Attorneys Serving Clients Injured in Trucking Accidents Throughout Rhode Island
Commercial trucking is a massive industry that spans the continent. Truck drivers are often faced with tight deadlines to deliver their hauls on time. In spite of federal regulations and state laws designed to make trucking safer, truck drivers, trucking companies, and other parties in the industry may still sacrifice safety in pursuit of profit.
Unfortunately, this decision often has tragic consequences. Semi truck accidents are among the most serious motor vehicle collisions we see on the road, frequently resulting in catastrophic injury and even death.
The aftermath of a truck accident is serious. You may be facing recovery from serious injuries, or a permanent disability that affects your ability to work and enjoy life the way you did before the crash. The accident may have claimed the life of a loved one, leaving your family to deal with the grief and unexpected financial burdens.
Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd goes further than any other law firm in investigating motor vehicle accidents and pursuing the compensation you and your family deserve. We have earned more million-dollar and multi-million-dollar trial results than any firm in the history of Rhode Island.
For a free case review, please call Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd at (401) 273-8330 today. Our law firm has been serving clients in and around Providence for over 40 years.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
Most heavy truck accidents result in serious injuries that require urgent medical attention. Therefore, your first two priorities after a crash with a semi truck are: 1). Calling 911 for help and 2). Staying in your vehicle and moving as little as possible (unless doing so puts you in immediate danger).
When the paramedics arrive, they will evaluate the extent of your injuries and determine if you need to be taken straight to the hospital. Firefighters will assist with removing you from the vehicle if the damage prevents easy egress.
During your initial consultation, an experienced truck accident lawyer will listen to your story and review any photos and documents that are relevant to the crash, your injuries, and the losses you have sustained. The attorney will discuss your options for pursuing a claim against those responsible for the crash.
At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd, we understand the importance of prompt investigation and thorough preparation. When you hire our firm, we will start on your claim immediately and explore all of your options for recovery. Throughout the process of your truck accident claim, we provide guidance and support as well as expert legal service.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
You might assume that handling a truck accident claim is just like any other kind of motor vehicle accident litigation. However, truck crashes actually differ from car accidents in a number of important ways, from the seriousness of the injuries and the extent of damages to the complex issues of liability.
Simply put: If you or a loved one is involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or another commercial vehicle, you need a lawyer. Having experienced representation in your truck accident claim is advantageous for a number of reasons:
- Serious and catastrophic injuries. Victims of minor accidents often wonder if they can handle the claim themselves. After a major injury, however, very few victims have the capacity to take on the case alone. Truck accidents carry a high likelihood of serious injury for the occupants of passenger vehicles. If you were a driver or passenger in a vehicle that was hit by a truck, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney.
- Extensive damages. You may be entitled to compensation for a wide range of losses after a trucking accident. However, the at-fault parties and their insurance companies may deny your claim or aggressively dispute the damages in your case. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you pursue the full compensation to which you are entitled.
- Investigating the accident. Accident investigation and reconstruction is a complex and specialized field. Your truck accident lawyer will obtain copies of the police report and other documents, as well as hire experts to collect evidence at the scene and analyze all aspects of the crash to determine what caused the accident, how it occurred, and who is at fault.
- Investigating the parties. One of the major differences between truck accident litigation and other vehicle collision claims is the complexity of liability. Investigation of trucking company records may uncover negligence on the part of the driver, his employer, and many other parties. To maximize the recovery in your case, it is crucial for your attorney to identify all liable parties and take action against them on your behalf.
- Investigating your injuries. Recovery from a serious injury is a long and arduous undertaking. For accident victims, it is difficult to think beyond the next day of treatment or physical therapy. Your lawyer can handle long-term considerations while you focus on taking back your life. Our truck accident attorneys work with your medical team and other experts to understand the prognosis for your injuries and how they will affect your life.
- Calculating the damages in your truck accident claim. Your truck accident lawyer will take into account all of your losses from the crash to determine how much you are entitled to in compensation. Expert testimony is often key for calculating damages such as pain and suffering, future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and more.
- Negotiating with insurance companies. Whether they offer a low settlement or deny your claim, the insurers for the at-fault parties in your case are unlikely to agree to pay you what’s fair if you try to handle the case on your own. The insurance companies take truck accident claims more seriously when the victim is represented by an experienced attorney.
- Taking your case to trial (if necessary). If your case doesn’t settle before going to court, our attorneys thoroughly prepare your case for trial. We know what evidence to request from the defendant(s) during discovery and what questions to ask witnesses at depositions. At trial, our goal is to win a verdict that fully compensates you for your truck accident losses.
Truck accident litigation is complicated. Expert testimony is often necessary to determine the cause of the accident, identify the liable parties, assess the severity of your injuries, and account for all of the damages in your case.
Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has established relationships with the best experts in a variety of fields to assist us with trucking accident claims. Our team also has unsurpassed knowledge of the medicine behind serious injuries, including those caused by collisions with big rigs. As a result, we are able to relieve the burdens of clients who have been injured or lost a loved one in truck accidents. You and your family can focus on recovering while our firm takes care of your case.
How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Charge?
Trucking accidents take a significant financial toll. Whether you were seriously injured or a member of your family died in the crash, you may be facing a number of high, unexpected costs. As a result, you may be hesitant to call a truck accident lawyer due to concerns about the expense.
Your initial consultation at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd is free. We take cases on a No Fee Promise, which means you pay nothing if we don’t resolve your truck accident claim favorably. If we do achieve a verdict or settlement in your favor, you pay our firm a percentage of the recovery.
So what does it cost to hire a lawyer after a truck accident? Nothing upfront, and you only have to pay if we succeed in your claim!
What Are the Causes of Truck Accidents?
Of course, a truck accident can be caused in the same way as many car accidents – through reckless driving, speeding, and mechanical faults. Another hazard with semi trucks is in the cargo. Even if the truck accident does not involve another vehicle, cargo spilling out on the road can endanger the lives of other drivers.
There are many reasons why a truck accident might occur. Crashes involving semi trucks are often the result of:
Although they need special licensing and must complete training, truck drivers are no less prone to errors behind the wheel than the drivers of other vehicles. The difference, of course, is that their rigs are many times larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road.
Truck drivers are also subject to pressures that other drivers do not face. As a result, truck accidents may occur because:
- The driver is rushing to meet a tight delivery deadline
- The driver is tired due to driving for long periods
- The driver is stressed and not paying enough attention to other drivers and the road
- The driver is unfamiliar with the route and fails to adapt to traffic, weather, and/or road conditions
- The driver fails to check the large blind spots around the truck before changing lanes or merging into traffic
- The driver does not leave enough space for his giant vehicle between other vehicles
Negligence in a trucking accident case may also stem from issues such as distracted driving or driving while intoxicated.
Distracted Driving Truck Accidents
Truck drivers may attempt to break up the monotony of driving for hours at a time by texting, checking emails or social media accounts, and more. In addition to violating the ban Rhode Island has put in place on using handheld devices behind the wheel, distracted driving also violates federal regulations that prohibit commercial drivers from texting while driving.
Drunk and Drugged Driving Truck Accidents
Sadly, some truck drivers use alcohol or drugs in the course of their hauls. Trucking companies are required to screen drivers at intervals during their employment for drug and alcohol use, but drivers and their employers may circumvent these regulations. As a result, it often takes a serious or fatal truck accident for the problem to become known.
In addition to the truck driver and the trucking company, the establishment that served alcohol to the driver may be at fault for a drunk driving accident involving a semi truck. Under the dram shop law in Rhode Island, bars, restaurants, and other establishments serving alcohol can be liable if members of staff serve a customer who is visibly intoxicated and goes on to harm somebody else.
Overloading of the Truck
An overloaded semi truck is more likely to roll or suffer failure of the brakes, tires, and other components. If too much cargo was loaded on the truck or the weight was improperly distributed, the freight company may be partially at fault for your truck accident damages.
The shipping company may also be liable if cargo is not properly secured. Single-vehicle accidents may occur if cargo falls off of the truck and into the road, or if hazardous or toxic materials leak or spill.
What Injuries Occur in Truck Accidents?
Collisions between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks involve enormous forces. Standard cars, vans, pickup trucks, and even SUVs are not designed to withstand this kind of impact. As a result, serious and catastrophic injuries are common in truck accident claims.
Some of the serious injuries we see in trucking accident cases include:
- Brain injuries: From concussions to open head wounds, any type of traumatic brain injury can be accompanied by severe complications affecting cognition, behavior, speech, sensation, and more.
- Facial injuries: Many truck accident victims sustain deep lacerations to the face, broken bones, and broken or dislodged teeth due to the force of the impact and the debris created by the crash. Injuries to the face may be repaired through plastic surgery and reconstructive dentistry, but they can also lead to long-term or permanent disfigurement.
- Spinal cord injury: One of the most extreme outcomes of any injury to the spine is paralysis. Victims of spinal cord injury may suffer paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body) or quadriplegia (paralysis of the upper and lower body), depending on the location and the extent of the trauma.
- Broken bones: Multiple bones in the body may suffer fracture in a truck accident. Areas of the body that are particularly at risk include:
- The head, face, and neck
- The ribs
- The arms, wrists, and hands
- The back
- The pelvis and hips
- The legs, ankles, and feet
- Internal injuries: Trauma to blood vessels, tissues, and organs may result in internal bleeding and compromise key bodily systems.
- Burn injuries: Victims in a truck accident may suffer thermal burns if a fire or explosion occurs, or chemical burns if the tractor trailer is hauling hazardous materials. Burn injuries carry a number of complications, including chronic pain, severe scarring, infection, and loss of mobility and function.
- Amputation injuries: The loss of a limb can affect all aspects of the victim’s life, including employment opportunities, household duties, leisure activities, and more.
Unfortunately, serious and catastrophic injuries in a truck accident may also prove fatal. If your family experiences this tragedy, Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd can pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving relatives.
Who Is At Fault for My Trucking Accident?
Multiple parties may be at fault for the injuries and damages you sustain in a tractor trailer collision. The attorneys at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd will fully investigate the accident and pursue compensation on your behalf from all of the parties responsible.
Ultimately, the parties in your truck accident claim may include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- A vehicle or parts manufacturer
- The shipping company
- A freight broker
- The owner of the tractor and/or the trailer (if different from the driver, trucking company, etc.)
- Other third parties, such as:
- Another driver (in cases where the negligence of the driver in another vehicle causes the truck driver to lose control of the rig)
- A bar, restaurant, or other establishment that overserves alcohol to a truck driver (dram shop liability claims)
- The government agency responsible for a dangerous or defective road
Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has years of experience in dealing with insurance companies and handling truck accident claims. We are familiar with all of the techniques that the insurance companies may use to influence you to settle quickly and for less compensation.
Insurance companies have teams of investigators, adjustors, agents, and legal help to protect them. As the accident victim, you need your own team of legal experts to protect you.
What Compensation Is Available After a Truck Accident?
The damages after a trucking accident are often significant. In addition to compensation for the economic costs of your injuries, you may be entitled to recovery of non-economic damages for pain and suffering and other losses.
Each truck accident claim is unique, and the damages you pursue must be supported by the evidence. Depending on the circumstances, our attorneys may be able to recover the following damages in your case:
- Medical expenses: The cost of medical treatment is not confined to your current bills. If additional or ongoing care is necessary, you may be entitled to compensation for future medical expenses, too.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Along with compensation for medical bills, you may be entitled to additional damages for other costs associated with your injuries (e.g., mobility assistance devices, travel to medical appointments, home care, modifications to your residence and vehicle, etc.)
- Lost wages: Income you miss from being unable to work due to your injuries may be recovered in your truck accident claim.
- Loss of earning capacity: This category of damages compensates you for lost wages in the future if you are no longer able to work because of your truck accident injuries.
- Pain and suffering: The most prominent type of non-economic damages, pain and suffering damages compensate you for physical pain and emotional distress after the truck accident.
- Disability: If you are permanently disabled as a result of the truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for lost quality and enjoyment of life.
- Scarring and disfigurement: Lacerations, burns, and other trucking accident injuries can leave unsightly scars. Damages for disfigurement compensate you for the emotional anguish associated with these injuries.
- Loss of consortium: If your injuries in the accident affect relationships with your family, such as loss of intimacy and companionship with a spouse, loss of guidance and affection with your children, etc., you may be entitled to non-economic damages for these losses.
- Punitive damages: Only awarded in select cases, punitive damages may be available in your truck accident lawsuit if one or more of the defendants exhibited extreme recklessness or malice.
At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd, we determine the total value of your truck accident claim through comprehensive investigation of the evidence and the input of expert witnesses. If you receive a settlement offer from the insurance company, it is likely to be for much less than what your case is actually worth.
So, it is important to speak to an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible before you make a decision about a settlement.
What If My Loved One Was Killed in a Trucking Accident?
The compensation recovered in a wrongful death claim after a fatal truck accident will depend on the specific losses and harm suffered. Generally, wrongful death damages include:
- Loss of expected income and financial support
- Loss of household services
- Funeral and burial or cremation expenses
- Loss of consortium, society, and companionship
- Medical expenses incurred before your loved one’s death
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering of the decedent
As with cases of serious and catastrophic injury, rigorous investigation and expert testimony are crucial for building a truck accident wrongful death claim. Our team handles the complexities of your case so you and your family can have peace of mind as you grieve your lost loved one.
Contact Our Providence Truck Accident Attorneys Today
For more than 40 years, Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has been representing clients in complex injury and wrongful death claims involving commercial trucks. Our truck accident lawyers have the experience, the track record of success, and the expertise to act in your best interest and recover the compensation you deserve.
Please call (401) 273-8330 today for a free evaluation of your case. Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd serves clients in Providence and throughout Rhode Island.