If you have been the victim of a loading accident in New Jersey, you may very well be entitled to damages beyond workers’ compensation. Although most people are aware that loading trucks and driving trucks carrying heavy loads are risky occupations, there are many times when improper loading is to blame for accidents. When this is the case, the truck driver, his or her supervisor, and/or the trucking company itself may be liable for serious injuries suffered. At Nagel Rice, LLP, for more than three decades we have helped clients obtain justice when they are seriously harmed because of the negligence of others. Why not let us help you obtain the compensation you deserve?
The Impressive Track Record of Nagel Rice
At Nagel Rice, we have an outstanding record of winning well-deserved damages for our clients. In one case we obtained $1.73 million on behalf of an employee injured in a workplace accident. In all, we have won more than $100 million in personal injury verdicts and settlements. From our offices in Roseland and Manhattan, we serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.
Our attorneys are fierce litigators as well as highly skilled negotiators and will work diligently to win your case so that you and your family receive proper compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Our extensive experience helps us to calculate accurately just how much money you will need in the future, particularly if you are now dealing with a permanent disability or a condition that may worsen over time. We will never allow you or your family to be shortchanged.
How Loading Accidents Happen
As anyone in the industry can tell you, loading is both an art and a science, requiring complex knowledge of weight distribution, balance, angles, and inclines. Unless trucks are properly loaded, there may be packed for serious accidents.
Types of Loading Accidents
There are a number of types of loading accidents, all of them potentially hazardous, or even fatal. Loading accidents can occur on the dock, on the loading ramp, from a forklift, or from the front-or-rear end of the loader itself.
One primary cause of loading accidents is an overloaded truck. When the truck is carrying excess weight, the truck’s performance is negatively impacted. Examples of such occurrences are:
- The increased speed of an overweight truck as it travels downhill
- The increased braking force necessary to stop the overloaded vehicle
- The greatly increased tendency of the cargo to shift as it moves downhill more quickly
- The tendency of one axle to become overloaded, putting the truck off balance
- The tendency of an unbalanced, overweight load to result in a blowout, rollover, or loss of steering control
The Need for More than an Ounce of Prevention
Laws are in place to protect workers and drivers from loading accidents, but these laws only work if they are followed. Both federal and state laws include weight restrictions for trucks. While truck drivers are expected to make regular use of weigh stations located along their trucking routes to make sure they are not exceeding the truck’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), a certain number of truck drivers do not actually respond to warnings and so continue to present a danger to themselves and others.
At Nagel Rice, we have fine investigative teams capable of finding out whether corners have been cut. If this is the case and all those who have come into contact with the overloaded truck have been put at risk, we are fully prepared to sue the responsible parties.
Other Types of Loading Accidents
While the driver of a truck is liable for loading the truck incorrectly, whether or not he or she actually performed the task, it is also possible for a trucker to be seriously injured, through no personal fault, during the loading process itself. This occurs when the driver does not have sufficient strength to accomplish the task, or when no one competent is in a supervisory role. Unless you have been instructed concerning the appropriate means of lifting and loading the vehicle, you may well be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered in the process of carrying out your job. Neck and back, muscular and nerve injuries that may incapacitate you temporarily or even permanently, may result in protracted pain and disability for which you should be fully compensated.
Liability for Loading Accidents
If you were injured in New Jersey by a truck’s faulty equipment, or a defective forklift, dock plate or another piece of machinery, you may be able to pursue a product liability claim. Also, although, as mentioned, the driver is always responsible that the cargo is safe, the trucking company may also be held liable for the conduct of its employees. There are also times in which the shipper or property broker can also be held accountable for the packing of an unsafe load that has caused an accident. At Nagel Rice, we are always prepared to sue multiple parties to obtain sufficient damages if the situation calls for such actions.
Besides careless loading, equipment failures may also cause loading accidents. If a loading accident that has injured you has resulted from a defective or hazardous mechanical or electrical component, it is possible that Nagel Rice, as your personal injury attorneys, may be able to sue the manufacturer of the truck’s parts, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, or the mechanic who made repairs to the vehicle.
Contact Our Loading Accident Lawyers
At Nagel Rice, our long-term experience with loading accidents has made us savvy concerning truck maintenance and inspection as well as laws about construction. As accomplished personal injury attorneys, we know the importance of moving quickly in order to examine the evidence before our adversaries have time to alter it in an attempt to avoid liability. We have extensive knowledge regarding “vicarious liability, so we may be able to hold a third party liable for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention. Whatever pathway it takes to get you the compensation you deserve, we will vigorously follow. We will always take your side, fight ferociously for your rights, and offer you our compassion as well as our competence. If you have had a loading accident, get in touch with our capable attorneys as promptly as possible by calling us or filling out a contact form on our website. Remember, there will be no fee until we win your case through settlement or verdict.