Atlantic City Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’ve ever witnessed or survived a truck accident, you understand that every truck accident is a traumatic experience. Semi-trucks, after all, are many, many times the weight and size of your car, so truck accidents can cause devastating injuries.
In New Jersey, we know a thing or two about complicated highways and byways, and due to the sheer volume of our traffic, we experience our share of truck accidents. Every single time you get behind the wheel, always make arriving alive your top priority.
If a truck accident injured you, you know the trauma and injuries such crashes can cause — and you’re not alone. The dedicated Atlantic City truck accident attorneys at The Levin Firm in Atlantic City are here to help. We have the experience, skill, and compassion to seek the best possible resolution to your claim.
Atlantic City Truck Accident Claims Are Different
While every accident is unique, truck accidents often play out differently than ordinary car accidents. Specific circumstances frequently contribute to the unique nature of commercial truck accidents:
- The Defendant in Your Claim
While the at-fault driver is typically the defendant in a car accident claim, in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, potential defendants can include far more than simply the trucker. In fact, the trucking company, the truck’s manufacturer, the truck’s mechanic, and others could all potentially share liability in a truck accident case, depending on the specifics of your claim.
- Relevant Insurance Policies
In a truck accident, multiple insurance policies may come into play, including the trucking company’s policy, the policies on the truck and trailer involved in the accident, and the truck driver’s policy, as well as others. Because the financial stakes are typically much higher in 18-wheeler accidents and the insurance limits are typically higher, you can count on a strong fight from the responsible insurance companies.
- Professional Drivers
Because truckers are professional drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) and state laws hold them to more strict driving standards. The law also holds trucking companies to more stringent hiring standards. When they fail to meet these standards, accidents can result.
- Business As Usual
Trucking companies are in the business of moving cargo and making money. They and their insurers are generally ready for action whenever an accident involves one of their rigs. They typically orchestrate such actions well, with extensive investigations, expert witnesses, a staff of attorneys, and more. This abundance of resources often leaves the injured driver at a real disadvantage – unless they have an experienced Atlantic City truck accident lawyer fighting for them.
The circumstances specific to truck accidents make them especially complicated. If an accident involving a tractor-trailer injured you, you need an attorney who will stand up for your rights.
Compensation for Your Atlantic City Truck Accident Injuries
Personal injury damages are primarily intended to make the injured party “whole again” by awarding them financial compensation. Although money will never be able to make it as if the accident never took place, the legal system attempts to assign a dollar amount adequate to reimburse the injured party for their losses.
If your truck accident injury claim is successful, you could recover compensation for a variety of different losses including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost pay
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Tips for Protecting Your Rights After a Truck Accident in Atlantic City
In the aftermath of an Atlantic City truck accident, it is critical that you protect your legal rights much as you can. Of course, each situation is unique. If possible, however, we suggest that you take the following steps to help safeguard your right to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries:
- Call 911 and make sure police file an official report.
- Be careful not to accidentally accept responsibility for the crash. For example, resist the urge to say “I’m sorry.”
- Make sure to get the truck driver’s name and insurance information, as well as the name and contact information for the company they work for.
- Take down the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
- Document the scene of the accident by taking photos and videos of where the crash took place from a variety of different angles.
- Document the extent of the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you suffered with photos and videos.
- Write down or use the voice memo app on your phone to record everything that you can remember about the truck accident while it is still fresh in your mind. The more details, the better.
- Keep a detailed record of all expenses that you incur as a result of the accident.
- Write a diary that chronicles all aspects of your recovery.
- Make sure to consult with a local truck accident attorney about filing a claim as soon as possible while your claim is legally viable.
Time Limit for Filing a Truck Accident Claim in Atlantic City
It is important to know that you have a limited time to file a truck accident claim. Under New Jersey law, victims have two years from the date they were injured to file an injury claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to take legal action before the deadline, the court will almost certainly refuse to hear your case.
While two years may seem like a long time, it is crucial to remember that truck accidents are usually much more complicated than regular passenger vehicle accidents. Your attorney will need as much time as possible to investigate the crash, identify all liable parties, and negotiate a settlement. If a lawsuit needs to be filed, you’ll want to have given your lawyer plenty of time to build a strong case on your behalf.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Atlantic City?
Several factors that frequently contribute to truck accidents include:
- The trucker’s negligence – Truckers drive a lot. The dull and tedious work can make plenty of distractions attractive, including the ever-popular smartphone. Distracted truckers are negligent truckers, and they can cause truck accidents.
- Long shifts behind the wheel – Long-haul truckers spend a lot of time on the road, and while the law heavily regulates them, the demands of tight and even unrealistic schedules can contribute to driver fatigue. Driving while fatigued is extremely dangerous, but the exacting demands of the trucking business leave truckers prone to this condition.
- Blind spots and no zones – Truckers experience significant blind spots — or no zones — all the way around their rigs. These blind spots are most significant on the truck’s right side, which makes passing a truck on the right extremely dangerous. Because we all share the road with these large vehicles, we must allow them the room they need to maneuver safely. Truckers must do their part and look out for vehicles in blind spots.
- Inexperienced truckers – While truckers must obtain commercial licenses and receive appropriate training, trucking companies sometimes cut corners in their rush to get trucks on the road. A trucker with the appropriate license is not necessarily ready to take on a haul, and such inexperience can lead to devastating truck accidents.
- Poorly loaded cargo – Semi-trucks are massive and extremely heavy. When crews don’t load them according to appropriate weight guidelines, they can become top-heavy and extremely difficult to maneuver in adverse situations as their loads shift and move the truck’s center of gravity. Improper loading can significantly contribute to a truck accident.
- Inadequate truck maintenance – Trucks are complex machines that require regular maintenance to remain safe on the road. Such maintenance includes routine inspections of tires, brakes, mirrors, coupling mechanisms, and much more. Poorly maintained trucks can cause serious accidents.
Truck accidents are always serious and seriously complicated. You should never try to manage such a claim on your own. If a truck accident injured you or someone you care about, you need an experienced truck accident attorney.
Rules and Regulations for Truckers
Truck drivers are professional drivers, and the FMSCA regulates and imposes rules on them to keep our roads safe for everyone, including:
- Restrictions on hours of driving and overall service time
- Mandatory truck maintenance schedules
- Truckers’ rules of the road
- Restrictions on trucker conduct
- Restrictions on trucker impairment
- Restrictions on cargo loading
- Restrictions on the transportation of hazardous materials
While the FMSCA’s broad regulations can result in harsh fines and penalties, truckers’ hectic schedules often push them beyond the boundaries of these regulations, which can contribute to accidents. Trucking companies can make matters worse by implementing unrealistic delivery routes and schedules. In the end, truckers are often prone to harsh working conditions that tend to contribute to truck accidents and cause severe injuries to accident victims.
How an Atlantic City Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Although it is possible to pursue an Atlantic City truck accident claim without the assistance of a lawyer, doing so can be quite risky – especially if there is a lot at stake. Choosing to go it alone means that you will have to go up against the trucking company’s insurance provider by yourself, attempt to negotiate a settlement without really being sure about how much compensation you are legally entitled to, and potentially argue your case in court based on extremely technical laws and procedures you are unfamiliar with.
Truck accident cases can be much more complicated than car accident cases. Many parties can be potentially at fault — not only the driver, but also the owner of the truck, the trucking company that employs the driver, the company that loaded the cargo, the mechanics who do maintenance or repairs on the truck, the truck or parts manufacturer, and others.
Because the settlements in truck accidents are often much higher, large trucking company and their insurers retain experienced and high-profile attorneys who will work vigorously to make sure that they pay out as little money as possible. These companies could potentially conceal or destroy evidence in order to protect themselves and their drivers, especially in cases where the stakes may be very high.
If you retain the services of an aggressive and responsive Atlantic City truck accident lawyer, they will help you navigate the many potential obstacles in the road in pursuing your claim.
They can help you by:
- Reviewing the facts of your case and advising the best course of action
- Gathering the evidence necessary to prove your claim
- Communicating with insurance providers
- Calculating the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to
- Entering into settlement negotiations on your behalf
- Arguing your case in court if needed
Reach out to The Levin Firm for a free consultation with one of our dedicated personal injury attorneys about your Atlantic City truck accident. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t owe us a dime in legal fees unless we recover money for you.
Common Questions About Atlantic City Truck Accident Lawsuits
Whether you leave your house driving to work, running errands, or simply going out for a leisurely weekend drive, you expect to return home safely. This happens for most of us every time we go out. But some unfortunate Atlantic City residents and visitors end up in car accidents, both minor and serious.
The most serious accidents often involve large trucks. Because of their sheer size and weight, big truck accidents often involve not only more serious injuries but cause more extensive damage, and also may involve more vehicles than the standard accident. Commercial trucks, fully loaded, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Your family car weighs about 3,000 pounds. This stark difference explains the tragedy that can result if you find yourself in an accident with a truck.
If you or a loved one was in a truck accident, contact an experienced Atlantic City truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident, like the team at the Levin Firm. The law may entitle you to compensation and your lawyer can help you collect every dollar you deserve.
How does the Levin Firm investigate Atlantic City truck accidents?
Truck accidents are more complex than regular car accidents. Truck accidents often involve numerous vehicles and victims can suffer from many types of injuries. This results in complex investigations.
There are countless reasons truck accidents happen. These can include:
- The truck driver driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Improper driver training;
- Driving too fast;
- Poor decision-making;
- Improper vehicle maintenance; and
- Poor road conditions.
Most of the above reasons for the nearly 100,000 injuries big rigs, commercial trucks, and eighteen-wheelers, cause per year involve some form of human error. In fact, 87 percent of all truck accidents have a critical cause related to human error. But the average lawyer may not know everything that goes into getting a truck on the road and keeping the driver safe.
That’s why you need to work with a seasoned Atlantic City truck accident injury attorney with proven experience helping truck accident victims like you. Your lawyer should have the resources required, including the ability to speak with truck accident experts, to help you maximize your recovery. Without this knowledge and experience, you could miss out on the opportunity to collect compensation from the at-fault party.
Who could be at fault for my Atlantic City truck accident?
Who is at fault largely depends on the circumstances surrounding your truck accident.
But several parties could cause your truck accident and injuries.
- The truck driver. The most obvious place to put blame is on the truck driver. As discussed above, human error is the most common reason truck accidents occur. By filing a claim against the truck driver, you would attempt to collect compensation from them or, most likely, their insurance company to cover the costs of your injuries.
- The trucking company. Another common place to look for blame is the truck company. Sometimes, the truck driver owns the truck. Many commercial truck drivers act as independent contractors, but this should not prohibit you from determining if the truck company is to blame, too. If the company owns the truck, you may hold the company liable for improper training, poor hiring practices, and countless other factors that could have contributed to your truck accident.
- The mechanic. A mechanic and the company the mechanic works for can also be responsible. In some cases, mechanics improperly service a truck by failing to install brakes or other components correctly. This kind of mistake can have serious implications that can cause a truck accident. As a result, the mechanic that failed to properly maintain the truck or their employer could be partially or fully liable for your accident and injuries.
- The truck manufacturer. Another place to look is the truck manufacturer. Sometimes accidents happen because of a default in the truck itself. Commercial trucks, especially newer ones, are complex mechanical and computerized vehicles. There are lots of things that can go wrong. When that happens, accidents result. You may hold the truck manufacturer liable for your accident if the truck malfunctioned, leading to your accident.
Many parties could cause your truck accident beyond those listed here. That’s why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable truck accident injury lawyer who understands which parties may have caused your accident and who will work hard to hold them accountable.
How much is my Atlantic City truck accident case worth?
Far and away, this is the most frequently asked question we get from clients and prospective clients alike. We want to make clear that no lawyer can tell you exactly how much money you will collect. If a lawyer does promise you an amount, run away—they are lying to you.
What we can tell you is that if you choose to work with us, we will aggressively work to protect your rights and help you collect every dollar you deserve from the parties who are to blame for your Atlantic City truck accident.
The final value of your claim will depend on many factors including:
- The amount of time you spend in the hospital;
- The number of surgeries and medical procedures you need;
- How much time you spend out of work;
- Your ability to return to work; and
- The time you spend in rehabilitation facilities or receiving rehabilitative therapies.
Each of these items, and so many more, come with astronomical costs. These are costs you should not have to bear yourself since you played no part in causing your truck accident. These bills should be the sole responsibility of the at-fault party or parties in your truck accident.
To hold the at-fault parties accountable for their actions and collect maximum compensation, you need a lawyer at your side with extensive truck accident injury claims experience. When you work with a knowledgeable legal advisor, you give yourself the best chance of collecting the compensation you need so that you do not end up spending a dime out of your own pocket to cover your medical costs and your financial losses.
What damages can I collect for my Atlantic City truck accident?
Your ability to collect damages for your truck accident depends on the severity of the accident. The more severe the accident and your injuries, generally the more compensation you can receive.
Your lawyer may try to get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Lost wages;
- Lost earning potential;
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of life enjoyment;
- Present and future medical bills; and
- Rehabilitation costs.
Many truck accident victims fail to account for their future needs. Like you, they see the medical bills piling up on their kitchen table and assume that is the amount of compensation they can get. But that may be just the tip of the iceberg. What is yet to come may encompass the vast majority of your financial needs.
Partnering with a skilled truck accident injury lawyer in Atlantic City, you can create an accurate estimate of your future needs. This will include time out of work and whether you can ever return to work in the same capacity. Answering these questions will help us determine how much money you will need to collect to live your life without suffering financial hardship.
No amount of money will undo the suffering you have endured. But you file Atlantic City truck accident claims to ensure that you do not suffer financially. Your lost income and your future medical needs may reach into the millions of dollars. This is a burden that you and your family will have to bear unless you file a claim and collect compensation for your truck accident injuries.
Speak with a truck accident injury attorney as soon as possible after your truck accident. While you focus all of your effort and energy on your physical recovery, your lawyer will focus on the legal complexities and work hard to help you collect the compensation you need to get better.
Do I have to file an Atlantic City truck accident claim soon?
Yes, you do. In New Jersey, you only have two years from the date of your injury to file a truck accident claim against the at-fault party for your truck accident injuries. You might think this is a long time and you can wait until you are better before bringing an Atlantic City truck accident claim. Unfortunately, that only serves to hurt your chances of recovering maximum compensation.
Over time, not only will you forget important details, but so will witnesses. Evidence of the cause of the accident may also get lost or be misplaced. Besides that, if your injuries are serious enough, you may not get better in that time frame. If you miss this important deadline, you may miss out on the chance to recover any compensation for your truck accident injuries. This means you could end up paying out of pocket for medical expenses and financial losses you played no part in causing.
To avoid this situation, speak with an Atlantic City truck accident injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Your lawyer can make sure they meet this important deadline and begin the process of working toward collecting compensation for your injuries. You do not have to wait until you are better. In fact, you should not wait any longer.
Why shouldn’t I just take the settlement offer in my Atlantic City truck accident case?
Settlement offers spark excitement. It shows the end of this legal process may be close. And that’s good, but we urge caution here.
Insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests. Their goals do not align with yours. They simply want to settle your case for as little as possible and make you go away while keeping maximum profits in their pocket. Unfortunately, this can leave truck accident injury victims like you bearing the financial burden of your medical bills and lost income.
What’s worse is that when you sign the settlement offer, you waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for your truck accident injuries. This means that months or years later if you realize the settlement funds have run dry but you still have medical bills and financial losses, it’s too late. You and your family must bear that financial burden. That’s not fair and we fight hard to avoid that situation.
Your lawyer will have your best interests at heart and will work to settle your case for a fair and reasonable amount. Having a lawyer at your side can meaningfully increase the amount you receive in a settlement. When the insurance company sees that you have an experienced legal team at your side, they generally are more willing to play ball.
What should I look for when choosing an Atlantic City truck accident lawyer?
Most importantly, your lawyer should be someone you trust to represent your best interests in your truck accident injury claim. You should feel comfortable with your chosen legal representative. They should show you that they understand the nuances of truck accidents and the complexities involved. They should explain how they use the advice of truck accident experts and how they have used that advice to help past clients successfully collect compensation, both through settlement negotiations and at trial.
While we know you probably want to avoid trial, look for a lawyer with trial experience, especially in complex truck accident cases. Trials are time-consuming and resource-draining endeavors. But sometimes they are necessary to get you the compensation you deserve. You do not want your trial to be your lawyer’s first. Choose a firm with proven truck accident injury trial experience so you do not suffer any more than you already have.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, speak with our trusted Atlantic City truck accident lawyers today. The experienced legal team at the Levin Firm is not afraid to take on the big insurance companies and their teams of lawyers. Reach out to learn how we can help you collect the compensation you need to get back to your regular life.
If a Truck Accident Injured You, Contact an Experienced Atlantic City Truck Accident Attorney Today
Truck accidents result in traumatic and extremely serious injuries. The experienced truck accident attorneys at The Levin Firm in Atlantic City understand just how much devastation these accidents can cause, and we’re here to help.
Our skilled legal team has the knowledge, commitment, and compassion to help effectively and efficiently navigate your truck accident claim toward its best possible resolution. Please contact us online or call the law firm now for more information about how we can help you.