Fighting for Your Rights After a New Jersey Jackknife Truck Accident

Fighting for Your Rights After a New Jersey Jackknife Truck Accident

In the blink of an eye, a jackknife truck accident can change your life, leaving you to deal with injuries, emotional trauma, and complex legal battles. This article aims to provide vital information to those affected by such accidents in New Jersey—be it as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or concerned family member. Here, you will learn about the causes of jackknife accidents, the potential consequences, your legal rights under New Jersey law, and how the law firm of Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari can assist you in securing the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Understanding Jackknife Truck Accidents

A jackknife accident occurs when a large truck, such as an 18-wheeler or semi-trailer, folds at the pivot point between the cab and the trailer, resembling a folding pocket knife. This type of accident is particularly dangerous and frequently results in significant damage and injury. Common factors contributing to jackknife accidents include:

  • Sudden braking: Often, a truck driver may brake suddenly to avoid a hazard, which can cause the trailer to swing uncontrollably.
  • Slippery roads: Icy or wet conditions can reduce traction, leading to the trailer skidding and jackknifing.
  • Improperly loaded trailers: Incorrectly distributed or secured cargo can cause imbalance, making the trailer more prone to jackknifing.
  • Mechanical failures: Issues like brake failures or steering problems can lead to loss of control, resulting in a jackknife.
  • Driver error: Inexperience, fatigue, or distracted driving can impair a driver’s reaction time and judgment, increasing the risk of an accident.

The Impact of a Jackknife Accident

Victims of jackknife accidents can suffer from a wide range of injuries, from minor bruises to more severe cases such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage. The aftermath of these injuries includes not only physical pain but also emotional and financial burdens. Victims may face:

  • High medical expenses that can accumulate from immediate and long-term care.
  • Lost wages if the injuries prevent returning to work, impacting financial stability.
  • Long-term disability that might require adjustments in lifestyle and additional costs.
  • Emotional distress, including conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  • Loss of life quality, affecting both the victims and their families.

Legal Rights and Responsibilities in New Jersey

In New Jersey, victims of truck accidents have the right to seek compensation for their injuries and losses. However, these cases often involve complex legal challenges due to the multiple parties that could be involved, such as trucking companies, vehicle manufacturers, and other drivers. Successfully navigating these challenges requires a detailed understanding of New Jersey’s truck accident laws.

Establishing Negligence and Liability

To pursue a personal injury claim following a jackknife accident, it is crucial to establish negligence. This involves proving that:

  • The party at fault (which could be the truck driver, trucking company, or another entity) owed a duty of care to the victim.
  • There was a breach in this duty of care.
  • The breach directly caused the accident and the victim’s injuries.
  • The victim suffered damages as a result of the accident.

In cases involving commercial trucks, the trucking company can often be held liable under the doctrine of “respondeat superior,” which holds employers responsible for their employees’ actions within the scope of their employment

Comparative Fault in New Jersey

New Jersey’s “modified comparative fault” rule may impact compensation. Under this rule, a victim’s compensation is reduced by their percentage of fault in the accident. However, as long as the victim’s fault does not exceed 50%, they are still eligible for compensation.

Steps to Take Following a Jackknife Accident

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Ensure you receive proper medical care immediately after the accident.
  • Document Everything: Keep records of all medical treatments, conversations related to the accident, and any expenses incurred due to the accident.
  • Consult a Qualified Attorney: Contacting an attorney skilled in truck accident law is crucial. They can guide you on the best steps to take and how to protect your rights throughout the legal process.

Contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari Today to Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Truck Accident Claim

At Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari, we understand the immense challenges faced by those affected by jackknife truck accidents. Whether you’re a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or a family member looking to support a loved one, our team of seasoned personal injury attorneys is here to guide you through every step of your legal journey. We’re committed to providing clear, comprehensive legal guidance to help you understand your rights and explore your options for compensation. Our goal is to ensure that you can focus on recovery while we handle the complexities of your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve.