If you have been involved in an accident with a large truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles, we believe that the responsible parties need to pay for their actions. We will help you seek what you are due. We have a team of New Jersey tractor-trailer lawyers who have the experience and resources to build the strongest case possible for you. We will help you seek maximum compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other losses you have sustained as a result of the accident.
Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your best legal options.
Why Truck Accidents Are More Complicated
Truck accidents are often more complicated than other motor vehicle accidents, because of the size of the vehicles involved, the severity of the injuries they cause, higher insurance limits, and the fact that more than one person may be liable for the crash. For example, responsibility for a truck accident can fall to the driver, their employer, the cargo loader, the maintenance crew, manufacturers, and others. Maintaining communication with all of these parties can be difficult and confusing, which is one of the reasons why you need the lawyers at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles who can keep your claim organized and moving forward.
Truck accidents often have more evidence involved in a case. General evidence about the accident, like the accident report and witness statements, may seem obvious, but truck accidents often require much more evidence in order to be successful. Evidence that proves whether a driver was driving too many hours, or that the trucking company has a policy that encourages drivers to log more miles than recommended by federal law can be difficult to find. The lawyers at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles know how to find the evidence you need to prove your case.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Tractor-Trailer Crash in New Jersey?
Some potentially liable parties in a truck accident include:
- Truck Driver – A truck driver is the most logical liable party in a truck accident, as they have direct control over the vehicle. However, the driver may not be the only one responsible. They may just be the beginning of a chain of liable parties.
- Trucking Company – Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire responsible drivers, train them properly, keep their fleet of vehicles in good working condition, and otherwise follow all trucking industry regulations. If they are found to have failed in any of these responsibilities, such as requiring their drivers to exceed driving limits or failing to inspect their vehicles for problems, they may be held accountable for your injuries. As the truck driver’s employer, they are also liable for the driver’s negligent actions. Often a dispute arises regarding whether the driver was an employee or an independent contractor.
- Cargo Loaders – The weight of a tractor-trailer comes largely from the cargo load. The overall weight of the cargo and the way a cargo is loaded is important to the integrity of the vehicle’s operation. If cargo is too heavy or loaded improperly, causing an uneven weight distribution, a truck may go out of control after an otherwise normal maneuver. In cases like these, the cargo loader’s responsibility needs to be reviewed.
- Maintenance – Maintenance teams that perform – or fail to perform – repairs on a large truck can be held liable for mistakes in their work. This can be scheduled maintenance on behalf of the employer, or event stops that the driver makes for service. Whoever these parties may be, they can and should be held accountable for the quality of their work.
- Parts Manufacturer – Some tractor-trailer accidents are caused not by a mistake on the part of the driver, but rather by a malfunction in the truck itself. Sometimes these failures come from normal wear and tear, but other times, a defect can be found in an individual truck part. If a truck part was designed, manufactured, or installed improperly, the manufacturer may be held accountable for their negligence.
- Truck Designers – Sometimes, the overall design of a vehicle can be responsible for accidents. This is a different type of product liability case that can become very complicated, but our New Jersey truck or tractor-trailer accident attorneys can assist you with this type of claim as well.
The lawyers at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles will investigate the accident to identify all responsible parties in your case.
Evidence the Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles Lawyers May Use in a Truck Accident Claim
In order to have a total understanding of your truck accident, it is imperative to collect and preserve evidence surrounding the accident as well as information about the truck itself, information from the truck’s black box, the trucker’s logbooks, the employer’s records, maintenance records, and more.
This information accumulates and can quickly get complicated. The lawyers at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles know how to collect and use this evidence. We will leave no stone unturned in your case. This is what will ensure that you are able to pursue maximum compensation in your claim.
Other evidence that could be crucial to your case includes any type of documentation you can gather regarding the accident and your injuries. This includes all medical bills, prescription receipts, and a log of the time that you have missed from work due to your injuries. The sooner you can start gathering this evidence, the better.
Whenever an accident occurs, evidence can be quickly lost. While you are in the hospital and recovering from your injuries, the trucking company and their insurer are often working behind the scenes to come up with a strategy to cover their tracks. This kind of behavior can only be prevented if you have the ability to act faster than the parties attempting to take advantage of your circumstances. When Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles gets involved in a trucking accident, we immediately work toward gathering evidence necessary to the potential success of your case and making sure that it does not disappear.
Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
If you have been injured in a tractor-trailer/ truck accident, you know that the damage can be extensive. Fortunately, if you can successfully prove that another party was at-fault for your injuries, you may be able to recover financial compensation, called damages. What you can recover in a truck accident depends on the facts of your case. In general, your medical bills are paid by your own insurance. Under certain circumstances you can recover out-of-pocket medical expenses from the other party. You can also recover property damage expenses from either your own insurance policy, or from the other party. You may be able to recover other out-of pocket expenses, lost wages, and compensation for your physical and emotional pain and suffering. If you are married, your spouse may also collect compensation for their “loss of consortium,” which simply means that they can collect for all of the ways in which their life has changed because of your injuries. The attorneys at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles can advice you as to what you are legally entitled to recover, and can guide you through the process of a legal claim so that you know what to expect.
Your damages may include:
- Medical expenses, past and future, including ambulance rides, emergency room visits, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, medications, medical devices, and more.
- Lost wages, if you had to miss work during your recovery.
- Lost earning capacity, if you will be unable to work at the same level of pay in the future.
- Property damage, including repair or replacement costs for your vehicle and any other property that was damaged in the crash.
- Pain and suffering, for mental anguish or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Death benefits, for funeral expenses, lost wages, or other losses you experience if your loved one passes away as a result of the crash.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in New Jersey
Truck accidents can occur as a result of any number of circumstances. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in our state include:
- Rear-Ending – The significant weight of trucks and their trailers means that trucks require longer distances to brake. When a vehicle in front of a truck stops suddenly, it takes the truck longer to brake, even if the reaction time of the driver was just as fast. If a truck is following another car too closely or speeding, they may not have enough distance to stop in time.
- Improper Loading – Truck weight can be increased by its cargo load, and the way that the contents are loaded can affect the maneuverability of a large truck. If the weight is distributed unevenly, the truck can handle improperly and lead to loss of control. Unsecured cargo can also shift or fall off the truck and cause an accident.
- Weather Conditions – Weather conditions can make roads slippery, can affect visibility, and can otherwise make driving a truck more dangerous. If a driver fails to properly adapt to these conditions, accidents can result.
- Drowsy Drivers – Drowsy drivers have slower reaction times and may easily lose control of their vehicles. Many truck drivers report that they exceed the number of driving hours allowed by federal law, often with encouragement from their employer.
- Distracted Drivers – Drivers can be distracted by any number of factors, from cell phones to eating or changing the radio station. Truck drivers are no exception. Any action that takes a truck driver’s eyes or attention away from the road can cause dangerous accidents.
- Driving Under the Influence – Drivers under the influence of any substance are a danger to other motorists and pedestrians on and around the roads. Some truckers may use prescription or over-the-counter drugs that could impair their driving ability.
If you have been involved in a truck accident that involved any combination of these or other factors, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact the lawyers at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles for a free consultation with a member of our truck accident team to review the specifics of your accident and develop a legal strategy for your claim.
Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Claims in New Jersey
If you were injured in a truck accident, you have what is known as a personal injury claim. New Jersey has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. This is the amount of time the accident victim has to file a lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit within this time period you will lose all rights to your case.
- New Jersey has a statute of limitations on car accident claims. This means if you do not file a lawsuit in a certain amount of time, you lose your right to bring any claims.
- In New Jersey, accident victims generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for the injuries they suffer in an accident. There are exceptions to this rule. Some deadlines are shorter, some are longer. The only way to know when you must file a lawsuit is to consult a qualified attorney.
It is important that you speak with a Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles attorney right away to avoid missing any applicable deadlines.
How the Truck Accident Lawyers at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles Can Help
Evidence can be lost, and must be preserved. The attorneys at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles will find it, preserve it, and maximize its affect. Our attorneys will locate witnesses and obtain statements. We will take photographs of the accident scene, your property damage, and your injuries. We will obtain and organize and make sense of your medical records. The attorneys at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles are here to help you every step of the way.
One of the first concerns you may have is “how is my car going to get fixed?” We can help. We will contact both your insurance company and the insurance company of the person who hit you, and make certain that your car is repaired as quickly as possible.
Unpaid medical bills are a primary source of ruined credit and bankruptcy. We are here to help make sure that does not happen to you. There are several ways that your medical bills may get paid. Depending on your personal situation, your bills may be paid by your auto insurance policy, your health insurance policy, or they may be paid by Medicare/Medicaid. If you have no insurance at all, we can still help you get the treatment that you need. It is important that your medical bills get submitted to the proper place from the beginning of your treatment because time may run out and your insurance company may be legally able to refuse to pay. We inform every single medical provider of the proper place to submit your bills to make certain that you pay as little as possible out of your pocket for treatment.
If you are unable to work as a result of your injuries, you may be entitled to disability payments either from the State of New Jersey, a private insurance company, or your auto insurance policy. We can help you apply for these benefits, and make certain that you receive them.
If tickets are issued to you or the person who hit you, we will go to Municipal Court with you – free of charge – to make certain that your rights are protected.
The most important aspect of any personal injury case is making certain that you get proper medical treatment. Health is not replaceable. We want you to recover from your injuries to the full extent possible. We can assist you in finding doctors that treat your type of injuries, and who will also accept your type of insurance.
In New Jersey, you may be limited in your ability to file a claim because of the auto insurance you selected. If you have what is known as the “verbal threshold” or “limited tort” option on your auto insurance policy, your right to recover money may be limited based on your ability to prove by objective medical evidence that you have suffered a permanent injury as a result of your car accident. If you have suffered a permanent injury, the attorneys at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles will make sure that you get the treatment you need to document the permanent injury. Do not worry – most New Jersey drivers have the limited right to sue in their insurance policies. Therefore, most of our automobile accident clients have the limited right to sue. Even with this limitation, the attorneys at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles have been extremely successful in resolving (and winning) these cases where our clients suffered an injury, and were able to obtain the proper diagnostic testing and medical treatment.
Insurance companies have adjusters, investigators, and attorneys whose only job is to keep you from getting compensated for your losses. We have over 100 years of experience in negotiating car accident cases. Our experience gives us the ability to properly evaluate the value of your case. We use that knowledge to educate you as to what you can expect, and to maximize your recovery.
The accident attorneys at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles are litigation attorneys. In the event your meritorious case cannot be settled, the attorneys at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles will file a lawsuit. Not only will we keep you advised of significant developments in your case as it progresses, we will be with you throughout every stage of the litigation process. This will include answering Interrogatories, which are written questions sent by the other side, preparing you for your deposition, and preparing you for Court Arbitration. We are litigation lawyers and we are in Court, taking depositions, going to trial, or meeting with our clients every day.
While most cases settle, for the few cases that do not, you should demand a competent, experienced, and skilled trial attorney. Not all attorneys know how to go to trial. All of the car accident attorneys at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles have tried cases before juries. Our results speak for themselves.
Contact the Truck Accident Lawyers at Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles Now
If you have been hurt in a truck accident, we know what a difficult time this is for you. You are not alone. Our New Jersey truck accident attorneys are here to help.
Contact Taylor, Taylor, Cohen & Bowles. We are the truck accident attorneys who will fight for your rights and stand by your side – in and out of court.
This is a time when your focus needs to be on your physical and emotional recovery. Let us handle the rest. Contact us today and learn more about how we can help.