Somerville Truck Accident Lawyer
Auto accidents are very traumatic and dangerous experiences. People are often severely injured and suffer physical pain and emotional and mental trauma after an accident. Truck accidents are especially dangerous because trucks are so big and heavy. Personal injury lawsuits for truck accidents will usually follow very similar procedures as any other vehicle accident case. However, the parties involved may be very different and your damages may be greater.
Trucks are enormous, powerful pieces of heavy machinery. Trucks are frequently used to haul industrial equipment or other goods across long distances, and they are common on roads and highways. Because they are built so differently, they react differently in case of an accident. a truck driver cannot stop their vehicle on a dime. In addition, their blind spots may be different, so truckers do not always see all the cars around them. Truck drivers and trucking companies must be extra careful when on the roads. If they are not, people like you could get seriously hurt.
If you were harmed in a truck accident in Massachusetts, you can sue the responsible parties and claim the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses and other costs. Our Somerville truck accident lawyers can help you get started. to schedule a confidential, free legal consultation with our experienced staff, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 539-8366.
Time Limits for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Truck Accident in Somerville
When filing any personal injury claim in Massachusetts, the state sets a specific time limit. If you miss your deadline, you may be barred from ever filing your lawsuit, and you will not recover any compensation. According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260 § 2A, a plaintiff has three years from the date of their truck accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. While three years seems like a long time to start a lawsuit, that time is necessary to gather evidence and build up your case.
In some cases, meeting the three-year statutory deadline is difficult because a plaintiff cannot file independently. You may toll (pause) the statute of limitations if you meet certain exceptions. a person who cannot file due to a disability may toll the statute for as long as their disability lasts.
Disability in this sense does not necessarily refer to people who are differently abled. Instead, it refers to people who are incapable of filing a lawsuit. For example, if your injuries after a truck accident were so severe that you were in a coma, you obviously could not file. If you were in a coma for a year after the accident, that year would not count against your time to file your lawsuit.
Similarly, people under the age of 18 cannot take legal action on their own behalf and may toll the statute of limitations. For minors, the statute may not begin to run until they reach the age of majority.
Contact our Somerville truck accident lawyers today to discuss when you can file your lawsuit and if any exceptions to the statute of limitation may apply.
Parties Who May Be Liable for a Truck Accident in Somerville, MA
Truck accident cases differ substantially from car accident scenarios because many different parties may share in the responsibility. with cars, the driver is usually also the owner, and there are no commercial interests involved. In a truck accident situation, many more entities could have contributed to the cause of the collision.
Responsible parties could include:
- The supplier who loaded the truck
- The company handling truck maintenance
- The driver
- The company that trained the driver
- The manufacturer of the truck or component parts
- The company who set the schedule or established operating practices under which the driver worked
Our experienced Somerville truck accident lawyers could investigate to determine the cause of an accident and the parties who may be held liable. Each potentially responsible person or entity could have contributed to causation in numerous ways. There following are common forms of negligence that cause truck accidents in Somerville.
Driving errors are a form of negligence where motorists fail to follow the rules of the road. This covers a number of circumstances that may cause truck accidents. The following are some common examples of driver errors:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Running red lights
- Braking too late
- Driving recklessly
Accordingly, driving errors can come in numerous forms. Our Somerville truck accident lawyers can help victims determine if the accident that caused their injuries occurred because of a driving error.
Distracted driving involves situations where a driver takes their attention away from the road. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in the U.S. today. A truck driver’s actions may constitute negligence if they were texting on a cell phone, talking on the phone, using a navigation system, or eating while driving. When a truck driver is driving distracted, the results can be devastating. Our Somerville truck accident lawyers can help you find out if your accident was caused by a distracted driver.
Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving is another dangerous form of negligence that can cause truck accidents. When truck drivers are in an accident, the size of their vehicle can cause more severe damages. Accordingly, truck drivers are held to an even higher responsibility to not drink and drive.
Unfortunately, drunk driving still causes truck accidents in Somerville. Our Somerville truck accident lawyers can help victims recover compensation if they were injured because a truck driver was operating a vehicle under the influence.
Truck drivers are sometimes under a time crush to reach their destinations on time. This can cause truck drivers to stay awake for extended periods of time before finishing their route. However, truck drivers can cause serious injuries because they were driving fatigued. Accordingly driving fatigued is another form of negligence that can cause a truck accident.
There are occasions where truck accidents occur because of a problem with the truck. Hazards such as faulty brakes and worn tires may cause accidents. However, determining liability in these scenarios will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. Our Somerville truck accident lawyers can assist plaintiffs when determining whom to sue in cases involving truck defects. For example, in some cases the truck manufacturer could be at fault, but in other cases, the trucking company’s repair and maintenance staff might be responsible.
Additionally, people can also be injured through unsecured truck loads. Tractor trailers and other commercial trucks do not always properly secure the heavy loads they transport. If a load falls off of a truck on a highway and causes an accident, that truck driver may be liable for negligently securing his load.
Truck Accidents Involving Pedestrians and Bikers
Truck drivers may have a more difficult time seeing pedestrians and cyclists because they are so high above the ground. However, truck drivers still owe a responsibility to pay attention and check their mirrors for pedestrians.
Accordingly, truck drivers may be at fault for accidents that injure cyclists and pedestrians Our Somerville truck accident lawyers can help pedestrians who were injured in truck accidents determine if their injury the truck driver is to blame.
Negligent Hiring by a Truck Company
Under the theory of negligent hiring, an employer can be held liable for harm their employee causes if the employer knew or should have known the employee posed a risk of inflicting harm. For example, a truck company may be liable if they hired a driver with a poor driving record and that driver causes an accident. Victims can consult with our Somerville truck accident lawyers for help determining if negligent hiring practices contributed to their accident.
Can I Be Blamed for My Truck Accident in Somerville?
Truck accident cases are not always crystal clear when it comes to assessing liability. In some cases, it may be obvious who is to blame. In other cases, both parties may be partially responsible for the accident. If you share some responsibility for the accident and your injuries, your damages may be reduced, or you might be totally barred from recovering compensation.
Massachusetts follows the rule of modified comparative negligence as outlined under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 231 § 85. Under this rule, your damages are reduced in proportion to your responsibility for your accident and injuries. For example, if you are 20% responsible for the accident, your damages are reduced by 20%. If your responsibility exceeds 50%, you may be barred from recovering anything.
Even if you are not responsible for causing the accident, you could be responsible for making your injuries worse. For example, after an accident, you may have suffered lacerations to your leg. Suppose you refused to get any medical treatment for your leg. Later on, your lacerations become infected, and your entire leg is amputated. In this case, the defendant may be responsible for the initial lacerations to your leg but not for the amputation, and your damages will be adjusted accordingly.
Contact our Somerville truck accident attorneys to talk about your case. We can help you determine if you share any responsibility and adjust our case strategies to fit your needs.
Collecting Evidence for a Somerville Truck Accident Case
To recover compensation, an individual injured in a truck accident must present evidence to demonstrate that the negligence or wrongdoing of another caused the accident and resulting injuries. The best time to collect evidence is right after the accident.
As time passes, the accident scene will change, and witnesses may become more difficult to locate. Video footage showing an accident could be erased or recorded over. Our Somerville truck accident lawyer will work quickly to gather and preserve evidence that will be ready to use in negotiations or at trial. Delays could make it more difficult to obtain the evidence necessary to prove causation and recover damages.
Evidence does not only come from the scene of the accident. We must present evidence of your injuries if you are to recover any compensation for your medical costs and pain and suffering. There are various steps victims can take immediately after truck accidents that may benefit the collection of evidence for their case. Individuals who were injured because of a truck accident should take the following actions to help their potential lawsuit.
First, victims should call 911 after a truck accident so that emergency services can tend to anyone who requires immediate medical treatment. However, calling the authorities will also allow a police officer to make a record of the accident. An officer will visit the scene and create a police report that may be beneficial to building a case.
The next step truck accident victims should take is to exchange information with all parties to an accident. This information should include names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Furthermore, insurance information and license plate numbers of all parties to a truck accident should be retrieved. Our Somerville truck accident lawyers can further explain how all of the aforementioned information can benefit you when filing an injury claim.
It is also crucial for victims of truck accidents to exchange contact information with any witnesses to the accident. Witness statements can help determine who was at fault in a truck accident case.
While exchanging information, victims should remember not to apologize or admit fault. Apologizing may be a natural reaction to an accident, even when a driver is not at fault. However, these statements can be interpreted as admissions of fault in a future lawsuit.
Document the Scene of the Accident
After a truck accident, victims should do their best to document the scene of the accident. Photos and videos of the scene may also be beneficial in determining fault. Furthermore, photos may be used to determine the extent of property damage that was suffered.
Photos and videos may also be used to document the conditions surrounding the crash. For instance, proof of weather and road conditions may be valuable when proving your case. Furthermore, victims to truck accidents can also record and take notes of their own recollection of the accident while their memory is fresh. Our Somerville truck accident lawyers can help victims gather evidence after an accident.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Drivers who suffered an injury because of a truck accident should notify their insurance company immediately. Different insurance companies may have varying deadlines for filing a claim. It is important for victims to file their claim as soon as they are able.
Furthermore, victims of truck accidents should seek medical treatment for any injuries as soon as possible. Timely treatment will help ensure a victim’s medical records accurately reflect the severity of their injuries. Insurance companies may use a delay in treatment to decrease the value of a claim.
Lastly, insurance companies may send victims to doctors who will attempt to minimize the value of a claim. Our Somerville truck accident lawyer can refer victims to proper treatment and help guide them on the road to recovery.
Compensation for Injuries and Damages in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
Those suffering injuries in a truck accident may be eligible to receive compensation to offset a variety of different consequences stemming from the collision. These include both economic losses and non-economic factors that do not have an easily quantifiable equivalent.
Damages may be awarded to cover economic expenses such as lost wages due to time missed from work, medical bills, future healthcare needs, reduced future earnings, and modifications that may be needed to the home. an attorney with experience handling truck cases could also help recover damages for intangible factors such as emotional anguish, pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages are typically not available in Massachusetts unless permitted by statute. Punitive damages are not intended to make a plaintiff whole again but rather to punish the defendant for bad behavior. it might be possible to recover punitive damages if your truck accident involved the wrongful death of a family member. However, even in wrongful death cases, punitive damages are not guaranteed. Consult with our Somerville truck accident lawyers about damages in your case.
Negotiating a Settlement Agreement After a Somerville Truck Accident
Not every personal injury lawsuit ends with a trial. In many cases, the trial never happens because the parties agree to settle out of court. As part of a settlement, the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff for their injuries. However, the amount of money paid is usually not as much as the plaintiff initially requests. Plaintiffs might accept settlement offers because it allows them to avoid a costly trial, and some money is better than none.
A settlement is more than just compensation without a trial. it is a legally binding agreement between the parties. Once you accept a settlement offer for a truck accident, you are legally prohibited from ever bringing a lawsuit over that accident.
Settlements are the products of intense negotiations between the parties. If there are multiple parties, such as several injured plaintiffs or multiple defendants, negotiations may be more complicated and take longer.
Work with Dedicated Somerville Truck Accident Attorneys
A truck accident can leave you with permanent physical and emotional injuries for which you should be compensated. Our Somerville truck accident lawyers will help you through this challenging time. Talk to an experienced truck accident and personal injury attorney in Somerville today. Call (617) 539-8366 for a free legal consultation with the team at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan.