Truck accidents are often some of the most devastating crashes on our roads. Boston truck accident lawyer Michael O. Smith understands the long-lasting impact a truck accident can have on a victim. He can provide the legal guidance you need if you were seriously injured in a crash. Mr. Smith has aggressively advocated for the rights of his clients over the course of his 15 years of practice. He has taken cases to trial and negotiated with insurers on behalf of his clients. If you were injured in a truck accident, call us today to see how we can help.Truck Accident Facts
A truck can cause serious damage if it is involved in an accident. Many trucks weigh upwards of 10,000 pounds, and they can cause catastrophic injuries to accident victims. More than 3,900 individuals were killed by large truck crashes in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Approximately 104,000 suffered injuries in large truck-related collisions, and a vast majority of those injured (73 percent) were drivers or passengers of other vehicles.
Truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to several state and federal laws intended to protect both the driver and others on the road. They include limits on how long a truck driver can drive before taking a mandatory rest break; truck loading limits and procedures; and monitoring and testing for substance abuse. Still, the pressure to make delivery times can sometimes lead to devastating consequences.Holding the Responsible Parties Accountable
In many truck accident cases, the truck driver’s negligence is at the root of the crash. Many truck drivers are overtired from working long hours and are in no position to drive. Others are distracted or, in some cases, under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they get behind the wheel.
A plaintiff may be able to hold the truck driver liable if he or she can demonstrate that the driver was negligent. Negligence is a person’s failure to use the care that a reasonably prudent person would use under the given circumstances, either by act or omission. To establish negligence, a plaintiff must show that the truck driver:
- Owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- Breached that duty of care; and
- Caused the plaintiff’s injuries and their related damages.
In addition to the driver, a trucking company or a third party may also be liable. Trucking companies can be held vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence if the accident occurred during the course and within the scope of his or her employment. A trucking company can also be directly liable if its own negligence caused the accident (for example, if it overloaded a truck). If a defect in the truck or one of its parts caused the accident, the plaintiff may hold the truck or parts manufacturer responsible under a theory of products liability.Preservation of Evidence
Trucking companies are required by law to adhere to specific record-keeping requirements, such as the record-of-duty status. In every truck accident, it is crucial to gather evidence quickly to prevent spoliation of evidence. Spoliation occurs when one party intentionally alters, destroys, or fails to preserve evidence in an existing or reasonably foreseeable litigation. Massachusetts provides remedies for the party that was harmed due to spoliation. It may allow an adverse inference instruction to the jury, meaning that if there is spoliation of evidence, the jury can infer that evidence was harmful to the party that destroyed it.Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
If a truck accident caused your injuries, you can recover damages from the parties responsible for the crash. You can seek economic and non-economic damages that include compensation for your current and future medical bills, lost wages, future earnings, and pain and suffering. Certain family members may file a wrongful death suit if a relative died as a result of the accident.Standing Up for Your Rights
Michael O. Smith is a Boston truck accident attorney who will stand up for you rights in your truck accident case. Mr. Smith is a seasoned trial lawyer with significant courtroom experience. He will investigate your case, interview witnesses, and aggressively represent your interests during settlement negotiations or at trial if necessary. He serves clients from his offices in Boston. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us at 617-263-0060 or fill out our online form today.