Crashing into the back of a parked semi-truck can easily lead to catastrophic injuries. If you have experienced one of these accidents firsthand, you are already well aware of this fact. Alternatively, you may have lost a loved one due to a fatal semi-truck accident in New Jersey. In both cases, you may be struggling with various economic and non-economic damages – and you might be wondering about potential compensation. For example, you may face the possibility of a lifelong disability that prevents you from earning income. Perhaps you have missed months of work as you try to recover. You might also be dealing with PTSD or emotional distress as a result of the accident. Pursuing compensation for these damages may be possible under certain circumstances. 

New Jersey Motorist Dies After Crashing into Parked Semi-Truck

Crashing into a Parked Semi-Truck in New Jersey: Can I Sue

On February 3, 2024, it was reported that a motorist had lost their life after crashing into a parked semi-truck on Route 185. The accident occurred not far from Jersey City at around midnight. Three people were inside the vehicle when it struck the rear of the parked trailer, and all three were subsequently transported to a nearby hospital. Less than an hour later, one of the passengers was pronounced dead – while the driver and the second passenger were eventually released from hospital following treatment. 

A more thorough investigation may determine whether negligence was a contributing factor. Based on the sparse details provided by law enforcement, it is very difficult to make any conclusions so far. Investigators will likely try to determine whether the driver was intoxicated – and perhaps whether the truck was parked legally. 

Can You Sue a Trucking Company After Crashing into a Parked Trailer?

It is certainly possible to sue a trucking company after crashing into a parked trailer. However, injury claims may be challenging for a number of reasons. First, drivers are usually considered to be at fault after crashing into the rear of other vehicles. This is because a driver is expected to give drivers enough space when following. In addition, they are expected to avoid hitting parked vehicles. 

The situation changes if the semi-truck was parked illegally at the time of the collision. For example, a semi-truck cannot simply stop in the middle of a highway for no reason. At the very least, they must stop on the shoulder – and even this may be unlawful in certain cases. Most highways have designated areas where trucks are allowed to stop, and these areas help prevent accidents.

Parked semi-trucks pose a particular threat during night or low-visibility conditions. If a parked semi-truck fails to activate its flashing hazard lights after stopping in an unsafe location, it may be very difficult for approaching vehicles to avoid collisions. These are just a few examples of how trucker negligence can contribute to crashes involving parked semi-trucks. To discuss the potential for trucker negligence in regard to your own crash, speak with a qualified injury attorney in New Jersey. 

Filing a No-Fault Claim After a Rear-End Semi-Truck Crash

Even if proves difficult to establish trucking negligence after a collision with a parked semi-truck, injured victims may pursue no-fault claims instead. As the name implies, there is no obligation to prove fault in these claims. New Jersey mandates Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance for each driver, and you can turn to your PIP policy for compensation after an accident. Even if you are accused of causing the accident, you should still receive compensation for medical expenses and missed wages. 

Why are Rear-End Semi-Truck Crashes So Dangerous?

Rear-end semi-truck crashes are especially dangerous because smaller vehicles tend to slip underneath trailers, creating a shearing effect. This is also known as an “underriding” crash, and the outer edge of the rear trailer can slice off the roofs of smaller vehicles. This cutting force can not only destroy vehicles, but it may also cause catastrophic head injuries for drivers and passengers. 

Trucking companies today have been encouraged to install rear rail guard systems on all trucks to prevent these underriding crashes. However, not all trucking companies comply – and these accidents continue to occur. 

Find an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in New Jersey

If you have been searching for an experienced truck accident lawyer in New Jersey, look no further than Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs strive for positive results. Even if you rear-ended a parked semi-truck, there may still be a pathway toward compensation. Each crash is slightly different, and it makes sense to discuss your unique circumstances during a consultation. Reach out today to begin this process and assess your legal options. 

The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over thirty years.

Call Our Office At (609) 240-0040 Today for Help