Interstate 80 is a 65.54-mile major interstate highway running from the Interstate 80 Toll Bridge in Hardwick Township through I-95 in Teaneck. This road is sometimes called the Christopher Columbus Highway by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. While this road is very useful for drivers it is also one of the most dangerous. In fact, in 2014 an analysis by NJ Advance Media used highway by highway state crash statistics which was released by the New Jersey Department of Transportation found that Interstate 80 was one of the deadliest highways in New Jersey. Authorities cite excessive speeds and an increase in travel for some of the reasons why this road was ranked in a tie for the sixth deadliest road in New Jersey.
Proving Your Case for a Truck Accident
You may have heard that in order to recover any compensation for injuries you have incurred as a result of an accident you will have to prove that the other driver was at fault or they were negligent. However, if you are not certain what you have to prove in order to recover for damages do not be alarmed. Most personal injury cases, including those involving truck accidents all come from a main legal theory of liability known as negligence. Under this theory of liability you will have to demonstrate that there was a duty, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages if you want to be able to recover for your injuries you will need to show that:
- The defendant, who in this case will usually be the driver or the truck driver or trucking company, owed the plaintiff, who will either be you or someone in your family a duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care to avoid injury, under the circumstances. You should be aware that all drivers on the road owe a legal duty of reasonable care to fellow drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
- Next, you will need to show that the truck driver failed to exercise such reasonable care. You will often hear people and attorneys describe this in the legal terms as “breached” the duty of reasonable care.
- If you have proved the first two elements of a personal injury case you will then need to show that the truck driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care was the cause of injury that you suffered.
- Finally, you will need to show that you suffered actual injuries. What constitutes injuries can include many things, and will be discussed in the next section.
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-80 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 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 lot 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.
What are the Time Limits for Personal Injury Lawsuits in New Jersey?
Each state has a series of laws known as statutes of limitations. New Jersey is no different and has its own series of statutes of limitations. Generally, statutes of limitations operate as deadlines. In order to sue a driver or bring a claim against a person for personal injuries, you will have to make sure that you meet the deadline. There are different deadlines depending on the type of case you’re asking the court to hear. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives an injured person two years from the date of the injury to go to court and file a lawsuit against those responsible for the injury.
Many people wonder why this is such an important topic because it seems that it is only fair that if you have been injured by someone that you will be able to recover some form of compensation from them. However, it is important that you follow the statutes of limitations very rigidly because if you do not meet the deadlines then you will not be able to bring a lawsuit or recover for your injuries. If you fail to get your lawsuit filed before the two-year window closes, the New Jersey court system will likely refuse to hear your case at any time in the future, and your right to compensation will be lost.
If You Were Injured on I-80 in New Jersey, You Should Call a Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a serious commercial truck accident with an 18-wheeler or another type of commercial truck, you may be entitled to certain damages under New Jersey Law. Commercial trucks large size and significant weight often mean that the injuries inflicted are significantly worse than those typically suffered in other accidents. The truck accident injury lawyers of Reiff & Bily’s The Truck Accident Team may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call (800) 896-6173 or contact us online today.