Boston Truck Accident Attorney
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we strive to help our clients recover from preventable accidents, such as a semi-truck or other large truck collision, caused by someone else’s negligent actions. When you retain our Boston truck accident lawyers to handle your injury claim, you can rest assured knowing that we will fight for maximum compensation on your behalf and work hard to protect your rights against the parties responsible for your injuries.
We understand the challenges you face in the aftermath of a serious accident and will do everything we can to help you reach the resolution you need in your case. If you or a loved sustains an injury in a truck accident, you may qualify to pursue compensation for the losses you have sustained. Contact Jacoby & Meyers LLP for a free case evaluation to discuss the specifics of your case and the remedies available to you under the law.
Our Past Successes
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we have significant experience representing individuals who have sustained serious injuries in Boston truck accidents.
Consider some of the results that we’ve obtained for past clients:
- $2.5 million settlement for a victim injured in a hit-and-run truck accident.
- $3.5 million settlement for a victim injured by a truck driver that fell asleep behind the wheel while on the job.
- $5.7 million for the family of a child killed by a runaway school bus.
Do You Need a Lawyer if You Sustain Injuries in a Truck Accident?
We frequently hear this question from truck accident victims. After all, many people feel as if they can resolve their own disputes even after a serious incident, such as a truck accident. Truck accident cases often prove complicated, as they can involve many parties beyond just the truck driver. The truck driver, insurance companies, and truck companies all have an interest in the outcome of your case and have their own interests to protect and pursue.
Insurance companies often negotiate aggressively when dealing with injury claims that stem from truck accidents. An insurance representative may attempt to contact you soon after an accident happens. Claims representatives even may attempt to pursue conversations with victims still in the hospital for treatment of injuries. Insurance company representatives will act friendly and appear to accommodate your needs, but they only care about their bottom lines. Insurance companies want to pay out as little money as possible on a claim and, if possible, deny a claim outright and wash their hands of any liability.
Any time you engage in a conversation with another party in your case, you face a risk of jeopardizing the damages and compensation available to you under the law. A truck accident lawyer understands your rights and how to best protect them.
When you retain an attorney to handle your claim after a truck accident, your attorney will take over all communication with other involved parties in your case on your behalf. All concerns, questions, and discussions about the facts of your case, the extent of your injuries, and other damages will go through your lawyer first, who will then relay that information to you. This eliminates significant stress on you and allows you to focus on your recovery rather than worry about what you should or should not say to an insurance company.
How Does a Lawyer Help You After a Truck Accident?
Lawyers act as advocates for your rights and your benefit after a truck accident. Personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims serve as an avenue for you to receive financial compensation for the losses, injuries, and inconveniences you face due to the truck accident. A personal injury lawyer will prepare your claim and work to achieve a positive resolution and outcome for you.
Communicate With All Parties
Following an accident with a commercial vehicle, such as a large truck or semi-truck, you may lose track of all the parties involved in the accident and resulting claim. From the insurance company to the truck driver, his or her employer, and other parties of interest in the case, your Boston truck accident claim may involve a large number of parties, all with their own attorneys and insurance policies. Your lawyer will stay on top of all of the parties involved in your case and what you should do to protect your rights.
Estimate Your Damages
In the days, weeks, and months after an accident, the extent of your injuries and damages to your finances and overall wellbeing will become more apparent. A truck accident lawyer will work hard to maximize the damages that you receive from the at-fault parties and their insurance companies based on your injuries and other losses. To calculate how much compensation you should seek in your claim, a lawyer will research your injuries, the impacts they have had on your life, as well as their impacts on your future.
Investigate Who Is Responsible for the Accident
Determining who bears liability for your truck accident constitutes an important first step in figuring out how much compensation you should seek in your claim. An attorney will look closely at the accident and events that led up to the collision to ensure that you include in your claim all parties that could bear responsibility for your injuries.
A lawyer has the resources and ability to seek and organize evidence that will help support your case. The facts of your case will reveal what information the lawyer will need to pursue and where to find that evidence. Depending on the specific circumstances of your truck accident, the evidence that your attorney collects may include video footage from the scene of the accident, witness statements, medical records, employment records, and other information that may help support your case.
Negotiate for a Fair Settlement
Insurance companies can outright deny a claim or offer low settlements in the hopes that an injured victim in a desperate situation will accept a settlement offer even if it doesn’t provide full compensation for the victim’s injuries. An experienced and knowledgeable truck accident lawyer will know the value of your case and the damages you have suffered. The attorney in your case will fight for a fair settlement that will help your recovery and propel you forward from this unfortunate event in your life.
Truck Accident Dangers in Boston and Surrounding Areas
A major city and home to the Boston Harbor, the Boston metropolitan area sits as a major transportation hub. Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles make their way in and out of the city each day. Commuters and visitors must share the road with these vehicles, and when things go wrong, the public faces a serious risk of injury and death at the hands of these massive trucks.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation tracks the frequency of accidents along roadways throughout the state and identifies problematic areas where clusters of accidents occur. Boston has many of these accident clusters, especially on high traffic roadways, such as interstates and other highways.
Some of the top crash locations in Boston include:
- Interstate 90
- Interstate 93
- Interstate 95
- Massachusetts Route 16
- Massachusetts Route 28
- Massachusetts Route 128
- Massachusetts Route 203
- U.S. 1
Types of Truck Accidents
How a truck strikes a vehicle and the type of accident that occurs can make a significant difference in the severity of the injuries and risk of fatality for the occupants of the passenger vehicles involved. Truck accidents happen for many reasons, and how and why an accident occurs will influence the outcome of the collision and the survivability of the victims involved.
Accidents caused by a truck include:
- Head-on collisions – Many of these accidents happen when a truck driver drives while distracted or falls asleep behind the wheel. These accidents tend to occur at high speeds, which increases the risk of fatality for the victims involved.
- Rear-end collision – Driver inexperience and a loss of focus can cause a truck to strike a vehicle in traffic. These rear-end collisions can cause severe injuries with rear passengers in a vehicle at the highest risk of death or catastrophic injury.
- Override/underride accident – The beds of large trucks and semis sit far enough off the ground that they can trap other vehicles underneath the chassis of the truck. In rear-end crashes, an override can occur when a truck strikes a vehicle with such momentum that the truck runs over the vehicle ahead. In an underride crash, a vehicle becomes entrapped from the rear or side of a truck during an accident. In these accidents, the front seat passenger and driver have a high likelihood of suffering fatal injuries.
- Roll-over crash – Truck rollovers can prove catastrophic, especially in areas of heavy traffic, such as on interstates and highways. Most often, truck roll-over crashes involve multiple vehicles on the road.
- Jack-knife accident – Similar to a roll-over, a jackknife accident can affect all lanes of traffic near a large truck. The truck folds over onto itself when a driver loses control of the vehicle and strikes anything in its path.
- Blowout of Tires – Tire blowouts don’t just pose a danger because they can lead a truck driver to lose control of the truck, but also because the debris from these common blowouts can become dangerous projectiles and strike other vehicles nearby or cause drivers to lose control while attempting to avoid the debris.
- Loose Cargo – Large and precarious loads of cargo on trucks frequent Boston’s roadways. When loaders fail to properly secure a shipment, the truck becomes a risk to all vehicles nearby on the road. At high speeds, any flying or loose cargo may become a deadly projectile that can cause a tragic accident.
Most Common Injuries in a Truck Accident Victim
Some of the most horrific accidents and injuries can occur when a truck crashes into other vehicles on the road. In many cases, the injuries that result from such an accident prove fatal, and the victims can die at the scene or soon after the accident. For many of the victims that survive a truck accident, their lives will change forever. Truck accident injuries can prove severe and may permanently impair the abilities of the injured individual.
These types of injuries often require extensive medical treatment, including multiple surgeries and rehabilitation. Beyond the pain of the initial impact, victims can suffer prolonged pain due to recovery, which in some cases may become lifelong and chronic. The care for serious injuries proves costly and, in some instances, requires lifetime care and support for the injured individual.
Examples of injuries that commonly result from a truck accident can include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Crush injuries
- Amputation/loss of limb
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and bruises
- Internal bleeding
Common Damages Suffered After a Truck Accident
Every truck accident involves unique facts, and the losses suffered by each victim can range in severity. Under the law, you may qualify to seek compensation for not only the financial damages you have suffered but also the pain and other difficulties that you now face because of the negligent actions of a truck driver. A truck accident lawyer will evaluate your case to provide you with an estimate of the damages you have suffered and how much compensation you should seek. This estimate of damages will help you understand the value of your case and can help guide you in your negotiations for a settlement with an insurer or other liable party.
In each accident case, a party can suffer economic as well as non-economic losses. Lawyers can easily calculate monetary damages by considering medical records, bills, employment records, and estimates. Non-monetary losses require a different approach. Although you may struggle to nail down a dollar figure for your non-monetary losses, the law allows for you to seek compensation as best as possible financially. The measurement and calculation of these non-monetary losses can prove more complicated and can vary greatly, depending on the extent of your injuries and the overall financial losses you have suffered.
Examples of legal damages that you can seek in a truck accident case include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Future medical costs and income losses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- The wrongful death of a loved one
Who Is Responsible for Your Damages in a Car Accident?
In most instances, a truck accident victim believes the fault in an accident should fall on the truck driver. While a truck driver’s actions often cause the accident, establishing liability in a truck accident can prove more complex. Trucks ship important goods quickly and efficiently across the country (and the world), and the vast majority of truck accidents occur while the truck driver is on the job. The heavier and larger a truck, the more likely it serves as a commercial vehicle.
Commercial vehicles and large trucks must follow federal regulations for safety and undergo significant scrutiny for maintenance, parts, equipment, and hours of service. Many different circumstances can contribute to a truck accident, and the facts of your case could open up liability to more than one party.
Truck drivers who act negligently may bear liability for an accident that they cause. After all, their actions directly caused the accident to occur and the resulting injuries and damages to you. In some rare cases, truck drivers can bear complete liability for their actions if they own and operate their trucks and employ themselves.
Truck Company/Owner of the Truck
In most cases, truck drivers don’t own their own commercial vehicles. Rather, a truck company generally employs the driver for mutual benefit. This creates an additional layer of liability, and in many cases, a truck company can bear liability for the accident and injuries that occur. Trucking companies frequently place enormous pressure on their employees to meet deadlines faster and take on more jobs. These pressures often tempt drivers and companies to turn a blind eye to mandatory rest periods and hours of service rules to make more money.
Sender of Shipment
The company that hires a truck for shipment must ensure that its cargo gets properly loaded and secured. When a sender transports inherently dangerous materials, the trucker must take extreme precautions. In many cases, the cargo shipper may face liability for an accident for loading the shipment onto a truck improperly. Any truck accident caused by loose cargo, hazardous materials, or shifts in weight of the cargo can open up liability to the sender of the shipment.
Manufacturer of Truck or Parts
Many parts and pieces of specialized equipment comprise large trucks, such as semis and tractor-trailers. Any defect or catastrophic failure of these parts can cause a truck driver to lose control or contribute to an accident on the road. If in the evaluation of your accident you discover that a faulty part or piece of equipment caused the accident, then the manufacturer of that part or of the truck itself could bear liability for your losses.
Drivers of commercial vehicles and their employers have a responsibility to ensure that their trucks undergo routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs when necessary. In many situations, a truck company will contract out the maintenance and repair duties required for a fleet of trucks. Failure on the part of a maintenance company to identify a problem or to complete repairs in a timely fashion could result in the company bearing some responsibility for the accident that occurred.
What Causes Most Truck Accidents?
Many truck accidents happen due to truck driver negligence. Professional truck drivers notoriously have to deal with tight deadlines and drive for long hours on the road with little time for rest. This can make truck drivers more susceptible to errors in judgment, which can lead to disastrous accidents that cause harm to unsuspecting occupants of nearby vehicles.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Inexperienced or undertrained truck driver
- Impaired driving due to the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Excess speed
- Maintenance failure
- Defective parts
- Improperly loaded cargo
Truck Accidents Are Preventable
Every truck accident is preventable. Some negligent act almost always catalyzes the events that led up to an accident. While we accept that accidents happen, when an avoidable truck accident causes injuries and death to innocent bystanders, we believe in pursuing justice and compensation.
What Protections Exist to Keep the Public Safe From Large Commercial Vehicles?
Since the beginning of the trucking industry, government agencies have identified and researched the dangers and risks associated with these massive vehicles. The U.S. offers some protections through its laws for the public but lags behind many of the world’s truck industry regulators. Two primary factors play an important role in the safety of commercial vehicles on the road: (1) underride protections and (2) the restrictions of allowable drive time for drivers.
Hours of Service Rules
Truck companies must abide by federal regulations that dictate how much time a driver can spend on the road on a given day. Called hour-of-service rules, these regulations restrict the amount of consecutive time that a driver can spend on the road. At their core, these laws attempt to protect the public from the reckless behaviors of truck companies and drivers. Violations of these federal mandates can subject the driver and the carrier to penalties and fines.
Unfortunately, hours of service violations occur every day throughout the country. Some drivers and companies consider it a risk worth taking to make an extra buck and, in turn, put in jeopardy the lives of drivers and passengers in motor vehicles along the roadways. The consideration of stiffer penalties and stronger enforcement of these regulations could reduce the risk to the public.
The raised bed of a semi-trailer and flatbed can create a hazardous void where a passenger vehicle can become lodged, causing horrific injuries to occupants. Federal law only requires rear-end underride guards, and in some cases, older trucks and trucks meeting certain guidelines may enjoy exemption from this mandate. The front end of a semi, as well as the long sides, has no mandatory protections in the U.S. to prevent smaller vehicles from getting lodged underneath the truck. The insufficiency of these underride protections leaves too much of a truck exposed and leaves nearby vehicles and occupants vulnerable when a truck accident occurs.
Can You Sue for a Truck Accident at Any Time?
Keep in mind that lawsuits that stem from a personal injury must comply with the statute of limitations in your state. In Massachusetts, a truck accident victim must file a lawsuit within three years of the date the accident occurred. If you do not file a legal action within this time, you will likely lose your right to seek compensation for your losses under the law.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
A truck accident can quickly become a nightmare for the involved drivers and passengers. The immense weight and force of an impact from a truck can cause catastrophic damage and injuries. If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you might feel unsure of what you need to do to best protect yourself and get the help you need. Below, we provide the following guide to help anyone who has sustained injuries in a Boston truck accident.
At the Scene of the Truck Accident
Truck accident scenes often prove chaotic, and involved individuals may have suffered injuries, feel confused, and not fully understand what to do in the immediate aftermath. If you have suffered a serious injury, you may even be unconscious. If you feel alert and safe, you should take certain immediate steps at the scene of the crash to help protect your rights and seek assistance.
Ensure Your Safety and Call 911 Immediately. First, you should ensure your safety and that you don’t face a risk of a secondary collision or other threat, such as a fire or explosion. If you feel physically able, find a safe location to get yourself off the road and away from danger. If you have sustained serious injuries and feel unable to move, stay put and call for help on your phone or by asking a nearby bystander to make the call.
Get Emergency Medical Services. Once you’ve contacted 911, request medical assistance. Truck accidents most frequently prove serious, and you may face serious injury even if you fail to realize it in the adrenaline-filled moments following the crash. You should await emergency medical personnel and have them evaluate you for injuries. You should seek follow-up care in an emergency room, even if you did not suffer visible injuries, to ensure that you haven’t suffered any hidden injuries.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, medical personnel may transport you to one of the following Boston emergency rooms with trauma designations:
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Tufts Medical Center
- Boston Medical Center
- Lahey Hospital & Medical Center
- Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Talk to the Police. Always notify the authorities of the truck accident and summon them to the scene of the crash. A police report can prove vital to your case and will also provide you with important details and identifying information of the parties involved, including the truck driver and his or her employer.
Take Photos and Gather Evidence. Taking certain steps at the scene of a truck accident can prove helpful for your case. If you feel alert, safe, and can do so, photograph or videotape the scene. In particular, you should aim to capture evidence of the location of the accident, the position of the cars, the damage to the vehicles, and the surrounding environment. If you or one of your passengers has visible injuries, you should also take a photograph while at the scene awaiting medical care.
After the Truck Accident
Once you’ve received treatment for your injuries, you should consider taking certain steps to prepare to file a claim or lawsuit against the parties responsible. If you feel unwell for some time after the accident, you can request the help of a friend or family member to assist you.
Follow Medical Treatment. After you receive emergency care for your injuries, you should continue to follow through with the treatment plan as set out by your medical providers. Proper medical treatment, and rehabilitation if necessary, will allow you to heal as best as possible from your injuries. Failure to follow recommended medical treatment can jeopardize the amount of compensation available to you for the injuries and losses you have suffered.
Keep a Log of Your Experience. Once you feel settled after the accident and have a moment to reflect on the events that have occurred, you should take a moment to begin a logbook or file where you can record your thoughts. You can do this in writing, through videos, or by typing on a mobile phone or computer. What happened to you and the aftermath of the accident and your injuries will prove pertinent in your case.
It can take time to negotiate and resolve a personal injury claim, and if your case must go to trial, it can take even longer. While your memories likely feel fresh now, they won’t remain as clear once the days, weeks, and months pass. To prevent losing your memory of the accident, you should notate anything that you believe could prove relevant to your case.
Information that you can record in your log may include:
- Communications with any parties to the case, whether at the scene or after the accident
- Your recollection of how the accident occurred as well as the injuries you suffered
- Updates on your recovery, such as the impacts of your injuries on your daily life, including your physical, emotional, and mental health
- Any other information you feel may help your case
Contact a Boston Truck Accident Attorney at Jacoby & Meyers LLP. Do not make any statements after an accident on the record or communicate with any insurance representatives or the other parties.
You must first contact a personal injury lawyer who can offer you a free evaluation of your case and explain the legal options and damages that you may qualify to pursue.
Contact us as soon as possible after your accident occurs at (877) 472-3061. Any delays in acquiring representation can hurt your case and potential outcome. Calling us now can protect your right to the compensation you deserve after a negligent trucker injured you.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
Check out some of our other reviews.