Fatal Truck Collisions

New Jersey’s location, turnpike, and major highways make it a hub for the thriving freight injury, including large commercial trucks. Although trucks play a central role in our nation’s supply chain and we rely on the goods and services they bring, these large, unwieldy vehicles pose a significant safety threat to others on the road. In a collision with a fully loaded commercial truck weighing up to 80,000 pounds, the occupants of an average 4,000-pound family vehicle are vulnerable to severe injuries and fatalities. In 2022, 4,764 people suffered fatal injuries in truck crashes, 66% of which occurred to the occupants of smaller vehicles.

Semi-truck on freeway.

What Causes Fatal Truck Accidents?

Loaded commercial trucks can weigh as much as thirty times the weight of a smaller car in a collision. The large size and higher level of ground clearance mean a smaller vehicle in a collision may lodge under the truck in an underride accident, or a truck may drive over a smaller car in an override accident. Common causes of fatal truck accidents include the following:

  • Distracted truck drivers
  • Fatigued drivers
  • Speeding
  • Unbalanced loads
  • Tire blowouts
  • Longer stopping distances
  • Wide turns
  • Mechanical failures and defective parts
  • Inadequate repairs or maintenance
  • Inexperienced drivers or insufficient driver training

Injuries in truck accidents are often catastrophic due to the significant disadvantage occupants of smaller vehicles face in a collision with a large commercial truck.

How to File a Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claim

When a truck driver’s careless or reckless action or a trucking company’s negligence causes an accident with a fatality, close family members of the deceased individual may recover compensation and a sense of justice and financial accountability through a truck accident wrongful death claim in New Jersey.

New Jersey requires a family representative to file a wrongful death claim. This is typically the executor of the decedent’s will or estate plan. If the individual didn’t leave a will, the court appoints a family member as the representative. With the help of a wrongful death attorney, the representative files a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance, seeking compensation for damages.

Most fatal truck collision wrongful death claims are resolved through negotiating a settlement with the trucking company’s insurance company; however, a small portion of lawsuits go to court when the company disputes the claim or fails to offer an acceptable settlement for damages. 

How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help?

An experienced Cherry Hill semi-truck accident attorney represents a close family member in a wrongful death claim against the truck driver or trucking company. In less common cases, the claim could be against the manufacturer of a defective part or a negligent truck repair company. Your fatal truck collision attorney will do the following:

  • Investigate the accident to identify the cause, the at-fault party, and the appropriate insurance company
  • Compile evidence of liability
  • Carefully calculate wrongful death damages like funeral costs, lost income and benefits for the number of working years the decedent would have had remaining to them, and compensation for grief and anguish
  • Send a demand package to the insurance company and begin negotiations for the largest possible settlement
  • Represent your family’s interest in court if the case requires litigation

Court cases take longer than settlements but often end in a larger amount of compensation with a verdict from a sympathetic jury.

Call a Fatal Truck Accident Attorney in New Jersey

Call the experienced Cherry Hill fatal injury lawyers at Cuneo & Leonetti today for a free consultation on your fatal truck accident case. We understand the devastating impact of a wrongful death on your family. Let us represent your family’s best interests and give your loved one a voice for justice.