Marasco & Nesselbush truck accident attorneys are here to help those from Wakefield, RI, and neighboring areas, whose lives have been forever changed as a result of a motor vehicle accident involving a large truck. The causes of such accidents can be many – from bad weather, a distracted or overworked driver, or negligence on the part of the trucking company. Regardless of the cause, truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a truck accident, contact our skilled Wakefield truck accident attorneys by calling 855-976-5527 today.
Recovery for Truck Accident Victims
Survivors of an accident with a big rig have the right to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault driver, the trucking company, and other potentially liable parties. We have helped many truck accident victims on their road to financial recovery and we know that no amount of money can reverse the damage done. We do know, however, that exploring and using all the legal options available for accident victims and their families can provide a sense of justice that is essential for psychological and emotional healing, and the monetary compensation provides financial stability and ensures that all medical and other physical needs will be cared for.
Why Work With an Attorney?
Pursuing a legal action after a truck accident may be challenging. Unlike a typical motor vehicle accident, a personal injury claim for a truck crash may seek compensation and damages from a number of at-fault parties including the trucking company.
Trucking companies and their insurers possess considerable legal and financial resources as well as experience in dealing with claims against them and they will try to avoid responsibility if possible.
If you or a family member have been injured in a crash with a big rig, you need a law firm with experience, resources, and commitment matching those of the parties you’ll be going against. Our truck accident lawyers have successfully represented hundreds of individuals injured in crashes with 18-wheelers. We will commit fully to your claim until you receive the compensation you deserve. If we can’t secure you a fair settlement, we will not shy away from taking your case to court and fighting for what you deserve.
Contact our Wakefield office by calling 855-976-5527 to discuss your case today.
Big Truck Accidents Are Different
Large truck crashes often result in much greater damage and injuries than virtually any other kind of motor vehicle accident. Due to the size of big rigs, the forces involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler are immense and extremely destructive. Because of the height of large trucks, in a collision, a passenger car can easily go underneath the truck and get crushed. These types of accidents often prove fatal.
The economic costs are proportionally greater too. Hospital stays tend to be longer and the medical procedures that a victim may need are often more complicated. Rehabilitation usually takes longer too, and a victim may find themselves unable to return to work for extended periods of time. In some cases, they may never be able to go back to work. In addition to these debilitating financial losses victims also suffer physical and emotional pain.
Damages in Large Truck Crashes
Financial losses incurred as a result of the accident can be recuperated in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Such legal actions may seek to compensate the victim with the following types of economic damages:
- Current and future medical expenses – to cover the costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation, medication and other types of expenses related to the medical attention that has been already received and will be needed in the future
- Present and future lost wages – to cover the financial losses incurred as a result of an inability to work during the time the injured party is recuperating from their injuries
- Loss of earning capacity – a serious injury may permanently affect the victim’s future job prospects and wages. Loss of earning capacity damages seek to compensate for the difference in what the victim could have earned, had they not been involved in an accident.
- Property damage
Damages can be also paid for certain non-economic losses. These include:
- Pain and suffering – compensation for physical pain that the accident brought about on the victim
- Mental anguish and emotional distress – compensation for the emotional suffering the injured party has endured or continues to endure as a result of the accident
- Punitive damages
Wrongful Death Claims
The immediate family of a person who was killed in a truck accident can file a wrongful death claim and seek damages on behalf of the deceased relative. These may include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses related to the treatment of the deceased prior to their death
- Lost wages and benefits that the deceased would have collected
- Property damage related to the accident
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Truck Accident Causes
In a large study of the causes of 18-wheeler truck crashes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) identified three common types of big rig collision:
- Running out of the travel lane, either into another lane or off the road
- Vehicle loss of control due to traveling too fast for conditions, cargo shift, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions, or other reasons
- Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle in the truck’s travel lane
The FMCSA further established that in 87% of cases, it was the driver’s error that directly led to one of those events and caused a crash. Only 10% of crashes were related to the vehicle itself and only 3% to environmental factors. Fault on the part of the driver was traced back to one of the following issues:
- Driver’s non-performance issues (such as falling asleep)
- Recognition issues (the driver was inattentive or distracted)
- Decision issues (for example, driving too fast for the conditions)
- Performance issues (for example, the driver panicked or overcompensated)
The study also identified many associated factors that in one way or another contributed to the crashes. Top ten of those factors were:
- Brake problems
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion)
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Roadway problems
- The driver was required to stop (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
Identifying Responsible Parties
In a motor vehicle collision where two passenger cars are involved, the victim will seek compensation from the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident. In case of a large truck accident, however, multiple at-fault parties can usually be identified. Of course, if the crash occurred because of an error on the part of the truck driver, he or she may be found liable. Nevertheless, an experienced attorney will conduct a thorough investigation which may show that the trucking company was in violation of some of the state or federal laws and this may have contributed to the accident as well.
For example, the trucking company may have negligently failed to conduct proper maintenance on the truck resulting in malfunction of one of the critical systems such as the brakes. The company may have failed to adhere to laws which prevent drivers from working longer than a certain number of consecutive hours or may have even pressured the driver to ignore such laws. In these cases, the trucking company may be found partially liable for the crash. Other responsible parties may include equipment manufacturers, other drivers, or even government entities.
Even if a trucking company’s actions do not directly or indirectly contribute to the accident, claims for damages and compensation will often be directed against the trucking company.
This is due to a legal principle called vicarious liability. This rule states that an employer – such as a trucking company – may be found responsible for the negligence of its employees. In order for this principle to apply, the driver responsible for an accident must be shown to have an employment relationship with the trucking company (this means that they cannot work as an independent contractor) and that the accident occurred while the driver was acting in the scope and course of their employment.
Trucking companies or their insurance companies often try to base their defense on undermining the employment relationship or calling into question whether the driver was really acting within the scope of their employment. You’ll need a skillful attorney in order to refute any of such dishonest lines of reasoning and prove liability on the part of the trucking company in order to receive fair compensation.
No compensation – no fees
We are fully committed to ensuring outstanding results for your claim and delivering just and fair compensation for your losses. We are confident that we can bring the needed resources and experience to the table for you.
In fact, we will not collect any fees for our services unless we recover for you. This can be achieved either via a settlement with the liable parties or by a jury verdict.
Call 855-976-5527 to schedule a free consultation with our Wakefield legal team now and get on the road to recovery today.