From its position in the northeast, Massachusetts provides a gateway for commerce flowing in and out of New England. Numerous interstate highways bisect the state, and they are used heavily by both private and commercial vehicles.
Unfortunately, those two types of vehicles sometimes end up in accidents, and the results seldom favor any smaller vehicles sharing the roadways. In 2014 alone, there were more than 3,900 fatalities and about 111,000 more individuals were suffered injuries in truck accidents. Of those killed, 83 percent were people other than the truck driver.
What's happening at home?
Looking again at 2014, large trucks represented 5.6 percent of all vehicles in fatal accidents in Massachusetts. A total of 24 people were killed in accidents with large trucks, of which only four were truck drivers.
While these numbers may seem low, remember that they do not include accidents causing injuries. It should also be noted that large trucks make up only 4 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States.
Major causes of large truck accidents
Although driver error on the part of the other driver is sometimes a factor, many large truck accidents are the result of truck operator negligence. Examples of negligence include:
- Improperly secured loads
- Unsafe vehicles
- Impaired/distracted drivers
Speed is also a contributing factor in some accidents. More than 16 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents had a previous conviction for speeding, a number only exceed by motorcyclists. There is also evidence of recidivism concerning truck accidents, as nearly 15 percent of operators involved in fatal accidents had prior accidents on their records.
Medical ramifications for large truck accident victims
Commercial vehicles are almost always significantly larger than the private cars and trucks with which they share the roads. As a result, such accidents are often devastating to the occupants of the smaller vehicles. If you were lucky enough to survive one of these incidents, you still may face one or more of the following serious medical problems:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal cord injury/paralysis
Any one of these injuries may be enough to permanently alter your quality of life and ability to work. Your medical bills may also prove to be financially crippling.
Where to turn after an accident with a large truck
Attempting to wring compensation out of a trucking company and its insurance provider may prove to be futile for most people. They are well prepared and often have the resources necessary to bury a case.
The simple fact remains, however, that you deserve compensation after a major accident caused by someone else's negligence. Perhaps the best option for a truck accident victim is to get in touch with a personal injury law firm. A firm with experience handling serious injury cases in Massachusetts may be able to give you the upper hand to get the settlement you need.