Understanding what to do when a large truck causes a big change in your life
We've all seen them on the news even if we haven't had their impact touch us directly. The most grisly traffic accidents are often those involving commercial trucks including so-called tractor trailers. Around 100,000 Americans are injured every single year, and rising, in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Given what's at stake, knowing how to proceed when the worst happens is a matter of utmost importance: The accident's causes
Sometime the culprit is driver error; a fatigued or improperly trained driver who, on a tight turn, failed to leave the proper following distance before hitting the break, could cause an accident that kills or maims multiple other drivers. Weather can also play a role in a large truck, tractor trailer, semitrailer or ‘big rig” jackknifing or tipping over on a highway, ramp or bypass. Or perhaps a manufacturer's mistake, at either the design or assembly stage, proved decisive? In practice, tractor trailer cases are often “two cases in one” much like motorcycle accidents. First, you have a general negligence case. This is your standard personal injury case. The other party was “negligent” meaning that he or she failed to exercise the appropriate standard of care and, as a result, directly and proximately caused a person or persons to incur damages. It may have been an improperly shoveled sidewalk after a snowfall or a driver who was texting and did not see the car in front stopping; in the case of a tractor trailer, a the driver may have run a red light, driven too fast in poor conditions, or perhaps even fallen asleep at the wheel. Then there is the products liability case. This second part of a tractor trailer case is less familiar to most non-lawyers and potentially more complicated. Here, your attorney will investigate whether there is a design or manufacturing defect in the tractor trailer, and if there is such a defect, whether it poses a known or undisclosed risk of harm to the user and other potentially affected individuals. Problems with the steering and brake systems, respectively, are common culprits. The path forward Litigating a tractor trailer accident is typically more complicated than your standard accident between two non-commercial vehicles. For starters, there are typically more parties to the resulting lawsuit than Driver #1 and Driver #2. Potential defendants include the driver of the truck, the company for which he drives, the manufacturer of the truck, and even the company's mechanics who worked on the truck.
Moreover, the size of these hulking vehicles means more than one passenger vehicle could have been involved in the crash. It's not unusual to see multiple plaintiffs, in addition to multiple defendants, in tractor trailer accident lawsuits. Finally, and unfortunately, these particularly brutal and violent accidents produce a higher percentage of deaths than ordinary accidents. Approximately 4,000 Americans are killed in commercial truck accidents on an annual basis. Consequently, it's important for a plaintiff's attorney to know the ins-and-outs of New Jersey wrongful death claims. Secure your rights. Don't let the complexities of New Jersey's legal system deter you from pursuing the recovery you deserve following your tractor trailer accident. The personal injury attorneys at DeMichele & DeMichele will thoroughly evaluate your potential claim, develop a comprehensive plan, conduct the necessary discovery, interface with expert witnesses on your behalf, explain the litigation process to you in detail including the applicable regulations, and vigorously labor to compile the physical and medical evidence necessary to establish a successful personal injury case. Don't rest on your rights. Even when the final result is not fatal, these serious accidents regularly produce injuries that properly warrant substantial compensation for significant medical bills and a lifetime of care among other damages. If you or a loved one fell victim to a tractor trailer accident, contact us TODAY too arrange a free personal injury consultation with DeMichele & DeMichele; please click here to contact us online today or call (856) 546-1350 to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. ______