Rhode Island Truck Accident Attorneys
It’s mostly impossible to drive anywhere without dealing with semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles. Many drivers would prefer to avoid them altogether, but unfortunately, that’s not always an option. Sometimes, the worst happens, and a negligent truck driver causes an accident that changes your life for the worse.
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident involving a truck? If so, you may be eligible for compensation. Due to their large size and weight, truck accidents are more likely to result in severe injury than accidents between two passenger vehicles. Injuries caused by truck accidents can have devastating impacts on an individual’s life.
Because trucks are nearly always commercially operated, they are subject to dozens of state and federal rules and regulations. If any rules or regulations were broken, you might be entitled to more compensation than you think.
For example, Rhode Island law states that trucks must follow strict maintenance schedules. If a truck company failed to properly maintain the truck’s braking system, for example, and that played a role in your accident, it may be possible to hold the company responsible for your damages.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
After experiencing a truck accident, it’s likely that you are suffering from injuries and that your vehicle was seriously damaged. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may have mounting medical bills, and your injuries may prevent you from working. Many people find it difficult to manage daily life during the aftermath of a truck accident. As a result, it’s understandable to feel that engaging in a legal process would be too much to handle.
But an experienced truck accident attorney will help you shoulder the legal burden and work to get you access to compensation that will ease your financial stress.
A truck accident attorney will have expert knowledge of the rules and laws that regulate the trucking industry. Your attorney will also have the skills and resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into whether any trucking regulations were broken.
In most circumstances, victims in truck accidents begin by filing an insurance claim with the truck company’s insurance provider. If your insurance claim is unsuccessful, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit. In either case, you will need to collect and organize documents, gather evidence, and communicate with the truck company and insurance provider. Having an attorney guide you through this process is essential. Your attorney can help you:
- Manage communication with the truck company and insurance company
- Conduct an investigation into the circumstances of your accident
- Help obtain and organize documents such as medical records, invoices, and bills
- Ensure that all legal paperwork is filled out correctly and submitted on time
- Advise you on whether you should take a settlement or go to trial
Why Should I Hire Crowe & Harris, LLP ?
Crowe & Harris, LLP is a team of highly experienced legal professionals who are ready to assist you with your case. While many law firms assign cases to individual attorneys, Crowe & Harris, LLP assigns our cases to entire teams. That means that your case will be worked on by a group of highly experienced attorneys, nurses, paralegals, law clerks, and legal secretaries. This collaborative approach allows for truly comprehensive and dedicated work on your case.
Our teamwork-oriented approach consistently helps us achieve favorable results for our clients. In total, we have obtained more than half a billion dollars for our clients. While every case is different, our strong track record is a reliable indicator of our dedication.
We understand that many accident victims worry that hiring an attorney will be too expensive. At Crowe & Harris, LLP , we operate on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you only pay us for our services if we win your case. At that point, we take a percentage of your overall settlement or verdict amount. If we do not win, then you don’t owe us any money. This approach allows you to hire our legal services at no financial risk to you.
We also offer a 100-percent free initial consultation. Call us today at (617) 404-3417 to schedule your consultation.
Truck Accidents Versus Car Accidents
Accidents involving trucks almost always result in more severe injuries and vehicle damage than accidents between passenger vehicles. Trucks are 20 to 30 times heavier than most cars, and take longer to slow down while braking. These factors can increase the force of impact during a truck accident.
Because of the additional dangers that trucks present, they are heavily regulated by state and federal governments. These regulations minimize the risk of accidents and concern a variety of parties, including the truck driver, company, and manufacturer. Government agencies regulate almost all aspects of trucking, including:
- How much weight a truck can haul
- How companies hire drivers and driver training
- Truck maintenance schedules
- Crash test safety
- Special speed limits that truck drivers must abide by
- Special safety features, such as splash guards that prevent truck tires from kicking up dirt and debris onto surrounding cars
These are only a few of the many rules and regulations that could have been at play during your accident. An experienced truck accident lawyer will have expert knowledge of these laws and can help you determine if any regulations were violated. If you were in an accident with a truck and were not at fault, it’s likely that one or more regulations were violated. It is very rare to have a true “accident” — one or more parties are usually determined to be at fault.
Consider this example. A truck appears to be driving safely before it hits some invisible black ice, spins out of control, and hits your vehicle. The trucking company may argue that the accident wasn’t the driver’s fault, since the ice was unavoidable. However, after further investigation, it is uncovered that the truck had missed its last maintenance inspection and the brakes were worn out, which prevented the truck from slowing down.
Trucking companies and insurance companies may try to take advantage of the fact that most accident victims are not well-versed in trucking industry regulations and offer you a low settlement in exchange for dropping your case. You should never accept a settlement without first consulting an attorney. An attorney can advise you on whether you’re getting a fair deal, and negotiate a higher settlement amount. Once you sign a legal document agreeing to a settlement, it is extremely difficult to undo.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many factors that can lead to a truck accident. The following are among the most common:
- Driver error — This includes mistakes such as speeding, failing to signal, making an illegal U-turn, or not leaving enough stopping distance between vehicles.
- Fatigue — Driving fatigue is rampant among truck drivers, who may be compensated based on how many miles they cover. Drivers may skip mandatory breaks and work illegal overtime. Driving while fatigued can be comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Driving while intoxicated — Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous and can result in delayed reaction time, blurred vision, slowed decision making, etc. Truck drivers may be tempted to take illegal stimulants to drive longer hours. Withdrawal from stimulants can lead to extreme and sudden fatigue.
- Unqualified/untrained drivers — Safely operating a truck requires specialized knowledge of truck systems and mechanics. If a driver is not adequately trained, they may not fully understand how to operate their vehicle, putting drivers around them at risk.
- Mechanical/technical issues — Trucks are complicated machines with hundreds of parts that need to be properly maintained. Trucks are subject to strict maintenance schedules to ensure that all parts are functioning properly. Failing to properly inspect/maintain a truck can lead to an accident.
Contact an Experienced Rhode Island Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a truck accident, the skilled, dedicated legal team at Crowe & Harris, LLP is here to help. We understand the devastating impact that a truck accident can have on an individual’s life, and we are passionate about helping our clients obtain the compensation that can help them get back on their feet.