If you were recently injured in a collision involving a semi-truck, consider working with a Boston truck accident lawyer to understand your options for recovery. The attorneys in our network can help you report the collision, file an insurance claim, and even pursue a truck accident lawsuit if you believe negligence may have contributed to your collision. For professional help and guidance, contact CarAccident.Law to see what may be possible in your case.
Case Types Boston Truck Accident Lawyers Work With
Boston truck traffic is so bad that local slang has even coined a new term for a common local accident. This term, “Storrowing,” has developed as shorthand for when over-height trucks have their roofs sheared off by bridges, which happens frequently on the notorious Storrow Drive. Boston saw at least one of these dangerous truck accidents every day during some parts of 2021. Cascading debris from Storrowing truck accidents is just one of the risks that Boston drivers are exposed to regularly.
Our Boston lawyers handle the following types of of truck accidents:
Truck Accident Statistics in Boston, MA
Bostonians share crowded roads with thousands of heavy freight trucks every day. Around 10,000 six-wheeled or larger trucks travel through downtown Boston on I-93 every weekday. The average truck can weigh up to 30 times more than a household motor vehicle. With these statistics combined, it’s no wonder that trucking accidents can be both deadly and unfortunately common events on the streets of Boston.
Approximately one in four traffic deaths from 2022 Massachusetts crash data involved pedestrians and bicyclists who are killed by drivers. Many of these deaths, including some of the most notable, were pedestrians or cyclists who were struck by a truck driver. For instance, after 71 year old George Luis Clemmer was struck and killed by a dump truck while riding his bicycle through the intersection of Huntington and Massachusetts Avenues, local groups organized to demand more protected bike lanes and legislation involving better rear-view mirrors and side guards for trucks. Known locally as the “Symphony Hall crash,” this collision was described by eye-witnesses as involving a truck driver who was “not looking” while turning, a common truck driver error.
Massachusetts Avenue has since been identified as having some of the highest crash rates throughout all of the City of Boston. This one arterial sees a higher density of traffic injuries than 97 percent of all other city streets.
While many Boston pedestrians and bicyclists cite Massachusetts Avenue as a common truck crash hazard, busy highways also see a heightened risk of semi-truck collisions. The Boston region sees the highest truck traffic volume on the following streets, according to the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization:
- I-93 south of Boston – 11,000 to 19,000 trucks per day
- I-93 north of Boston – 9,000 to 11,000 trucks per day
- I-95 east of I-93 – 5,000 to 9,000 trucks per day
- I-95 between I-90 and I-93 – 9,000 to 19,000 trucks per day
- I-95 south of I-90 – 5,000 to 11,000 trucks per day
- I-90 between I-495 and I-95 – 5,000 to 11,000 trucks per day
- I-90 between I-95 and East Boston – 5,000 to 9,000 trucks per day
- I-495 north of I-90 – More than 20,000 trucks per day
- I-495 south of I-90 – Up to 17,000 trucks per day
- Route 1 between the Tobin Bridge and Lynnfield – 5,000 to 9,000 trucks per day
- Route 3 north of I-95 – 5,000 to 9,000 trucks per day
- Route 3 between Braintree and Weymouth – 5,000 to 9,000 trucks per day
- Route 24 in Canton – 5,000 to 9,000 trucks per day
Common Causes of Boston Truck Accidents
86.9 percent of Massachusetts communities depend on trucks to deliver essential goods to their shelves and pantries. There are 129,328 tons transported by trucks every day in Massachusetts. According to the Trucking Association of Massachusetts, one in 25 jobs in the state is in the trucking industry. These numbers show the importance of coexisting safely with trucks on and around Boston roadways. The sheer volume of truck traffic on Boston roads is part of what causes the risk to drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and trucking professionals every day throughout the state.
The average semi-truck with a trailer weighs around 35,000 pounds without cargo. A semi-truck with a loaded trailer may weigh up to 80,000 pounds legally on US roads. On its own without a trailer, a semi-truck weighs anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 pounds. These massive sizes mean that truck drivers must exercise additional caution when making left turns, braking, and gauging distance.
The attorneys in our network frequently see the following factors contribute to Boston trucking accidents:
- Blind spots: A truck’s blind spots are also called “No Zones.” Just because truck drivers are elevated higher off the road does not mean they always have better visibility. In fact, truck drivers experience serious blind spots directly in front, behind, and along each side of the truck. Traveling in a truck driver’s blind spots can limit their ability to make safe choices while on the road. A truck driver may cause a crash or fatality when they fail to adequately check these blind spots, especially when making left turns. While many truck drivers try to be careful, their large blind spots and limited turning radius are a common hazard on the streets of Boston.
- Truck driver fatigue: For over 70 years, truck drivers have reported fatigue as a major safety concern that can lead to serious and fatal crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has revealed that studies show 65 percent of truck drivers admit to driving while drowsy to follow through on a job. What’s more, nearly half of truck drivers surveyed confessed to falling asleep while driving at times. In spite of this disturbing data, truck driver hours of services regulations have increased allowable driving hours from 10 to 11 hours behind the wheel during a 14 hour work day.
- Faulty truck parts: When truck components do not operate properly, they put everyone on the road at risk. Faulty vehicle parts may be as simple as poor mirror or steering design, or as serious as malfunctioning brakes. Regardless, truck companies have an obligation to ensure that their vehicles are functioning properly. Liability for an accident caused by faulty truck parts could also belong to a distribution company or the third-party maintenance company they hire to inspect their trucks for safety and functionality.
- Distracted driving: Nine people in the US are killed every day in crashes involving distracted driving. Massachusetts law has made it illegal to drive with any kind of mobile device, unless the device is in hands-free mode, as a response to combat distracted driving.
- Speeding: According to the Boston Herald, speeding is a leading cause of fatal accidents in Massachusetts. Speeding is attributed to around 25 percent of fatal crashes in Boston. Fatalities in Boston spiked in 2020, as well as speeding rates, according to Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition data.
- Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo: Poorly loaded cargo can cause accidents not just for drivers immediately behind large trucks, but also for others on the roadway who may be struck by debris. Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo can cause a chain reaction of sudden decisions and dangerous conditions, leading to large scale pileups, jackknife and rollover accidents, and fatal injuries.
- Negligent hiring practices: When truck drivers are not properly screened or are hired in haste, unsafe or inexperienced drivers may be put behind the wheel of heavy freight vehicles. These negligent decisions can lead to injuries or death and may create civil liability for the distribution company that hired an unqualified truck driver.
- Lack of training: When distribution companies fail to train a truck driver who is later involved in an accident, it may be held accountable through a lawsuit with the assistance of a Boston truck accident injury lawyer.
Our accident attorneys will know the right questions to ask and evidence to collect to build the strongest possible truck crash injury lawsuit on your behalf. They have experience with the trucking community and know what kinds of damages can be linked to a truck driver’s negligence versus their employer. The details of what caused your accident are an important factor in filing your case and in ensuring that you can recover the maximum amount of compensation available.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Because of the heavy weight of trucks and trailers, trucking accidents are often associated with some of the most severe crash injuries. For example, commonly reported truck crash injuries include:
Who Can be Held Liable for a Truck Accident in Boston?
Trucking accidents usually cause extensive damage. As a result, settlement rates are often higher for victims of truck crashes compared to car accidents. In a commercial trucking collision, several parties may be liable for injuries caused by a crash, including:
- The truck driver: If the truck driver was negligent and their actions contributed to the crash by at least 51 percent, they may be held accountable with the help of a Boston truck accident attorney. For instance, if a truck driver failed to check their mirrors before making a turn and hit another car, pedestrian, or bicyclist, then their actions may make them liable for the resulting damage.
- The truck driver’s employer: If the truck driver’s employer failed to provide adequate training for the driver, or put them in a situation that caused the dangerous scenario, they may bear liability for the ensuing damages.
- Cargo loaders: When cargo shifts during transit after being improperly loaded, the parties responsible for securing the load may be liable for a subsequent accident. Furthermore, cargo or debris may fall out of the truck if it was not properly secured, creating additional road hazards.
- The truck manufacturer: If the truck is not safe for transit and was sent out anyways, the trucking company or the original manufacturer of the vehicle may be considered liable for a crash resulting from the defect.
- A third-party truck maintenance professional: If a trucking maintenance provider negligently certified a damaged part as safe or ready for travel, they may be held liable for a truck accident by a Boston lawyer.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards established by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 can have a direct impact on the outcome of a Boston truck accident lawsuit. In all states, including Massachusetts, carriers and drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must follow hours of service regulations set forth in 49 CFR 395. Hours of service are calculated based on driving time and work shift length, and specify a number of rest periods that must be a certain length in order to avoid driver fatigue.
Hours of service regulations are not perfect, and there are many exceptions. For instance, on-duty/not driving periods may still qualify as mandatory 30 minute breaks after eight hours of driving, and short-haul exceptions permit 14 hour days for truckers. However, if a truck driver who caused your trucking accident violated federal hours of service regulations in order to meet an impossible deadline imposed by their boss, for example, you may have a valid claim for damages.
Recovering Boston Truck Accident Damages
How much you can expect to receive after a truck accident depends on the specifics of your crash, as well as who was at fault. CarAccident.Law’s case calculator can help you understand what can be considered as recoverable damages after a truck crash and provide a rough estimate of your compensable losses.
Examples of recoverable Boston truck accident damages include:
- Medical bills, including ongoing and future recovery costs
- Time taken off work
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- Physical and emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
A Boston trucking accidents lawyer would take many elements into account when building your case, such as roadway hazards, weather at the time of the crash, debris, and traffic patterns. An expert Boston trucking collision lawyer will also know to examine hiring practices, previous claims of negligence, and other crash rates involving the trucking company in question.
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Why You Should Hire a Lawyer after a Truck Accident
After a trucking accident, you may have severe or even catastrophic injuries that require extensive rest and recovery. Because of this, the last thing you should consider doing is going up against a commercial insurer or trucking company for appropriate compensation. You may also have increased medical bills and even need to consider career changes to accommodate the scope of the damage.
Certain damages are not recoverable, and others are severely limited in the amount you can recover, under the mandatory minimum insurance coverage required in Boston. Specifically, you can only recover certain medical bills, a percentage of your missed wages, and some property damage costs in a no-fault insurance claim and bodily injury insurance claim. Insurance claims often fall short in covering the full extent of a trucking accident. You may need to file a Boston truck accident lawsuit to recover your future medical costs, diminished earning capacity, rehabilitation costs, punitive damages, and more. In either case, a Boston attorney can help ensure you do not accept a low settlement offer and even take your case to trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached.
A truck accident attorney serving the Boston area would be an expert negotiator, trained to fight for rightful compensation on your behalf. The expert Boston trucking accident attorneys with CarAccident.Law know what is a reasonable settlement and what amount you should turn down and will leave no stone unturned when it comes to proving liability and suing for the maximum amount possible.
The following represent some frequently asked questions of our Boston truck accident injury attorneys:
What are most lawyer fees for a truck accident?
Most accident lawyers take cases on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing up front and will only pay for their services if the case is successful. Most Boston truck wreck lawyers take a percentage of the overall settlement so you pay nothing out-of-pocket. Percentages vary, so it is important to work with an experienced and reputable Boston truck accident lawyer. Otherwise, you may find yourself overpaying for legal services from a bad truck injury attorney, or accepting a low settlement amount that you could have avoided with a more qualified firm.
How much are most truck accident settlements?
Because of the larger scale of damage in a typical truck accident case, Boston lawyers know to seek out higher compensatory amounts in a lawsuit. However, the actual amount that you may receive depends on the severity of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, the parties involved, additional damages, as well as the skill of your Boston truck accident injury attorney. It is not uncommon for an attorney to recover thousands of dollars on behalf of their injured client. Trucking accident attorneys in Boston will know who and how to sue for compensation after a semi-truck crash.
When should you get a lawyer for a truck accident?
If you have been involved in a truck crash, you have likely suffered from injuries, trauma, and property damage. Let us connect you with a Boston trucking injury lawyer as soon as possible to find out how they can help you recover more from your case. After you have spoken to a doctor or other medical professional, the first call you make should be to CarAccident.Law for further assistance. The qualified Boston trucking accident injury lawyers in our network are ready to help.
How Can a Boston Truck Accident Attorney Help Your Case?
A truck accident can be a traumatic experience with unforeseen consequences and lasting damage. Our Boston truck accident lawyers know how to appropriately calculate the scope of what you may be owed and who to pursue compensation from.
Your attorney will be by your side every step of the way during your recovery. They can help with negotiating an insurance claim, representing your case in court, communicating with your medical team and police, keeping track of your bills, costs, and coverage, getting eyewitness reports, seeking out additional liable parties, and more. If your Boston truck accident case goes to court, your lawyer will take care of all the filing details and initial negotiations and represent your interests in front of the jury.