Over 30 years of experience. Over $50 million recovered for clients.
New Jersey Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys
A fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Consequently, the ability of trucks to maneuver on the highway is limited by their size and speed, and the driver's ability to see other vehicles. In fact, it can take a fully loaded truck traveling at 55 mph up to 200 feet to stop and 450 feet if the brakes are hot. Trucks also need extra space to execute turns, often veering into an oncoming lane to negotiate intersections and turns. When speeding, driver fatigue, or improper training is added to the mix, negligence on the part of a truck driver can have fatal consequences.
Due to the inherent size of 18-wheelers, when one is involved in an accident, the people in the other car are usually the ones who suffer the most. At the personal injury law office of the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, our New Jersey truck accident attorneys understand how to investigate truck accidents and prove negligence on the part of the truck drivers. We collect evidence from accident scenes, interview witnesses, inspect a truck driver's logbook, collect fuel receipts, and analyze the contents of a truck's on-board data recorder and GPS systems. We understand how to expose driver error on the part of truck drivers and hold them financially accountable for the injuries and fatalities they cause.
At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, Todd Leonard has been committed to providing outstanding representation for over 30 years concerning all types of trucking accidents. We know you may be suffering so we fight to protect your rights and assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve in your time of need.
Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents
Some of the most common injures individuals face after devastating truck accidents can include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Head Trauma
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Wrongful Death
Trucking companies are under pressure to deliver cargo fast and cheap. To meet customer demand, tired truck drivers, improperly loaded semis and poorly trained new employees can be put on the road. It's important to remember the trucking industry is regulated by a number of state and federal laws that govern the licensing of truck drivers, how many hours they can drive in a day, vehicle upkeep, markings, and under-riding bars that must be affixed to trucks.
Regulations for Truck Drivers
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed driver fatigue is a factor in 30 to 40 percent of all truck accidents. In an effort to combat the problem, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reduced the maximum number of hours a driver can work by 12 hours, and they required drivers to take a break of at least 30 minutes after working 8 hours.
When truck accidents happen, it's often easy to determine how fast a truck is going and whether or not a truck driver exceeded his or her allotment of allowable drive-time hours or violated certain state and federal regulations. When it becomes clear that violations occurred, it's difficult for truck drivers to shift fault and blame onto other motorists for causing a truck accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck drivers have a legal duty to operate their 18-wheelers carefully at all times since they pose a significant risk to others if they are in an accident. Truck drivers must constantly be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution, knowing the potential danger trucks have to other vehicles. This is why even the slightest mistake, such as failing to turn on the signal to indicate a lane change or having a broken brake light, can have devastating consequences for trucks traveling on the road. This can be particularly true when the trucker is driving in a high-traffic zone.
Liability and Trucking Accidents
Who is to blame in a truck accident? This is a point of contention between defense counselors, insurance companies, and the injury victim's attorneys. There are many factors to assess following a truck accident when determining who is liable for a crash. It is very important to conduct a full analysis into the truck driver's safety record, as well as question whether or not the truck driver may not have had the appropriate amount of sleep required under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations laws, commonly know as FMCSR. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Abrupt lane changes
- Merging improperly into oncoming traffic
- Driving between large trucks
- Improper judgment of truck's speed
- Making an abrupt left turn in front of a truck
- Failing to adjust speed when a truck is merging or changing lanes
- Unsafely passing another truck or vehicle
- Driving in a "No-Zone", the area of a truck where the driver has limited visibililty
- Driver fatigue
- A poorly maintained truck
- Inadequate training
All commercial truck drivers and the companies who employ them are bound to adhere to the law, including Federal and State regulations. Our New Jersey injury attorneys are committed to doing our best to properly evaluate every facet of your case to determine fault. For certain cases, we will hire accident recinstructionists and trucking experts to establish liability. Many truck accident cases will require litigation to prove your case and it is vitally important to have a highly skilled New Jersey truck accident attorney on your side.
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Contact A New Jersey Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
Talk to a Truck Accident Attorney
At the Todd J. Leonard Firm, our New Jersey truck accident lawyers can help you determine who was responsible for your accident and work hard to fight for compensation on behalf of our clients. We have more than 30 years of experience helping people recover from situations similar to yours and are prepared to put our extensive knowledge to work for you.
We Handle the Insurance Companies
If you've been hurt in a trucking accident, you may be feeling distressed and unsure of what to do. We understand that medical bills are high and that insurance companies can act in bad faith. When you work with our Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, he will do his best to help you receive the financial compensation you need.