Belmont, MA Truck Accident Lawyer

Semi trucks, 18-wheelers, trucks used in construction, and other big-rig vehicles are extremely large and heavy. This means that when trucks do get involved in crashes, there is a good chance that victims inside a regular sedan, SUV, or even pickup truck will get badly hurt just by virtue of the mass of the object hitting them. Injuries victims of truck accidents sustain are often life-altering and will be a part of the victim’s life for as long as they live. This means that the victim will likely be dealing with long-term medical expenses on top of the expensive emergency treatment they received right after the crash.

You can get financial compensation from those who wronged you after a truck accident. You can take negligent parties to court and hold them accountable for their actions. To do that, you need competent, professional legal counsel in your corner.

To get an obligation-free case review from our team of truck accident lawyers, contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan by calling our office at the number (617) 925-6407.

Types of Truck Crashes in Belmont, MA

Classifying the type of truck accident you were in may seem like something that is not important to your case. However, detailing exactly how your crash happened can have benefits to your case. For example, it helps our truck accident lawyers explain your case to the jury in a clearer, easier-to-understand way. Being able to discuss the crash in detail adds authority to legal arguments and is much more persuasive and effective than saying something along the lines of “the truck crashed.” During the process of preparing your lawsuit, looking into the type of truck crash you got injured in can help narrow down the causes of the crash and help determine who you should sue in your claim.


Fishtailing is when the rear tires of a truck, for whatever reason, cannot keep moving in a straight line, and the rear of a truck begins to swing from side to side like a fish’s tail. Several different things can cause fishtailing. Driving too fast, especially in bad weather conditions, can cause fishtailing. Additionally, worn-out tires that cannot keep traction with the road can lead to fishtailing, and so can over-loading a truck. Fishtailing is dangerous because the driver does not have full control of their vehicle anymore, and it can be hard for other motorists to predict exactly how the truck is going to move next.


A jackknife accident involving a tractor-trailer is when the truck folds in on itself around the linking point like a pocket knife. Fishtailing can lead to jackknifing if it gets worse, but there are also other things that can lead to jackknifing, including over-loaded or top-heavy trailers, a worn-out tire suddenly popping, turning too quickly, driving too fast, or improper braking. Many of the causes of jackknifing boil down to user error, which is why truckers need to be properly trained.

Underride Accidents

Underride accidents occur when a vehicle crashes with a truck and slides under the trailer. These accidents are extremely dangerous because the trailer is likely to enter directly into the impacted vehicle’s cabin. Indeed, underride accidents often lead to extremely serious injuries or even death.

Because the consequences of underride accidents are so severe, many trucks have a safety feature called “Mansfield bars” on the rear of their trailers to try and prevent cars from sliding underneath upon impact. However, not every state requires this feature, and older trucks may not have them, so the danger of underride accidents is still there.

Common Motor Vehicle Accidents

While the aforementioned types of accidents are somewhat unique to commercial trucks, it should come as no surprise that truckers can get into accidents in all the same ways that regular drivers can. If a trucker was speeding, driving drunk, or otherwise violating traffic laws and got in an accident, that can make them liable for your injuries.

Damages from Truck Accident Claims in Belmont, MA

Another important part of building your case is figuring out what you want to request in damages. In civil cases, the goal of awarding damages is to “rewind” events so that the plaintiff is in the same position they were in prior to the truck accident. The reality, though, is that this is often not literally possible, so damages tend to be in the form of payouts from the defendant.

Your damages will be based on the injuries you incurred in the truck crash. This includes not just financial injuries like medical bills or damage to your vehicle. It can also include less tangible things like emotional distress, mental anguish, or pain and suffering. As long as you can demonstrate to the court that the defendant caused these things, you can be awarded damages for them by the jury.

The Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents in Belmont, MA

Plaintiffs do not have an unlimited amount of time to sue for damages. There are laws called statutes of limitations that put time limits on how long people have to file claims. For most personal injury claims in Massachusetts, plaintiffs have three years to file their claim per Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260, § 2A. Once those three years run out, courts cannot take your case, and you cannot recover damages.

Three years may feel like a long time, but when you take into account the time it takes to recover from injuries, gather information about your accident, and prepare initial filings, that time can go by in a flash. Therefore, it is always better to err on the side of caution and start talking to an attorney as soon as you can.

Get Professional Help from Our Truck Accident Attorneys in Belmont, MA Today

The Law Office of John J. Sheehan has truck accident lawyers ready to help you when you reach out to us by calling (617) 925-6407.