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Fighting For Boston Families For More Than A Decade

Massachusetts Commercial Truck Accidents Attorney

Huge commercial trucks share the road with us. Every day, these vehicles speed by ours, and it is obvious that their presence is risky. Commercial trucks are behemoths on the road that can cause severe damage to other vehicles and their occupants because they weigh upwards of 10,000 pounds. Given their size, the negligence of the driver and the company could result in a serious accident.

The worst accidents on Massachusetts’s roads frequently involve huge commercial trucks. At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, our mission is to support truck accident victims by advocating on their behalf as they seek compensation for the losses they suffer due to a truck accident. We operate on a contingency fee basis and put in unrelenting effort to obtain a favorable resolution for clients’ truck accident claims. Use our contact form or call 617-391-9001 to arrange a free consultation.

Commercial Truck Accident Liability in Massachusetts

Commercial truck accidents sometimes include multiple liable parties, involving more people than simply the drivers involved. Because trucks are large vehicles requiring many parties to cooperate to operate on the road, many people could be deemed responsible for the cause of a truck accident.

Massachusetts Is a No-Fault Insurance State

Since Massachusetts is a no-fault insurance state, you file a claim with your own insurance coverage if you are in an accident. However, your insurance may not cover all of your losses. When your insurance has run out, there are several circumstances in which you may file a personal injury lawsuit for a truck accident.

If you had injuries in a Massachusetts vehicle accident that resulted in more than $2,000 in reasonable medical costs or if your injuries are serious enough to permanently impair your quality of life, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Injuries like broken bones, disfigurement, loss of hearing or eyesight, partial or total loss of a body part, and death could qualify you for a civil suit.

Before filing a lawsuit, you must identify the party or parties responsible for the accident. 

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Commercial Truck Accident?

If the necessary conditions are met, then you can go forward with preparing to file a truck accident claim against the party or parties responsible for your truck accident. Typically, parties who are held liable for commercial truck accidents include the following:

  • The truck driver
  • The truck driver’s employer
  • The trucking company 
  • Whoever owns or leases the truck
  • The maintenance company
  • The parts manufacturer
  • Cargo loaders
  • Shippers and distributors

Following a truck accident, the parties most usually found negligent are the trucking company and the truck driver. The trucking company is most usually held liable since they are frequently caught encouraging their drivers to violate trucking regulations to save their business money. However, truckers may be liable if their carelessness contributed to an accident. This negligence could include texting or driving after drinking.

When Are Companies Liable for Commercial Truck Accidents in Massachusetts?

Commercial trucks and their drivers are subject to stringent rules to keep themselves and other motorists safe. Since they are routinely found urging their drivers to perform duties that break trucking laws to save money, the trucking company is typically held accountable.

For a trucking company to be held responsible for a truck accident brought on by a driver, the truck driver must be an employee working at the time of the accident for the employer’s profit or acting in the course and scope of employment. 

Federal Truck and Truck Operation Regulations

Federal regulations are set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for trucks and transportation businesses. Numerous responsibilities relating to transportation fall under this administration, including operator training, certificates, maintenance, and operator hours.

The FMCSA has created the following regulations and more to ensure the safe operation of commercial trucks:

  • Title 49 CFR 395.3: Sets a maximum driving time for commercial vehicles
  • Title 49 CFR 393.102: Establishes the minimum performance criteria for cargo securement devices and systems
  • Title 49 CFR 396.11: Requires drivers to complete an inspection report for each vehicle they operated at the end of each workday

To operate a commercial vehicle safely, trucking companies must ensure their drivers exhibit responsible behavior and have proper training. Trucking companies are negligent when they fall short of the standards outlined by regulations or violate their duty of care. Holding these companies responsible serves to deliver justice to the victims and deter future acts of negligence.

Can Drivers Be Liable for Massachusetts Commercial Truck Accidents?

Drivers may be liable for commercial truck accidents if they are independent contractors. When a driver is an employee acting in the course and scope of employment, the trucking company is held responsible for the accident. If the truck driver who struck you was at fault and was not an employee, you may file a claim for damages after the collision.

Evaluating how much influence the trucking company has over the trucker’s schedule and capacity to enter agreements with other trucking companies will help you determine whether a driver is an employee of the trucking company or an owner-operator of a rig. An owner-operator is a self-employed truck driver who owns and manages their own commercial hauling vehicle and chooses their own schedules, making them responsible for how many hours they operate and ensuring their vehicle receives maintenance.

How Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers Can Benefit Your Claim

At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ve worked hard to build a reputation as a firm with a team of knowledgeable and reliable attorneys. For example, Attorney Erin E. McHugh is a member of our team with experience representing clients in various personal injury cases. Among other notable triumphs, she played a key role in recovering millions of dollars for multiple clients.

Our firm prides itself on helping clients understand their legal options and the best course of action that could lead their claim to a favorable outcome. From there, we can help you gather evidence, investigate your accident, and represent you against the liable party and the insurance company. We have a history of helping our clients achieve successful outcomes, and we might be able to help you as well.

Seek Legal Counsel From a Massachusetts Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer

If a truck accident is caused by negligence, there are frequently painful consequences, such as lasting pain and expenses. Victims of truck accidents are entitled to compensation for the losses they have sustained from their accidents. Truck accident lawsuits are notoriously complicated, but a knowledgeable commercial truck accident lawyer may be able to identify the parties to hold liable in your case and fight for your rights.

At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, we guide our clients through taking legal action. Our committed Massachusetts truck accident lawyers will help collect evidence supporting your case. Over our more than 45 years of client service, we have invested significant time and effort to hone the abilities and in-depth legal knowledge we employ to represent our clients effectively. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at 617-391-9001 or use our contact form.