Trucking Accident Lawyer in New Jersey
LEGAL HELP FOR NEW JERSEY TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS
The Garden State is the most densely populated state in the country, ranking 11th in population but only 47th in total area. New Jersey’s geographical position in the northeast of the United States, between the major population areas of New York City and Washington, D.C., makes it one of the most heavily-trafficked states in the country. The New Jersey Turnpike, George Washington Bridge, and Driscoll Bridge are congested daily by commuters and commercial motor vehicles.
Semi-trucks moving manufactured materials and goods across the eastern seaboard endlessly cross through New Jersey. Commercial trucks help the state’s economy, but the congested highways and roadways lead to many disastrous accidents every year. In 2014 in New Jersey alone, 74 people suffered fatal injuries in crashes involving a large truck.
Nationally, an additional estimated 111,000 people sustained injuries in accidents involving semi-trucks in 2014. The amount of lives changed each year due to debilitating injuries is too plentiful, and unfortunately, the accidents that cause these injuries are oftentimes preventable.
At Thomas J. Henry, we understand how difficult it can be after sustaining a severe injury due to a commercial vehicle accident. That is why we can advance your court costs and litigation expenses. In addition, we can also advance you money for living and medical expenses if you’re injured and out of work. You don’t have to spend anything and you will pay zero attorney’s fees unless we win your case.
We have helped trucking injury victims across the nation stand up to large trucking companies and achieve record-breaking results. We have consistently demonstrated — through expansive discovery, depositions, and massive use of experts — how trucking companies and truck drivers have caused catastrophic injuries and deaths that were avoidable and unnecessary.
LEGAL RESOURCES TO WIN YOUR NEW JERSEY TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE
Thomas J. Henry has the financial resources and experience to ensure your New Jersey trucking accident case is handled with efficiency. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are devoted to our clients’ needs and will take every measure possible to make our clients comfortable, informed, and in the best position to win the compensation they deserve for the pain and suffering they have incurred.
- From the accident scene to the resolution of your case, Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are there for you. No matter where you reside in the state of New Jersey, out attorneys are accessible to you via satellite technology and live streaming, or in person via jet services. If you cannot make it to one of our offices, we will meet you at your home, place of work, or hospital. Your case information is important, so we made sure that our lawyers can access it from anywhere in the world at any time with a click of a mouse.
- We are intent on providing dynamic representation for every one of our clients. That means employing the leading-edge solutions in case management, client interaction, and information security. Our experienced trucking accident attorneys have access to your case files from anywhere in the world, remotely, so they can hold meetings and draft documents to share with other legal professionals.
- Expert witnesses
- Experts serve as witnesses in commercial trucking litigation matters, providing reports and testimony for judges, lawyers, law firms, and government agencies in trials and arbitration. It is crucial to your case to find the right expert and best expert witnesses for your case. Each expert witness we engage has went through a rigorous examination and questioning. A tremendous amount of time has been spent selecting only the best experts from across the country. Our attorneys are always searching for new and innovative ways to use experts in trucking injury cases.
- Expert witnesses in a trucking accident case include:
- FMCSA compliance consultants
- Forensic engineers
- Doctors, surgeons, psychologists, and other medical professionals
- Accident investigation experts
- General equipment technical experts
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?
Trucking accidents can leave you disoriented, especially if you have suffered an injury. After ensuring your safety, there are certain steps you can take to preserve your rights as a truck accident victim in New Jersey. Trucking accidents can be very complex cases, making it important to protect evidence and record facts accurately. Thomas J. Henry knows how trucking companies operate, and we are there to help you immediately after a trucking accident to protect evidence and your rights.
Here are a few tips on how to preserve your rights as a trucking accident victim:
- Stop immediately after the crash and assess the situation
- Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Make sure it is safe outside your vehicle before attempting to exit.
- Make the accident visible
- Use your vehicle hazard lights, set out reflectors, or use road flares to signal to other motorists that there is a crash scene approaching.
- Notify the police
- Contact your local police department or call 911 if there is an emergency. Filing a police report is an important step in filing insurance claims. Be sure that paramedics arrive on the scene to care for any injuries sustained in the crash.
- Record the facts and take pictures
- Speak with responding officers and be as accurate as possible, but do not speculate about facts surrounding the accident or any injuries you may have incurred. In addition, take pictures of damage to your vehicle, the scene of the accident, any injuries you or passengers suffered, or anything else that may help your case in the future.
- Gather and exchange information
- Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses to the crash. Obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved, too.
- Seek medical attention
- Sometimes injuries or pain from the accident won’t become apparent until days after the crash. If you are uncertain if you suffered an injury, err on the side of caution and get a check-up from your physician.
- Report the accident to your insurance company
- Contact your insurance company as soon as you can. As your claim is processed, keep a log of any medical expenses or crash-related expenses as well as any changes in health. Avoid speaking with other insurance companies or trucking company claims adjusters. If you have retained or plan on retaining a trucking injury lawyer, refer these companies to them.
- Contact an experienced New Jersey truck accident attorney
- Lawyers are responsible for protecting your rights as an accident victim and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. Thomas J. Henry will immediately work to obtain and preserve evidence from the accident, give you legal advice, and ensure you receive ample medical attention. Experienced truck accident lawyers will make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire process.
WHAT ARE ECM AND GPS DEVICES?
Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are found in many commercial trucks and Department of Transportation-regulated vehicles. These electronic systems track and record a truck’s movement, including how fast it was traveling prior to an impact. In addition, these devices can reveal the driving behavior of the truck driver as well as the routes the driver took before an accident.
The acquisition of these devices can play a vital role in determining liability in a trucking accident case. Thomas J. Henry will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to obtain these devices. We will also acquire all of the Federal Motor Carrier require documents for the driver. These documents include information about the driver’s employment with the trucking company and can shed additional light on liability.
WHO CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR MY TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURIES?
In the case of a New Jersey trucking accident, several parties could potentially be liable for your injuries. Knowing who and where to sue is critical to your case. In some cases, trucking injury victims may have grounds to sue for actual and punitive damages, which can compensate them for all expenses since the accident and those that will occur in the future. Truck drivers, trucking companies, and commercial motor vehicle manufacturers are all potentially negligent when it comes to a trucking accident.
Thomas J. Henry has a proven record for delivering real results for injured clients. We make sure all the details of your case are researched and discovered so that you are in the best possible position to receive the compensation you deserve. We understand how trucking companies operate and how truck drivers are supposed to handle themselves in the operation of semi-trucks. Thousands of lives could be spared from pain and suffering each year if trucking companies and their employees followed the appropriate safety rules and guidelines.
WHAT CAUSES TRUCKING ACCIDENTS TO HAPPEN?
Semi-truck accidents can be caused by several different factors — most of which are preventable. When truck drivers violate traffic laws, severe accidents can occur and leave other motorists with debilitating injuries. Common violations that lead to New Jersey trucking accidents include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Improper loading
- When large trucks fail to secure their loads properly, motorists are put at an extreme danger. Contents from these trucks, including hazardous materials, could spill onto the roadways, causing serious accidents.
- Distracted driving
- Commercial vehicle regulations ban drivers from using mobile devices while driving. Doing so is considered a serious traffic violation and could lead to a CDL suspension.
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Improper lane changing
- Following too closely
- The average stopping distance for a loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 55 mph is 196 feet, compared with 133 feet for an automobile.
- Driving while impaired
- Improper turns
WHAT TRUCKING GUIDELINES EXIST TO KEEP NEW JERSEY DRIVERS SAFE?
Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains regulations for commercial motor vehicles and their operators. Trucking companies and their employees are required to follow these laws, which are put in place to keep other drivers safe on the roadways. Catastrophic accidents are oftentimes the result of a truck driver or trucking company’s failure to comply with these guidelines.
Commercial truck operators are required to obtain and hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard than regular drivers, which means they can lose their CDL designation by committing serious traffic violations.
- Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
- In New Jersey, drivers must be at least 18 years old to take part in intrastate commerce.
- To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
- Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
- In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
- For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
- Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
- Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.
HOURS OF SERVICE (HOS) REGULATIONS
A leading cause of deadly trucking accidents is driver drowsiness. A fatigued truck driver can cause catastrophic damage and injury by falling asleep at the wheel. Insufficient sleep prior to driving can have the same negative effects as consuming alcohol. These regulations help ensure truck drivers are well rested before getting behind the wheel of an 80,000-lb. vehicle.
Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
In addition, passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
- Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY
Thomas J. Henry has advocated for trucking injury victims throughout the nation for decades. When you hire a trucking accident firm, you need a firm that has experienced attorneys, financial resources, and a reputation for achieving record-breaking settlements and verdicts for clients. We are dedicated to providing personal and dynamic representation for each and every client we see, ensuring each case is properly developed and handled efficiently. If you have been injured in a New Jersey trucking accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends.
Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only. Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.