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Many car and truck accidents happen during breakdowns

It can be more than just an inconvenience to break down on the highways, interstates and turnpikes here in New Jersey. Even on the shoulder, people are not necessarily safe if they exit their vehicles. Many car and truck accidents happen when a vehicle is disabled on the side of the road and its occupant or occupants get out to survey the vehicle and perhaps attempt to make repairs.

On a recent Monday night, a tractor-trailer broke down on the side of the road near exit 45 on the New Jersey Turnpike. While the truck driver was standing at the rear of the big rig, another vehicle was approaching. For some unknown reason, that vehicle slammed into the trucker and the back of his 18-wheeler.

The truck driver suffered severe injuries to which he succumbed at the scene. The driver that hit him reportedly suffered serious injuries but survived the crash. No other information regarding the investigation or the condition of the surviving driver was available at the time of this writing. In fact, reports did not state what charges, if any, are contemplated against the driver.

Meanwhile, the family of the truck driver retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver even though they might also be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Establishing negligence through the appropriate evidence could result in an award of damages typically seen in car and truck accidents. The receipt of restitution could help with the financial losses the family members of the victim are undoubtedly incurring in the aftermath of the premature and unexpected death of their loved one.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, "Car Strikes, Kills Tractor-Trailer Driver on New Jersey Turnpike", David Chang, Dec. 19, 2016

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