Injured In A Truck Accident?
Fight Back. Our Lawyers Deliver Results
Commercial truck accidents can be devastating. We know because our truck accident lawyers deal with them every day. When a tractor-trailer or another large commercial vehicle crashes into a car, the injuries are often serious or even fatal. That's because 18-wheelers and other large trucks often weigh 10 or even 20 times more than most cars.
But it's not just the size of the trucks that makes these accidents so complicated. When a truck driver crashes into your car, you're not just dealing with the other driver. In many cases, you'll need to negotiate with the trucking company that employs the driver, their insurance companies (as the cab and trailer usually have separate insurance) and possibly other companies as well.
Each company has a lawyer or an entire team of attorneys working for them. Dealing with all of them on your own can be nearly impossible, even if the truck driver clearly caused your crash. And to make matters worse, they might do everything they can to reduce or deny your claim altogether. That's why it's critical that you have an experienced attorney on your side, fighting for your best interests.
At the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone in Massachusetts and the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli in Connecticut, we know how to take on trucking companies and win. That's because our experienced truck accident attorneys have dedicated their careers to successfully resolving accidents involving large, commercial vehicles. We know how the legal system works and we have the case results to prove it.
Demand Justice Now
"What type of truck accident are you dealing with?"
There are many different kinds of commercial truck accidents. We deal with all sorts of accidents caused by truck drivers every single day. Many of the most common truck accidents we handle in Massachusetts and Connecticut include:
- Rear-end truck accident - When a large truck crashes into the back of a car, the consequences can be devastating, especially in high-speed, highway truck accidents. People traveling in cars often sustain serious back and neck injuries, including whiplash.
- Underride accidents - A type of rear-end accident, underride accidents typically involve tractor-trailers that stop or slow down suddenly without warning. When this happens, the car behind sometimes can't stop fast enough and crashes into the back of the trailer. Due to the difference in height between tractor-trailers and cars, many cars get trapped under the trailer.
- Rollover accident - Large, commercial trucks (especially tractor-trailers) need to be loaded properly. Otherwise, the contents of the truck can shift, causing the truck to tip over, especially if the truck goes too fast around a corner. Rollover truck accidents also sometimes occur when trucks stop too fast or get hit in the side by another vehicle.
- Jackknife accident - This type of accident involves the cab of a tractor-trailer and the trailer folding back into each other, often at a 90-degree angle. Jackknife truck accidents often occur when a truck driver slams on the brakes or skids out of control.
- Head-on collision - These are among the most serious accidents we handle at our law firms. Due to the large size of many commercial trucks, they're often involved in many fatal truck accidents when they crash head on into a car or motorcycle.
The severity of your accident depends on many different factors - the speed of the truck, weather conditions, road conditions and more. Even the type of truck involved can make a dramatic difference. Serious truck accidents often involve the following commercial vehicles:
- Tanker trucks
- Delivery trucks
- Delivery vans
- Dump trucks
- Big rigs, tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers
- Other large commercial vehicles
Whatever type of truck crashed into your car, wherever your accident happened, we can help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Whether you're dealing with a rear-end truck accident on I-95 in Boston or a jackknife tractor-trailer accident on I-91 in Hartford, we can help.
- Causes of Truck Accidents
- Truck Driver Negligence
- Trucking Company Negligence
- Tractor Trailer Accidents
- Truck Accident Liability
- Proving Negligence in Truck Accidents
- Truck Accident Infographic
Truck drivers often walk away with barely a scratch from the accident. The people in cars aren't so lucky. They may need to be taken away by ambulance for emergency medical care. Catastrophic injuries like amputations, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries are common.
If you or loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a truck driver, your medical bills can skyrocket. You may be unable to return to work. You may face long-term costs related to permanent injuries or disabilities. The last thing you need to worry about is whether you have the right lawyer handling your case.
You only have a limited amount of time to get the money you deserve for your accident. The statute of limitations (deadline for taking legal action) is 2 years in Connecticut and 3 years in Massachusetts. That might seem like a long time. But if you wait to take legal action, the proof you need to build your case might be gone. Evidence disappears. Memories fade. People change their stories.
Don't take chances with your truck accident claim. Take action. Contact us and find out how we can help you. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 and schedule your free case evaluation today. We have 18 offices located throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Causes of truck accidents can range from distracted drivers to poorly maintained trucks and other issues. The following are common causes of truck accidents. If you were injured as a result of any of the following causes, you may be entitled to financial compensation:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while fatigued
- Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on a cellphone
- Overloaded trailer
- Mechanical failure such as malfunctioning brakes, turn indicators
- Failing to properly maintain the truck
- Inexperienced driver
- Poor or dangerous road conditions
- Aggressive driving, including speeding
Truck driver error plays a part in such accidents. But it's always important to investigate the role of the driver's employer or the trucking company. For example, a driver who causes a speeding accident may have faced pressure from his employer to reach a destination in an unreasonable amount of time. Other times, trucking companies hire unlicensed or inexperienced drivers. Or perhaps the employer failed to conduct a thorough background check and hired a driver with a history of reckless driving.
As your attorney, we can conduct a thorough investigation to determine who's responsible and hold that individual or company accountable. We want to help you get the compensation you need and deserve to get your life back on track. If you have been injured by a truck in Boston, Hartford or anywhere else in Massachusetts or Connecticut, contact us right now. We offer a free case evaluation to all potential clients. And you only pay if you win. It's that simple.
When you see tractor trailers or other, large commercial vehicles on the road, you trust that the drivers know what they're doing - that they received professional training for handling a big rig, had enough sleep the night before and have no distractions behind the wheel. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.
Many drivers lack the training they need to safely operate a commercial vehicle and make smart decisions behind the wheel. Or perhaps they did have the proper training at one time but haven't taken a refresher course in years. As a result, they don't know the latest rules and regulations governing commercial truck drivers.
Truck drivers sometimes exceed the number of hours they can legally drive in an attempt to reach a destination faster. When they do, they violate federal "hours-of-service" rules that dictate how long drivers can operate at one time. These Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules are in place for an important reason: to prevent exhausted drivers from causing truck accidents.
From fatigue to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the negligent or reckless behavior of truck drivers needs to be taken into consideration after a serious accident. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident, you need an experienced attorney who can protect your rights. You need the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone or the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli.
Truck driver negligence accidents can be complicated, with multiple layers of liability. As soon as your accident happens, the trucking company and insurance company might investigate your crash and search for ways to minimize how much money you receive for your accident. That's why it's critical that you contact us right away. A delay may affect your rights.
Protect Your Rights
How Driver Error Plays a Role in Truck Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that driving too fast for road conditions remains one of the top types of truck driver negligence in accidents. Other factors that often contribute to truck accidents include:
- Drunk driving
- Texting while driving
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Changing lanes without signaling or looking for a vehicle in the other lane
At the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone, we know that even "minor" truck accidents can create major headaches for victims and their families. A fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Even at a low speed, the big rig can cause serious damage to a passenger vehicle that may weigh 4,000 pounds or less. The following are among the serious injuries we see in accidents caused by negligent truck drivers:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal organ damage
- Neck and back injury
- Broken bones
An accident that results in death may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. We understand the serious nature of your case. That's why we want to help you get the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive under state law.
While a negligent truck driver may be named in a lawsuit, it's important to examine the role of the driver's employer. Trucking companies must use strict standards when hiring, training and supervising truck drivers. They are also responsible for properly maintaining their fleet.
When a trucking company fails to do its job adequately, there can be tragic consequences. Often, the cause of a bad truck accident can be traced back to the reckless decisions of a trucking company.
Examples of trucking company negligence include:
- Incompetent hiring practices - Sometimes trucking companies cut corners in the hiring process and put inexperienced, unqualified, or dangerous drivers behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound 18-wheeler. In many cases, trucking companies fail to conduct a comprehensive background check on a prospective driver. They may hire someone who has a history of moving violations or someone with a checkered past - both of which should have raised red flags during the hiring process. In some cases, the trucking company doesn't even confirm if the trucker has a valid CDL (Commercial Driver's License).
- Unacceptable training, supervision, and oversight - Trucking companies that don't adequately train, supervise, and manage their drivers are being negligent. Before they ever sit down behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, truckers should be educated about safety rules and regulations and be trained to drive in hazardous weather. They also need to be prepared to maneuver through poor road conditions and appropriately react to emergency situations. A supervisor or safety director should be qualified for their job and be able to sufficiently manage the truck drivers they oversee. Supervisors should send drivers on safe routes and make sure dispatchers aren't putting fatigued drivers on the road. The trucking company should be proactive with conducting training seminars and have an appropriate budget for ongoing safety training. The company as a whole should also be up to date with the current CDL (Commercial Driver's License) and DOT (Department of Transportation) requirements.
- Overweight trucks - There are good reasons why there are laws in place to regulate the weight of tractor-trailers. It's because 18-wheelers that are overloaded can cause damage to roads, bridges, and overpasses, and compromise their structural integrity. Tractor-trailers that are too heavy are also tougher for truckers to operate, which puts the trucker and other drivers at risk of getting into a crash. While a larger cargo load usually means an increase in profits, trucking companies that overload their trucks are being negligent.
- Poor truck maintenance - Even though some semi-truck engines can last up to 1 million miles, other components of the 18-wheeler aren't nearly as durable. Trucking companies should routinely maintain and service their tractor-trailers to ensure the safety of their drivers and everyone else on the road. This includes regular inspection of tire tread and tire pressure, seeing if lights need to be replaced, testing underride guards, and maintaining the truck's brakes and transmission. If any of these things fail while the trucker is driving the 18-wheeler, it can cause a serious accident that results in severe injury.
If you've been injured in a truck accident, you'll probably face an uphill battle to recover compensation for your damages. That's because the trucking company's insurance provider typically has a team of attorneys and investigators that they can send out to the scene of the crash to look for physical evidence, interview witnesses, and talk to the police. All that can have an impact on your case and tilt the odds in the trucking company's favor - but you can level the playing field with an experienced truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone.
A fully loaded, 18-wheeler commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 4,000 pounds. Due to this size disparity, collisions between tractor trailers and other vehicles often result in serious or even fatal injuries.
Many factors play a role in accidents caused by tractor trailers. These include:
- Excessive speed - Commercial truck drivers attempting to make up for lost time due to traffic may drive 10 or 20 mph over the speed limit. That might not seem like a big deal. But the faster a truck travels, the less time the driver has to safely stop and avoid an accident.
- Distracted drivers - Even though texting while driving is illegal nationwide for all commercial truck drivers, many still do so. Others eat while driving, operate a GPS, watch videos or engage in other activities that take their attention away from the road in front of them.
- Poorly maintained trucks - Trucking companies have a legal obligation to properly maintain their fleet of trucks. This includes routine maintenance and making sure the truck's tires have enough tread to safely operate. When trucking companies fail to do so, accidents can occur.
- Defective brakes - Poorly maintained brakes often result in serious truck accidents. That's because the truck cannot stop safely to avoid an accident, especially if a truck driver is driving on a highway. At 65 mph, most tractor-trailers need 525 feet to fully stop, and that's with good brakes. If the brakes aren't working well, a serious rear-end collision may occur.
- Overloaded trucks - In an effort to maximize profits, many truck drivers or trucking companies put more items than legally allowed in the trailer. As a result, the truck becomes less stable and harder to control, especially on highways.
- Hazardous cargo - When a tractor-trailer carrying hazardous materials crashes into a passenger vehicle, the accident can be exceptionally serious. The vehicles might burst into flames or explode due to flammable or hazardous materials.
On Your Side
How a lawyer can help with your tractor-trailer accident
Different laws and higher standards apply to commercial truck drivers who operate tractor-trailers. In many cases, federal laws apply to such drivers since they frequently drive from one state to another as part of their work. Semi-truck drivers also need to carry greater amounts of insurance coverage, such as commercial policies.
Lawyers need to know these laws inside and out. Otherwise, their clients might not receive the compensation they rightfully deserve after an accident. Our attorneys thoroughly understand the legal system in Massachusetts and Connecticut and how these laws apply to tractor-trailer accidents. That's why we have such a strong track record of success with millions in recoveries for accident victims and their families.
Depending on the circumstances, we may need to consult with an accident reconstructionist. We may need to examine the truck's "black box" data and survey the accident scene. We also know how to deal with uncooperative trucking companies or insurance providers that do everything they can to deny or reduce your claim. We know how to take them on and win!
Who caused your truck accident? That's the million-dollar question we seek to answer when we handle your case. And if someone did something to cause your accident, you can be sure we do everything we can to uncover the truth.
The area of law concerning who's responsible for causing an accident is called liability law. Determining who caused your accident might seem straightforward. But in many instances, proving that another person or company is liable for your truck accident can be a challenge.
The obstacles you may face after your accident involving liability law include:
- Trucking company denies doing anything wrong.
- Truck driver claims you did something to cause the accident.
- Company that loaded the truck refuses to provide details about loading process.
Your Money Matters
Who is responsible for compensating me?
Just because the truck driver, the trucking company or someone else doesn't want to cooperate doesn't mean that you have to pay for their mistakes. If someone else caused your crash, we can pursue legal action against them. People who may be responsible for financially compensating you for your accident include:
- Truck driver (Common examples of liability: impaired driving, falling asleep at the wheel, driving recklessly)
- Trucking company (hired inexperienced driver, forced driver to work without breaks, falsifying trucking records)
- Company that loaded the truck (improperly loaded truck, overloaded truck, failed to properly secure contents of truck)
- Manufacturer of products on truck being transported (defective packaging, unmarked hazardous or flammable products)
- Manufacturer of truck, its tires, brakes or other truck parts (defective truck parts)
Hold Truckers Accountable
Determining Who's Responsible in a Truck Crash
While truck driver negligence might have been a factor, we can look at the role of the trucking company as well. The federal agency charged with overseeing the industry is called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Sometimes trucking companies cut corners and commit FMCSA violations. They may hire an untrained driver or hire someone without conducting an adequate background check.
In handling a typical trucking case, we look at the following issues that may prove useful in obtaining a favorable settlement or judgment:
- The driver's background
- Fleet maintenance records
- The trucking company's hiring, training or supervising practices
- The truck driver's log
- The driver's history of accidents or moving violations
We Never Rest
"How can my lawyer prove who caused my truck accident?"
We know what it takes to maximize compensation for victims of truck accidents. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, we may consult with accident reconstructionists, medical professionals and other experts who can help strengthen your injury claim. We know that the trucking and insurance companies typically have lawyers working behind the scenes to protect their best interests. That's one of the reasons why we work so hard for our clients. We know that you need an experienced and determined attorney to get the results you deserve.
An accident can happen in a flash because a truck driver made an irresponsible choice. The driver might have been sending or receiving a text message or might have been impaired by alcohol or drugs. There could be any number of possible contributing factors in a trucking accident. And as your attorney, we can thoroughly investigate your crash to determine responsibility.
We understand your case is about more than just the money. It's about justice. It's about holding careless and reckless individuals and companies accountable. For a free consultation, call 800-WIN-WIN-1 today or complete our online contact form. We work on a contingency fee basis. That means you don't pay us unless you win. Find out what we can do for you. Contact us right now.
The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone and the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli - we mean business!