WHEN CAN YOU CLAIM DAMAGES IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?

According to a recent study by the Automobile Association of America (AAA), car drivers are at fault more often in car-truck crashes than truck drivers are. The study analyzed crash data in 10,000 fatal car-truck collisions and concluded that car drivers are to blame in 75 percent of the collisions, while truck drivers are responsible only 25 percent of the time. The study noted that one of the biggest problems is that car drivers lack proper education about how to drive around large trucks. 

This raises the issue of whether a driver of a car can recover for injuries sustained in a collision with a truck when that driver was at fault for the collision? It's an important question, because drivers and passengers in cars that collide with trucks are often very severely injured due to the sheer bulk of the truck. Victims of truck collisions often sustain serious or fatal injuries, and usually require long-term care and therapy.

In New Jersey, car drivers can still recover even if they are found to be at fault for the collision, but they cannot recover if they are found to be more at fault (over 50%). New Jersey follows the comparative negligence rule, where plaintiffs can recover if their negligence contributed to the damages as long as their negligence was not greater than the other party against whom recovery is sought. So, as long as the car driver's liability is not greater than 50%, he or she can recover. However, the amount the driver can recover for his or her injuries will be diminished by the percentage of negligence attributable.

The trucking industry is highly regulated by extensive federal and state guidelines, governing virtually every aspect of truck driving. In spite of the heavy regulations, however, accidents will always occur, often due to the negligence of car drivers. So, stay safe driving around big-rig trucks, but if you are injured, consult with an auto accident attorney today.

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