Imagine this scenario. You are driving along a New Jersey highway and traffic jams you up in such a way that you end up next to a semitrailer truck. Vehicles are moving, but not as fast as you’d like. Eventually, you begin to experience a great desire to just break away from the pack so that you can get away from the monster.
The feeling is understandable. That truck is four or five times larger than your vehicle. If it’s fully loaded, it’s also 20 times heavier than your vehicle. In the event of a collision, the chances are you are going to suffer the worst. If trucker negligence causing serious or deadly injury results, you have a right to seek compensation. But doing so can mean another David and Goliath battle with the trucking company and insurers. To even the odds and achieve optimal results, consult an attorney.
When it comes to causes of truck-auto crashes, and assigning liability, the chances are generally stacked against passenger vehicle drivers. Big rigs and other commercial trucks have myriad blind spots that make it hard to see cars and SUVs. Another thing many passenger vehicle drivers fail to appreciate is that truck performance is more limited in response to sudden maneuvers, such as making quick lane changes in front of a semi.
However, truck limitations don’t absolve drivers of possible responsibility. The trucking business is inherently risky and is made more so if a driver:
- Lacks proper training and experience
- Succumbs to temptation to maximize compensation or pressure from employers by speeding or violating hours of service rules
- Fails to properly maintain his or her vehicle, or ensure that the employer does so
The process of seeking justice for injury and damage after a truck-caused crash can be complicated by many factors. Among them is the number of possible entities that could be named in a claim. These could include the driver, the truck company, the broker and the shipper. Levels of liability can vary depending on the structure of business arrangements. And that is yet another reason why checking with an attorney is wise. Call Cohn Lifland to explore your legal options.