I-78 is a popular roadway in New Jersey that runs for 67.83 miles running from east to west across the state. This road stretches from Union Township, Lebanon County Pennsylvania to New York City. This interstate highway is heavily traveled and at points widens to be a six-lane freeway. It is easy to see why this road can be the source of many accidents involving tractor trailers and truck drivers. In addition to this road offering a direct route from New York City across the state, there are also at least twelve designated truck stops along this road. There have been several significant accidents on I-78 including a massive pileup involving 64 cars that halted traffic for over 16 hours.
Common Types of Truck Accidents on I-78 and throughout New Jersey
Most truck accidents can be divided into one of three categories: the first involves the truck driver being negligent in some form. The second common category of truck accident stems from poor vehicle maintenance. Finally, because of their large size and inability to move in and out of traffic like a non-commercial vehicle truck drivers are often unable to maneuver out of the way of accidents.
Some of the most common types of trucking crashes that we have notice include:
- Rollover Accidents – Rollover accidents are severe accidents that involve the truck literally rolling over. Because trucks sit higher on the road there are many different factors that can lead to a rollover truck accident. Some of the most common scenarios include fast speeds, steep inclines, and declines, taking a turn too aggressively, or even high winds.
- Jackknife Accidents – Unfortunately, jackknife accidents are fairly common with tractor-trailers. These accidents occur when a tractor-trailer drivers axle brakes lock up or seize which causes the tractor trailer to skid. Because the truck is unable to stop their massive vehicle only comes to a halt when the trailer forms a 90-degree angle with the cab.
- Rear-End Collisions – A fully loaded truck can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds. Anybody who has ever driven a car will tell you that the faster you are going the longer it will take you to stop your car. It is also true that the heavier your vehicle is the longer it will take to stop. Therefore, when a fully loaded tractor is flying down the highway in excess of 60 miles an hour it is impossible for a tractor to come to a quick stop. Unfortunately, this often leads to rear-end collisions, which can be severe and totally destroy any vehicle in the truck’s path.
- Truck Driver DUI – You are probably well aware that it is illegal to drink while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition to the laws set for regular passenger vehicles, the law imposes strict alcohol and drug regulations for truck drivers. Unfortunately, truck drivers are people and sometimes drink and drive. While any accident that occurs because a person was driving under the influence is devastating, the effects of driving an 80,000-pound vehicle and drinking can result in even more severe consequences.
- Road Construction and lane changes – It seems that major roads are always under construction in some part or another. When there is construction on a road this can lead to dangerous conditions for tractor trailers and those who share the road with them. As mentioned in the next section, tractor trailers have large blind spots that make it hard for them to see any other passenger vehicles in their vicinity. Taking that into account, with the lower maneuverability and the possibility that the truck driver is negligent, road construction sites can be very dangerous places on the road.
- Blind Spot accidents – People falsely assume that because a tractor trailer sits above the road that they are able to see everyone all around them. However, this is not the case. Tractor-trailers have large blind spots that can block out entire cars, trucks, SUV’s and even motor homes. These areas are known as No Zone areas and you might see a warning on the back of a large commercial truck indicating areas in red that a driver cannot see you. Because of these large areas blind spot accidents are fairly common as truck drivers shift lanes. Many truck drivers will tell you that if you cannot see their rear view mirrors then they cannot see you.
There are many other factors that can lead to truck accidents, including the weather, road condition, driver fatigue, and driver distraction. However, the above-mentioned accidents are some of the most common and are often some of the most devastating.
What Damages can you Collect?
When an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer strikes your car the resulting damage is most likely going to be severe even if the truck was traveling at five miles an hour. Your car very likely will require vast amounts of bodywork. However, arguably the more important types of damages that occur are the type that happens to you and your family. If you have been involved in a car accident on I-78 in New Jersey you probably want to know what type of damages or compensation you will be able to recover. Fortunately, New Jersey has a well-developed series of laws that determine which insurance company will pay for the bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Below, are some of the most common types of damages that people hope to recover:
- Lost Wages – When you are in an accident it is very likely that you are going to miss some work. This can be because you are temporarily without a car, or because you are in the hospital recovering. Hopefully, you will be able to return to work with no complications, however if you are no longer able to work because of an accident involving a tractor trailer you may be able to recover for your lost wages.
- Medical Bills – Everyone knows that there is a problem in the United States with the ballooning costs of health care and medical exams. If you are injured as a result of a truck accident you may incur a great deal of medical bills. Fortunately, if you are found not to be at fault and the truck driver is, you may be able to recover a large portion or all of your medical bills.
- Pain and Suffering – This type of damage and the compensation you may be able to receive from it derives from the actual pain and the resulting pain that you suffer as a result of your accident. When you have been the victim of an accident you may suffer anxiety, depression, or even be too afraid to drive again. When you have resulting pain and suffering as a result of a truck accident you may be able to recover for pain and suffering depending on the facts of your case.
The important thing to take away from learning about the types of damages and compensation that you may be able to recover is that the law will try and put your life in the position it was before you were involved in the accident.
If you’ve been injured in an truck accident, call a truck accident attorney today
If you have suffered severe injuries or the death of a loved one in an accident with a large truck, bus, or other commercial vehicle the lawyers of Reiff & Bily’s The Truck Accident Team may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation call 800-896-6173 or contact us online today.