In New Jersey, gathering evidence is essential after a truck accident. Evidence demonstrates what occurred and who is to blame. Trucks are not the same as standard cars. They have greater size, weight, and destructive potential.
Truck accidents therefore frequently involve different laws and procedures than incidents involving smaller vehicles. If you have to go to court, having the appropriate information might be very helpful.
We will walk you through the procedures in this post to gather crucial evidence following a truck accident in New Jersey. This will ensure that your rights are upheld and that you have the best opportunity to make your case.
Understanding New Jersey's Laws Regarding Truck Accidents
In New Jersey, there's a rule called "comparative negligence." This means that if you're partly at fault in an accident, it could affect how much money you can get in a lawsuit. For example, if you're found to be 20% responsible for the accident, then you might only get 80% of the money you ask for.
Trucking companies in New Jersey must follow certain laws. These laws are in place to keep roads safe. Trucks have to be checked regularly to ensure they are in good condition. Truck drivers also have specific rules.
They can't drive too many hours without taking breaks. This helps make sure they are not too tired on the road. Trucking companies must keep records of these checks and breaks. If they don't, they can get in trouble with the law.
Immediate Steps Post-Accident
After a truck accident, it's vital to act quickly and make the right decisions. Here are the immediate steps you should take:
a. Safety First
The first thing to do is make sure everyone is okay. If someone is hurt, call 911 right away. If you can, move to a safe place, away from traffic. Remember, staying safe should always be the top priority.
b. Inform Law Enforcement
Once everyone is safe, call the police. They will come to the scene and make a report. This report is very important because it records what happened.
When the police arrive, give them a clear account of the event. The police report can be a key piece of evidence in a lawsuit.
c. Document the Scene
If you have a phone or camera, take pictures of the accident scene. Capture the damage to vehicles, the position of the trucks and cars, and any road signs or signals. If there are skid marks or other clues on the road, photograph those too.
Also, write down any details you remember. If there are witnesses, get their contact information. They might have seen something important.
a. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
After an accident, even if you feel okay, it's crucial to see a doctor. Injuries might not show right away but can cause problems later. When you see a doctor, they will check you and write down any injuries or concerns. This record can be important in court to prove the injuries from the accident.
b. Maintain Records
Always keep a copy of every medical bill, prescription, and report. These documents show the cost of your injuries and the care you need. They can be used to ask for money to cover these costs in a lawsuit.
In some cases, people called "expert witnesses" are brought to court. These are individuals who have special knowledge about certain topics.
For example, an accident reconstructionist is someone who can look at evidence and tell how the accident happened. They might use pictures, reports, and other details to explain the events.
Medical professionals are also vital. They can talk about your injuries, how severe they are, and how they will affect your life. Having an expert witness can make your case stronger because they help the court understand complex details.
Trucking Company Data
a. Electronic Logging Devices (ELD)
Truck drivers use devices called Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to record their driving hours and when they take breaks.
By law, truck drivers can't drive for too long without resting. ELDs make sure drivers follow this rule. If a driver was on the road for too many hours, it might have caused the accident.
b. Maintenance Records
Trucks need regular checks to ensure they are safe. If a trucking company doesn't maintain its trucks properly, it might be at fault for an accident. It's important to check if the truck involved in the accident had any issues that were not fixed.
c. Driver's Employment History
It's also a good idea to look at the truck driver's work history. If they had any past problems, like accidents or traffic violations, it could be important for the lawsuit.
Hiring an Experienced NJ Truck Accident Attorney
The entire experience of an 18 wheeler accident is highly traumatic, and it is your right to receive compensation to cover your medical expenses. Throughout this process, you need a proficient and highly capable person whom you can trust to take care of your legal battle. Fortunately, New Jersey is a state where truck accident victims can sue for their injuries against the responsible party. Now is the time to contact a NJ truck accident lawyer who will represent you in court and handle the following matters for you.
- Guidance through the Legal Maze: An attorney knows the ins and outs of the law. They can guide victims step by step, making the legal process clearer.
- Evidence Collection: Lawyers know what evidence is needed and how to get it. From documents to witness statements, they ensure everything is in order.
- Dealing with Trucking Companies: Trucking companies might have their lawyers. Having an attorney levels the playing field and ensures victims are not taken advantage of.
- Court Representation: If the case goes to court, an attorney represents the victim, arguing on their behalf and ensuring their rights are protected.
- Negotiating Settlements: Many cases are settled outside of court. Lawyers are skilled in negotiation, working to get the best possible outcome for their clients.
In New Jersey, there are numerous personal injury law firms that represent truck accident victims, but Rosengard Law Group stands out for their practice of only charging fees upon winning cases. They represent victims of truck accidents throughout NJ, including Jersey City and Newark. They truly comprehend the pain and suffering experienced by individuals whose lives are completely disrupted by accidents, recognizing the utmost importance of securing fair compensation. Their attorneys will handle all aspects of your case and advocate for the compensation you rightfully deserve while you focus on your recovery from injuries.
What is comparative negligence in New Jersey?
It's a rule that if you're partly at fault in an accident, it may reduce the compensation you receive.
Why are Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) important in a lawsuit?
ELDs track driving hours and breaks, ensuring truck drivers follow legal driving limits.
How can maintenance records affect a lawsuit?
If trucks weren't properly maintained, it can point to negligence by the trucking company.
How soon should I act after a truck accident?
Act immediately: gather evidence, seek medical attention, and consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Finding the appropriate evidence in truck accidents is essential for pursuing justice. Building a solid case requires consideration of every aspect, including images of the incident and medical records.
This evidence can be used to identify the culpable people and make sure they are held accountable. Victims can be guided by their knowledge, ensuring that they don't overlook important information or measures.
Also, keep in mind that time is of the essence. It's critical to take quick action, gather all required proof, and consult a professional. By doing so, victims of truck accidents in New Jersey have a better chance of receiving a proper verdict and justice.