How to Sue a Trucking Company

When a truck driver is negligent or a trucking company puts an inexperienced driver behind the wheel of a big rig, they’re setting themselves up for an auto and truck accident lawsuit. Whether a trucking company allowed poorly maintained trucks on the road or a truck driver working for the company was reckless, if they caused an accident, you need representation from an attorney with deep roots in New Jersey laws and regulations. To file a trucking accident lawsuit, call RAM Law. They have experts on hand to take care of you properly.

Can I File for an 18-Wheeler Accident Lawsuit?

RAM Law Group PhotoIn brief, the answer is yes. 18-wheeler truck accidents differ from typical car accidents in that they frequently cause severe damage, and the resulting legal cases are often more intricate. Individuals who’ve suffered injuries or property damage in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and anyone else impacted by the incident, are entitled to file an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit.

In a tractor-trailer accident, several parties may be able to sue for damages. These may include the truck driver, the trucking company or other parties that may be liable for the accident. Tractor trailers include big rigs and flatbed trucks as well.

The most effective way to secure compensation for damages that include injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages and other losses is by hiring a skilled attorney with extensive experience in truck accident lawsuits. The attorneys of RAM Law in New Jersey are the premier leaders when considering an auto and truck accident lawsuit. Contact them when you’re in a truck accident.

How Do Truck Accident Lawsuits Work?

Although a tractor trailer accident lawsuit follows a similar process as other personal injury lawsuits, there are specific considerations to bear in mind when dealing with accidents that involve commercial trucks. The general steps involved in a truck accident lawsuit follow a certain protocol that includes:

  1. Investigation. After an accident, an investigation determines the cause of the accident and who’s at fault. This may involve gathering evidence such as witness statements, police reports and photographs of the scene. While you should try to collect as much as you can at the scene, your RAM Law team also puts experienced investigators to work on your behalf.
  2. Filing a claim. If injuries occurred from a semi-truck accident, you may file a claim with the trucking company’s insurance company. That insurance company may offer you an initial settlement, but it rarely is enough to cover all your damages.
  3. Lawsuit. You may need to file a lawsuit against the trucking company and/or the driver if you don’t reach a satisfactory settlement. Your lawyer prepares the necessary documents, including a complaint outlining your case, and files it with the court.
  4. Discovery. During the discovery phase of an auto and truck accident lawsuit, both sides exchange information and evidence. This may include depositions, interrogatories and requests for documents.
  5. Settlement negotiations. Before going to trial, there may be settlement negotiations between your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer. The parties may resolve the trucking accident lawsuit without going to trial if they reach a settlement.
  6. Trial. If the parties can’t reach a settlement, they go to trial. A judge or jury listens to the evidence and decides on whether the defendant is liable for your damages and how much you should receive in compensation.

Truck accidents have devastating consequences for victims, often resulting in serious or even catastrophic injuries that incur high medical bills. The attorneys at RAM Law in NJ fight for all the forms of compensation available to you, including:

  • Damages for present and future medical bills
  • Property reimbursement for your vehicle and its contents
  • Lost income
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Intangible losses, such as mental anguish, pain, suffering and PTSD
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Can I Sue the Truck Driver?

If the truck driver acted negligently or recklessly and caused the accident, you may be able to hold them accountable. The situations that result in the truck driver being liable in a trucking accident lawsuit include:

  • Violation of traffic laws. If a truck driver violated a traffic law such as running a red light or speeding, they’re liable if this violation led to an accident.
  • Distracted driving. A distracted truck driver is liable if texting, using the phone or eating caused an accident.
  • Drowsy driving. Driving while fatigued or sleep-deprived may lead to an accident. Truck drivers must adhere to strict regulations on driving without taking a break, or they assume responsibility for the accident.
  • Improper maintenance. A truck driver is accountable if they fail to properly maintain their vehicle by systematically checking the brakes or tires, which leads to an accident.
  • Drunk or drugged driving. If a truck driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and this led to an accident, he is liable.

In summary, truck drivers are liable for an accident and open to being sued if they acted negligently or drove recklessly or aggressively, and their actions directly caused the accident.

Who’s Liable in a Truck Accident?

The liability in a truck accident lawsuit depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. Responsibility for damages may fall to the individuals or entities accountable for the accident due to their negligence. This may include:

Authorities need to investigate to identify the party at fault, including who’s responsible for the damage caused by the accident. This phase is often done during a follow-up investigation.

How Long Do I Have to Bring a Truck Accident Lawsuit?

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a truck accident is two years from the date of the accident. This means that you must file a lawsuit within two years of the accident, or you lose your right to sue. The statute of limitations may be suspended in certain circumstances, such as:

  • The plaintiff has been deceived by the opponent’s misconduct, preventing the plaintiff from meeting the deadline.
  • The plaintiff mistakenly asserted the right to a lawsuit through defective pleading or in an improper forum.
  • The plaintiff has been impeded from filing a lawsuit in an unusual way.

RAM Law attorneys know that certain statutes of limitations do not apply when minor children are involved. They also know what happens to your truck accident lawsuit if you leave the state. The expert attorneys at RAM Law in NJ navigate any unforeseen questions that arise when filing truck accident lawsuits.

How Much Will a Truck Accident Lawsuit Cost Me?

In some cases, attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, where they only get paid if you win the case, and their fees come out of the settlement or judgment amount. In such a scenario, you may not have to pay anything upfront. And if you lose the case, you won’t have to pay your attorney’s fees either. The cost of a semi-truck accident lawsuit depends on numerous factors, such as:

  • The complexity of the case
  • The duration of the litigation
  • The attorney’s fees

Some expenses, such as court fees, expert witness fees and other costs related to the litigation, may still apply regardless of the outcome. Discuss the potential costs and fees with your RAM Law attorney before filing a truck accident lawsuit.

What Type of Damages Are Compensated in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Damages recovered in your truck accident case are based on the extent of the accident and your injuries. Injuries that typically are covered in an auto and truck accident lawsuit include:

  • Spinal cord injuries. A truck accident resulting in a severe spinal cord injury may lead to partial, temporary or complete paralysis. The extent of the paralysis depends on the location of the spinal cord injury and may result in paralysis from the waist down or paralysis from the neck down. These injuries require extensive treatment, including surgeries, physical therapy and adaptive measures to manage the condition.
  • Amputation and disfigurement. In cases where a truck accident crushes the bones in a limb, amputation may be necessary. Extensive medical treatment is required, including the use of adaptive devices, such as prosthetics, and physical therapy to manage the injury.
  • Burn injuries. During a truck accident, the fuel tank may rupture, resulting in fire that spreads rapidly and engulfs not just the truck, but also other vehicles involved in the accident. In such cases, occupants of the passenger vehicle who are unable to move or escape suffer excruciating burn injuries that may require multiple surgeries and result in permanent disfigurement.
  • Broken bones and fractures. The tremendous impact resulting from a collision with a large semi-truck may cause bones to fracture, break or become crushed. In addition, the muscles, nerves and tendons surrounding the affected bones may suffer severe damage.
  • Brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to damage to brain cells that occurs when the brain experiences a jolt, which is common in truck accidents. The neck abruptly snaps forward or the skull hits the side window, dashboard or steering wheel. Although some cases of TBI are mild, other brain injuries have long-lasting effects, including brain damage. The damage may not be immediately detectable. Prompt treatment is essential to aid in the recovery from a TBI.

The term whiplash is a sudden, fast forward and backward movement of the neck, which resembles the cracking of a whip. It leads to back and neck injuries. Although the injury may not be visibly apparent, it may take several months to heal or even result in chronic pain. When a commercial truck accident occurs, back injuries are common.

The experience of back pain is one of the most excruciating types of pain a person can endure. Frequently, people become disabled from back injuries in commercial truck crashes. If unable to return to work, some people face a life of disability. Types of back injuries include:

  • Strain. A pulled back is a colloquial term for damage to the muscles and tendons in the back. It’s a condition that causes a great deal of pain.
  • Sprain. The over-stretching and tearing of ligaments in the back is another painful injury.
  • Slipped or herniated disc. When a vertebra moves out of its proper position, it causes the delicate inner tissue to protrude beyond the protective barrier of the bone, resulting in significant discomfort.
  • Ruptured disc. This refers to a vertebra that’s damaged or broken open.
  • Pinched nerve. When a nerve is compressed, it causes severe pain and hinders proper movement.
  • Nerve damage. Trauma to the nerves may result in agonizing pain that significantly impairs daily functioning.

Other damages that may result from a trucking accident include property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and in some cases, wrongful death. While you strive for full recovery, your lawyer strives for full compensation.

How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit with a Truck?

The time it takes to settle a car accident lawsuit involving a truck depends on several factors, such as:

  • Complexity of the case
  • Severity of the injuries
  • Amount of evidence involved

These are just a few factors when settlement negotiations begin. Negotiations may take anywhere from several weeks to months or even years to reach a mutual resolution. Contact RAM Law in New Jersey. They have extensive knowledge on how to sue a trucking company. RAM Law’s experience in litigating truck accident cases allows them to identify any potential issues and maximize your compensation.

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