South Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers
Helping Victims Injured in Trucking Accidents
In unwelcome news for passenger vehicles, South Jersey truck accident lawyers report the number of truck accidents on American roadways is on the rise. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) maintains that one in 10 fatal traffic accidents involve a large truck. Worse still, due to their size and weight, large trucks have the potential to cause serious damage when colliding with a passenger vehicle – even when traveling at low speeds.
Drivers, Employers, Owners Can Share Responsibility for a Crash
Assessing liability for a truck accident is a complicated process, with the potential inclusion of multiple defendants. A skilled truck accident lawyer can help determine who is at fault. A truck driver who is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can clearly be held liable for causing a crash which leaves innocent victims with serious injuries. Similarly, a truck driver who speeds, drives recklessly, drives while drowsy, or otherwise fails to abide by the rules of the road is easily identifiable as a defendant in a personal injury action.
Occasionally, however, third parties not directly involved in a truck accident can also share liability for a crash. Oftentimes the driver of a large truck is not the owner of the big, and it is the owner who is responsible for maintenance and ensuring that a truck is safe to operate. When a truck is not subjected to routine safety inspections or is operated with a known, preexisting defect, the owner can be held accountable. Similarly, when a driver operates a truck at the behest of an employer who has leased the truck from an owner, both the employer and the owner of the fleet can be deemed liable.
Design Defects and the Importance of Proper Loading
At other times a truck is rendered unsafe through no fault of the driver, the owner, or the driver’s employer. Design flaws and errors made during the manufacturing process present a hidden danger, for a truck can appear to be in good working condition until the defect becomes apparent – often when it is too late. A product liability action can be filed against the manufacturer when tires are not constructed to withstand the load and miles advertised. Similarly, a weak or cracked underride guard – which prevents a car from wedging itself under the bed of a large truck during a rear-end accident – can result in a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Even when a truck is fully operational, deemed safe and driven responsibly, it can still cause a crash. A large truck which is loaded improperly by a shipper will suffer from instability because weight is unevenly distributed throughout the cargo bed. In such a scenario a large truck can easily overturn or be unable to brake in time to avoid a collision. Victims of a large truck accident caused by improperly loaded cargo can also include the shipper as a defendant in any ensuing personal injury action.
Trucking accidents occur daily, often with disastrous results. Because large trucks can be 30 times larger than a motor vehicle and take up to 40 percent longer to come to a complete stop, passengers in motor vehicles stand little chance. To that end, the IIHS maintains that 68 percent of the 3,660 Americans fatally injured in large truck accidents in 2014 were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, while just 16 percent were occupants of the truck.
South Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Seek Justice for Injured Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, the South Jersey truck accident lawyers at Folkman Law Offices will aggressively pursue your claim in court. Contact us today at 856-354-9444 or complete our online contact form to learn how we will put our experience to work for you. At our Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania offices we proudly serve clients throughout the region.