New Jersey Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers
Filing a Truck Accident Claim
If involved in an accident with a tractor trailer, it would be well-advised to secure the representation of an experienced injury lawyer in New Jersey. The legal team at the Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari has successfully represented New Jersey injury victims for over seven decades, securing hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts surrounding tractor trailer and other motor vehicle accident claims. Call our offices at (973) 635-5400 for a no-cost, comprehensive case evaluation.
With 39,000 miles of public roadway and situated in a coastal area with some of the world busiest ports, New Jersey is host to constant tractor trailer traffic. The trucking industry is a vital component of our state’s economy. However, tractor trailers (also referred to as big rigs or semi-trucks) can be a menacing presence to drivers of smaller motor vehicles. With their massive size and weight, tractor trailers pose a significant risk to others on our nation’s highways. Each year, thousands of people get into accidents and sustain severe injuries.
Size and Weight Disparity Between Tractor Trailers and Other Passenger Vehicles
One of the reasons tractor trailers pose such a danger to smaller vehicles is the vast disparity in size and weight. A fully loaded big rig can legally weigh 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weighs about 4,000 pounds. Tractor trailers are approximately 70 to 80 feet in length, while the average car is approximately 14 feet long. Due to its size and weight, a semi-truck takes longer to completely stop and is more difficult to maneuver compared to a smaller vehicle.
Federal Regulations and Violations
In order to keep all drivers and passengers safe, the trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Although, most trucking companies and the drivers they employ follow FMCSA rules, there are a few which turn a deaf ear to Federal regulations, potentially encourage their drivers to violate Federal law, or ignore obvious violations in order to increase profit margins. Some hazardous tractor trailer operations or “habits” prohibited by Federal Regulation which may increase the risk of an accident include:
- Speeding (especially in light of certain road conditions)
- Overloading trailers
- Skipping driver rest breaks or driving more hours in a shift than permitted by law (driver fatigue)
- Driving more days in a row than permitted by law
- Use of amphetamines or other stimulants
Compensation for Accidents with Tractor Trailers
If you are involved in an accident with a tractor trailer you may be able to file claims for compensation surrounding the following damage issues:
- Property loss or damage
- Past and anticipated medical and therapy bills
- Permanent injury or disability
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Household and vehicle modifications to accommodate your injuries
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life and effect on daily activities
- Punitive damages
New Jersey Wrongful Death Compensation
In the tragic event that you have lost a loved one in an accident with a tractor trailer, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for damages including:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering of the deceased
- Loss of future income
- Loss of future benefits, such as medical benefits and retirement benefits
- Loss of love, affection, companionship, guidance, marital consortium, etc.
- Loss of household services the deceased performed, such as childcare, bookkeeping, property and vehicle maintenance, etc.
Tractor trailer accidents are more complex to litigate than standard car-on-car crashes due to the large number of involved parties. Every entity from the driver himself to the trucking carrier, the manufacturer of the truck, and even mechanics involved in the maintenance of the vehicle can be involved, causing a complex web of legal issues. This is why it is highly recommended that you seek representation by a highly qualified and experienced New Jersey vehicle accident attorney.