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Rhode Island Trucking Accident Lawyers

When a trucker is behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer weighing 10,000 pounds or more, safety demands that the driver stay alert and drive within the speed limits. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In reality, thousands of semi-truck accidents result from driver inattention, fatigue, and speeding.

Trucks vs. Cars: Truck Accident Attorney Rhode Island

Commercial trucks are substantially larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. The disparity in size means that truck accidents are often fatal or cause serious injury.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A total of 4,714 people died in large truck crashes in 2021, a 17 percent increase compared with 2020. Sixteen percent of these deaths were truck occupants, 68 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. 

Another alarming statistic from the Institute for Highway Safety is Ninety-seven percent of vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck in 2021 were occupants of the passenger vehicles.

Truck Drivers are Usually the Cause of a Trucking Accident in Rhode Island

Drivers of large trucks and other vehicles involved in a truck accident are 10 times more likely to be the cause of the crash than other factors, such as weather or road conditions, according to a three-year study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

According to the federal study, these are the top 10 factors, in descending order, that were present at the time of truck crashes in the study.

Top Truck Accident Factors in RI

  1. Brake problems
  2. Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
  3. Prescription drug use
  4. Traveling too fast for conditions
  5. Unfamiliarity with roadway
  6. Roadway problems
  7. Required to stop before the crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
  8. Over-the-counter drug use
  9. Inadequate surveillance
  10. Fatigue.

The study also found that some crashes stemmed from the failure to properly maintain trucks, especially the brakes, resulting in catastrophic rear-end collisions.

In some instances drivers reported being pressured to meet deadlines. That may have led to unsafe driving practices, such as speeding, which put other motorists at risk.

Contact a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney

If you are injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you should consult an attorney who has extensive experience arguing trucking negligence claims. These truck accident cases can be complex and require thorough investigation.

Trucking companies are only required to keep their records for a short period of time. Trucking company representatives may approach accident victims while they are still in shock or confused about their options – and obtain statements that can later be used as a defense to legal claims.

RI Truck Accident Attorneys at Gemma Law Associates

The truck accident attorneys at Gemma Law Associates, Inc., have worked on many trucking negligence cases, and we are familiar with the tactics used by trucking companies and their insurance carriers to avoid paying damages.

We know how to investigate these cases properly to ensure no evidence is lost, and we believe that trucking companies should be held accountable when their negligent practices cause pain and suffering or wrongful death.

If you’ve suffered a serious personal injury due to trucking negligence, contact Gemma Law Associates, Inc., toll-free, or submit an online contact form. We’ve been helping clients in Rhode Island for more than 45 years – and we can help you.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What can a Rhode Island truck accident lawyer do for me?

A Rhode Island truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process following a truck accident. They can advise you on your legal rights and options, help you gather and present evidence, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary. They can also help you understand the laws and regulations specific to truck accidents in Rhode Island and how they may impact your case. Additionally, a truck accident lawyer will help you to understand the compensation you are entitled to, and can help you to claim for damages, lost wages, and medical expenses that you incurred as a result of the accident.

How much does it cost to hire a truck accident attorney?

At Gemma Law Associates, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means we only get paid when you receive your settlement check.

What should I do after a truck accident?

If you are involved in a truck accident, it is important to take certain steps to protect your safety and legal rights. Here are some things you should do:

  • Check for injuries: If you or anyone else is injured, call for medical assistance immediately.
  • Call the police: Notify the police of the accident and request that they come to the scene to make a report.
  • Gather information: Collect information from the truck driver, such as their name, contact information, and insurance information. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and the damage to the vehicles involved.
  • Get witness information: Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.
  • Get medical attention: Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you think your injuries are minor.
  • Do not admit fault: Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident, as it could be used against you later in court.
  • Contact a lawyer: Consider hiring a Rhode Island truck accident lawyer, who can advise you on your legal rights and options and help you navigate the legal process.
  • Keep records: Keep a detailed record of all medical treatments, lost wages, and other expenses that you incurred as a result of the accident.

It’s important to remember that time is of the essence after a truck accident as there are time limits to file a claim and also the evidence might be lost with time. So, it’s better to act quickly and take the above steps as soon as possible.

How long do I have to file a claim after a truck accident in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim arising from a truck accident is three years from the date of the accident. This means that you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for damages related to your injuries. It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations, as if you fail to file a claim within this time frame, you may be barred from recovering any compensation for your injuries.

However, it’s always better to file a claim as soon as possible, as waiting too long can negatively affect the evidence available to support your claim, and also the defendant might argue that you don’t have a strong case if you waited too long.

It’s also important to note that there can be different statutes of limitation for different types of claims or different parties, so it’s always better to consult with a Rhode Island truck accident lawyer, who can advise you on the specific statute of limitations that applies to your case.

How long does a Rhode Island truck accident case take?

The length of a Rhode Island truck accident case can vary significantly based on numerous factors. It’s difficult to provide an exact timeframe without knowing the specifics of the case, but here are some general factors that can influence the duration:

  • Complexity of the Case: Cases with multiple parties, disputed liability, or complicated injuries can take longer to resolve than more straightforward cases.
  • Severity of Injuries: Cases involving serious or long-term injuries may take longer because it can take time to fully understand the extent of the injuries and the long-term impact on the victim’s life.
  • Insurance Company Cooperation: If the insurance company is willing to negotiate a fair settlement, the case can be resolved more quickly. However, if the insurer disputes the claim, it may take longer.
  • Litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached and the case goes to court, it can extend the timeline significantly. Court schedules, discovery, and trial preparation can all add to the time it takes to resolve the case.

Given these factors, a Rhode Island truck accident case could take anywhere from a few months to a few years to resolve. It’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer, to get a more accurate estimate based on the specifics of your case. Remember, while it’s understandable to want a quick resolution, it’s often more important to ensure a thorough and fair assessment of all damages to obtain the compensation you deserve.

How much is my truck accident case worth?

The value of a truck accident case can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the accident and the injuries sustained. Factors that can affect the value of a case include the extent of the injuries, the amount of medical expenses and lost wages, and the degree of fault of the parties involved.

In general, the more severe the injuries, the more the case is worth. For example, a case involving permanent disabilities or significant medical expenses will typically be worth more than a case involving only minor injuries.

Economic damages such as lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage can be calculated by adding up the costs incurred. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are more difficult to calculate but can be substantial in cases involving severe injuries or long-term disabilities.

It’s not easy to estimate the value of a case without a thorough evaluation of the facts and the evidence. An experienced Rhode Island truck accident lawyer will be able to give you a better estimate of the value of your case after reviewing the facts and evidence. They can also help you to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company or present your case to a jury to get the maximum compensation possible.

What injuries are commonly found after a truck accident?

Truck accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can be serious and long-lasting. Here are some of the most common injuries found after a truck accident:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): A TBI can be caused by a blow to the head or a jolt to the brain, and can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including memory loss, confusion, headaches, and difficulty with coordination and balance.
  • Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury can result from trauma to the spine and can lead to partial or complete paralysis.
  • Fractures: Fractures, or broken bones, are common in truck accidents, especially in the arms, legs, and ribs.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, and contusions, are common in truck accidents and can be caused by the force of the impact or by being thrown around in the vehicle.
  • Burns: Truck accidents can also result in burns, which can be caused by the vehicle catching fire or by coming into contact with hot surfaces.
  • Internal injuries: Internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding, can occur in truck accidents and can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
  • Psychological injuries: Trauma from an accident can also lead to psychological injuries, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other emotional and mental health issues.

It’s important to remember that some injuries may not be immediately apparent after an accident, and it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to identify and treat any injuries. An experienced Rhode Island truck accident lawyer can also help you to understand the extent of your injuries and how they may impact your case.

Should I contact a lawyer if no one was injured in the truck accident?

Even if no one was injured in a truck accident, it may still be beneficial to contact a lawyer. A Rhode Island truck accident lawyer can advise you on your legal rights and options and help you navigate the legal process, even if no one was injured.

If there was damage to the vehicles or other property, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairs or replacement. A lawyer can help you to gather and present evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.

Additionally, if the accident was caused by the truck driver’s negligence, a lawyer can help you to hold them accountable for their actions and potentially prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.

Furthermore, if the accident resulted in a delay of your goods, or resulted in goods getting damaged, a lawyer can help you in getting compensated for the losses.

Overall, even if no one was injured in a truck accident, it’s still a good idea to contact a lawyer who can evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action. They can also help you to understand the laws and regulations specific to truck accidents in Rhode Island and how they may impact your case.

Am I eligible for pain and suffering damages?

In some cases, you may be eligible for pain and suffering damages if you were injured in a truck accident. “Pain and suffering” refers to the physical and emotional distress that a person experiences as a result of an injury. In Rhode Island, you can claim for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, in addition to economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages.

To be eligible for pain and suffering damages, you must have suffered an injury that is the result of the truck driver’s negligence. Your injury must be a direct result of the accident and must be severe enough to cause you significant physical or emotional distress.

Pain and suffering damages are often difficult to quantify and can be subjective. However, an experienced Rhode Island truck accident lawyer can help you to present evidence to support your claim for pain and suffering, such as medical records and testimony from medical experts, and help you to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.

Should I call law enforcement to report an accident?

Yes, it is generally advisable to call law enforcement to report an accident, especially if it involves personal injury, significant property damage, or any dispute about what happened. A police report can serve as an objective record of the incident and may provide valuable information if a legal claim arises later. It can include details like the date, time, and place of the accident, the names and contact information of involved parties and witnesses, descriptions of injuries and property damage, and even a diagram of the accident. Always ensure your safety and the safety of others first, but if you’re able, contacting law enforcement should be one of your next steps.

When should I contact my insurance company?

You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible following a truck accident. Ideally, this should be done within 24 hours of the incident. Prompt notification allows your insurance company to start processing your claim immediately, preserving evidence and commencing any necessary investigations while information is fresh and readily available. It’s also essential to review your insurance policy since it may contain specific guidelines about the notification timeline that you’re expected to follow after an accident.

Remember, though, that while it’s important to report the accident, you should be cautious about making any definitive statements or accepting settlement offers without first consulting with a personal injury attorney. Some nuances in personal injury law and insurance can greatly affect your claim’s outcome.

How should I deal with an insurance adjuster after a truck accident?

Dealing with an insurance adjuster after a truck accident can be challenging.Keep in mind that insurance adjusters are skilled in techniques aimed at reducing the claim payout for the insurance company. You should be conscious of this during your interactions with them. Here are a few tips for dealing with an insurance adjuster:

  • Be honest: Provide the adjuster with accurate and complete information about the accident, but avoid admitting fault or making any statements that could be used against you later.
  • Get it in writing: Make sure you get any agreements or offers from the adjuster in writing and do not sign any documents without reading and fully understanding them.
  • Don’t rush: Take your time to consider any offers or settlements the adjuster may propose, and don’t feel pressured to accept a low offer or to settle your case quickly.
  • Keep records: Keep a detailed record of all communication with the insurance adjuster, including any statements you made, any documents you signed, and any offers you received.
  • Get legal help: Consult with a Rhode Island truck accident lawyer before giving a statement or signing any documents from the insurance company, as they can advise you on how to proceed and protect your legal rights.
  • Be aware of the time limits: Be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a claim and make sure you take necessary steps within the time limit.

It’s also important to remember that an insurance adjuster is not your advocate, they work for the insurance company and their goal is to settle the claim in a way that benefits the company, not you. A Rhode Island truck accident lawyer can help you to navigate the claims process and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.

What should I do if injuries show up after a truck accident?

If you have been in a truck accident and injuries show up after the initial incident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Additionally, you should contact an attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases, as they can advise you on your legal options and help you navigate the claims process. You should also keep all relevant documentation, such as medical bills, and any correspondence with insurance companies. If possible, take photographs of the scene of the accident and of any injuries you sustained.

What should I do if I lost a loved one to a truck accident?

If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be experiencing a lot of grief and trauma. It is important to take care of yourself during this difficult time. It is also important to contact an attorney experienced in handling wrongful death cases as soon as possible, as they can advise you on your legal options and help you navigate the claims process.

You should also keep all relevant documentation, such as the police report and any correspondence with insurance companies. You may also want to consider contacting a grief counselor or support group to help you deal with your loss.

Additionally, you may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver, trucking company, or other parties who may be liable for your loved one’s death. An attorney can help you to understand if this is an option for you and what evidence you would need to support your claim.

Who can I sue if I was hit by a truck?

If you were hit by a truck, you may be able to sue the truck driver, the trucking company, and/or other parties who may be liable for the accident.

The truck driver: If the driver was acting negligently or recklessly, you may be able to sue them for damages.

  • The trucking company: If the company failed to properly maintain the truck, failed to properly train the driver, or failed to properly supervise the driver, you may be able to sue them for damages.
  • The manufacturer of the truck or truck parts: If a defect in the truck or truck parts caused the accident, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for damages.
  • The company that loaded the truck: If an overloaded or improperly loaded truck caused the accident, you may be able to sue the company that loaded the truck for damages.
  • The company that leased the truck: If the company that leased the truck was negligent in maintaining the truck, you may be able to sue them for damages.

It is important to consult with an attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases to determine who may be liable for your injuries and the best way to proceed with your case.

Can I sue if I was hit by cargo that fell out of a truck?

Yes, you may be able to sue if you were hit by cargo that fell out of a truck. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to sue the truck driver, the trucking company, and/or other parties who may be liable for the accident.

  • The truck driver: If the driver was acting negligently by not properly securing the cargo, you may be able to sue them for damages.
  • The trucking company: If the company failed to properly maintain the truck, failed to properly train the driver, or failed to properly supervise the driver, you may be able to sue them for damages.
  • The manufacturer of the cargo or cargo securing equipment: If a defect in the cargo or cargo securing equipment caused the accident, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for damages.
  • The company that loaded the cargo: If an overloaded or improperly loaded cargo caused the accident, you may be able to sue the company that loaded the cargo for damages.

It is important to consult with an attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases to determine who may be liable for your injuries and the best way to proceed with your case.

How are truck accidents different from car accidents?

Truck accidents are different from car accidents in several ways:

  • Size and weight: Trucks are much larger and heavier than cars, which means they can cause much more damage in an accident.
  • Speed and braking: Trucks take longer to stop and have a harder time maneuvering than cars, which can make accidents more severe.
  • Cargo: Trucks carry cargo, which can shift or fall out of the truck during an accident, causing additional hazards.
  • Federal regulations: The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal government, which sets standards for things like driver qualifications, truck maintenance, and cargo loading. These regulations may come into play in the event of an accident.
  • Insurance: Trucks typically carry more insurance than cars, which can be beneficial if you are injured in an accident. However, trucking companies and their insurers may also have more resources to defend themselves and could be more aggressive in denying liability.
  • Investigation: Because of the federal regulations and the complexity of trucking operations, truck accident investigations may be more complex and take longer than those for car accidents.

Due to these differences, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases to help you navigate the legal process.

What is a truck underride accident?

A truck underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle, such as a car, slides under the trailer of a truck during a collision. These accidents can be particularly dangerous because the car’s occupants may be at risk of severe head injuries or being trapped and crushed by the trailer.

Truck underride accidents can occur when a car rear-ends a truck that is stopped or slowing down, or when a car collides with the side of a truck that is turning or changing lanes.

To prevent underride accidents, US federal regulations require trucks to have underride guards on the back and sides of the trailer. However, these guards can be damaged or missing, and they may not provide adequate protection in some accidents.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck underride accident, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases. They will be able to advise you on your legal options and can help you navigate the claims process.

What kinds of damages are commonly awarded in truck accident cases?

Truck accident cases often result in several types of damages being awarded to the injured party due to the severe nature of these incidents. Common types of damages awarded include:

  • Medical Expenses: These cover both immediate and future anticipated healthcare costs, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation therapy, and necessary medical equipment.
  • Lost Wages: If your ability to work is impacted by the accident, either in the short term or long term, you may be compensated for lost wages and diminished future earning capacity.
  • Pain and Suffering: This category compensates for physical discomfort and emotional distress. Determining these damages can be complex, as they are inherently subjective and can depend on the severity and duration of the pain and suffering.
  • Property Damage: This is to compensate for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal items damaged in the accident.
  • Loss of Consortium: In severe cases where the injury has impacted your relationship with your spouse, compensation may be awarded for loss of companionship.
  • Punitive Damages: While not as common, these damages are sometimes awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was especially negligent or reckless. They are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.

Each case is unique and the potential damages can vary widely. To fully understand the potential damages in your case, it is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, such as the team at Gemma Law Associates in Providence, Rhode Island.

Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer for a Minor Accident?

Whether or not to hire a truck accident lawyer for a minor accident depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • The extent of your injuries: If you have suffered minor injuries, you may be able to handle the claims process on your own, but if you have suffered significant injuries, a lawyer can help you navigate the process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
  • The damage to your vehicle: If your vehicle sustained only minor damage, you may be able to handle the claims process on your own, but if your vehicle was severely damaged or totaled, a lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company and make sure you are fully compensated for the loss of your vehicle.
  • The complexity of the case: If the accident was straightforward and it is clear who is at fault, you may be able to handle the claims process on your own. However, if there are multiple parties involved or if liability is not clear, a lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process.
  • The insurance company’s attitude: If the insurance company is cooperative and willing to work with you, you may be able to handle the claims process on your own. However, if the insurance company is not cooperating or is denying liability, a lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and advocate for your rights.

Ultimately, hiring a lawyer can give you peace of mind and can help ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, damages, and losses.

How Long Does a Truck Accident Claim Take to Settle?

Several variables influence the time it takes to finalize a truck accident claim. These include the degree of complexity involved in the case, the extent of the injuries suffered, and the level of cooperation exhibited by the insurance company during settlement negotiations.

Some truck accident claims can be resolved relatively quickly, within a few months. Others may take much longer to resolve, sometimes taking years.

Consider these factors that can influence the duration required to reach a settlement in a truck accident claim:

  • Investigation: A thorough investigation is needed to determine the cause of the accident and who is liable. This process can take time, especially if there is a lot of evidence to review, or if the accident involves multiple parties.
  • Negotiations: Once liability is established, the insurance company and the parties involved will need to negotiate a settlement. The negotiation process can be time-consuming, especially if there is a large amount of damage or if there is a dispute over liability.
  • Litigation: If the parties are unable to settle, the case may proceed to court. This can take a significant amount of time, as the legal process can be slow, especially if there is a lot of evidence to present or if the case goes to trial.
  • Medical treatment: If you are still receiving medical treatment for your injuries, it will be difficult to determine the full extent of your damages and negotiate a fair settlement.

Overall, it’s hard to predict how long a truck accident claim will take to settle, as it depends on many factors specific to the case. However, a truck accident attorney can help you understand the process, and will work to resolve your case as quickly as possible while also ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve.

What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Truck Accident?

There are several steps you can take to protect your rights after a truck accident:

  • Seek medical attention: Even if you feel okay, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and it’s important to document your injuries for any potential claims.
  • Document the accident: Take photos of the scene, including the damage to the vehicles, and any injuries you sustained. Get the contact information for any witnesses, and make a record of any statements they make about the accident.
  • Report the accident: Notify the police and file a report as soon as possible. This will help establish the facts of the accident and will be important if you decide to file a claim.
  • Contact an attorney: An attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases can help you navigate the claims process and will work to protect your rights.
  • Do not talk to the insurance company without an attorney: Insurance companies may try to contact you soon after the accident. It’s important to remember that their goal is to minimize the amount they have to pay out. You should not give a statement or accept a settlement without consulting with an attorney first.
  • Keep all documentation: Keep all documentation related to the accident, including police reports, medical bills, and correspondence with insurance companies. These documents will be important if you decide to file a claim.
  • Keep an accurate record of all expenses: Keep a record of all expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other costs. This information will be important when calculating the amount of damages you are entitled to.

By following these steps, you can help protect your rights and increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

What Happens If the At-fault Party Does Not Have Truck Insurance?

If the at-fault party in a truck accident does not have insurance, it can complicate the process of recovering damages. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Uninsured motorist coverage: If you have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your own auto insurance policy, you may be able to make a claim through your own insurance company.
  • Personal assets: If the at-fault party does not have insurance, you may be able to go after their assets to recover damages. However, this can be difficult, as many people do not have significant assets.
  • Lawsuit: You may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover damages. However, if the at-fault party does not have insurance or assets, it can be difficult to collect on any judgment you may win.
  • Self-insured trucking companies: Some trucking companies may be self-insured, meaning they have their insurance to cover accidents involving their trucks. In this case, you may be able to make a claim directly with the trucking company.
  • State’s fund: Some states have a “motor vehicle insurance fund” for accidents involving uninsured drivers. You may be able to make a claim through this fund to recover damages.

It is important to consult with an attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases, as they will be able to advise you on your options and help you navigate the process of recovering damages. They may also be able to help identify other potentially liable parties and insurance coverage.

Is the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Responsible for a Truck Accident?

The truck driver and trucking company can both be held responsible in a truck accident, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident.

The truck driver: The truck driver is responsible for operating the truck safely and in compliance with federal and state regulations. If the driver was negligent or reckless, they can be held liable for any damages that result from the accident. Examples of driver negligence include driving under the influence, distracted driving, and failing to follow traffic laws.

  • The trucking company: The trucking company is responsible for the overall operation of the trucking company and the safety of its drivers and vehicles. If the company failed to properly maintain the truck, failed to properly train the driver, or failed to properly supervise the driver, they can be held liable for any damages that result from the accident.
  • Other parties: In some cases, other parties may be held liable for a truck accident. For example, if a defective part caused the accident, the manufacturer of that part can be held liable. If the cargo was not properly loaded, the company that loaded the cargo can be held liable.

It is important to consult with an attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases, as they will be able to advise you on your legal options and help you navigate the claims process. They can also help identify other potentially liable parties and insurance coverage.

Why Are Truck Accident Claims Unique?

Truck accident claims are unique for several reasons:

  • The size and weight of trucks: Trucks are much larger and heavier than cars, which means they can cause much more damage in an accident. This can result in more severe injuries and higher medical expenses.
  • Federal regulations: The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal government, which sets standards for things like driver qualifications, truck maintenance, and cargo loading. These regulations can come into play in the event of an accident and can make the investigation process more complex.
  • The investigation process: Truck accidents often involve multiple parties and can be more complex to investigate than car accidents. For example, the truck’s black box (electronic control module) which records the truck’s speed, braking, and other information, must be analyzed, also the cargo and the load distribution on the trailer must be inspected.
  • Insurance: Trucks typically carry more insurance than cars, which can be beneficial if you are injured in an accident. However, trucking companies and their insurers may also have more resources to defend themselves and could be more aggressive in denying liability.
  • The potential involvement of multiple parties: A truck accident can involve multiple parties, including the driver, the trucking company, the cargo shipper, the cargo loader, and the manufacturer of the truck or any of its parts. Each of these parties can be held liable for the accident, depending on the circumstances.
  • The severity of injuries: Due to the size and weight of a truck, accidents involving them can cause more severe injuries, resulting in long-term, debilitating injuries, and even death.

All these reasons make truck accident claims different from car accident claims, and it’s important to have a lawyer with experience handling truck accident cases to help navigate the complex legal process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

What is the Average Settlement for a Truck Accident?

The average settlement for a truck accident can vary widely depending on many factors such as the severity of the injuries, the amount of property damage, and the degree of fault of the parties involved. It is also affected by the specific state where the accident occurred and its laws.

There is no set amount for the average settlement for a truck accident as each case is unique. Some cases may be settled for a few thousand dollars while others may result in settlements in the millions of dollars.

Factors that can affect the settlement amount include:

  • The extent and permanency of injuries
  • The amount of lost wages and medical expenses
  • The degree of fault of the parties involved
  • The strength of the evidence
  • The insurance policy limits

It is important to note that the goal of the insurance company is to minimize the amount they have to pay out, and they may not offer a fair settlement without negotiation or a trial.

It is important to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you understand the process and fight to get the compensation you deserve. They will be able to evaluate your case, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement or take the case to trial if necessary.

Do You Have to Go to Court for a Truck Accident?

Not all truck accident cases go to court. In many cases, a settlement can be reached between the parties involved without the need for a trial. A settlement is a resolution of a dispute where both parties agree on a resolution (usually monetary compensation) without the need for a trial.

The process of settling can involve negotiations between the parties and their attorneys. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to court, where a judge or jury will hear the evidence and decide on a resolution.

The decision of whether or not to go to court for a truck accident will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. An experienced truck accident attorney can advise you on your options and help you make an informed decision.

It’s worth noting that even if the case goes to court, the majority of cases settle before going to trial, as they are costly and time-consuming. In addition, going to trial can be stressful and unpredictable. Your attorney will advise you on the best course of action, whether that be settlement or trial, and help you make the best decision for your case.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?

The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a truck accident in Rhode Island is three years from the date of the accident. This means that you have three years from the date of the 

accident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time frame, you may be barred from pursuing a claim. It’s always best to consult with a truck accident attorney, who is familiar with the laws of the state to ensure you are aware of the exact time limit in your case.

It’s worth noting that the statute of limitations is different for other types of claims, such as wrongful death, and it’s important to consult with an attorney to determine the appropriate time limit for your specific case.

It’s also important to keep in mind that it is best to file a claim as soon as possible after an accident, as the longer you wait, the harder it can be to gather evidence and build a strong case.

How Negligence is Established in a Truck Accident?

Negligence is established in a truck accident by proving that the truck driver or trucking company had a duty to act with reasonable care, that they failed to fulfill that duty, and that this failure caused the accident and resulting injuries and damages.

To prove negligence in a truck accident, the following elements must be established:

  • Duty of care: The truck driver or trucking company had a duty to act with reasonable care to prevent harm to others on the road.
  • Breach of duty: The truck driver or trucking company failed to fulfill their duty of care by engaging in negligent or reckless behavior, such as driving under the influence, distracted driving, and failing to follow traffic laws.
  • Causation: The truck driver or trucking company’s breach of duty caused the accident and the resulting injuries and damages.
  • Damages: The Plaintiff (the person injured) suffered actual damages such as injuries, property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages.

Examples of evidence that can be used to establish negligence in a truck accident include, but are not limited to:

  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Driver’s log books and electronic control module (ECM)
  • Video footage from cameras on the truck or from nearby businesses
  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Expert witness testimony

It’s important to note that in some cases, multiple parties may be found negligent, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo shipper, the cargo loader, and the manufacturer of the truck or any of its parts.

An attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases can help you gather evidence and build a strong case to establish negligence and hold the responsible parties accountable.

What Are The Different Types of Truck Accidents?

There are several types of truck accidents, each with its own unique set of causes and potential hazards. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:

  • Jackknife Accidents: Jackknife accidents occur when the trailer of a truck swings out to the side and forms a 90-degree angle with the cab. This can happen when a truck driver loses control of the vehicle or when the brakes on the trailer fail.
  • Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents occur when a truck flips over onto its side or roof. These accidents can happen when a truck is taking a turn too fast, when a truck is overloaded, or when a truck driver loses control of the vehicle.
  • Rear-end Accidents: Rear-end accidents occur when a truck collides with the back of another vehicle. These accidents can happen when a truck driver is following too closely, when a truck driver is distracted, or when a truck driver is fatigued.
  • Underride Accidents: Underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicle collides with the side or rear of a truck and gets trapped underneath the trailer. These accidents can happen when a truck driver is making a turn, changing lanes, or stopping suddenly.
  • Head-on Accidents: Head-on accidents occur when two vehicles collide head-on. These accidents can happen when a truck driver is driving on the wrong side of the road, when a truck driver is fatigued, or when a truck driver is distracted.
  • Lane Departure Accidents: Lane departure accidents occur when a truck driver swerves out of its lane and collides with another vehicle. These accidents can happen when a truck driver is distracted, fatigued, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • T-Bone Accidents: T-bone accidents occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle, typically at an intersection. These accidents can happen

What are the common truck accident causes?

Many factors can contribute to truck accidents, some of the most common causes include:

  • Driver error: Truck drivers can cause accidents by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while distracted, or driving while fatigued.
  • Mechanical failure: Trucks can malfunction due to poor maintenance, leading to accidents.
  • Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo: Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo can cause a truck to lose stability and tip over, leading to accidents.
  • Weather-related factors: Accidents can happen in adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain, fog, and snow.
  • Improper lane changes or merging: Accidents can happen when truck drivers make improper lane changes or merge without signaling, or when truck drivers fail to check blind spots.
  • Unsafe speeds: Accidents can happen when truck drivers are driving at high speeds, which can cause the truck to lose control, or make it difficult to stop.
  • Reckless driving: Accidents can happen when truck drivers engage in reckless driving behaviors such as tailgating or changing lanes abruptly.
  • Poorly designed or maintained roads: Accidents can happen due to the lack of proper signage, the presence of potholes, or other hazards on the road.

It’s important to note that these are only some of the common causes of truck accidents and that each accident is unique and may have different causes. An experienced attorney can help you understand the specific causes of your accident and hold the responsible parties accountable.

What Are The Truck Accidents Facts and Statistics In The US?

Truck accidents are a significant problem in the United States, and the following are some facts and statistics related to truck accidents in the US:

  • In 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that there were 4,761 fatal truck accidents in the United States, resulting in 5,071 deaths.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, large trucks were involved in 11% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities.
  • In 2020, the FMCSA reported that there were 112,000 injury crashes involving large trucks, which resulted in about 116,000 people injured.
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that in 2020, in fatal two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck, 98% of the deaths occurred to the occupants of the passenger vehicle.
  • The FMCSA reported that driver fatigue is a significant contributor to truck accidents, with 13% of all truck accidents being caused by drowsy driving.
  • The FMCSA reported that in 2020, the top contributing factors in truck accidents were driver error, including things like distracted driving, improper lane changes, and failure to obey traffic signals.
  • According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the trucking industry is essential for the U.S. economy, and in 2019, trucks moved nearly 10.5 billion tons of freight, accounting for 69.9% of all U.S. freight tonnage.

How Are Truck Accidents Unique?

Truck accidents are unique in several ways:

  • Size and weight: Trucks are much larger and heavier than cars, which means they can cause more damage in an accident and result in more severe injuries.
  • The regulations: The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal government, which sets standards for things like driver qualifications, truck maintenance, and cargo loading. These regulations can come into play in the event of an accident and can make the investigation process more complex.
  • The investigation process: Truck accidents often involve multiple parties and can be more complex to investigate than car accidents. The investigation process may involve analyzing the truck’s electronic control module (ECM) and the cargo, as well as inspecting the load distribution on the trailer.
  • Insurance: Trucks typically carry more insurance than cars, which can be beneficial if you are injured in an accident. However, trucking companies and their insurers may also have more resources to defend themselves and can be more aggressive in denying liability.
  • The potential involvement of multiple parties: A truck accident can involve multiple parties, including the driver, the trucking company, the cargo shipper, the cargo loader, and the manufacturer of the truck or any of its parts. Each of these parties can be held liable for the accident, depending on the circumstances.
  • The severity of injuries: Due to the size and weight of a truck, accidents involving them can cause more severe injuries, resulting in long-term, debilitating injuries, and even death.

All these reasons make truck accident claims different from car accident claims, and it’s important to have a lawyer with experience handling truck accident cases to help navigate the complex legal process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.


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2023-02-09
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2023-02-04
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2023-01-19
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2023-01-19
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2023-01-17
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2022-12-17
After spending 8 hours in a hospital overnight to get stitches in my lip because of a drunk driver’s negligent decision to get behind the wheel, the last thing I wanted to do was think about it all. I sent an email to Gemma Law, and Mark Gemma quickly called me back with an empathetic approach to listening to my story and helping me figure out the next steps. When he told me I wouldn’t have to have any contact with the insurance companies, I was HOOKED! When he pointed out how unfortunate it was I might have to miss out on a lip modeling career from a potential scar from the stitches, I was SOLD! And when I finally received my settlement check after letting him do all the leg work while I just focused on recovering, I was and am eternally GRATEFUL! Mark Gemma helped me turn a near death experience into a new start in life and I highly recommend him to anybody needing a personal injury lawyer.
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