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Commercial vehicle drivers and owners are held to a higher standard than ordinary drivers on the roadways. This is for good reason—the results of a commercial vehicle accident can be substantially more damaging than ordinary motor vehicle accidents because of the size of the vehicle and the number of individuals who can be impacted. Drivers of commercial vehicles must first obtain specialized training and commercial driver licenses (CDLs) in order to legally operate these vehicles, and inspection, maintenance, and driver training standards apply to the owners of commercial vehicle companies.
When drivers and owners fail to satisfy the applicable standards, the results of a truck accident can be devastating. At Drazin & Warshaw PC, our Howell commercial vehicle accident attorneys understand how difficult it can be to get back on your feet financially as you struggle to recover physically from serious injuries sustained in a commercial vehicle accident. Our team of experts is standing by to take over in ensuring your financial recovery. Contact us today so that we can begin fighting to secure full and fair compensation for your injuries
The insurance rules that govern an injured party’s right to receive compensation following a commercial vehicle accident are different than those that apply in ordinary New Jersey motor vehicle accidents. New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means that the injured party first looks to his or her own insurance company for compensation, regardless of who caused the truck accident.
Despite this, personal car insurance policies often have fairly low coverage limits, requiring that New Jersey drivers carry only:
Additionally, many drivers may opt for what is known as a “limitation of lawsuit” clause in order to reduce their car insurance premiums. This type of clause prohibits an injured party from pursuing claims for damages relating to pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit unless the injury was permanent.
The rules that apply in a New Jersey commercial vehicle accident are different. Injured parties can sue the commercial vehicle driver, the owner of the vehicle, and their insurance companies for pain and suffering even if the injuries sustained in the truck accident do not meet the threshold that otherwise applies with respect to personal insurance policies. Further, because of the potential for significantly more severe injuries in truck accidents, commercial insurance policies contain much higher coverage limits—often upward of $1 million. These rules apply to a myriad of commercial vehicles, including:
The rules governing commercial vehicle insurance are complex, making it important that you consult with a reputable NJ commercial vehicle accident attorney before deciding to accept any settlement offer from the insurance companies.
The issue of establishing liability following a commercial vehicle accident is complicated by the fact that the driver of the vehicle usually does not own the vehicle. Many commercial vehicle owners coordinate a fleet of trucks and drivers under a large corporate umbrella that can make establishing liability difficult. The complexity of the rules and regulations governing commercial vehicle drivers and owners themselves only compounds the difficulties in establishing who is to blame for the truck accident. An experienced attorney, however, can evaluate the accident and all relevant evidence in order to determine whether the truck accident was due to things like company negligence.
It is important to remember that insurance companies have an incentive to reach the lowest possible settlement agreement in your case, and they may not provide you with full information about your rights following a commercial vehicle accident. Additionally, what may seem like a generous settlement offer may fail to fully account for your future medical costs and pain and suffering. Contact an experienced NJ truck accident attorney before accepting any settlement offer from the insurance companies following a commercial vehicle accident in order to ensure that your rights are protected.
Although the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey is generally two years, it is important to contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible in order to pursue your right to compensatory damages following a commercial vehicle accident. The skilled legal team at Drazin & Warshaw PC will get started right away on securing you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. We represent clients in Middletown, Long Branch, Brick, Jackson, and other towns throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey. Call us today at (732) 576-8860 (Red Bank) or (732) 264-6900 (Hazlet) or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your commercial vehicle accident case with one of our experienced attorneys. Our main office is located at 25 Reckless Pl, Red Bank, NJ 07701, and we also have offices in Hazlet and Brick, New Jersey.
Q. What does it mean if I selected a “limitation on lawsuit” clause in my car insurance policy?
A. The limitation on lawsuit clause of an insurance policy generally prohibits the injured party who is insured under the policy from pursuing a lawsuit for pain and suffering against the person or entity that caused the accident. The limitation does not apply in the case of particularly serious injuries, such as dismemberment, significant disfigurement or scarring, other serious permanent injuries, or death. Despite this, even if you have selected this clause in your car insurance policy, it will not limit your ability to sue for pain and suffering in a commercial vehicle accident.
Q. My injuries were caused by the hazardous materials that the commercial vehicle was carrying at the time of the accident. Can I sue the company that was shipping the materials?
A. In some cases, it may be possible to sue the company that engaged the trucking company to ship hazardous materials. However, this is likely only the case if the company failed to inform the trucking company and driver of the hazardous materials contained in the vehicle and thus failed to provide appropriate warnings.