Trucking Accidents: Common Causes & Liability

Commercial trucking accidents often result in life-threatening and sometimes life-ending injuries to those involved. In fact, the US Department of Transportation reports rising numbers of big-rig-related fatalities since 2009.

If you or someone you love has suffered injury or death in a trucking accident, you may question if you have a valid legal claim for financial damages?  While the answer may be yes, New Jersey truck accident attorneys warn that commercial trucking accidents are more complicated than passenger vehicle collisions.

Understanding trucking accidents, common causes, and liability is essential as you consider filing a personal injury legal action. 

New Jersey Truck Accidents 

A significant number of commercial trucks travel the highways of New Jersey each day. The large size, heavyweight, and decreased maneuverability of these big-rigs make them a significant risk to passenger vehicles and pedestrians with whom they share the road. 

And while no amount of planning can guarantee a passenger vehicle’s safety against a commercial truck, drivers commuting in traffic with semi-trucks should be alert to their vulnerability.

Let’s examine some of the common causes of big-rig accidents in New Jersey.

4 Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in New Jersey

A variety of factors can contribute to commercial truck accidents. However, some common causes that are worth noting:

Driver Fatigue:

Truck drivers face tremendous pressure to meet delivery deadlines. 

To meet company goals and exceed expectations, drivers often pushed themselves beyond the limits of safe driving. 

Many truck accidents are caused by drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel and crash off-road or into other vehicles. 

Impaired Drivers:

Many drivers develop drug and alcohol addictions that can significantly impair their driving abilities. 

Often, the use of stimulants to stay awake is followed by depressants to allow for sleep.

Dangerous drug interactions and the cycle of dependency impair a driver’s ability to operate their truck safely. 

Improper Loads:

Overloaded trucks or improperly secured loads are often cited as leading causes of truck accidents. 

If a truck is overloaded, the weight or imbalance of the load may result in the big rig flipping over, particularly when turning or taking on and off-ramps. 

Further, an unsecured load may spill from the truck causing hazardous road conditions to other drivers.   

Poor Maintenance:

When commercial truck owners and drivers fail to maintain their trucks properly, mechanical failures are bound to happen. 

Steering and transmission failures, bad tires, and faulty brakes are common factors in commercial trucking accidents. 

Once the cause of the truck accident is uncovered, it’s time to determine liability. 

Who is Liable in a New Jersey Truck Accident?

One of the complexities of a commercial truck accident liability claim lies with determining liability. 

Often, multiple parties are found at-fault in big-rig accidents. Each can be pursued for damages. 

Negligent, at-fault parties might include:

  • Drivers
  • Truck Owners
  • Truck Maintenance Providers
  • Parts Manufacturers
  • Truck Manufacturers
  • Loading Companies
  • Leasing Agents

A skilled personal injury attorney will identify the negligent parties and file claims on your behalf against their insurance carriers and the parties themselves when applicable. 

Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Today

Victims of truck accidents often suffer devastating, life-altering injuries and loss. Financial compensation may be available to help victims recover from mounting debt and lost wages after an accident. Additional damages for future medical and rehabilitative costs, as well as necessary lifestyle adjustments may also be awarded. 

Relying on professional legal counsel in the aftermath of a truck accident is essential. While you focus on healing and recovery, a skilled attorney will advocate for your rights while navigating the complexities of a New Jersey trucking accident lawsuit. 

Contact our law office today to speak with a seasoned New Jersey personal injury attorney. Together, we will review your case and outline a path to justice and compensation for your losses.