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Truck Accident FAQ

Frequent Questions for a New Jersey Truck Accident Attorney

Advice From Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC’s Lawyers

Semi-trucks are everywhere on the New Jersey highways and byways. While they represent increased commerce and excellent employment opportunities, they’re also responsible for serious road accidents. Truck accidents involving smaller passenger vehicles often result in catastrophic personal injuries and even fatalities. If you or a loved one has been involved in a collision with a commercial truck, Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC has experienced truck accident attorneys in New Jersey. Below, we’ve assembled the answers to our most frequently asked questions. Should you still have questions, we encourage you to reach out and schedule a free one-hour initial consultation with our law firm.

What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

Common causes for truck accidents include any of the following:

  • Distracted or drunk driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Adverse driving conditions during bad weather
  • Unsecured cargo or hazardous materials
  • Prescription or over-the-counter drug use
  • Brake or tire issues
  • Speeding due to pressure to deliver goods quickly
  • Driver’s unfamiliarity with local roads

Why Are Truck Accidents Usually Worse Than Car Accidents?

Semi-trucks weigh more than your average passenger vehicle. They also require more room on the road to make stops and turns. No matter how safe your vehicle is, it offers little to no protection against the much bigger, heavier semi-truck. It usually takes more time for first responders to maneuver the accident scene when a semi-truck is involved, which sometimes makes the victim’s injuries worse the longer they have to wait for medical assistance. Common injuries sustained in truck accidents include broken bones, back and neck injuries, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and paralysis, rib and torso injuries, and other internal injuries not apparent at the time of the accident.

Why Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer to Represent Me?

While you could navigate the personal injury claim process on your own, it’s generally better to work with an experienced truck accident attorney. The trucking company is likely to have its own team of lawyers looking to spin the facts in its favor. Our lawyers at Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf and offer legal expertise when attempting to establish the other driver’s fault in the accident. Studies also indicate higher compensation amounts on average for those represented by an attorney. Check out our past verdicts and settlements. While no two cases are ever the same and we cannot guarantee results, browsing past settlements can give you an indication of how hard we work for our clients.

What Type of Compensation Can I Receive After a Truck Accident?

Compensation after a truck accident depends on the severity of the damages and your injuries. Truck accident victims are entitled to seek compensation for their medical expenses, missed time at work, lost wages or earning potential, and general pain and suffering. Accident victims who develop disabilities due to their injuries may also include the costs of making necessary modifications to their homes or vehicles. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to personal injury claims.

How Is Fault Determined in a New Jersey Truck Accident?

A thorough investigation of the accident is usually necessary to determine who was at fault. Our New Jersey truck accident lawyers will obtain a copy of the official police report and any accident scene or surveillance camera footage or photos. We’ll also gather statements from eyewitnesses and related experts to help you build your case. If the authorities requested any breath, blood, or urine testing for alcohol or drugs, we’ll obtain copies of these results as well. It may also be necessary to examine how well the truck was maintained and how recently any maintenance work had been done.

Presenting this body of evidence during settlement talks or before a jury if the case goes to trial can help establish who was at fault and who should be held responsible for your injuries. Even if you were partially responsible for the accident, you might still be entitled to partial compensation. Always talk to an attorney before admitting fault or accepting a settlement offer from the insurance companies.

Does the Truck Driver’s Employer Always Assume Liability?

Did the company have unrealistic or negligent expectations for its drivers? Were they ever asked to falsify their logbooks or work extended hours on the road despite feeling fatigued? The truck driver’s employer may share liability in some cases. However, it may be necessary to work with a truck accident attorney to determine their level of responsibility. Many major trucking companies insure their drivers.

Should I Accept the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer?

The insurance companies are not usually on your side. They will offer you a minimum settlement amount that may not adequately cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Working with a truck accident attorney is in your best interest to obtain fair compensation to help you recover, pay off your debts, and move forward with your life.

What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?

You should call local law enforcement to investigate the accident scene immediately. The official police report should document exactly what happened. Insurance companies often base who was at fault and how much compensation they’re willing to pay out on the accident report. Do not move your vehicle unless it is blocking traffic and causing unsafe conditions. You may not want to move until you’ve sought medical treatment, as many injuries are not evident at first glance. If it’s safe to do so, you may want to exchange contact information with the truck driver, talk to eyewitnesses on the scene, and take photos.

Once your police report has been filed, you’ll want to contact an accomplished truck accident attorney. New Jersey’s Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC would be happy to help. Established in 1950, our firm has locations throughout the state, including Elmwood Park, Dover, Newton, and Bernardsville. Contact our nearest office to schedule a free one-hour initial consultation to go over the specifics of your personal injury claim. For your convenience, we have Spanish translators available. Call today!

  • In 2020, we settled or won, at trial/mediation/arbitration, 112 personal injury cases. Our clients recovered over ten million dollars. Our firm set a record in 2020 by settling 15 cases for $200,000.00 or more. In the last eleven years, we have settled/won over one thousand cases and our clients have recovered over 100 million dollars.
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  • Results may vary depeding on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
Our Offices
  • Dover Office
    77 Union Street, Suite 2A
    Corner of Rt. 46 and Union Street
    Dover, New Jersey 07801
    Phone: 973-366-3900
    Fax: 973-813-3360
  • Newton Office
    93 Spring Street
    Suite 406
    Newton, New Jersey 07860
    Phone: 973-512-2207
    Fax: 973-813-3360
  • Elmwood Park Office
    One Broadway
    Suite 304
    Elmwood Park, New Jersey 07470
    Phone: 862-263-0770
    Fax: 973-813-3360
  • Bernardsville Office
    150 Morristown Road
    Suite 103
    Bernardsville, New Jersey 07924
    Phone: 862-263-0770
    Fax: 973-813-3360