Being struck by a multi-ton tractor-trailer can be a shocking experience, to say the least. It is difficult to understate the physical and emotional toll such an accident can bring onto a victim of such an unfortunate event.
If you were injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, you might need the help of a Dorchester truck accident lawyer. Attempting to handle your own case could diminish your potential recovery, but by seeking an experienced personal injury attorney in your area, you could more effectively pursue compensation for all your damages.
Since professional truck drivers operate commercial vehicles, they are subject to regulation by both state and federal laws. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) impose federal regulations on truck drivers, including specific rules for employers, driver application and certification procedures, testing practices, and penalties.
For its part, Massachusetts state law applies a modified comparative negligence model to traffic accident cases. Under this model, a party injured in a truck collision in Dorchester cannot recover if they are found 51 percent or more at fault for causing the accident. In addition, the recovery for an injured party who is 50 percent or less at fault would be reduced proportionately by their degree of fault.
An injured party may pursue legal action against an at-fault truck driver for negligence, or negligence per se. Under certain circumstances, an injured party could also sue the trucking company.
According to the doctrine of vicarious liability, or “respondeat superior,” an employer may be held responsible for the negligent actions of their employees regardless of whether that employer was personally negligent or not. If a truck driver negligently caused a truck accident within the scope of their employment, or if the employer negligently hires, supervises, or entrusts a driver who has a record of drunk or negligent driving, a Dorchester truck accident attorney may be able to pursue action against a trucking company under the theory of vicarious liability.
In some cases, injured parties may also pursue civil action against a truck’s manufacturers. Depending on the type of vehicle defect asserted, an injured party could pursue action against any number of parties involved in making the maintaining the truck, including transporters, component manufacturers, the principal manufacturer, or even careless mechanics.
Dorchester auto accident victims may be entitled to pursue both economic and noneconomic damages, the same as they would in a car accident. Recoverable economic damages may include medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, out-of-pocket costs, and property damage. Noneconomic damages could encompass pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and emotional distress.
As discussed earlier, these damages may be pursued against all responsible parties, including but not limited to the truck driver, the truck driving company, or the truck manufacturers. A Dorchester truck accident lawyer could work with a plaintiff to identify all potentially liable parties and pursue appropriate restitution from them.
If you were the victim of a truck accident, a seasoned Dorchester truck accident lawyer could provide insight and guidance for your case. Once retained, your attorney could help you deal with insurance companies, work to negotiate settlements on your behalf, and if necessary, fight for your case at trial. Start exploring your potential recovery options today by calling to schedule a consultation.