Hackensack Truck Accident Lawyer

Large trucks, including big rigs, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers, regularly operate on highways and roadways in the Hackensack, New Jersey area—including Interstate 80. Given their size and weight, big trucks can seriously damage when they strike a much smaller vehicle.

If you suffer injuries in a truck accident, you can use personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage for monetary compensation. Moreover, in some instances, you can file a claim or lawsuit with the at-fault truck driver—or trucking company's—insurer.

The skilled legal team of Hackensack truck accident attorneys at Reinartz Law Firm can serve as your advocate from the beginning of the claims-filing process until the final resolution. Our personal injury attorneys can help you file a PIP insurance claim with your own insurance carrier or take on the at-fault truck driver or trucking company's insurer for you. We can assist you throughout the litigation process if you're eligible to file a lawsuit.

Our experienced and compassionate attorneys pride themselves on our clients' thoughtful, result-oriented legal representation. In fact, we have successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients in recent years—both via personal injury settlements and court judgments. Let our team help you maximize the monetary compensation you recover in your truck accident claim or lawsuit.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Hackensack truck accident attorney, please call us today for more information.

Common Types of Truck Crashes

Hackensack Truck Accident Lawyer

The drivers of commercial vehicles owe a high duty of care to other drivers and their passengers. Since commercial drivers operate their vehicles for a living, they must carefully follow all traffic laws and regulations, including state and federal motor carrier rules. They also must refrain from both distracted and intoxicated driving.

Despite their profession, however, many commercial truck drivers negligently cause accidents. In a recent year, New Jersey recorded 24 truck accidents that resulted in at least one fatality. This number does not include other truck accidents that caused accident victims serious injuries. While truck driver negligence is the primary cause of these accidents, crashes also happen when trucking companies fail to properly vet their drivers—and when they retain problem drivers who have poor driving records.

When New Jersey truck drivers operate their vehicles negligently, they may cause serious accidents. However, not all accidents occur in the same way. Some of the most common truck collisions include rear-end, head-on, sideswipe, jackknife, and broadside collisions.

A rear-end impact happens when the front of a large truck strikes the back of another vehicle. These crashes often happen when truck drivers are driving too fast for the weather conditions or fail to watch the road. The impact from a rear-end collision may also cause the accident victim's body to strike the steering wheel, window, or headrest, resulting in a traumatic head or brain injury.

Similarly, head-on collisions happen when a truck or tractor-trailer strikes the front of an oncoming vehicle. Distracted and intoxicated truckers usually cause these accidents. A negligent truck driver might cross the center line or median strip, striking a smaller vehicle head-on and causing the occupants to suffer serious injuries or fatalities.

On the other hand, a sideswipe accident happens when the side of a large truck and another vehicle strike one another while moving forward in the same direction. These accidents usually occur on large, multi-lane highways. In a sideswipe accident, the force of impact from the truck may push the smaller vehicle onto the roadway shoulder—or off the road altogether—causing the vehicle occupants serious injuries.

Truck jackknife accidents happen when the tractor and trailer portions of a vehicle fold inward on one another, resembling the shape of a jackknife. These accidents may occur when truck drivers drive too fast in wet weather or around a sharp turn. When a large truck jackknifes, it may skid forward, striking everything in its path. These accidents can also cause multi-vehicle pile-ups, which leave many drivers and passengers injured.

Finally, a broadside collision, or T-bone accident, happens when the front of a truck strikes the side of another vehicle traveling on an adjacent road. These crashes are common at traffic intersections where a negligent truck driver fails to yield the right-of-way at the proper time. For example, the truck driver might run a yield sign, stop sign, or red traffic light. In a broadside collision, the impacted vehicle may spin around rapidly or overturn, severely injuring the occupants.

If you suffered injuries in any truck accident, follow up at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility immediately. Next, contact the knowledgeable Hackensack truck accident attorneys at Reinartz Law Firm right away. Our legal team can investigate the circumstances of your accident, review police reports, and contact eyewitnesses for more information. Depending upon the circumstances, we can help you file a claim with your PIP insurance company or the at-fault driver's insurer.

How Do Truck Accidents Happen?

New Jersey truck accidents happen for various reasons but typically result from driver negligence. A negligent truck driver operates their vehicle unreasonably under the circumstances.

One of the most common causes of truck accidents is distracted driving. A distracted truck driver does not watch the road. Instead, they may be fiddling with a GPS navigation device, listening to loud music in their vehicle, or using an electronic device without Bluetooth capabilities. When a truck driver diverts their attention from the road, even for mere seconds, they may not see an oncoming vehicle approaching, resulting in a crash.

Truck accidents also happen when drivers become fatigued. Trucking companies routinely offer their drivers financial incentives for delivering their cargo to its final destination ahead of schedule. As a result, truck drivers often resort to controlled substances to keep them awake. However, these drugs sometimes have the opposite effect and make a driver fatigued while driving.

When truck drivers tire, they lose focus or even fall asleep at the wheel, causing serious accidents. Even if the truck driver does not fall completely asleep, they may experience delayed reaction time, preventing them from stopping their vehicle before a crash.

Truck accidents can also occur when drivers violate traffic laws and motor carrier regulations.

Common traffic law violations that cause truck accidents include:

  • Speeding.
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way.
  • Tailgating smaller vehicles.
  • Weaving in and out of highway traffic aggressively.
  • Failing to use turn signals.

In addition to following posted traffic signs, truck drivers must follow all applicable state and federal motor carrier regulations. These regulations usually relate to truck load limits, proper loading and unloading procedures, and securing truck cargo. When truck drivers and trucking companies violate these rules, cargo may slide off the truck and into the road, causing a severe accident.

Likewise, some truck crashes result from intoxicated driving. Passenger vehicle drivers are typically intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. However, the law holds commercial truck drivers to a higher standard. Truck drivers may be legally intoxicated if they have a BAC of at least 0.04 percent.

Alcohol impairment is especially dangerous for truck drivers because it blurs vision, limits concentration, and delays reaction time. When truck drivers haul thousands of pounds of cargo, they cannot afford to drive while disoriented or inattentive.

If you suffered injuries in a recent truck accident, the experienced Hackensack truck accident attorneys at Reinartz Law Firm can investigate your accident circumstances and explore your legal options. We can then help you select the best course of action for your case to garner the highest possible monetary recovery.

Truck Accident Injuries

Whenever a big truck hits a smaller passenger vehicle, it is usually the occupants of the passenger vehicle who suffer the more debilitating injuries. The injuries that truck crash victims suffer typically depend on the truck's size, the impact force, and how their body moves in the car due to the crash. Common truck accident injuries include traumatic head and brain damage, internal organ damage, fractures, broken bones, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and death.

As soon as possible after your truck accident, you should call 9-1-1 and seek follow-up medical treatment at a local hospital or urgent care facility. In addition to providing emergency treatment, the medical provider on duty can make recommendations for follow-up care if your injuries worsen. While you focus on getting better, our legal team can start gathering the necessary documents and other evidence for your truck accident claim or lawsuit.

No-fault Insurance Claims

All drivers in New Jersey must carry PIP insurance coverage, the maximum of which is $15,000. This coverage will pay medical expenses and other costs if you suffer injuries in a truck accident.

PIP insurance pays benefits regardless of who caused your truck accident.

However, if an accident victim has a standard policy, they may have additional legal rights and options if they suffer injuries in a truck collision. For example, if their policy offers a limited right to sue, they can file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault truck driver—or the trucking company—if they suffer various injuries. Qualifying injuries include dismemberment, serious disfigurement, permanent injuries, loss of a fetus, significant scarring, and displaced fractures.

Moreover, if the accident victim has a standard policy with an unlimited right to sue, they may file a claim or lawsuit against the responsible individual or entity. In other words, if their total damages exceed the amount of their PIP coverage, they can sue the at-fault truck driver or their employer trucking company for the difference.

Our experienced legal team can explore your eligibility for filing a claim or lawsuit with the at-fault party's insurance carrier. We will do everything possible to help you maximize your compensation for your truck accident injuries.

Recovering Monetary Damages for Injuries

Truck accidents can leave many victims needing ongoing medical treatment and future care. The total damages that a truck accident victim recovers will depend upon various factors, including the type of accident that occurs, the extent of the accident victim's injuries, the cost of their medical treatment, and the type of insurance coverage that they and the at-fault truck driver have available.

Common types of monetary compensation in truck accident claims include damages for medical expenses, lost earnings, out-of-pocket costs, loss of earning capacity, emotional anguish, loss of the ability to use a body part, lost quality of life, lost spousal companionship, and permanent disfigurement.

The knowledgeable Hackensack truck accident lawyers at Reinartz Law Firm can help you determine the damages you are eligible to recover in your claim or lawsuit. We can then take the necessary legal steps to maximize your financial recovery.

Contact a Knowledgeable Hackensack Truck Accident Attorney Today

Richard Reinartz, Attorney
Richard Reinartz, Hackensack Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accidents and injuries can lead to mounting medical bills and may prevent an accident victim from working for a significant time. If you suffered injuries in a recent truck collision, the knowledgeable and compassionate personal injury attorneys at Reinartz Law Firm are here to help. Our legal team can begin working on your case immediately and advocate for your legal interests. We can also assist you throughout the claims-filing and negotiation processes and, if necessary, litigate your case to a prompt and efficient resolution in court.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Hackensack truck accident lawyer, please call us today at (201) 778-4878 or contact us online for more information.

Heather F.

"Richard guided me in my suit and made me feel confident in my decisions during my entire case. He made recommendations that I otherwise, would not have known about."