You most likely will be left with severe injuries after being involved in a semi-truck accident. Furthermore, the financial burden that comes with seeking treatment and recovery and trying to fix your damaged car only aggravates the situation. But do you know that you can take legal action against those responsible and get compensation for your losses and anguish? Get in touch with an experienced and reputable Boston truck accident attorney today for help.
Large trucks that measure as much as 80 feet and can weigh up to 99,000 pounds can use the Massachusetts highways without a special permit. And since the standard mid-sized car is a paltry 5,000 pounds, the outcome of an average vehicle hitting or being hit by a truck can be catastrophic.
The outcomes of a truck collision might include traumatic brain injuries, spinal damage, debilitating injuries, or even wrongful death. If you or a loved one is a victim of such an accident, you can seek compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and in cases of death attributed to gross recklessness – punitive damages may be applicable. Working with an experienced Boston truck accident lawyer is be beneficial; the attorney can explain your choices and suggest the best actions to take when seeking justice.
Truck Accident Cases Get Complicated
From a legal standpoint, handling cases that involve an 18-wheeler accident can be tricky since there are many parties involved who can be held liable. This includes the driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, shipper, dealership brokers, or any other eligible third party that may have contributed. Furthermore, these matters can be so complicated that forensics experts will get called in to investigate the incident and sift through the long list of factors that could have gone wrong and caused the truck accident.
Acting quickly so that the legal processes can commence will also work in favor of the preservation of crucial evidence after the incident. Some of the materials are time-sensitive and must not be destroyed or soiled. With your truck accident attorney’s help, you will be guided on what to save to ensure that each piece of evidence is preserved.
Sources of the proof that should be collected and preserved include:
•Police and emergency services reports
•Drug and alcohol tests
•Onboard computers and driver logs
•The trucking company’s hiring practices
How Will Your Boston Truck Accident Attorney Determine Who is at Fault?
A survey done by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine shows 10% – 20% of the nearly 4,000 fatalities in large commercial vehicle accidents that occur annually can be attributed to driver fatigue. However, this might not always be easy to prove. Things such as cell phone records and onboard driving monitory software can be used to provide details to prove sleep deprivation as the principal cause. The Boston truck accident attorney assigned to your case can help obtain this vital evidence.
Besides fatigued driving and driving while under the influence, distracted driving is another common cause of truck accidents in the United States. Truckers are highly advised against texting, using their cell phones, or fiddling with other gadgets in the vehicle when behind the wheel. Again, the onboard logs can help prove that such conduct occurred when driving.
From a professional perspective, truckers work under set targets and receive pay-cuts if they fail to stay on schedule. That is why many are compelled to enter data into onboard devices as they are driving instead of stopping so that they can do this safely. The rules and regulations of the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) are strict about such conduct and driving while fatigued or sleep-deprived. Proving such factors were at play might seem difficult, but it’s not impossible. Our legal experts will help with the investigations and collecting the evidence needed.
Will the Trucking Company Share the Blame?
At times, the trucker will be a victim of unethical business practices that the employer forced on him or her. The driver could be working under unrealistic schedules, facing time constraints, handling a poorly maintained commercial vehicle, or even being unaware that the goods they are hauling are hazardous. Carriers also harass some drivers during their downtime. For some trucking companies, every minute lost for whatever reason eats into their profits.
To safeguard the interests and rights of these truck drivers, laws are in place stating the maximum hours they can drive and the minimum resting time they are entitled to in between their transit. It protects them from engaging in acts encouraged by their employers, who may attempt to force them to ignore these mandates, which results in unsafe driving. Some of the blunders can be found in logbooks that might be destroyed in haste, hence the need to act as soon as possible so that a lawyer can ensure all evidence is preserved.
Besides how the trucking companies manage their staff, they also could try cutting corners in their fleet maintenance. They might be using refurbished, substandard parts. Equipment failure in these large vehicles is not something uncommon in most truck accidents. The lights, brakes, hitches, tires, mirrors, turn signals, or other essential safety features could fail. Your attorney will investigate the incident to determine if such factors are to blame, thus qualifying you to sue the trucking company and seek compensation.
What if a Third-Party May Have Been Responsible?
Not all roads and highways are safe. Some local, state, and federal roads are in bad condition or may be missing vital safety signs, thus increasing the risk of accidents. In some instances, parts manufacturers, road crews, and mechanics might have done shoddy work. Different parties might have played a hand in the truck accident happening. An experienced Boston truck accident attorney will help determine the parties responsible for the incident and help you seek justice.
Types of Truck Accidents
While negligence is often at the heart of many of the factors mentioned above, some common types of truck accidents include:
•Jackknife – The truck’s cab and body are stuck at a ninety-degree angle to each other
•T-Bone – Tends to be the outcome of accidents that happen at intersections where one vehicle hits the other on its side
•Underride – A car is wedged underneath the truck’s side or back
•Brake Failure – The brakes gave out due to sudden application, poor maintenance, or because they are overburdened by an excess load on the truck
•Tire Blowout – The tire gave out because of poor upkeep or unsafe road conditions
•Unsafe Load – The cargo was not securely strapped down, thus spilling or shifting violently during transit
•Rollover – Sudden movements, adverse road conditions, or emergency breaking that topples the truck
The nature of the accident you were involved in will help determine who was at fault, and this is done with ease when the lawyer assigned to your case has as many details about what happened as possible. Investigations will also be done to help confirm your claims and build a strong case to ensure you get the maximum compensation.
Get Help from a Boston Truck Accident Attorney
Get in touch with a reputable and experienced truck accident attorney immediately after the accident so that the lawyer can ensure inspection records and any other evidence is preserved before it is lost or expires. If negligence is proven, the company and its insurance provider might offer a settlement. However, keep in mind that this option, though a viable one, might entail some back and forth as your legal team tries to secure a fair settlement from the trucking company’s insurance provider.
Keep in mind that truck accidents tend to be complicated, but not impossible to tackle. At Kelly & Associates, we are confident that we can help you seek justice and get full compensation for your losses and anguish. Call our personal injury law firm in Boston today and schedule a free consultation.