Experienced Truck Accidents Lawyers Handling Claims in Somerville and surrounding areas
Somerset is one of the oldest counties in America, established in 1688 as a primarily agricultural area. Wealthy industrialists and businessmen began to build their homes here in the 1800s, calling the area the “greenest place in New Jersey.” By the 1960s, after World War II, the domestic economy was booming again. Many sought employment closer to the city but called Somerset home.
Today, Somerset has grown astronomically. From a population of 100,522 in 1960 to 345,361 in 2020, its infrastructure has blossomed from a sleepy little town to a bustling county full of parks, shopping centers, schools, and more. Unfortunately, what has not grown are the roads. Somerset residents rely on the nearly 80 county roads to get them to their destinations, with only two interstates traversing through the county. Drivers go faster, and many are distracted by their cell phones, creating a deadly combination. Commercial trucks and semis fudge their way through routes that can be a tight squeeze. All of this creates a potentially dangerous situation for the residents of Somerset County, which may manifest in serious truck accidents and injured victims.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a truck driver, you have the option to call at (609) 528-2596 or get in touch with our experienced attorneys through our online form. Simply contact our personal injury team for an initial free consultation to determine if someone else can be held liable for your injuries, and start working on obtaining the compensation you deserve. The personal injury lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson have the long-term experience to seriously handle your truck accident claim in Warren, Watchung, Far Hills, Hillsborough, Montgomery, Franklin, Bridgewater, or any other town in Somerset County.
How Truck Accidents Often Happen
The most common cause of any type of vehicle accident is speeding. Drivers see the speed limit as a mere suggestion. Truck drivers put other vehicles in a challenging situation because they weigh much more, and to stop requires the extra distance between the truck and the car in front. Some trucking companies have speed tracking systems, but not all do. Truck drivers who speed are negligent and reckless and should be held accountable.
Another common cause is distracted driving. A truck driver who takes their eyes off the road even for a few seconds can cause a deadly accident.
Even experienced drivers act aggressively from time to time. Truck drivers are on the road for extended periods and could be worried about making their delivery on time. Sometimes they are egged on by other drivers who brake check them or try to race around them. It can be incredibly frustrating. Sometimes they cut drivers off, drive too closely to another vehicle, or don’t give other drivers the right of way. An angry driver is out of control and should not be driving a car capable of causing terrible damage.
After December of 2011, truck drivers could no longer drive more than 11 hours consecutively without a 10-hour break. They can work up to 60 hours a week, with their workweek being seven days and three days off following. This regulation was made to guarantee truck drivers are alert.
Another perilous cause of truck accidents is inclement weather. Fog, rain, snow, and wind can make managing a semi-truck challenging at best and deadly at least. Multi-car pileups can seem like bowling pins as a truck runs through them. Yes, severe weather is a catalyst, but you need to ensure the driver took every precaution to prevent an accident.
Like with anything, poor training gives poor results. Frequently, truck drivers are put on the road without training or supervised driving sessions. Unfamiliarity with the route or the roads can cause accidents that perhaps a more skilled driver would have avoided.
Large trucks moving at high speeds can be a danger on the road, especially when the load they are carrying is heavier than it should be. Uneven loads that tip or rock or materials that come away from the rig can hit vehicles on the road. Flying debris, tire blowouts from the extra weight, even engine failure make for a precarious situation, and you could be hurt.
Lastly, the most obvious and egregious of trucks causing accidents is driving while under the influence. This is not only dangerous; it is illegal. No matter the circumstances, there is no justification for this behavior, and there must be extreme consequences for a drunk driver.
Where Somerset County Truck Accidents Frequently Occur
The two most accident-laden areas in Somerset County are Franklin Township and Bridgewater. Bridgewater is very populated, with several shopping centers and strip malls. I-278 goes through Bridgewater and sees a lot of truck traffic. Meanwhile, Franklin Township is much more rural. Rural driving can be just as dangerous as being on the highway. Case and point, a recent accident between an older gentleman and a box truck resulted in his death. The driver took a curve too wide while looking for something on the seat beside him.
Injured in a Truck Accident, What Injuries can Lead to Lawsuits?
The most severe injury that may lead to a lawsuit is a wrongful death. Trucks go at such velocities that when they strike a car at more than 35mph, the results are frequently fatal. In Somerset County, of the12 accidents involving box trucks or trailers in the years 2014 to 2020, all 12 had at least one fatality, none of which were the truck drivers.
Other severe injuries that may be grounds for a truck accident claim include TBI (traumatic brain injuries), spine, back, and neck injuries (which if left untreated could lead to paralysis), broken bones and exposed fractures, limb amputation, internal lesions, hemorrhaging lacerations, and burns of varying degrees. Many of these injuries can also cause severe scarring, even disfigurement. Apart from the physical injuries, accident survivors are known to develop anxiety and PTSD because of the trauma they experienced, ranging from manageable to debilitating. All of these injuries may be addressed to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Recurring Types of Truck Accidents on Somerset Streets
One of the most dangerous types of accidents is a rollover. A truck has a higher center of gravity than cars, and an over-filled truck or a sharp turn can cause the truck to roll several times, crushing everything in its path.
Rear-end collisions can happen when a truck driver is distracted driving, speeding, or tailgating can cause devastating results. Trucks need more time and space to slow down because of their mass.
Head-on collisions happen when a truck driver acts irresponsibly, passing other vehicles in the oncoming lane or at traffic lights, focusing on getting to their destination on time, ignoring traffic safety and responsible driving rules.
When truck drivers brake improperly, it can cause a jackknife, which is when the cab of the tractor-trailer and the trailer swing together in the form of a jackknife. This kind of accident is caused by improper braking and is particularly dangerous due to the truck’s unpredictable sliding, which may hit several vehicles.
Who can be Liable for a Truck Collision?
To determine liability, the cause of the accident must be defined as well. If the truck driver recklessly operates a vehicle, ignoring the rules of the road or driving aggressively, a lawsuit can be filed against them. The truck owner can be held accountable for any faulty equipment or a lack of reasonable care. If a maintenance company fails to keep the truck in proper running order, it may be held liable. A leasing company that leases trucks or trailers or one that leases drivers can be held at fault for faulty equipment or undertrained drivers.
Litigating truck accidents is tricky because there may be more than one defendant. If the driver was a private contractor hired by one company, but the rig itself belonged to another company, and the maintenance company was also at fault, you have three defendants who may be responsible for different components of the accident. This is where having an excellent personal injury lawyer is vital.
Are You Entitled to Compensation For Your Truck Accident Claim? How Much?
There are some points to recognize to determine if you are entitled to compensation for your accident. First is the duty of care. Everyone on the road, including truck drivers, must operate their vehicles according to traffic laws. Additionally, trucking companies are responsible for hiring trained, reliable drivers, following the schedule for driving limits, and providing excellent maintenance standards to their vehicles. When those actions are not followed, the driver and the company have committed a breach of duty of care, causing dangerous conditions. The plaintiff must show how that breach caused injuries or damages to property. Once causation is determined, it must be shown that the injuries and other damages sustained directly result from the accident.
It is impossible to put a number on all the injuries, lost work, and pain and suffering caused by a careless truck driver’s reckless action. It is imperative to meet with your personal injury lawyer and discuss the details of the accident and your continued recovery before they can give you an estimated figure.
Contact our Truck Accident Lawyers for Immediate Assistance with Your Case in Franklin, Bedminster, Green Brook, and other towns in Somerset County NJ
At Cohen & Riechelson, we have a passion for helping our clients get the compensation they deserve after being the victim of a truck accident. We believe truckers should be held to the highest standard because the size and weight of their vehicles can cause devastating effects to everyone on the road. We leave no stone unturned researching your case, speaking to witnesses, meeting with your doctors or other specialists. In addition, our truck accident lawyers hire expert witnesses who can analyze the accident from every angle and provide definitive testimony about the accident.
The insurance companies want your accident to go away, so they will offer you a low-ball sum and pressure you to take it. You deserve the best care and compensation for your injuries, and if you don’t receive compensation, neither do we. Call us at (609) 528-2596 for your free and confidential consultation, and we will get started on your truck accident case immediately. We file and diligently pursue compensation on behalf of clients with injury claims in Branchburg, Green Brook, Manville, Berkeley Heights, Bedminster, North Plainfield, and surrounding communities. Contact us today for a free case review.