One student and a teacher were killed when a school bus crashed into a dump truck and flipped over in New Jersey. The scene was described as horrific, with significant pieces of both vehicles torn completely off. One witness claimed that the front of the dump truck was sheared completely off and that the school bus was ripped from its frame after hitting the side railing. Thirty-eight students and seven adults were on the bus when the collision occurred. The 43 survivors all sustained injuries. Fortunately, emergency responders quickly arrived, and the vast majority of passengers were saved due to their efforts.
While accidents like this don’t happen very often, it’s incredibly dangerous and damaging when they do occur. Truck accidents are among the most likely kinds of accidents to have fatalities, and this terrible incident in New Jersey is no exception. If you’re ever involved in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to damages, so make sure you know how to handle it before it happens. Learn about trucking accidents, and discover how a trucking accident lawyer can help your case.
Trucking Accident Frequency
Trucking accidents are rare in the grand scheme of automobile accidents, but they still occur at an alarming rate, and it’s getting worse. For nearly the past decade, trucking accidents have increased steadily every year. Currently, about 10 people die every day as a result of trucking accidents.
The reason trucks are so destructive is their sheer size and weight. Unfortunately, not much can be done to remedy that. Trucks serve a practical purpose, and our economy relies on goods getting shipped around. Some companies have tried implementing aluminum in their trucks’ construction to make them lighter, while other companies are putting their drivers on a schedule that doesn’t have them driving tired.
In most cases, the cause of a trucking accident is user error. This can be expressed in a wide variety of ways, as commercial trucks have a large number of things that can go wrong. If they stop hard and fast, for example, that stopping power may not spread evenly to the trailer, causing it to jackknife to the side. Taking a turn too hard can cause the truck to roll over to one side, endangering other nearby drivers.
There are other causes that are generally beyond the driver’s control. Blind spots around a commercial truck are significant, and it’s virtually impossible for a truck driver to watch them all at all times. These blind spots are fairly well known, so it’s typically expected that the driver of a smaller vehicle takes care to stay out of them. Tire blowouts can also be quite destructive, leaving the truck swerving across the road and potentially hitting nearby cars.
One of the more unique causes of trucking accidents is improperly loaded freight. When the cargo isn’t properly fastened to the trailer, it can sometimes fall out. When traveling at highway speeds, this cargo can become downright deadly. Always maintain a safe distance from commercial trucks, so you’ll have more time to avoid danger if cargo does fall out.
Trucking Accident Liability
Like all other auto accidents, you’ll have to determine liability if you want to collect the damages you’re owed. When it comes to truck accidents, that liability can spread far beyond the driver of the truck. Since truck drivers are working when these accidents happen, you can also hold their employers accountable. In the case of faulty trucks with mechanical issues, the manufacturer can be held liable. Even the tire manufacturer can be at fault if a blowout caused the accident. For instances of falling cargo, the person who loaded up the cargo can be held liable.
In the past, truck companies have gone out of their way to excuse themselves from liability. As trucking accidents became more common, trucking companies began hiring independent contractors instead of company employees to drive. In addition, companies would rent all the necessary equipment and trucks, so only the manufacturer could be held liable. Fortunately, federal laws have since passed, completely preventing those practices. Trucking companies can still be held liable for any accidents even if they’re leasing the truck or using an independent contractor.
New Jersey Trucking Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident and want to file a claim, you’ll need the help of a trucking accident lawyer. The experts at Peter Davis & Associates would be happy to help. With our experience, you’ll have a much easier job arguing your case and getting the payout you deserve to cover damages. Contact us today for an absolutely free consultation free.