Load Shift Accidents in Massachusetts
Experienced Boston Lawyers Helping Truck Crash Victims
If a truck or tractor-trailer vehicle is not loaded properly, the load can shift resulting in disastrous consequences. These vehicles are already massive in size and weight, which means that the cargo must be loaded appropriately to ensure that it does not shift during travel. If the cargo shifts, it can cause the vehicle to move in unintended or uncontrollable fashion. Every year, unexpected load shifts on semi tractor-trailers lead to hundreds of highway deaths and untold numbers of serious injuries. If you were involved in a truck accident, and you believe that it involved an improper load shift, contact the Boston truck accident lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck. Understanding your rights and taking the appropriate steps at the outset of your claim are important. There are many different procedural requirements that apply to lawsuits in Massachusetts, including the statute of limitations. This rule sets a time limit for filing your claim. We are prepared to provide you with compassionate and responsive legal counsel.
Proving Negligence in a Truck Accident Caused by an Improper Load Shift
One of the first considerations after a truck accident is determining whether you have a claim against the owner, operator or loader of the truck involved in the crash. You may also have a claim against the company that employs the driver or any of the other negligent individuals. Massachusetts recognizes a doctrine called vicarious liability that allows an accident victim to hold an employer liable for the negligent acts that its employees commit in the course and scope of their employment. In the lawsuit, you will be required to establish that the defendant acted without appropriate care and skill.
In general, we each have a duty to act with reasonable care and skill as we operate vehicles. Applied to a truck operation, this involves obeying traffic laws, complying with state and federal trucking regulations, and performing routine maintenance and inspections on vehicles. There are many different ways that a load shift accident can take place. Improper loading methods, failing to secure a load appropriately, failing to balance or center a load, or overloading are common causes of load shift accidents. Also, load shift accidents can commonly lead to falling debris, which may endanger other motorists in the area. In all of these situations, immediate and thorough investigation into the cause of a crash is required. Interviewing any witnesses to the accident, or deposing employees who are familiar with the company’s loading protocols, can be essential to determine the nature of a load shift accident.
After proving that the truck driver or trucking company acted without due care, you must show that this failure also caused your injuries. Merely showing that the defendant acted negligently is not enough to be entitled to compensation. It is critical to also show that you would not have been injured but for the defendant’s lack of due care. As a result, the defendant will often attempt to defeat your lawsuit by disproving causation. Massachusetts has adopted a doctrine called comparative negligence, which states that a plaintiff will be barred from recovering compensation if they are deemed 51% or more at fault for the accident. However, getting legal counsel on your side from the outset of the case can make a big difference in whether this argument succeeds.
Finally, after proving causation, you will be required to provide documentation showing the amount of damages that you sustained. This can include medical expenses, missed income, and future medical care needs, as well as pain and suffering. It is also important to note that your spouse may be able to assert a claim for loss of consortium if your injuries have a noticeable adverse effect on your relationship and contributions to family responsibilities. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can help you ensure that you request the full amount of compensation that you need and deserve.
Discuss Your Case with a Truck Accident Attorney in Boston
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we understand just how daunting it can be to suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident. From identifying witnesses to negotiating with insurance companies, we will stand by you throughout the legal process to ensure that you understand your rights. Our attorneys have served people in cities such as Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield. To set up a free and confidential consultation, call us now at 1-800-379-1244 or contact us online. We are knowledgeable in all types of truck accident cases, including those involving truck driver fatigue, poor braking ability, or negligent hiring as well.