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. In 2021, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recorded over 100 injury-causing truck accidents in Rhode Island, alone.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking collision 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.
We are prepared to represent you in any type of commercial trucking accident claim, including:
- Big-rig accidents
- Utility truck accidents
- Delivery truck accidents
- Moving truck accidents
- Garbage truck accidents
Fighting for Your Fair Recovery After a Truck Accident
The team at Karns & Kerrison represents clients injured in commercial truck accidents, including both large trucks and light trucks. We have a substantial background in these cases and 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.
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
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. 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. 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.
Some of the most common types of negligence that cause trucking collisions include:
- 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.
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 in Rhode Island 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.
Contact Our Providence Office Today
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.
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.