Belleville, NJ Truck Accident Attorney
Accidents involving large trucks and 18-wheelers often leave victims more seriously injured than accidents involving only passenger vehicles. These accidents are responsible for hundreds of injuries each year, and our injury attorneys help to fight for injured truck accident victims to get them the compensation they deserve.
If you were hurt in a truck accident, our attorneys may be able to help you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their trucking company to get you damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Do not try to pursue damages on your own. Many insurance companies will try to deny your claim or undercut the value of your case, preventing you from being paid what you are owed.
For a free case evaluation, call The Carrion Law Firm’s Belleville truck accident attorneys today at (718) 841-0083.
How to Get Damages from a Truck Accident in Belleville, NJ
There are generally two routes to compensation after an auto accident: an insurance claim and a lawsuit. In NJ, you are generally required to file a claim with your at-fault insurance as your first resort for damages, but the law allows you to sue the at-fault driver and trucking company for many cases of “serious injury.” Our Belleville truck accident lawyers can help you get compensation through either or both routes, depending on what is most appropriate for your case.
Filing an Insurance Claim
To understand how auto accident claims work in New Jersey, you must understand how NJ’s no-fault insurance works. Most drivers carry no-fault insurance with a PIP policy (personal injury protection) that allows them to claim damages for medical bills and lost wages regardless of who caused the accident. These claims are filed against your own insurance provider.
If your injuries are serious enough or you pay for “unlimited right to sue” insurance, you can file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. This opens damages for pain and suffering and other compensation, plus additional funds to pay for damages that go beyond the limit of your PIP coverage.
Most commercial vehicle operations, including trucking, have insurance with higher limits than the standard auto policies everyday drivers carry. This means that a case against a trucker and their insurance company can often lead to higher compensation. Talk to our Belleville truck accident lawyers about what your specific case is worth and whether an insurance claim might be sufficient in your case.
Filing a Lawsuit
When you have “serious injuries” or an expanded right to sue policy, you can generally sue the at-fault driver for your injuries instead of relying on insurance settlements. When the other driver has insurance, their insurance company will still usually indemnify them (meaning they will pay their damages), and they will provide them with an attorney. But in a lawsuit, additional areas of compensation are open to you that your insurance usually will not cover, such as pain and suffering or even punitive damages for the trucking company’s negligence.
Most accident and injury cases ultimately settle, whether in court or out of court. However, filing a lawsuit might still be a strong move because it helps show that you are serious and helps pressure the insurance companies into settling to avoid the expense of defending their case in court.
If your lawsuit ultimately goes to trial, our Belleville, NJ truck accident attorneys will be prepared to present witnesses and evidence of your injuries and argue your case in open court.
Who to Sue
When you file a lawsuit for a trucking accident in Belleville, NJ, you will typically file it against both the driver and the trucking company they work for. Some drivers are owner-operators or independent contractors, which means there is no trucking company involved in the case. However, the driver essentially acts as their own small business and still must carry high-dollar commercial driving insurance to cover their potential accidents and liabilities.
To sue a trucking company, you typically must prove that their driver was an employee of the company who was engaged in their work duties when the accident happened. Drivers who are in violation of company rules or take their truck out on personal trips after work are typically not “on the clock,” so their employer is not responsible for their actions. However, any time a trucker is on the clock and transporting cargo, they are likely within the scope of their work duties, and their employer can be held liable for the accidents they cause. Talk to our Belleville truck accident attorneys if the facts of your case are complex
Trucking companies can also be held liable for their direct share of fault in causing a crash. Negligence in the hiring process could make them liable for the injuries their dangerous driver causes. The same is true if they are negligent in keeping on a driver they know to be dangerous. Additionally, most trucking companies own their own vehicle fleet and are responsible for vehicle maintenance and safety. This means that accidents caused by mechanical errors or equipment failure could be their fault, and both you and the truck driver could be victims of the trucking company’s negligence.
Lastly, trucking companies are sometimes liable for crashes if they force their drivers to violate trucking regulations, leading to a crash. This is most common with hours of service rules that put time limits on commercial truck drivers’ hours. Truckers and trucking companies who violate these rules could potentially be setting themselves up for punitive damages as well.
Call Our Belleville Truck Accident Injury Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, the Belleville truck accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm may be able to help. Call us today at (718) 841-0083 for a free case evaluation.