck accident victims in New Jersey don’t survive their injuries. If the person you loved would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit for their injuries, had they survived (based on someone else’s negligence), then their estate or a designated beneficiary may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit under New Jersey’s Wrongful Death Act.

This law allows compensation for the financial losses suffered by those closest to the deceased. Here are some key points to remember about New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawsuits:

  • Who can file: The personal representative of the deceased’s estate, typically named in a will, files the lawsuit. If there’s no will, the court appoints an administrator.
  • Damages recoverable: Compensation focuses on financial losses, including lost income, medical and funeral expenses, and loss of companionship and support.
  • Statute of Limitations: You generally have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

In this difficult time, consulting with an experienced Hackensack truck accident lawyer is essential. They can guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Liability in a Truck Accident Case

Liability in a truck accident case depends upon the unique circumstances of each accident. For instance, if poor road conditions contributed to the crash, it may be possible that the municipality charged with road maintenance may also bear responsibility.

Parties that might prove liable in a truck accident case include the following:

  • Driver
  • Trucking company
  • Maintenance company
  • Freight loading company
  • Broker
  • Manufacturer
  • Other motorists

A tractor-trailer accident does not necessarily involve a direct collision. For instance, if the rig’s cargo was not properly secured, the freight could spill out of the truck and onto the roadway. As a result, drivers in the vicinity may get hit by the load or strike other cars to avoid spillage.

How Our Hackensack Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help

Our Hackensack truck accident lawyers investigate the circumstances surrounding your truck accident to determine all potentially liable entities. We will use our over 50 years of experience to make sure you get the money you deserve for your truck accident injuries from all those responsible.

Contact a Hackensack Truck Accident Attorney

If you were seriously injured in a truck accident because of another party’s negligence or recklessness, contact a personal injury attorney at The Rothenberg Law Firm today. And if a family member died due to a truck accident, we can advise you about filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

We work on a contingency basis. This means there are no legal fees unless and until you receive compensation.

 

Hackensack Office Location

The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP
1 University Plaza Dr #505,
Hackensack, NJ 07601

    We offer a free case evaluation. You don't pay unless we win you money.

    *Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.

    Our Results

    $55 million
    Settlement on behalf of multiple plaintiffs injured as result of exposure to toxic substances
    $26.3 million
    Misdiagnosis of brain injury leading to permanent paralysis