Boston Truck Accident Lawyer
After a collision with a semi-truck, you’ll almost certainly have to contend with grievous injuries, expensive medical bills, and a heavily damaged vehicle. Find out how to get full compensation for your damages and losses by consulting with a Boston truck accident lawyer.
Massachusetts highways allow large trucks of up to 99,000 pounds and 80 feet long without a permit, making for some truly massive vehicles on our roads. Considering the average midsize car is around 5,000 pounds, whether the car hits the truck or the truck hits the car, the results are going to be catastrophic for the car.
Personal injuries from truck collisions can include debilitating damage such as traumatic brain injuries and spine injuries, and even wrongful death. Compensation for lost property, medical costs, lost wages, and—in cases of a fatality or gross negligence—punitive damages may all be sought. A Boston truck accident lawyer from Joel H. Schwartz, PC can explain the best course of action for your case and represent you throughout the proceedings.
Truck Accident Cases Are Complicated
Accidents involving 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other large trucks are more difficult to process because some combination of the driver, broker, shipper, trucking company, truck manufacturer, or other third party may be responsible. These accidents can get so involved that there are actually truck crash forensics experts who build businesses on investigating crashes, having a laundry list of all the things that could go wrong and lead to a wreck.
To preserve valuable evidence after your crash, it’s essential to act quickly. All relevant record-keeping sources must be informed that time-sensitive material should not be destroyed even if the designated “shelf-life” has expired. A Boston truck accident lawyer from our office can help you identify what needs to be saved and ensure that these valuable records are not prematurely destroyed.
These sources of evidence should all be considered:
- Inspection records
- Onboard computers and driver logs
- Compliance audits
- Hiring practices of the trucking company
- Police and emergency services reports
- Black boxes
- Broker liability
- Drug and alcohol tests
- Weight limits
- Dispatcher communication
Was the Truck Driver at Fault?
According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, 10 to 20 percent of the 4,000 annual fatalities in truck and bus crashes are due to driver fatigue. Although this form of negligent driving can sometimes be tricky to prove, driving and cell phone records have provided evidence of sleep deprivation in successful cases. Your Boston truck accident lawyer can help you obtain this evidence, as acquiring these records isn’t always easy.
In addition to fatigued driving and the more familiar drunk or drugged driving, another common cause of truck accidents is distracted driving. Not only must truckers resist the urge to text or use smartphone features while on the road, but their onboard logs can prove even more deleterious.
Truckers’ pay can be cut if they don’t stay on schedule, so some of them feel compelled to enter data into their onboard computers while at the wheel rather than stopping. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations about driving while ill or drowsy. In the end, it may seem difficult to prove these types of negligence, but it is possible—and one of our Boston truck accident lawyers can handle collecting the evidence for you.
. . . Or Was It the Trucking Company?
Sometimes the truck driver is a victim of their employer’s unethical business practices. They may be hauling hazardous goods, working under unrealistic time constraints, or be driving a vehicle the trucking company didn’t properly maintain. Truckers are even sometimes harassed by carriers, often in their down time. Some trucking companies think of every minute lost as profit loss.
To protect drivers, there are laws stating the maximum number of hours they can drive and the minimum amounts of rest they must receive in between. The pressure to perform can cause these mandates to be ignored, and unsafe driving is the result. It’s possible to uncover these mistakes in logbooks, which may be destroyed after a certain time—one more reason why you’ll want to contact a Boston truck accident lawyer from our firm as soon as possible.
In addition to how they manage their staff, the trucking company may try to cut corners by using refurbished parts. Equipment failure on tractor-trailers and 18-wheeler trucks is very common. Brakes, tires, hitches, lights, turn signals, and mirrors are all essential for safety. Your Boston truck accident lawyer will investigate the crash and determine if any of these factors were to blame, thereby allowing you to pursue compensation from all at-fault parties.
A Third Party May Have Been Responsible
Dangerous local, state, or federal roads may have caused the crash by being in disrepair or by lacking essential signs, lighting, and other road basics. Mechanics or parts manufacturers may have done shoddy work, as well. Road crews can also make travel unsafe.
Any number of factors could have played into your truck crash. A Boston truck accident lawyer from our firm will know where to look to find the evidence and determine who was at fault.
Truck Accident Types
In addition to trucker and trucking company negligence and all of the other causes listed above, sudden movements and huge blind spots can cause any of these common truck accidents:
- Jackknife – The cab and body of a truck get stuck at a ninety degree angle to each other
- T-Bone – Common at intersections where one vehicle hits the other’s side
- Underride – A car gets wedged under either the back of the truck or the side
- Brake Failure – Brakes give out due to poor maintenance or applying them too quickly
- Tire Blowout – The tire gives out due to unsafe road conditions or poor upkeep
- Unsafe Load – Cargo that is not properly secured can shift violently or spill
- Rollover – Due to sudden movements, stopping, or bad road conditions
The type of truck crash you were involved in can indicate who was at fault for the wreck, so it’s important to make certain you provide your Boston truck accident lawyer in Boston with all of the details of what took place.
Get Help from a Boston Truck Accident Lawyer
It’s vital that you contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible before inspection records expire and evidence is lost. Even if negligence is proven, dragging a fair settlement out of the insurance companies can be a challenge all its own.
Truck accidents can be quite complicated, but with more than fifty years of experience with personal injury cases in Boston and all over the rest of Massachusetts, the Law Offices of Joel H. Schwartz can ease your mind by handling all of the details. Call today for a free consultation to find out how we can help. Just dial 1-800-660-2270 or complete the contact form below.