Experienced Representation for Rhode Island and Massachusetts Trucking Accidents
At the Bottaro Law Firm, we know from experience the devastation that trucking accidents can cause. We have seen first-hand the tragedy and catastrophic injuries that often accompany these dangerous collisions. It is because of this experience that we are dedicated to helping truck accident victims hold the responsible parties accountable and fight for just compensation.
Trucking Accident Statistics
Innocent people are injured and killed every day in accidents involving commercial trucks and tractor-trailers. According to the latest statistics published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
- There are over 10.5 million registered straight trucks and tractor-trailers in the United States
- These trucks are operated by some 540,000 trucking companies
- Around four million truck drivers hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs)
- Commercial trucks drive approximately 2.7 billion miles on American roads each year
- In 2013, truckers got stopped for more than 400,000 traffic violations
- Truckers and trucking companies get cited for hundreds of thousands of safety violations each year. The most common violations involve inadequate lighting, tires with dangerously low tread depth, unmaintained brakes, lack of emergency equipment, and failure to properly log driver hours.
- In 2012, 3,702 fatal accidents – twelve percent of all fatal accidents nationwide – involved a commercial vehicle. During the year there were 367,000 non-fatal accidents involving commercial buses and trucks. This means that the fatality rate in trucking accidents is 10 times the rate in accidents involving ordinary vehicles.
Keep in mind, these are only the figures for registered and licensed drivers and vehicles. The actual numbers may be significantly higher.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
With millions of trucks operating on our roadways, it is no wonder that there are so many accidents. Truck drivers are prone to making mistakes (just like any other drivers), and large trucks can become extremely dangerous when not maintained and loaded properly. A speeding truck on the highway can travel the length of a football field in under five seconds. When you factor in the extreme weight of these vehicles, it is easy to see how even minor errors can lead to life-changing consequences.
At the Bottaro Law Firm, we have helped our clients obtain millions of dollars in compensation for truck and other vehicle accidents. We represent clients throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island in trucking accident cases involving:
- Negligent driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Inadequate truck maintenance
- Faulty and defective parts
- Unsecured cargo loads
- Violations of commercial trucking regulations
For more information about the dangers of unsafe trucks and tractor-trailers, read our article on the 5 Most Common Trucking Accidents.
Seeking Maximum Compensation for Your Injuries
About Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident victims often suffer severe, life-changing injuries. Even seemingly “minor” crashes can cause neck injuries (such as whiplash), concussions, other brain and spine injuries, severe lacerations and broken bones. These injuries can put victims out of work and prevent them from enjoying their day-to-day activities and spending time with their families. Of course, fatal accidents impact the victims’ families for the rest of their lives.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a trucking accident, it is important that you hire an attorney to help you fight for just compensation. Most people are unaware of the full financial impact of their injuries, and accepting the insurance company’s first settlement offer is likely to leave you nowhere near fully compensated for your losses. The Bottaro Law Firm can help you understand your situation and make informed decisions about how to proceed with your case.
Holding the Responsible Parties Accountable for Your Losses
With trucking accidents, many times there are multiple parties who are to blame for the victims’ losses. When you hire the Bottaro Law Firm, our attorneys and in-house case investigator and claims adjustor will work together to thoroughly evaluate your case and identify all potential sources of compensation. These may include:
- The truck driver
- Drivers of other vehicles involved in the accident
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- Maintenance and repair shops
- State and local government
Of course, most truck accident claims are handled through insurance. We have decades of experience helping our clients maximize their recoveries through insurance settlements. However, if the insurance company is unwilling to make a reasonable settlement offer, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Speak with Attorney Mike Bottaro about Your Case
The experienced legal team at the Bottaro Law Firm is ready and waiting to take your case. We are passionate about fighting for our clients, and want to help you obtain just compensation for your losses. If you or someone you know has been involved in a trucking accident, call (866) 529-9700 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.
More Trucking Accident Pages:
- Types of Trucking Accidents
- Causes of Trucking Accidents
- Negligent Truck Driving Accidents
- Truck Accidents Resulting from Inadequate Maintenance
- Truck Drivers Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
- Truck Accidents Involving Alcohol or Drugs
- Distracted Truck Driving Accidents
Trucking Injury FAQs
What exactly is a “commercial truck” and how are truck accidents different from other types of vehicle accidents?
A commercial truck, such as a tractor trailer (or a “big rig”), is a truck driven for business purposes, most often used in the transport of commercial goods. In addition to big rigs, other examples of commercial trucks include freight trucks, tanker trucks, and delivery trucks.
Accidents involving commercial trucks typically differ from accidents involving only passenger vehicles for a number of reasons. First, accidents involving commercial trucks tend to result in greater damage and more severe injuries than accidents involving only cars. This is due, in large part, to the sheer size of the trucks and the greater force of impact caused when they collide with other vehicles. While cars weigh about 3,000 pounds, commercial trucks can weigh upwards of 70,000 pounds. The immense weight of commercial trucks leads to frequent blowouts, which can cause unexpected collisions.
A second fundamental difference between accidents involving commercial trucks and accidents involving only passenger vehicles is that trucking companies and truck drivers are governed by an entirely separate set of local, state, and federal safety regulations. These regulations are in addition to the normal laws that all drivers must follow.
What should I do after a truck accident?
First and foremost, if you were involved in a truck accident and suffered injuries, no matter how mild, seek medical treatment immediately. Even the smallest injuries may become serious if not treated properly.
After you receive medical treatment, and even sometimes during treatment, you likely will be approached by investigative team members hired by the trucking company. These investigators and insurance adjusters are dispatched to truck accident scenes in order to collect witness statements and other evidence – but they are not there to necessarily get the whole story. Their main objective is to minimize possible expenses and legal liability for the trucking company. It is not uncommon for an investigator to approach you directly, ask for your statement, tell you that you do not need an attorney, and even offer you a settlement right there on the spot. Keep in mind that the trucking company would like nothing more than to settle any potential lawsuit before it even begins and for as little money as possible. It is extremely important not to sign any agreement or provide any statements without first consulting a reputable attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases who will look out for your best interests.
Why do I need an attorney to help me with my truck accident case?
There are many complex nuances involved in truck accident cases. Without experience and a specialized knowledge of the trucking industry (and applicable rules and regulations), it is very difficult to navigate the legal maze that is a trucking accident case. To start with, things are not necessarily stacked in your favor. For example, you are physically injured and the idea of preserving your legal rights might be the last thing on your mind. You may have aggressive insurance agents contacting you around the clock to discuss the accident. You do not know what your case is “worth” because you likely have not taken into consideration factors such as present and future lost wages, ongoing medical expenses, loss of your earning capacity, and your pain and suffering.
One thing is for certain: You do not want to limit your potential financial recovery well before you have a relatively accurate calculation of your damages. In order to prevent this from happening, let us help you recover what you deserve. The legal team at the Bottaro Law Firm will work tirelessly on your behalf to collect evidence and arrange for experts to ascertain the value of your potential damages. Additionally, we will deal directly with insurance companies, medical care providers, and the court, if necessary, so that you do not have to. Certain evidence must be preserved and timelines must be adhered to, and we will ensure that these things take place.
Who do I sue if I am injured?
With respect to commercial truck accidents, liability for the accident may fall upon a number of parties, depending on a number of factors such as: The employment status of the driver, whether the truck or any parts were defective, whether a maintenance company improperly repaired or serviced the truck, and several other possibilities. Because of all of these variables, you may have the right to sue a number of different people and companies.
An important first step in determining potential defendants is to examine the exact nature of the truck driver’s employment status. For example, is he or she an independent contractor who owns the truck? Is he or she employed by a trucking company driving a truck owned by the employer or leased from another company?
The Bottaro Law Firm is extremely experienced in handling truck accident cases and can determine which people and/or companies should be held accountable for your injuries. Potential liable parties may include one or more of the following:
- The driver;
- The owner of the rig (such as a construction company or waste management company);
- The owner of the trailer and the cab (such as the trucking company);
- The owner of any freight being delivered (companies such as UPS, Target, and Walmart);
- The manufacturer of the trailer, cab, or any part of the truck;
- A third-party maintenance and/or service company.