Commercial trucking is big business in our society. Raw materials and finished products are transported from shipping ports to factories and warehouses to community construction sites, retail outlets, and other destinations at a lightning-fast pace. In all regions, the increase in commercial truck traffic comes with the increased risk of accidents with passenger vehicles. Each year, more than 500,000 tractor-trailer accidents and 10 million accidents involving light trucks take place in the United States. More than 3,000 large truck accidents and 16,000 light truck accidents result in fatalities each year. Thousands more result in serious injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in truck accident that occurred because of another party's negligence, it is important that you have a qualified attorney who knows the law and has the ability to secure the justice you deserve.
Contact our truck accident attorneys in Rhode Island at (888) 281-3100 for a free consultation regarding your case.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
After a commercial truck accident, attorneys at Karns & Kerrison can initiate an investigation with the goal of determining how and why the crash occurred.
If we represent you, we will devote our resources and efforts to discovering the cause of your accident, such as the following:
- Inappropriate hiring and training by a trucking company: Commercial trucking companies are responsible for the proper hiring and training of their drivers. Frequently, trucking companies play a role in truck accidents by allowing inexperienced drivers on the road or by placing drivers with a history of traffic violations or poor driving habits behind the wheel. Brokers looking for ways to cut costs may acquire drivers through cheaper trucking companies. In quite a few truck accident cases, trucking companies' attempts to cut corners have been identified as contributing to crashes when truck driver error was to blame.
- A distracted driver: As of 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the percentage of traffic accidents involving distracted drivers was as high as 20 percent, with that percentage increasing over time. Distracted driving is recognized as a serious problem among commercial truck drivers. Semi-truck drivers are under extreme pressure to meet deadlines, and they often operate their trucks while distracted by extreme sleep deprivation. Some suffer from sleep apnea and continue to drive commercial vehicles on public roadways. Others are distracted by cellphone use, sometimes including texting while driving or use of GPS devices or tablet computers while at the wheel.
- An impaired driver: A number of truckers are impaired by alcohol or drugs, including illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter drugs such as stimulants designed to keep a person awake.
- Inadequate truck maintenance: Federal and state regulations require commercial trucking companies to maintain their fleets in safe operating condition. Trucking companies often fail to perform mandatory maintenance and safety inspections, sending tractor-trailers with substandard tires, brakes, headlights, or mechanical problems out onto the public roadways. This is a recipe for disaster.
- An overloaded or improperly loaded truck: Excessive weight or improperly secured cargo can cause load shifting. Load shifting is often found to be a cause of trucks leaving their lanes and trailers tipping over.
- Trucking regulation violations: Operations of interstate and intrastate trucks are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Regulations cover matters such as under truck guard bar requirements, speed limits under hazardous weather conditions, use of signals and reflectors, use of warning cones for trucks stopped by the side of the road, and truck driver log entry requirements.
At the same time that we are investigating the cause of your truck accident, we can conduct a detailed search for all levels of responsibility that may be relevant to your case, including:
- Truck driver liability
- Liability insurance covering the tractor that pulls an 18-wheeler or other large trucks
- Liability insurance covering the trailer containing the load of cargo
- Third-party liability when trucking operations are contracted for by outside parties
- Loading dock crew liability
- Truck maintenance company liability
Types of Truck Accident Cases We Handle
We represent clients injured in commercial truck accidents, including both large trucks and light trucks. We have a substantial background in these cases, and we know the best approach to helping you secure a positive result. While we always attempt to negotiate a favorable settlement for every client, we are fully prepared to go to court in an effort to obtain the outcome you deserve.
We are prepared to represent you in any type of commercial trucking accident claim, including the following:
- A big rig crash
- A utility truck accident
- A delivery truck accident
- A lawn care company truck accident
- A FedEx truck accident
- A garbage truck accident
Modern Technology That Can Help Your Claim
Ever modernizing and changing electronic devices installed in tractor-trailers can help injured victims prove negligence against the truck driver and trucking company; which in turn helps to recover damages for the injuries suffered.
- Onboard Electronic Devices: Mandated by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) devices record the hours of service of the truck driver and show a violation in the number of hours that the truck driver was legally allowed to drive.
- Onboard Video Cameras: Many tractor-trailers are now equipped with video cameras that record the collision. This information can then be used to either exonerate the truck driver if he is not liable or prove liability if he is at fault.
- GPS Tracking Systems: While these tools help truck drivers navigate the road, the information from these GPS trucking tracking systems can help prove negligence against the truck driver and trucking company by providing accurate details of the truck's location, mileage, and speed.
- Black Box Technology: Like many other commercial or passenger vehicles, tractor trailers have a "black box" in that will record speed, braking, turning and other driver activities. If there were any injuries involved, accessing the black box records can help prove negligence against the truck driver and trucking company.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident or tractor-trailer collision, you need personal injury attorneys who know the law and the kinds of technology available to help prove your claim. Karns & Kerrison's truck accident injury lawyers are experienced in handling cases against negligent truck drivers and trucking companies and are familiar with reviewing the kinds of electronic data that can help prove negligence in an injury situation.
Fighting for Your Fair Recovery
Many truck accidents are caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of commercial trucking companies and drivers.
If you have suffered a serious injury or someone you love has been killed in a semi-truck accident, Karns & Kerrison can help you work to recover compensation by:
- Determining the cause of the truck accident
- Evaluating the extent of your injuries and losses
- Determining liability and all potential sources of compensation
- Preparing a compelling case for compensation from liable parties
- Bringing persuasive and well-documented injury claims or lawsuits on your behalf
Since 1974, we have aggressively pursued justice and fair financial compensation for people injured in all types of vehicle accidents. A large percentage of truck accidents result in life-changing injuries to innocent victims, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, and fatalities. We advocate for clients against large insurance companies and national freight companies while staying focused on the close personal service that is the hallmark of our firm.
We are familiar with the practices used by trucking companies to conceal violations of federal and state law, and we know how to uncover the truth. What was the cause of your truck accident? Distracted driving? Inadequate truck maintenance? We are ready to enlist professional investigators and accident reconstruction experts to gather evidence that can help us build a compelling case on your behalf.
Call us at (888) 281-3100 to schedule a free consultation with our truck accident lawyers in Rhode Island. We have offices in Providence and Middletown and serve clients throughout the state.
Car Accident Traumatic Brain InjuryI would definitely recommend Karns & Kerrison to anyone who asked - they come through for you.
- Patricia Feeley
Slipped on Greasy FloorI have no reservations whatsoever in recommending Karns & Kerrison.
- Mike Carey
Rear End CollisionNothing but positive results from consultation, to filing the legal suit, handling of a major operation, to recovery and finalizing a generous settlement.
- Larry Goldfarb
Horrible Car AccidentThey not only got me a fair settlement, they helped to get me well.
Motor Vehicle Accident - Braga BridgeIt was comforting to know I had someone watching out for me.
- Jeanie Small
Pedestrian hit by CarI did not know where to turn when I realized I needed legal help but I am very happy that I found Karns & Kerrison.