Boston Truck Accident Attorney
Boston, Massachusetts is the largest city in the region and is sometimes referred to as New England’s gateway to the world. A million and a half tons of cargo flow through the Port of Boston each year, and whether coming or going, much of that cargo is loaded onto 18-wheeler tractor-trailers, also known as semi-trucks or big rigs. Boston is hooked into all of the United States via major interstates like I-90 and I-95, as well as a labyrinth of expressways, parkways, roads and crossings throughout the city. The result is that Bostonians can expect to encounter semi-truck traffic at all hours of the day and night throughout the year, along with boxy, heavy delivery trucks plying their streets.
Truck drivers are professionally trained and licensed to handle commercial vehicles, but aspects of their job put them at risk of getting into accidents. When they do cause a crash, it’s the people in the automobiles that get hit who suffer the most. A loaded-down tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and even a 6,000-pound SUV is no match for the force of getting struck by a semi at highway speeds.
Truck accident victims suffer serious injuries, and they need a serious attorney to help them hold the truck driver and trucking company accountable for the serious damage caused. Boston truck accident attorney Joseph R. Linnehan, Jr. has been helping people injured in car and truck accidents for decades and has successfully recovered compensation for thousands of injury victims in Boston verdicts and settlements. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident in Boston, call the Law Office of Joseph R. Linnehan, Jr. for a free consultation and immediate assistance getting the care and compensation you need and deserve.
Leading Causes of Truck Accidents in Boston
Truck accidents happen for all the same reasons that auto accidents do: speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, following too close, failure to yield, failure to signal, etc. Additionally, 18-wheelers and their drivers face extra challenges specific to their industry that put them at greater risk of a crash. These factors include the following:
Driver fatigue. Federal safety rules limit how long truckers can be on duty or behind the wheel before they have to take a break or significant time off. However, these rules are so lax and favorable to the trucking industry that truck drivers can lawfully work 60 hours over seven consecutive days or 70 hours over eight consecutive days before having to take off only 32 hours (less than a day and a half) before starting a new seven or eight-day period. They can put in 14-hour days and spend 11 of those hours driving. They can drive for eight hours before having to take a 30-minute break. And if traffic conditions make them fall behind schedule, they can legally extend some of these times by two full hours.
If the lawful hours don’t sound grueling enough, many truckers routinely ignore these hours of service rules and drive longer than they are allowed to, falsifying their records and logs to hide their noncompliance. Long-haul trucking can be fatiguing, and driving too long puts truckers at risk of falling asleep at the wheel or making dangerous drowsy driving mistakes.
Negligent truck maintenance. The shape of the nation’s tractor-trailer fleet is dismal and frightening. When trucks get pulled over for annual, pre-announced roadside inspections, over 20% have to be immediately pulled from service for safety issues. The leading problems are bad or missing brake components and worn-out tires that are past their useful life. Other imminent safety violations include malfunctioning signal lights and coupling devices. If an 18-wheeler’s brakes or tires fail at a critical moment while speeding along the highway, expect that a catastrophic truck accident could easily and tragically result.
Loading errors. If a trailer’s cargo is not securely loaded, it could fall out of or off of the trailer, creating a massive multi-vehicle disaster. If the trailer is overloaded or loaded too high, the driver could lose control and cause the truck to roll over or jackknife. The same can happen if cargo shifts and becomes unbalanced during the trip. Truck drivers need to check their loads at the start of every trip and reload if necessary. Loading errors could be the fault of the truck driver and trucking company, a freight hauler, shipping company, or third-party vendor or supplier that loaded the truck. Part of recovering a successful settlement or verdict after a truck accident includes identifying all proper responsible parties and holding them accountable for their negligence.
Get Help After a Truck Accident in Boston
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Boston, call the Law Office of Joseph R. Linnehan, Jr. at 617-275-4200 for a free consultation with an experienced and successful truck accident lawyer who cares about you and is dedicated to helping you get the medical care and compensation you need to deal with the serious injuries a truck accident can impose.