The most serious types of car accidents involve trucks. Whether we like it or not, cars and tractor-trailers have to share the road. Trucks have a bad reputation when it comes to drivers. People complain that truck drivers are careless and aggressive. In reality, truck drivers are usually very careful. Our truck accident lawyers know that truck drivers have to comply with very strict safety guidelines in Boston. The problem is when some truck drivers drive negligently and hurt or kill other drivers.
Truck accidents cause more fatalities than any other type of accident. This is because a passenger vehicle doesn’t stand a chance against a huge truck. If a car is hit by a tractor-trailer, there is a real chance the driver is not going to survive. If you’ve lost a loved one to a truck accident, you need the help of an experienced attorney. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a truck call Soto Law at 617-618-5560.
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Common Factors that Cause Truck Accidents
Boston, Massachusetts sees its fair share of truck accidents. Statistics for truck accidents are alarming. The number of injuries and fatalities associated with truck accidents are staggering. We know truck accidents are usually caused by one of the following:
- Driver falling asleep at the wheel
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Inexperienced drivers
These are no different from other car accidents. There are other causes that can be specifically attributed to truck drivers, including:
- Tire and wheel failure
- Too large a load
- Unsafe road conditions
- Misjudging the gap between cars and overhangs
- Cargo shifts
- Equipment failure
- Improperly maintained commercial vehicles
Thankfully, commercial drivers must keep maintenance logs. Our attorneys can subpoena copies of these logs to determine if the truck driver was operating an unsafe vehicle.
How Can Truck Accident Lawyers Help You?
Whether you choose to take the battle to Boston courts or settle with the opposition before it comes to that, you will need the support and counsel of a reputable truck accident attorney. In the wake of a catastrophe like a truck accident, Boston residents, like anyone else, can have a mind full of concern for their lives, family and property. This is where a trusted truck attorney will be able to handle the legalities and allow you to settle your mind and fully recover from the ordeal.
We can help you with filing your claim and making sure it has all the important information. We will also conduct an investigation of the incident immediately after your first consultation. This is an important task because gaining traction in any settlement of the litigation process will depend on the quality of the evidence brought to the case. The evidence your truck accident attorney provides will be critical to proving the truck driver was at fault.
As part of our investigation, we may also:
- Employ an expert to reconstruct the incident
- Review the photographic evidence and police reports on the scene of the accident
- Review the driving experience and work history of the truck driver
- Conduct interviews with any eyewitness that was present
- Identify any faulty components of the truck
These are only a few of the tasks and processes that your truck accident attorney will conduct to add clout to your case.
Things aren’t always as they seem at first, it may be necessary to investigate the possibility that more than one party is to blame for the accident. It may be that the driver, as well as the trucking company and possibly other parties also share in the fault. Our attorneys will know what specifics to review and identify the correct culprits.
How is Negligence Established Following a Truck Accident?
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you will need to establish negligence on behalf of the truck driver as well as any other parties you believe to be responsible. Your lawyer will prove that the driver was in breach of their duties and responsibilities and that negligence on the part of the driver was the true cause behind the catastrophe.
Some examples of negligence that apply to commercial truck drivers include speeding, driving while texting, running red lights and falling asleep at the wheel.
Because of the high-risk nature of commercial trucking, the FMCSA requires commercial drivers to follow these regulations:
- Maintain a logbook of driving hours
- Document all services performed and breaks taken
- Follow scheduled maintenance requirements
- Follow regulations for the proper loading of cargo and hazardous materials
- Abstain from alcohol and all other controlled substances while at work.
- Drive for no more than 10 hours in a day.
What Should I do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?
It is always tough to do, but in the aftermath of an accident, it is essential to keep a cool head. Turn on your hazard lights and, if it is safe to do so, remain in your car as you call emergency services. Have yourself examined by the EMT and paramedics as they arrive. Even if you feel your injuries are very small, you should get a full medical inspection both for yourself and any passengers with you.
Do not under any circumstances, flee the scene of the accident before you have gotten all the information you need to pursue a case. This will include the names and contact information of everyone involved including eyewitnesses.
As the police officers arrive on the scene be sure to take note of their names and badge numbers. You will also need as many snapshots and photographic evidence of the incident. Take pictures of both vehicles from several wide angles around the cars. Then take some close up shots of the points of impact and any other aspects you feel might be important.
Don’t inadvertently take responsibility for the accident by saying anything seemingly innocuous like “sorry” and don’t discuss what you “believe” happened with anyone but the police officer and the insurance agent from your policy providers –– you aren’t obligated to speak with the insurance agents of the truck driver.
How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
Commercial semi-trucks, also called freight trucks or big-rigs, can weigh over 80,000 lbs. which is the combined weight of 20 regular passenger cars. While there are regulations that dictate the amount of time a driver of a commercial freight truck can drive in a day (10 hours) there are many financial reasons that a driver will exceed this limitation and impinge upon the safety of other motorists.
Larger Insurance Policies
Truck drivers have insurance policies in place to cover any accident, however, these policies are typically worth 50X the regular car accident policy and are often worth millions of dollars. For this reason, insurance providers named in such a lawsuit will be meticulous and resourceful in avoiding liability. Seasoned insurance providers will use a variety of techniques to avoid full payout. They may even offer you a considerably high settlement, but this is usually much less than what your case actually deserves.
Our attorneys will help you see through the ploys and tactics of insurance carriers and make the entire process easier to understand.
Increased Property Damage
As mentioned, a commercial 18-wheeler freight truck represents a ponderous amount of matter in motion, far more than your usual vehicles. This, combined with the sheer size of a freight truck, will mean that damage to the surrounding area will be far greater than a collision between two regular-sized vehicles.
More Serious Injuries
Much in the same way, the injuries that would normally be sustained in a car accident will be far more severe if caused by a freight truck and possible require greater medical attention and recovery. From lacerations, whiplash, broken bones and fractures, the injuries sustained from a freight truck are always far greater and potentially life-threatening.
Much Larger Medical Bills
With a greater chance of serious injury, recovery from such accidents can involve longer stays in a hospital. A truck accident victim may also be unable to resume their regular work and this can have financial implications as well. Having a trusted truck accident attorney, like an experienced lawyer at Morgan & Morgan, means you will have a better idea of how much time, pain and suffering your ordeal is worth so your compensation will be commensurate.
Greater Chance of Death
Accidents involving large semi-trucks or big-rigs are also going to result in a higher fatality rate than your regular car accidents. According to statistics by the FMCSA, truck accidents claim anywhere from 3000 to 5000 lives each year.
Considering this staggering statistic and the resources available to trucking companies and their insurers, a trusted truck accident attorney is really the only hope of getting a fair shake. A no-cost assessment of your case would be the important first step in choosing to retain the services of a lawyer or not.
Your Truck Accident Attorney Will Work Hard to Prove Your Case
Our attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies near Boston. Commercial insurance companies may deny your claim for many reasons. They may deny your claim for the following reasons:
- They claim you weren’t injured
- The insurance company believes you were at fault
- You have pre-existing conditions or old injuries
- You have a history of filing claims against commercial drivers
- You were drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident
- The commercial driver was not insured
- The policy wasn’t valid
If your claim is denied, you need to call a truck accident attorney. They’ll work hard to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If they refuse to settle, your attorney will file suit.
Help Your Truck Crash Lawyer Prove Your Injuries
If you’re in a car accident, you need to go to the hospital. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, you need to get checked out. First, you need to make sure you’re okay. But you also need to get documentation of your injuries for your attorney. He’ll need them later on to prove your damages.
Truck accidents can cause all sorts of injuries. Sadly, most truck accident injuries are very serious. They could leave you permanently disabled.
Some of the most common injuries caused by truck accidents include:
- Back injuries
- Head and Brain injuries – A TBI is one of the worst types of injuries you can sustain. Some of the symptoms and effects of a TBI include:
- Memory loss
- Impaired vision
- Inability to speak
- Impaired hearing
- Internal Injuries – Truck accident attorneys in Boston handle many internal injury cases. Some of the most common types of internal injuries include:
- Bleeding on the brain
- Punctured lungs
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
Any of the injuries by themselves can entitle you to compensation. If you’ve suffered multiple injuries, your lawyer will demand that you be paid accordingly.
How is Compensation Determined Following a Truck Accident?
Like most personal injury cases the types of damages that can be compensated will be economic damages and non-economic damages.
Compensation for economic truck accident damages covers some of the specific financial damages, like:
- Current Medical Expenses – This can include the fees for visiting the emergency room, undergoing surgery, hospital care, treatments and consolations with approved medical professionals.
- Future Medical Expenses – Including rehabilitation and all other ongoing medical attention.
- Lost Wages – Covering any wages lost from the time of the accident to the conclusion of the lawsuit.
- Loss of Earning Capacity – If the victim has been impaired to the point that their regular work operations are negatively impacted, there is compensation for this as well. The amount will be equal to what the victim would have earned had the accident not taken place.
Non-economic damages will compensate the victim and their family for all intangible or non-financial losses.
- Pain and Suffering – this includes coverage for pain experienced due to the accident. Some factors that will affect the overall amount include the extent of pain, nature of the injury, and the amount of time the victim is expected to recover.
- Mental Anguish – there is also compensation available for emotional pain and anguish brought on by the accident itself. This can include embarrassment, emotional distress, grief, worry, fear, nervousness and more.
- Loss of Consortium – Compensation can also be awarded the surviving children’s parents or spouse of the victim to cover the loss of services, aid, society or assistance provided.
What Information Should I Provide My Attorney?
In order to get the money you deserve, your attorney is going to need some information. Bring the following to your initial consultation:
- The accident or police report
- Contact information for all witnesses
- Medical documentation
- Pay stubs and tax records to prove wages and earning capacity
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Pictures of your injuries
- Insurance information for both drivers
Your attorney is going to do his best to get you the compensation you deserve. Make sure you tell him the whole story. If you were partly at fault, let him know. It’s better that he finds out from you then be blindsided later in your case.
In Massachusetts, you can still recover even if you were partly at fault. Boston follows a comparative negligence rule that reduces your award by your percentage of fault. As long as you are less than 50% at fault, you can still recover against the defendant. If you’re more than 50% at fault, your claim will be dismissed.
Contact the Jon Soto Law Firm Today to Discuss Your Case
Whether you have been in an Uber car accident, or an 18 wheeler truck accident, call the Jon Soto Law Firm today at 617-618-5560 and schedule your initial consultation. It is absolutely free. It gives you a chance to have an experienced lawyer to review your case. We can answer any questions you may have and give you an idea of what your case may be worth.
If you have been in a truck accident and need a truck accident lawyer, contact an 18 wheeler accident lawyer today. The consultation is free. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case. The insurance companies have lawyers working for them and you should too!