From speed and blood alcohol limits to rumble strips, the Federal Highway Administration’s provisions make driving safer for Massachusetts motorists. Still, every time you pull out of your driveway, there’s a chance you may be in a crash.
Truck accidents are especially dangerous. On a Massachusetts interstate highway, like I-90, I-95, I-93 and I-495, you may operate or encounter commercial vehicles weighing up to 80,000 pounds. Crashes with heavy vehicles cause untold pain and suffering.
If you are here because you or a loved one has been injured in a truck or car accident in Peabody, MA, you are in the right place. At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, we understand how stressed and confused you may feel after a collision. Our lawyers have over 20 years of experience with Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island laws, and we can help you recover your peace of mind and maximum compensation for the physical and emotional damages of your accident.
What to Do After a Massachusetts Truck Accident
The first thing you should do after a truck accident is check yourself and others for injuries. Call 911, if necessary. Never leave the scene, even if you feel the accident wasn’t your fault. Call the police to make a report.
Next, you can take some measures to make it easier to get money later for your accident expenses. For instance, you can take photographs of license plates, property damage, injuries, and surroundings. Ask the other driver for insurance papers and identification.
The moments just after a car accident are critical. In the confusion, it would be easy to forget to collect essential pieces of evidence. Call (978) 241-7133 to reach the Peabody location. Otherwise, call us toll-free at (800) 577-5188.
As soon as your truck accident occurs, you can reach out to our experienced Massachusetts legal team. A compassionate accident lawyer can support you from the very start, guiding you through each step to support your insurance and legal claims. We will thoroughly investigate your case, especially looking for the factors that contributed to your crash.
Why Knowing What Caused Your Crash is Important
Within a span of 10 years, there were over 2,500 traffic fatalities in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, thousands of other accidents resulted in injuries and property damage.
Safety laws and regulations exist to keep truckers and other motorists safe. According to Massachusetts law, the one who brought about the accident is responsible for the consequences.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI / OUI)
Adults aged 21 years or more should not drive if their blood alcohol levels are 0.08 or higher. Commercial truck drivers, including bus drivers, would be breaking the law if they operated their vehicles with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 or greater.
The legal drinking age is 21 in Massachusetts. An underage driver caught with a blood alcohol level above 0.02 would lose his or her right to operate a motor vehicle.
Alcohol impairment was a factor in nearly 50 percent of the Massachusetts driving fatalities between 2009 and 2018.
Violating traffic laws
Drivers are expected to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly. A negligent truck driver who does not respect traffic laws can cause great harm to others.
For example, in Massachusetts, the legal speed limit is usually 65 mph on rural and urban interstates. The speed limit on other roads varies.
Between 2009 and 2019, drivers exceeded the speed limit in 39 percent of the Massachusetts driving fatalities.
Driving carelessly or recklessly
Some truckers drive many hours per day. Driving while tired, or worse, falling asleep at the wheel can be deadly.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the hours that truck drivers are allowed to drive to minimize fatigue-related personal injury accidents. (In the summer of 2020, FMSA revised some hours of service regulations. Therefore, the date of your truck accident determines which restrictions apply.)
- Short-haul truckers have a daily work shift and mileage limit
- Truckers must follow specific rules during adverse driving conditions
- While on duty, truckers are required to take a 30-minute break after a particular number of hours
- Truck drivers with a sleeper berth must meet their minimum of off-duty hours by spending a fixed portion of their off-time in the berth
- Truckers can only drive so many days without a mandatory “restart”
An estimated 1.5 percent of fatal crashes were due to a sleeping or fatigued truck driver. In a research study, about 20 percent of truckers admitted falling asleep at the wheel in the past month. The varying contributing factors of fatigued driving included:
- Unreasonable delivery schedules
- Long drop off or pick up loading times
- Difficulty locating a legal rest stop
- Driving a refrigerated trailer
Failing to inspect or maintain trucks
A driver of a truck or any other type of vehicle must inspect and maintain it regularly to keep it in working order. In the trucking industry, vehicles are also subject to other inspections to ensure that their weight, cargo, and balance are within acceptable limits.
Responsible parties may include:
- The owner of the truck
- Mechanics hired to maintain the vehicle
- Manufacturers of automobile parts or the cargo items being hauled
- The shippers, loaders, or receivers of the goods
Overturning (rollover) trucks are responsible for 4 percent of all fatal large truck accidents and 3 percent of all nonfatal crashes.
Driving without proper training
According to FMCSA, “driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) requires a higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities than that required to drive a non-commercial vehicle.” To work as a CMV driver, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). If CDL holders are under 21, they can only travel within the State of Massachusetts.
To get a CDL in Massachusetts, truck or bus drivers must demonstrate knowledge of various topics depending on which class (A, B, or C) they would like to obtain:
- Hazardous materials
- Tank vehicles
- Passenger transport
- Air brakes
- School bus operations
- Double/ triple trailers
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers are familiar with truck licensing requirements. If a lack of experience, expired or invalid credentials, or other factors played a role in your personal injury truck accident, we can identify the liable party responsible for putting you and your family at risk.
Why Knowing Your Rights is Essential to Receive Just Compensation For a Personal Injury Claim
Massachusetts laws are in place to protect your interests in the case of an accident. Don’t let a truck accident needlessly destroy your future! Instead, a capable personal injury lawyer can help you accomplish the following.
Figuring out who is responsible for your accident
Determining negligence and liability is complicated since more than one party may be involved. Failing to identify the correct party can cause you to lose time and money.
A capable Massachusetts accident lawyer will investigate all the details to identify the liable parties. Then, the attorney will build your case to recover damages, such as:
- Medical bills not covered by your insurance provider
- Costs of ongoing health care
- Wage replacement for your missed days of work
- Wage compensation if you are unable to return to work
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Loss of support
- Settlements for pain and suffering
Meeting strict deadlines
Each state has time limits that govern different types of lawsuits. In Massachusetts, you can only receive your truck accident damages within a certain amount of time, so why not take the pressure of the deadlines off of yourself and put it on us?
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers wants to help you meet the requirements so your chances of recovery aren’t thrown out the window. A car accident attorney can work quickly to file your claim, but contacting us as soon as possible will ensure that we have the time necessary to build you the strongest possible case.
Scrambling to gather paperwork and collect evidence is not the best use of your time during your recovery. Instead, let our hard-working legal team handle the stressful details while you focus on your health and mental well-being. Contact us for a free personal injury claim case evaluation today to learn your legal options.
Avoiding unfair settlements or rejected claims
Work-related crashes cost employers about $65,000 each in nonfatal injury claims. If someone dies, the costs average out to $671,000 per death. Within a single year, motor vehicle crashes cost insurance companies $242 billion.
Truck and insurance companies are for-profit businesses. It is in their best interests to pay as little as possible for vehicle crashes. One mistake may be all it takes to give the company cause to reduce or even reject your claim. You may end up accepting what sounds like a fair settlement only to find yourself struggling to pay past and future medical bills.
Why take the chance? You Better Phone Stone®! Call us anytime at (978) 241-7133 to reach our local Peabody office. Our personal injury lawyers know your rights and how to use Massachusetts state law to protect them. Even if your claim has been rejected, a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can find out the reasons for your denial and appeal to the insurance company to reverse the unjust decision.
Recovering damages for a loved one
If your loved one died in a Massachusetts truck accident, eligible family members may be able to recover damages. A compassionate personal injury attorney can review your car accident details to determine if you qualify to file a wrongful death claim.
How to Obtain Free Information About Your Rights After a Truck Accident
According to the CDC, as the number of large trucks and the miles they drive increases each year, so does the number of large truck accidents. Most people would prefer to avoid hiring a lawyer or going to court, but you may need legal support to get fair compensation for your claim from your insurance company and the people responsible for your car accident.
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers want to make it as easy as possible for you to get your life back on track after a car or truck accident, and with no needless pressure. When you consult with us, There’s No Obligation, Just Information®, and you can talk with us by phone or by video conference. Reach an attorney at our Peabody, Massachusetts, office by calling us at (978) 241-7133, or send a message letting us know where we can meet you. Our initial attorney consultations are always free – that’s our Stone Cold Guarantee®.