A crash between a big rig and a passenger vehicle can cause devastating injuries and the occupants of the smaller vehicle usually fare the worst.
Cases involving this kind of crash are complex since multiple parties may bear liability.
Reasons for large truck crashes
Reducing the incidents of large truck crashes is a priority for agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and for trucking companies as well. One of the concerns is overloading. Cargo can shift, for example, causing dangerous imbalance issues. Overloading also requires extended braking distances, which may present a serious problem for the driver especially if he or she is new to the job. Maintenance issues come into play if the failure of component parts or worn tires contributed to an accident. Driver distraction and fatigue are also ongoing safety concerns.
An investigation of a crash scene should commence as soon as possible since traffic or weather issues can cause evidence to disappear. The trucking company usually bears the major portion of liability. However, once investigators determine the cause of a large truck-car crash, others may also bear liability. These might include the truck driver, the company that maintained the truck, the company responsible for loading the vehicle and even those who were in charge of training a new driver.
About comparative negligence
When it comes to assigning liability for a truck-car crash, keep in mind that the comparative negligence law applies in New Jersey. If the court finds that the injured party filing a personal injury claim was partially responsible for the crash, his or her award will be reduced by the percentage of fault as determined by the court.