Accidents involving large commercial trucks have catastrophic results. A typical passenger vehicle is no match for the massive size and weight of a truck. Because of the risk these trucks pose to their drivers and all others on the road, the Department of Transportation has enacted specific regulations for the trucking industry through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations not only act to keep drivers safe, but can also come into play in cases where there is a need for a New Jersey truck accident claim.
Driving a commercial truck requires special skills and knowledge. For this reason, drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL.) A CDL is required to operate any vehicle weighing in excess of 10,000 pounds, a vehicle being used to transport 16 or more people, or any vehicle transporting hazardous materials. Applicants for this license must pass both a written and a skills test.
A CDL is normally valid for four years, but there are a number of violations that may cause a driver’s license to be revoked. These safety violations may involve drug or alcohol abuse, drowsy driving, failure to properly maintain or inspect the vehicle prior to use, and other unsafe driving practices.
The trucking industry is notorious for the excessive physical demands it places on its drivers. Drivers trying to meet tight deadlines are often pushed to travel long distances with little time for rest. As a consequence, truck driver fatigue and drowsy driving are some of the leading causes of deadly truck accidents.
The FMCSA has instituted hours of service regulations in an attempt to combat this dangerous issue. These rules place limitations on the number of consecutive hours worked, the number of hours a driver may work in a seven or eight day work week, and require minimum 30-minute rest breaks for every eight hours on duty.
Drivers must keep a detailed log of their activities throughout their shifts, including driving times, on and off duty hours, and rest breaks. These log books can prove invaluable in cases of truck accidents where it is suspected that the driver was fatigued.
Truck drivers are prohibited from operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drivers must pass a drug test prior to employment. Further testing for drugs and alcohol will occur upon reasonable suspicion, after an accident, and upon return to work after a violation. Drivers may also be subject to random tests.
Because of the considerable amount of time that truck drivers spend behind the wheel, the front cabs of their trucks can become like a second home. Drivers eat, conduct business, and communicate with their families while on the road, so it is no surprise that occasionally their attention may be diverted. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous for anyone, especially if the driver is behind the wheel of such a large piece of equipment.
Research shows that the odds of being in a safety-critical event (crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are more than 23 times greater for commercial vehicle drivers who text while driving than those that don’t.
For this reason, drivers are prohibited from using handheld electronic devices to compose or read text messages, emails, instant messaging, or pressing more than a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication. Penalties for noncompliance of this rule include fines and possible driver disqualification.
Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo is a major risk factor for a serious truck accident. The FMCSA requires truck drivers to inspect their cargo prior to making their trip, then again within the first 50 miles, at the time of a duty status change, and again at three-hour intervals. Drivers must also check that cargo does not exceed weight limits.
Trucks carrying hazardous cargo can create an even more dangerous situation in the event of a multi-vehicle accident. Because these materials pose such a significant threat to humans and the environment, the FMCSA has strict regulations for their transport. Shipping companies must inform truck drivers of the contents of their cargo, and drivers are required to properly inspect and label any hazardous materials.
Trucking companies are required to keep vehicles in safe operating condition. This requires them to regularly inspect, repair, maintain, and keep suitable records for all of their vehicles. Trucks with vehicle defects must be taken out of service until all repairs have been made.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury in an accident involving a large commercial vehicle, the New Jersey personal injury law firm of Grungo Colarulo can help. Our lawyers are committed to obtaining the maximum possible compensation for our clients and will conduct a thorough investigation in order to identify all possible defendants in your case and hold them accountable for their negligence.
This team is incredible. They are friendly and knowledgeable. I appreciate everything they have done for me and would recommend them to anyone. Overall great experience
My case settled recently after lasting 4 years. Grungo and Colarulo’s law firm were able to secure a large settlement award for my slip and fall accident. This money will help secure my future for the permanent injury I received as a result of the slip and fall. Everyone was very caring, and kept me informed throughout the entire process. Christine Lafferty is an excellent litigation lawyer. I highly recommend using them if you have been injured or in an accident. I hope I am never in a situation again to need their services, but I know who to go to if I, or any of my family members are ever injured. Thanks Grungo and Colarulo and staff for your compassionate service!
Thank you so much Grungo and Colarulo for helping me with my case. Special thanks to Erica Domingo, Esquire and her team. Erica Domingo and her team was very nice and helped me tremendously throughout my case like more than one year and half. They gave me the right advice and guided me through every step of my case. They gave me prompt and clear responses to all my questions. In addition, Erica and her team provided me with all the what if scenarios so that I can have a clear vison of the steps ahead.
I would definitely recommend Grungo and Colarulo.
Thanks again Erica Domingo, Esquire and her team
My wife and I reached out to Grungo Colarulo in 2020 for advise on a legal matter. After a meeting with the Attorney and Paralegal, we decided to go forward with a case. This case required a lot of documentation, and expert review of the documentation which was aquired. Throughout the process, we were kept up to date monthly, and Grungo Colarulo was always responsive to any questions that we had. The entire staff at Grungo Colarulo are very professional, caring, and willing to go the extra mile. This firm is a definite recommend!
I left five (5) stars only because that’s as many as I could leave. If I could, I would have left 100 stars. Bob & Christine are the absolute best! My settlement far exceeded what I ever imagined. They are professional, friendly, and really listened to what I had to say. They kept me up to date with the progress of my case every step of the way. I can’t recommend them highly enough.
Very professional, communicates well, makes me feel like they have my best interest at heart, and overall just a great company. Christine and the whole team has been on top of everything. Would definitely recommend!! 10/10
First and foremost I would like to thank the whole team at Grungo Colarulo!! In addition to that, Stephanie & Riley & Drenna have done such an outstanding job taking care of me in such a difficult and low point of my life. I was in a bad car accident & did not know how to move forward with what to do and how to process. Those ladies were there every step, every inch, every mile & beyond with helping me when I had no idea how to navigate. I will forever be thankful for them and for the outcome of my case! If you ever need assistance I highly recommend this practice!!! Beyond professional, helpful, precise, caring, knowledgeable & humble!!!
From my first phone call to the end of my case this firm was on the ball!! Always responsive and professional and kept me up to date and informed. This is my firm for any future needs!
This was my first time ever having to have a lawyer for an automobile accident. From the beginning they took care of everything. They put me at ease so I could concentrate on my medical needs. Everyone I spoke to during the process were always extremely pleasant and knowledgeable.
Thank you to Grungo Colarulo for representing me and getting the settlement you did to help me move forward. I would highly recommend Grungo Colarulo to anyone who wants outstanding legal representation.
This team has been nothing but gentle an generous. Being as this was my first time dealing with a worker’s compensation case I was lost and nervous. But the Grungo Colarulo team has made me feel as comfortable as possible. My needs were addressed with care in a timely fashion. I knew what was going on every step of the way.
Oh, did I mention, WE WON …
This teams knowledge of the industry is TOP NOTCH!
A dear family friend referred us to a young attorney named Rich Grungo, Jr. We wanted answers and if necessary, justice for our father. From day one of a five-year journey, Mr. Rich Grungo, Jr. made our family and our pain his own. The man never stopped working for us. He kept us informed every step of the way. Questions were answered quickly and with great compassion and expertise. Even though Rich was always busy, he was never too busy for us. We always felt like we were his only clients
I had the opportunity to observe Mr. Grungo work in this case, both in the courtroom on the technical matters of the motions and also as his presentation to the jury in opening and presenting witnesses as well as utilizing animations… and drawings and films that were necessary for a proper understanding of the case…At all times during the presentation, Mr. Grungo operated mostly without notes and questioned the witnesses in a conversational manner which made it most effective. **
Thank you for everything. I honestly felt like you treated my son like he was your own son, for that I am grateful. I would recommend your services to anyone. Thanks for being so awesome to both of us.
It was a pleasure working with Bill. He constantly kept me informed. I would recommend Bill and his firm to anybody I know. They’ll be in good hands.
I had the opportunity to retain Mr. Colarulo for a vehicle accident I encountered. I give him my highest recommendation for anyone in need of an excellent Personal Injury Attorney. Not only does he have an in depth knowledge of the legal field, but he emanates a sense of trust-worthiness that makes you feel secure during the entire process. Mr. Colarulo has the knowledge, drive and enthusiasm that will get the job done for you. He comes highly recommended.
Hi Rich, Well I’m on my way up to college to finish packing my son’s stuff up and to go to his Graduation tomorrow. It’s hard to believe how fast and how slow, at the same time 5 years can go by. I was just thinking of you as I am getting ready to leave and wanted to thank you once again for everything you have done for my son’s future. You are a good and just man. God Bless to you and your family.