Being involved in an auto accident in New Jersey can be complicated, especially commercial vehicle mishaps. Accidents between two standard vehicles are commonly settled differently from those involving commercial trucks because truckers must adhere to certain DOT requirements, which means that they can have a greater burden of fault when the case is finalized. There are two potentially important additions to a truck accident claim.
Vicarious liability is the term for third-party responsibility when an accident occurs. This can apply in a truck accident because trucking companies can be held liable for a personal injury in certain instances when there is evidence that the driver’s employer contributed to the accident due to company policy or orders. This can mean that a truck accident claim is much more valuable in terms of whole damages than a standard collision.
New Jersey modified comparative negligence
Another issue is that New Jersey has a unique negligence law when accident claims are settled. While those who are over 50% responsible for their own accident injuries can be denied any financial recovery, those who are under 40% at fault are entitled to 100% of their total accident damages. Truck drivers are required to maintain considerably more liability protection than a standard vehicle owner, and the addition of company responsibility means that they must contribute to the total damage payout as well.
How an attorney may help
The problem that injured victims have with trucking accident claims is that it typically takes legal action to force the trucking company to pay their portion of any financial recovery. Trucking companies are notorious for fighting these claims. An experienced personal injury attorney may help ensure that all negligent actors are held responsible and keep the trucking company and insurers honest in claim payments.