There is no such thing as an easy motor vehicle accident, but some types of crashes are typically more serious than others. This is especially true when the crash involves a tractor-trailer or other type of large truck. In Massachusetts, Boston is a major metropolitan center where countless trucks make deliveries or use the roadways on a daily basis. These large vehicles also utilize roads and highways in more rural areas throughout the state. If the operators of these massive, heavy, and often difficult to maneuver vehicles don’t pay attention to state and federal trucking laws or basic safety, then motorists and pedestrians may find themselves in serious danger of catastrophic injury or even death. At the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates PC, our dedicated team of legal professionals is ready to assist individuals and families in navigating the legal process following a serious collision. A Massachusetts truck accident attorney at our firm will fight tirelessly to help you seek the judgment or settlement that you deserve.Truck Accidents in Massachusetts
If you plan to seek compensation following a collision with an 18-wheeler, it is advisable to find an attorney who has experience handling truck accidents because there are a few special considerations that make them different from regular motor vehicle crashes. First, trucking operations are subject to a wide array of state and federal safety laws, such as regulations governing how many hours a truck operator can drive at one time, or the training qualifications that a driver must possess before he or she can be hired to operate a truck. A seasoned truck accident lawyer in Massachusetts will be familiar with these laws and know how to identify any violations that can help you in your case.
It is also important to be aware that truck operators may be employees of trucking companies. Massachusetts recognizes a doctrine called vicarious liability, which can be used to hold employers liable for the tortious acts that their employees commit during the course and scope of employment. This means that if a truck driver was driving while intoxicated and hauling cargo for their employer, then the employer can be held liable for any injuries that the driver causes in an accident. In many cases, the plaintiff will need to assert causes of action against the driver and the employer.Proving Negligence After a Truck Accident
As in any personal injury accident, a plaintiff in a truck accident must prove that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care and that he or she failed to act according to that duty. In general, drivers have a duty to use reasonable care and skill when driving. This standard means that a driver must refrain from distracted driving activities, driving while drunk, and violating basic traffic laws. You can also use violations of state and federal trucking regulations to help establish that the defendants were negligent. These laws require routine inspection and maintenance of trucks, for example. A number of truck accidents happen due to poor vehicle maintenance, which can lead to things like tire blowouts due to overuse. It may be necessary to consult with a truck accident expert who can identify all of the ways that the defendants failed to exercise due care and ultimately caused your injuries. A knowledgeable Massachusetts truck accident attorney can put you in touch with an expert who is appropriate for your case.
After showing that the defendant was negligent, you must be prepared to show that this negligence was the direct cause of the injuries that you sustained. The defendant may try to argue that some other factor was to blame for the crash, including negligence on your part. Massachusetts has adopted the comparative fault rule, which means that if the jury finds you to be 51% or more at fault for your injuries then you will be barred from recovering any compensation. If the jury finds you to be 50% or less at fault, then any damages award in your favor will be reduced by that percentage. There are many categories of damages that you can seek in a truck accident case, such as past and future medical bills, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity.Meet with a Diligent Truck Accident Attorney in Massachusetts
Truck accidents are often fairly terrifying for the victims because of the massive size and stature of these vehicles, and the injuries that result can be catastrophic or even fatal. We know that no amount of money can ever truly make you whole again after a truck accident, but it can help you to get back on your feet and to cope with the financial burden. Proudly serving clients in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Newton, Waltham, Somerville, Dedham, Quincy, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody, we offer a free consultation to help you understand your legal rights and options. Call us at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online to get started.