Trucks of all types and sizes transport the items we need and consume throughout Massachusetts and the entire country, and truckers cope with demanding schedules to pick up and drop off cargo. Driving automatically poses risks for accident and injury, the presence of heavy trucks increase that danger.
The semi-trucks you see on the road weigh up to 80,000 pounds, compared to the average passenger vehicle that weighs between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds. Trucks’ massive size and weight cause a forceful impact during a traffic accident that causes major destruction. Truck accident injuries are more likely to be severe and more likely to lead to death.
Smaller trucks also put other motorists at risk. Cement trucks, garbage trucks, dump trucks, and delivery trucks are examples of other trucks that also sometimes lead to treacherous traffic collisions. Truck drivers have ample protection from their trucks, leaving those in smaller passenger vehicles to suffer when accidents occur.
If you have sustained injuries in a truck accident, Massachusetts law allows you to take legal action against the trucking company or truck driver whose negligence led to your injuries. The skilled Massachusetts truck accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman understand the struggles that accident victims face in the wake of a truck accident. We can help you through this difficult time. Our experienced team of truck accident lawyers helps injured truck accident victims take action against negligent truckers and their employers to recover losses related to their truck accident injuries.
Contact us today online or at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) for a free case evaluation to discuss the circumstances of the truck accident and determine the best course of action to recover damages.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman Advocate for Massachusetts Truck Accident Victims
The award-winning legal team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman have extensive experience in the negotiation, settlement, and litigation of injured accident victims, including those who have sustained injuries in a truck accident. The firm’s continued passion for client advocacy has resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars in court-awarded damages and settlements for clients.
In a recent truck accident case, Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman secured a $3.2 million settlement during mediation for our client, who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a truck collision.
This case serves as an example and does not guarantee specific results for your truck accident case. Each claim has underlying circumstances and facts that impact its value.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman have the resources and experience to investigate each claim and build a case to seek the maximum compensation possible for a client’s truck accident injuries.
Massachusetts Truck Accident Injuries Are Often Severe
Truck accident victims who suffer injuries often experience many of the same injuries that auto accident victims suffer. Yet, the comparatively large size and weight of trucks typically lead to more severe injuries that are more likely to lead to permanent disability or death. The Massachusetts truck accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman have helped clients who have sustained a wide range of truck accident injuries. Examples of common truck accident injuries include:
Multiple Fractures and Crushed Bones
Truck accidents sometimes cause multiple fractures or crushed bones. A simple broken bone typically does not give rise to a Massachusetts truck accident lawsuit. The accident victim has minimal losses and often fully recovers. However, multiple broken bones are a different story. Those who suffer multiple fractures or crushed bones often need one or more corrective or reconstructive surgeries.
The affected area often plagues victims with continued pain and discomfort, even after surgery, and it’s common for victims to suffer arthritis. Crushed bones typically require accident victims to spend weeks or longer in the hospital and it’s likely the victim cannot work for some time.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Even the most minor truck accidents put drivers and occupants in passenger vehicles at risk for a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The force from the impact of a crash causes the head to move back and forth, often shaking the brain around inside the skull. Truck accident victims can also suffer a TBI if a blunt object hits them during a collision.
TBIs vary in severity, but all have the potential to cause lifelong struggles with cognitive function, motor skills, and memory. Children who suffer from a TBI are especially vulnerable to developmental issues because the human brain does not completely develop until adulthood.
Finally, TBI’s also sometimes lead to behavioral and mental health struggles such as increased aggression, social inappropriateness, anxiety, and depression.
The same impact in a truck accident that leads to a TBI can also cause neck injuries. Neck injuries vary greatly depending on the movement that led to the injury and the level of impact in the truck accident. Sometimes neck injuries include damage to the soft tissue, such as strains and sprains, that heal quickly without intervention.
Other times soft tissue injuries in the neck are worse and involve a tear in a muscle or ligament that could require surgery. Truck accidents can also cause a broken neck, which puts accident victims at risk for a dangerous spinal cord injury in the neck region.
The massive impact of a truck accident causes a body to move into various positions that sometimes lead to painful and severe back injuries such as fractured vertebrae and bulged discs. Back injuries are among the most expensive and painful of all injuries a truck accident victim might suffer. Those who sustain back injuries struggle to find comfort when they stand, sit, or lie down.
Surgery is often a part of recovery, but many accident victims still face lifelong discomfort and pain even after surgery. Costly pain management solutions and continued treatment plague some back injury accident victims indefinitely. Some must rely on highly-addictive prescription painkillers to function, which creates another layer of problems for a truck accident victim.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can occur in the neck or back but deserves special treatment because of the potential severity. The spinal cord has an important job in the body’s central nervous system because it transmits messages from the brain to the rest of the nerves throughout the body. Spinal cord cells do not regenerate like many other cells in the body, so a spinal cord injury often results in permanent damage.
When someone’s spinal cord suffers a bruise, they might experience temporary functional loss, but once the bruise heals and swelling goes down, a full recovery is likely. If a piece of a broken bone or some other object cuts or partially severs the spinal cord, a permanent loss is likely.
The extent of loss an accident victim suffers depends on where along the spinal column the injury occurred. Spinal cord injuries in the neck area result in the most functional loss because it is closest to the brain. A spinal cord injury in the neck typically results in full paralysis from the neck down, confining a victim to a wheelchair for life.
The impact of a truck accident, especially a head-on collision, sometimes causes smaller vehicles to crumple during a crash, putting motorists and their passengers at risk for crushed limbs. When a limb gets crushed in a car accident, it loses blood flow. Loss of blood flow means the limb has begun to die. Without treatment, infection sets in, and eventually spreads throughout the body and leads to death.
Doctors do everything they can to restore blood blow to a crushed leg after a truck accident, but sometimes it is not possible. Amputating the limb is the only way to save a truck accident victim’s life. Losing a limb is not only physically painful but it carries a great deal of emotional trauma too. Amputees need continued physical and behavioral therapy to help them cope with their permanent injury.
Trucks Are Prone to Certain Types of Collisions
Traffic accidents of all types can lead to serious and fatal injuries, but some types of crashes occur more often when trucks are involved. Here examples of some common truck collisions that might have led to your truck accident injuries:
Distracted or impaired truck drivers who follow other vehicles too closely risk causing a rear-end collision. Truckers are heavy, so even when traveling slowly they need extra time and distance to stop or slow safely. The average semi-truck needs two-football fields to come to a complete stop when going 65 miles per hour.
Negligent and inattentive or impaired truck drivers sometimes swerve into oncoming traffic, causing dangerous and potentially fatal truck crashes. Truckers who have medical emergencies from untreated disorders or conditions can also lead to a head-on collision if their emergency occurs at a critical point while driving.
A jackknife truck accident occurs when a truck’s trailer skids until it’s perpendicular to a truck’s cab. Jackknife accidents can occur at any time, but winter roads make it more likely. If a truck driver applies their brakes too quickly, they risk a skid and running into one or more nearby vehicles. Depending on the situation, a jackknife can lead to a treacherous multi-car pileup.
Trucks are prone to rollover when truckers travel too fast around corners or curves. Especially top-heavy trucks, such as cement trucks, garbage trucks, and loaded dump trucks are vulnerable to rollover accidents. Truckers who are traveling too fast when they turn sometimes cannot maintain control of their vehicle. Rollover accidents that block traffic and involve other vehicles can lead to dangerous injuries. Nearby vehicles also risk getting crushed by a truck during a rollover.
Underride accidents are a specific type of accident that occurs between a semi-truck and a smaller vehicle. If a trucker changes lanes or turns without clearing his blind spots, he can strike another vehicle. Small cars sometimes get stuck under the trailer and ‘ride under’ the trailer until the trucker stop or the car breaks away. Underride collisions often lead to deadly injuries.
Part of safely and securely transporting goods and services in or on a truck is ensuring cargo is properly loaded and secure. Cargo that is improperly secured can shift during transit and potentially spill out into the middle of the road. This is especially common with flatbed trucks that have an open design.
When a truck spills its cargo among other vehicles, a variety of situations can lead to accidents and injuries. Other drivers might run into the cargo, the cargo might fall on nearby vehicles, or hazardous cargo can expose others to toxic danger. Additionally, cargo spills sometimes lead to multi-car accidents when other drivers try to avoid freight lying in the middle of a road.
Massachusetts Truck Accident FAQ
If you or someone you love has recently suffered injuries in a truck accident, you are likely facing a wide range of challenges. Truck accident injuries often come with costly medical treatment and accident victims sometimes cannot work because of their injuries. The financial pressure coupled with the physical pain of injury adds layers of emotional stress to the entire situation.
It’s normal for you to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about your next steps. First, you need to consult an experienced truck accident lawyer who can evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action for your claim. Until you have the opportunity to meet with an attorney, we have provided answers to the following frequently asked questions about truck accidents in Massachusetts to provide you with some preliminary information.
Do I have to file an accident report after a Massachusetts truck accident?
Yes. Unless you are physically incapacitated, you must file an accident report after a truck accident even if the police come to the scene of the accident. When severe accidents occur, law enforcement may come to the scene and fill out an official police report. This report is different from what you must complete. Massachusetts requires all those involved in an accident to complete a Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report and provide a copy to the local police or state police and your insurance company.
You have five days from the date of the accident to file the Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report. You do not have to complete a report for minor fender-benders. Yet, most truck accidents are far from minor.
If you have been involved in a Massachusetts truck accident in the last few days, you must file a crash report if:
- Someone died as a result of the truck accident.
- Someone suffered truck accident injuries.
- Estimated property damage is at least $1,000.
The trucker caused the accident. Do I need to file an insurance claim?
Massachusetts is a no-fault insurance state that requires drivers who register a vehicle to carry a minimum of $8,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. You should immediately notify your auto insurance carrier to file a claim under your PIP insurance policy, even if you did not partially or fully cause the truck accident. Your Massachusetts PIP benefits cover the first $2,000 of medical bills after an accident and also provide payments for lost wages up to the policy limit.
Truck accidents are notoriously costly, so you may quickly exhaust your PIP coverage, especially if you only have the minimum $8,000 coverage. Once you have incurred $2,000 in medical expenses, Massachusetts law permits you to step outside the no-fault insurance system and file an insurance claim against the trucker or trucking company, or file a Massachusetts truck accident lawsuit if necessary.
Do I need to go to the hospital after a Massachusetts truck accident?
If you were fortunate enough to escape an ambulance ride to the nearest emergency room after a truck accident, you still need to head to the hospital and let a doctor examine you for common injuries.
Truck crashes are forceful and sometimes cause a wide range of hidden injuries. If you are suffering from headaches, you could have a life-threatening traumatic brain injury. If you have soreness in the abdomen, you could have broken ribs, organ damage, and /or internal bleeding. If left untreated, some hidden injuries can cause permanent damage or death.
You need to prioritize your health and well-being, which should motivate you to go to the hospital. However, clear documentation of your truck accident injuries is also crucial to prevail in an insurance claim or Massachusetts truck accident lawsuit. Your medical record provides evidence that the truck accident caused your injuries, making it difficult for insurance carriers and defense legal teams to dispute your claim or argue the truck accident did not cause your injuries.
What is the statute of limitations on Massachusetts truck accident cases?
Massachusetts law requires accident victims, including those who have suffered injuries in truck accidents, to file a Massachusetts truck accident lawsuit against the truck driver, their employer, or another party within three years of the date of the accident. Similarly, if you have tragically lost a loved one due to fatal injuries from a Massachusetts, you also have three years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the allegedly liable trucker or their employer.
Massachusetts courts must comply with the law, so it’s highly unlikely a judge will hear your truck accident case if your statute of limitations has run out. Some exceptions exist for rare situations. Your Massachusetts truck accident attorney can review the facts of your claim if you are near or beyond the three-year time limit. Don’t delay meeting with an attorney to discuss your case as soon as possible.
Who do I name in a Massachusetts truck accident lawsuit?
After a truck accident that you know you did not cause, you might automatically assume the truck driver is responsible for the accident. This is not always the case. Truck accident claims are complex and sometimes involve multiple parties who might be partially or fully liable for damages and losses related to your injuries.
If you bring a lawsuit after sustaining truck accident injuries, your attorney might suggest you name one or more of the following as a defendant in the suit.
- Truck driver. Truckers cause accidents when they make careless choices behind the wheel such as speeding, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or breaking other traffic regulations. Truck drivers are also notorious for demanding work schedules, which sometimes leaves them fatigued. Falling asleep at the wheel can lead to a dangerous truck accident. Any time a trucker’s actions contribute to an accident and lead to injuries, accident victims name them in a lawsuit.
- Truck owner/trucking company. Sometimes trucking companies influence their drivers’ behavior behind the wheel. Trucking companies who do not hire qualified truck drivers, fail to properly train their drivers, or do not maintain their trucks in a roadworthy condition also open themselves up to potential liability. Trucking companies who urge their drivers to violate safety laws also sometimes share liability when a truck accident occurs.
- Another motorist. Sometimes a truck accident occurs because of another driver, so your lawyer might suggest that you name that driver in a lawsuit. Negligent drivers who drive aggressively and do not follow the rules of the road can cause truck accidents. Additionally, drivers who are under the influence of controlled substances, distracted, or drowsy also sometimes cause dangerous multi-vehicle truck accidents. When careless drivers engage in certain behaviors they cause truck drivers to lose control of their trucks, resulting in potentially fatal accidents.
- Truck/truck part manufacturer. In rare cases, truck manufacturers or truck part manufacturers could be named in a truck accident lawsuit. Defective trucks and defective truck parts can cause a truck to breakdown or have other mechanical issues. When these breakdowns occur at critical times, they can lead to dangerous truck accidents, especially if the truck driver loses control of his rig. Some of the most common and most hazardous defective truck part accidents occur as a result of defective tires and defective braking systems.
Will my Massachusetts truck accident case go to trial?
The overwhelming majority of Massachusetts truck accident cases settle long before going to trial. Your Massachusetts truck accident attorney will negotiate with the insurance company and/or defense to reach a settlement that compensates you for damages you incurred as a result of the truck accident. Litigation is expensive, so both sides have an incentive to avoid trial. In some situations, your lawyer might suggest mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution.
Yet, sometimes settlement negotiations fail, and going to court is necessary. Even though it’s highly unlikely you will have to go to trial with your truck accident case, you should be prepared that it might be a possibility.
Should I accept a settlement offer from an insurance carrier after my Massachusetts truck accident?
You should always discuss any settlement offer you receive with an attorney. You can be sure the truck that hit you is heavily insured by the driver—if he is an owner/operator—or by his employer. You might think the insurance carrier is more eager to pay you because of the large policy, but the opposite is true.
With more money at stake, the insurance company will take every measure possible to avoid some or all financial liability. Sending a settlement offer soon after a truck accident is one common strategy insurance companies rely on to reduce their financial liability. These predatory offers are often much lower than the true value of a claim and seek to tempt accident victims who are struggling financially to take the money and run.
In most cases, accepting a settlement offer soon after a truck accident is not the best choice for two reasons. First, determining the value of the case and what constitutes fair compensation requires that you know the full extent of your injuries. If you have a permanent injury or your injuries prevent you from working, the value of your claim will be higher. As soon as an accident victim accepts a settlement offer, they must waive their right to seek additional compensation or sue in the future. If you need more treatment in the future as a result of the truck accident, you won’t get additional compensation to pay for it once you accept an offer.
Second, early offers are typically much lower than the value of your claim. You deserve the maximum amount of compensation commensurate with your injuries. It’s best to consider the first offer as a starting off point for negotiations. You should also consult an attorney who can handle negotiations and communicate with the insurance carrier.
What compensation can I receive after a Massachusetts truck accident?
When you take legal action after suffering injuries in a Massachusetts truck accident, you might be eligible to receive compensation depending on the circumstances of your claim.
If you reach a settlement agreement with the trucker’s or trucking company’s insurance carrier or the court awards you damages, you could receive compensation for the following damages, expenses, and losses incurred from your truck accident injuries:
- Medical treatments cost beyond your PIP coverage including ambulance service, emergency room treatment, hospital stay, medication, and travel expenses to and from the doctor/hospital
- Estimated future medical expenses for severe injuries that require continuous treatment or ongoing care
- Lost wages not covered by your Massachusetts PIP insurance
- Estimated future lost wages when a truck accident causes a catastrophic injury
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Punitive damages when truck accident injuries are a result of intentional harm or gross negligence
How long will it take to resolve my Massachusetts truck accident claim?
It’s impossible to predict how long your truck accident claim will take. Many factors can influence the timeline and each case is different. In truck accident claims where liability is clear, you might reach a settlement agreement within a few months. In other cases involving server injuries or liability disputes, your case could take a couple of years or longer, especially if you have to go to trial.
How can your Massachusetts truck accident lawyers help me?
Our Massachusetts truck accident lawyers help our clients recover damages for their injuries after a truck accident by providing:
- Knowledge about truck and trucking regulations allowing them to know when truckers and their employers break the law
- Experience with messy claims that have more than one defendant such as a truck driver, trucking company, and insurance company
- Experience handling high-stakes insurance claims
- Protection clients by handling communication and negotiations with insurance companies
- Advocacy for clients in the courtroom
A Massachusetts Truck Accident Lawyer at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman Can Help
If you have suffered injuries in a Massachusetts truck accident because of a careless trucker or negligent trucking company, you have the right to seek compensation for damages related to the accident and your injuries.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman has more than a decade of experience advocating for accident victims, including those injured in truck accidents. We understand how to deal with insurance companies and handle the additional challenges that come with truck accident cases. We can advocate for you to get the compensation you deserve through the entire process, while you focus on rehabilitation and recovery.
If you live in Massachusetts, contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman online or at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) for a free case review to discuss the circumstances of your truck accident, your injuries, and the struggles you have faced as a result of your injuries. One of our skilled truck accident, lawyers can evaluate the merit of your claim and help you determine the best steps for your claim. We want to help you get the maximum compensation commensurate with your injuries after a trucker or trucking company harmed you.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
76 Canal Street, Suite 302
Boston, MA 02114