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New Jersey fatal accident closes highway for over three hours

An accident involving a tractor-trailer and a car closed Interstate 78 East at approximately 3:28 a.m. on Aug. 31. According to New Jersey State Police, a car collided with a tractor-trailer close to Exit 11, killing one person and seriously injuring three others.

A state police accident reconstruction team were on the scene a little before 6 a.m. The auto accident was cleared, and the highway was opened by 8:39 a.m., according to the Department of Transportation. The order of events in the auto accident is unclear, and police officers are still investigating the scene. A tractor-trailer and Honda sedan had collided, and another tractor-trailer had jackknifed and was positioned in the median. The three injured people were transported to area hospitals. Weather conditions prohibited the use of medical helicopters, according to emergency radio reports.

When a car crash results in fatalities and/or serious injuries, law enforcement may choose to perform an accident reconstruction to determine the course of events. A personal injury attorney may use police accident reconstruction reports to build a case on behalf of surviving family members. In some cases, a lawyer may hire experts to perform an additional accident reconstruction. The results may help to determine who was at fault in a crash.

Once the chain of events has been established, the attorney may approach the insurance company to negotiate for a fair settlement. If the insurance company does not want to pay the requested amount, the attorney may suggest filing a lawsuit in civil court. The accident reconstruction report may be used to support the argument made on behalf of surviving family members. If the evidence is compelling, a jury may award a significant amount of compensation to the plaintiffs.

Source: Lehigh Valley Live, "Interstate 78 East in Bethlehem Township, N.J., shut more than three hours by fatal accident", Tony Rhodin, August 31, 2013

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