Large trucks and 18-wheelers are a critical part of our infrastructure and transportation system. For all of their benefits, however, these massive and heavy vehicles can pose serious risks to pedestrians, motorists, and motorcyclists if they are not operated or loaded properly. There are a number of common causes of truck accidents, including falling debris when trucks are overloaded or poorly loaded. In addition to ensuring that these vehicles undergo routine inspections and maintenance, it is critical that truck drivers and trucking companies ensure that cargo is secured safely to prevent debris from falling out onto the roadway. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston truck accident lawyers have handled many personal injury claims on behalf of victims in Massachusetts, and we are here to assist you.Pursuing Compensation from a Truck Driver or Trucking Company
When cargo escapes and clutters the roadway, it can create dangers for other drivers. In fact, it is not uncommon for falling debris to affect motorists as they swerve to avoid the debris, slam on their brakes, or collide with other vehicles.
If falling debris from a truck causes you to suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you probably can bring a negligence claim to recover compensation. The first step of a negligence action involves showing that the truck driver or trucking company owed you a duty of care. In general, truck drivers have a duty to operate their massive vehicles safely and prudently, and they must stay current with any training and certification requirements. Truck drivers must also adhere to all traffic rules and regulations, including refraining from distracted driving activities.
Massachusetts law allows plaintiffs to offer any indication of a traffic law or regulation violation as evidence, indicating that the defendant acted negligently at the time of the crash. If a driver fails to follow the speed limit, for example, it may compromise the security of the vehicle’s load and lead to falling debris.
Federal regulations have specific provisions regarding how truck drivers and trucking companies must load cargo on trucks. The load must be distributed properly throughout the vehicle, and it must be secured in an adequate manner. Any structure or equipment attached to the truck must also be secured, including doors, tailgates, spare tires, and tarpaulins. Depending on the nature of the cargo, the truck driver or trucking company has a duty to ensure that it does not blow out of the truck bed, leak, spill, or fall onto the roadway. It is also impermissible for the cargo to impede the truck’s overall maneuverability.
Once the presence of debris on the roadway is shown, the plaintiff must prove that there is a causal link between the defendant’s carelessness in handling the cargo and the injuries that they sustained. In other words, you must show that you would not have been injured had the defendant acted appropriately. Depending on the nature of the employment relationship between the truck driver and the trucking company, you may also be able to seek compensation from the trucking company based on a legal doctrine known as vicarious liability.
The final phase of a truck accident lawsuit involves offering evidence to support the items of compensation that you are seeking in the case. These include medical bills, hospital expenses, physical therapy, medications, and damages to compensate you for any long-term future medical care needs. You can also seek compensation for any wages that you lost as a result of the accident and any reduction in your overall earning capacity stemming from permanent injuries and disabilities.Retain an Experienced Boston Lawyer to Assert Your Rights
A truck accident can be an overwhelming experience for the victim and their family. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our attorneys have handled motor vehicle collision cases on behalf of victims throughout Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield. Our experienced team can assist you with every aspect of your claim, from gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies. To set up a free consultation, call us now at 1-800-379-1124 or contact us online to get started. Our attorneys also can assist with truck accident claims arising from inadequate braking ability or other issues involving trucks and their drivers.