Massachusetts Truck Accident FAQs:
1. What should I do after being involved in a truck accident in Massachusetts?
If you have been involved in a truck accident, seeking medical attention should be your top priority. However, if you are capable of doing so, there are several important things you can do that will help your lawyer with your case. Here is what to do after a truck accident:
- Collect as much information as possible, including the truck driver’s name, the name of the trucking company, the truck’s license plate number, and the trucker’s insurance details.
- Take photos of your vehicle, the truck, the scene of the accident, and any other vehicles involved.
- Call 911 and obtain a copy of the police report.
- Take note of anything the truck driver says or does that may suggest the cause of the accident. Does the truck driver appear intoxicated? Did he or she complain that the truck’s brakes failed? Even the smallest details can help your claim for compensation.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
2. Is overloading grounds to sue the trucking company?
Generally speaking, yes. While laws prohibit trucking companies from loading more weight than their trucks can handle, overloading is a common practice because it saves time and cuts down on expenses. However, overloading puts semi trucks and tractor trailers at greater risk of suffering mechanical malfunctions, and also makes them harder to stop. If overloading is to blame for your truck accident injuries, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.
3. What are some other common causes of semi truck and tractor trailer accidents?
Along with overloading, other common causes of truck accidents that can give rise to claims for financial compensation include:
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue and falling asleep behind the wheel
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription medications
- Following too closely
- Improper maintenance and inspections
- Improperly trained and unlicensed drivers
- Jackknifing due to driver error
- Mechanical failures such as faulty brakes, tire failures, and transmission problems
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Unsecured loads
4. Can I sue even if I was partially at fault in the accident?
Yes. Massachusetts is among the plurality of states that follow a rule known as “modified comparative fault.” This means that you can recover damages for a truck accident claim as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault in causing the collision. However, the amount you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
As a side note, you should never assume that you are at fault in a collision. Determining liability requires a thorough assessment of the facts and extensive legal analysis. Even if you think you are at fault, the law may say otherwise. It is always best to speak with a lawyer before making any judgments about your potential claim.
5. Can I sue if I was driving in the truck’s blind spot at the time of the collision?
While driving in a truck’s “no zones” can be dangerous, it does not automatically bar you from recovering financial compensation. Truck drivers still owe a duty not to collide with other vehicles on the roads. Depending on exactly what happened, the location of your vehicle might come into play under the “modified comparative fault” rule mentioned above. However, you should discuss the specific details of the accident with an attorney for a complete case evaluation.
6. How do I sue a trucking company?
Before you sue the trucking company, it is important to make sure that you have a viable claim. While many truck accidents involve negligence or misconduct by the trucking company or one of its employees, this is not necessarily always the case. For example, if the accident was caused by defective brakes or tires, you may need to sue the manufacturer instead. Similarly, if unsafe road conditions are to blame, you may have a claim against a government agency instead of the trucking company.
If the trucking company is a proper defendant in your case, we strongly recommend hiring an attorney to sue on your behalf.
7. When should I hire a truck accident lawyer?
Any time you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Truck accident cases tend to be complicated, and without experienced legal representation, you are unlikely to receive the full amount you are owed for your injuries and losses. We do offer free consultations, so feel free to give us a call to discuss your truck accident claim with no obligation.
Speak with a Massachusetts Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Peter Ventura, Attorney at Law, provides knowledgeable and experienced legal representation for truck accident victims in Massachusetts. Peter has recovered millions of dollars for his clients, and will fight vigorously to win the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free truck accident consultation, call (508) 755-7535 or send Peter an email today.