ROB LEVINE, THE 18 WHEELER COMMERCIAL TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER
INJURED? CALL THE TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER NOW FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION - NO FEES UNTIL YOU WIN
Trucks are essential to the economy. They transport goods to and from and throughout New England, providing access to products from all corners of the country. Sadly, this convenience comes with a cost because dangerous trucks may be involved in devastating accidents. In fact, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) reports that 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018. The number of occupants who died was 51 percent higher than in 2009.
Trucking accidents involve commercial regulations for both the operator of the truck, the payload of the vehicle, and the maintenance of the truck. It is imperative if you are involved in a wreck with a truck that you contact a truck accident lawyer immediately. We need to have an accident reconstruction expert at the scene taking measurements, pictures, and doing diagrams before evidence is lost. Additionally, we will want to send a preservation of evidence letter to the defendant to ensure truck logs, maintenance records, and driver history is preserved.
The injuries sustained in a truck accident involving 18 wheelers, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, flatbeds, tank trucks, delivery trucks, box trucks, and dump trucks are usually very serious and oftentimes result in a fatality. can be severe, recovering from the wreck can be a strenuous process, resulting in significant medical bills and long-term disabilities. Rob Levine and Associates handle truck accident cases in Providence, Boston, Fall River, New Haven, and Hartford as well as surrounding communities with offices conveniently located throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
DETERMINING LIABILITY IN YOUR 18-WHEELER ACCIDENT
One of the main obstacles in the attempt to recover compensation is determining who was at fault for the crash. The truth is many parties may be at fault for your accident. On the surface, it may seem obvious that the truck driver was responsible, but details of the accident may point to a variety of factors.
- In some cases, driver fatigue may have contributed to the wreck, in which case the driver could be liable. The truck may also have been maintained poorly, which could place liability on the truck’s manufacturer or even maintenance technicians who repaired the vehicle and created the defect or failed to correct it.
- Often times, liability can be placed on the driver’s employer, who could have hired an unqualified trucker or who could have incentivized the truck driver to break federal regulations and drive more hours than is legally permissible – such as encouraging driving more hours than required to meet strict and tight deadlines. Motor carriers can be held liable for their employees’ negligent actions, so even if the motor carrier company did not directly cause the accident, it still may be liable.
- Finally, a truck accident can occur as a result of unsecured equipment falling onto the road, in which case, the shipping company may be at fault.
OUR ATTORNEYS RECOVER ALL DAMAGES
In the aftermath of a truck accident, the most obvious damages that result are the injuries you suffered, which can lead to significant medical bills. While it may be your goal to secure compensation for medical treatment, it is important not to overlook other damages.
For example, if you missed time at work due to injuries you sustained in the crash or suffering from PTSD, you could be awarded compensation. If you expect any long-term disabilities or scarring, you may recover applicable damages. Additionally, you could be compensated for pain and suffering related to the crash, future medical bills, or any other out-of-pocket costs you incurred because of your injuries, such as those needed for wheelchairs or crutches, additional pain medication, or other similar services.
A TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER CAN MANAGE YOUR CLAIM
No matter the specifics of the case, a truck crash is a traumatic event. Even if it only leads to minor injuries, it can still leave a victim shaken and unready to pursue legal action.
You want an attorney on your side who will go to battle with the big corporation, fight for your rights, and hold the trucking corporation responsible for their actions and negligence. At Rob Levine & Associates, our truck accident attorneys understand the pain you are experiencing, which is why we are committed to helping secure compensation for your injuries as you rest and recover. We are familiar with the time limits available to victims in Providence, Boston, Fall River, Hartford, and New Haven and will file a claim and take care of other specifics in a timely fashion so you can get on with your life.
TRUCK ACCIDENT CAUSES – DRIVER FATIGUE
Truck driver fatigue is one of the chief causes of truck accidents. Despite the announcement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations on driving hours, truck drivers, and their companies. A sleepy or fatigued truck driver is controlling an 80,000-pound metal “tank” at high speeds and could be endangering themselves or the other drivers around them. Studies routinely used in court show that fatigued drivers are less alert and have slower reaction times in emergency situations. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel commonly cross over the centerline, force other cars off the road, or crash into vehicles from behind.
Federal law limits truckers to no more than 11 hours behind the wheel during one shift and requires drivers to rest for at least 10 hours between shifts. Truck drivers must keep a detailed account of their hours in their logbooks. These logbooks become crucial pieces of information in these cases, and we’ve seen instances where logbooks are falsified in order to hide evidence that could be damaging to the defense. Rob Levine & Associates knows how to prove that truck drivers ignored the regulations. We compare logbooks to data received from GPS tracking devices and the onboard “black box,” as well as truck stop receipts and other pertinent evidence.
TRUCK DRIVER DEADLINES CAUSING ACCIDENTS
The last place you want to encounter a fatigued commercial truck driver is while driving on the highway. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 40 tons when fully loaded, so when a fatigued truck driver is behind the wheel, the likelihood of a major accident increases considerably—and the result could be catastrophic. Oftentimes these drivers are driving long routes while trying to meet unreasonable deadlines. Complying with tight company deadlines can create added stress for commercial truck drivers, resulting in risky behavior such as speeding and longer stretches of driving. Trucking companies profit from delivering the most amount of goods in the shortest amount of time, so they offer incentives and bonuses for the fastest delivery times. Drivers can sometimes feel pressured to push their limits too far.
Nationwide, as many as 25 percent of traffic fatalities in multi-vehicle accidents involve commercial trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created specific guidelines for truck drivers and trucking companies to help prevent driver fatigue. The FMCSA currently limits how long a driver may be driving on the road without stopping for a rest. Despite these regulations, the driver is ultimately responsible for operating the truck safely.
POOR TRUCK MAINTENANCE CAUSING TRUCK ACCIDENTS
Common sense and federal regulations dictate that 18-wheelers and other big trucks be inspected and maintained regularly to meet certain standards. Truck maintenance is expensive and pulls trucks off the road, causing corporate greed to sometimes trump public safety.
We work with top experts specializing in truck maintenance and repair to prove the negligence of a trucking company in the upkeep of the tractor or trailer for deficiencies such as:
- Bald tires and worn axles
- Worn brakes
- Broken headlights, tail lights, or trailer lights
- Missing mud flaps
- Broken trailer latches
- Cracked mirror or glass
- Ripped tarps and broken tie-downs
- Eroded reflective tape
Any of these maintenance issues can lead to an accident if the truck’s load shifts, drops freight, or leaves shredded tire treads in the roadway. Poor maintenance can cause the operator to drive erratically, such as suddenly stopping or swerving. Poor maintenance can also cause accidents if the driver can’t see his surroundings or if other motorists can’t see the truck.
OVERWEIGHT OR IMPROPER LOADING
Trucking companies try to make more money by overloading a truck or cutting corners on cargo loading regulations. When we investigate a truck accident, our experts reconstruct the crash and identify the potential loading causes of a big truck accident such as:
- Unsecured freight that fell from the truck
- Driver error (failure to judge stopping distance)
- Cargo that broke free in a crash and caused injury
- Worn or broken tarps and tie-downs
- Shifting freight that caused the truck to jackknife or tip over
- Overloading which increased braking distance
- Unbalanced loads that reduced maneuverability
- Improperly secured hazardous cargo
Big trucks are dangerous enough without compounding the dangers of unsafe loading practices. It sometimes requires extensive investigation and determination to get to the real cause of a big truck accident.
Injury or accident case
- Dial 911 and report the accident. Let them know if there are any injuries and always request a rescue if you are injured.
- Never move your vehicle prior to the police arriving.
- If you are able to exit your vehicle, take pictures of the accident scene from a distance so that you can see all of the vehicles involved and all of the vehicles in one picture. Then take close-up pictures of each vehicle involved. Make sure to include the damage, license plate of the vehicle, and a picture of the driver.
- If there is a witness to the accident, ask them to wait for the police to arrive so they can give a statement. If they cannot wait, ask if you can take a picture of their identification and then include a picture of them holding their identification that you can read.
- Once the police arrive, make a statement as to how the accident occurred. Ensure that the police talk to the witness and takes their statement as well. If the witness left prior to the police arrival, show the police officer a picture of the witness and their identification, making sure that, on the police report, they are noted as a witness that had to leave before his arrival.
- If you are injured, never refuse medical treatment by rescue personnel. Be transported by rescue to the nearest hospital to get medical treatment.
- You and the other driver can agree to follow each other and meet at the police department to make a report.
- If you are not going to meet at the police department to make a report, you should exchange the following information to include a copy of their license, motor vehicle registration, insurance card, a picture of their license plate, and a picture of the other driver. Remember, you should have documented photos of the scene of the accident and damages to vehicles as well.
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