Massachusetts might not be the hotbed of truck accidents, such as states like Texas, Florida and California. But they still happen in our state – and when they do, they’re devastating. Trucks can easily crush passenger cars, as well as all of their occupants. To make matters even worse, the suffering from a commercial truck accident typically occurs due to negligence, and a momentary act of carelessness can often lead to catastrophe.
The attorneys with Penn Kestner & McEwen will be waiting to hear from you if you’ve suffered a severe injury in a truck accident. Our firm has a team of skilled, experienced lawyers who will work hard to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call (800) 732-3070 for a free evaluation of your case.
Massachusetts Truck Accident Statistics
Massachusetts has one of the lowest percentages of fatal accidents involving large trucks. Only 7.1% of fatal wrecks involved a commercial vehicle in 2019. There were only three states that had lower percentages – Arizona (6.4%), Rhode Island (5.4%) and New Hampshire (4.2%).
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Massachusetts
Even though our state may be safer than others regarding truck accidents, they still happen. These are just a few of the more common reasons why.
- Speeding. Truck drivers are probably even more prone to speeding than the average motorist. Since they have tight deadlines, they must get their loads to their destinations as quickly as possible. They’ll often exceed the speed limit as a result.
- Fatigue. Truckers will stay behind the wheel even when exhausted. The deadlines set by trucking companies are often unreasonable. Drivers feel they have to push past their limits, or they’ll lose their job. If you’ve ever tried to operate your car even when you’re a little tired, you know how difficult that can be. Try doing the same thing in an 80,000-pound behemoth. It’s virtually impossible to do so safely.
- Sudden shifts in weight in the trailer. If the company that loads a truck’s cargo does so negligently, that cargo can come loose during transit. The resulting shift in balance can cause the driver to lose control, crushing any nearby passenger vehicles.
- Lack of proper maintenance. Trucking companies care about one thing – meeting deadlines so they can boost profits. They’ll often take shortcuts, such as neglecting routine maintenance. A worn-out tire could easily blow out, causing a devastating accident.
Injuries Associated with Truck Accidents
The injuries resulting from truck accidents can be so catastrophic they require years of treatment. In many instances, victims will never be able to recover fully. Some of these injuries include the following:
- Severe cuts. When a truck collides with a car, that will usually lead to flying glass and jagged pieces of metal. These and other types of debris can cause lacerations that can be fatal if not treated immediately.
- Spinal cord injuries. The forces created by a collision between a truck and a car can damage a victim’s spinal cord so severely that they could be paralyzed for life.
- Traumatic brain injury. The same forces can cause any occupant of a passenger car to slam their head, either on a side window, the steering wheel, the dashboard or some other hard surface. This impact causes the brain to hit the side of the skull, often leading to severe nerve and tissue damage. A traumatic brain injury can be so severe the victim loses their ability to perform the most basic tasks.
Who’s Liable for My Injuries?
Truck accidents are among the most complex types of personal injury cases. The main reason is that there will often be multiple parties to blame. The truck driver, for example, could have fallen asleep due to severe fatigue. The trucking company may have neglected routine maintenance, and a manufacturer could have produced a faulty component that failed, contributing to the accident.
An attorney can investigate the accident to determine why it happened and who should be liable for your suffering.
Steps to Take After You’re Involved in a Truck Accident
It would be best to get medical attention, whether or not you think you’re badly hurt. There are a lot of injuries that do make themselves known for hours after they occur. Some injuries might not show symptoms for days. If you wait to see a doctor, you could wind up in much worse shape than if you had immediately received medical help.
Once you’re safe and getting the treatment you need, call a lawyer as soon as possible. The investigation mentioned above needs to take place immediately. Otherwise, crucial evidence could quickly disappear.
Factors that Determine Your Settlement Amount
It’s natural to want to know how much you might receive in a truck accident lawsuit. Typically, the worse your injury, the more you’ll get. Trucking insurance policies are often worth $1 million, $2 million or even more because truck accident injuries are usually much more severe.
The other major factor is evidence. The stronger the evidence, the stronger your case – and, potentially, the higher your amount of compensation.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
Your damages are the financial losses you’ve incurred due to the accident. There are tangible or economic damages, such as lost wages and medical bills.
There are also subjective or non-economic damages. These include pain and suffering, emotional and mental trauma, and others. A skilled lawyer will be able to put an accurate value on not only your economic damages but also your non-economic damages.
Why You Need to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney to Represent Your Case
An attorney will investigate the case and negotiate with the insurance company to help you obtain maximum compensation through a settlement. Expert lawyers know how to deal with high-priced insurance adjusters and will fight on your behalf to help you get every penny you deserve.