Broderick Law Firm, LLC

Semi Truck Accidents

Massachusetts Trucking Accident Attorney

Each year, thousands of people across the United States are killed and more than 100,000 are injured in commercial truck accidents. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of fatal large truck crashes in Massachusetts increased by 26%.

In a collision with a large truck or other heavy commercial vehicle, a passenger car or light truck is at an obvious disadvantage. In large part due to the size and weight of a commercial truck, occupants of other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are more likely to be killed or injured in a commercial truck accident than occupants of the truck. In fact, truck drivers and other occupants of the truck account for only about one in five truck accident fatalities and one in four truck accident injuries.

The larger size and weight of trucks and many other commercial vehicles can make accidents more likely, as well. Taller vehicles are more significantly impacted by high winds and more likely to tip. Semi-trucks and tankers have a larger turning radius than smaller vehicles, and visibility may be decreased. And, of course, larger and heavier vehicles are more difficult to maneuver and take longer to stop.

Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study was published more than a decade ago, but is still considered the most in-depth information available regarding the most common causes of commercial trucking accidents. Most of the frequent contributing factors listed involve failures of the driver. These include:

  • The truck driver making an illegal maneuver
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  •  Inattention
  •  Following too close
  • Misjudging the distance between vehicles or speed of another vehicle
  • External distractions

The most common equipment-related cause is brake failure. Overweight vehicles are also a frequent crash factor.

Whether the driver was negligent, the vehicle was poorly maintained, or the truck was loaded beyond the safe limit, those injured in a commercial truck accident may be entitled to compensation. However, commercial trucking accident cases can be complicated.

Complications in Large Truck Accident Cases

An experienced personal injury attorney is generally beneficial to anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident. However, if you’ve been injured in a Massachusetts truck accident or have lost a loved one to an accident involving a commercial vehicle, speaking with an attorney is all the more important.

Commercial truck accident cases are often much more complicated than other motor vehicle accident cases for a variety of reasons, such as:

          While most car accident cases are governed by state law, commercial trucking accident cases often involve a combination of state and federal laws

          Determining who is legally responsible for the accident may be difficult, since the truck driver, the owner of the vehicle, and the employer or contractor may be different people or companies

          The nature of the trucking industry requires that repairs be made quickly and the vehicle put back out on the road, meaning that evidence may be lost if it is not preserved quickly

Work with an Experienced Massachusetts Truck Accident Lawyer

Most people don’t have the time, experience, or inclination to thoroughly educate themselves about the technical, substantive, and procedural issues associated with a commercial truck accident. In addition, et

An experienced local truck accident attorney will know how to identify and work with the best available expert for your particular case, to take action to preserve evidence, and to sort out the often complicated interplay between state and federal law.

If you’ve been injured in a large truck accident or have lost a loved one to a commercial motor vehicle crash, schedule a free consultation right now. Attorney Kevin J. Broderick will listen to your story, review the evidence available, and explain your rights and options.

Give yourself the advantage of a seasoned advocate in your corner, right from the beginning. Call 978-459-3085 or fill out the contact form on this site to get started right now.

Massachusetts Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. What should I do if I have been injured in a truck accident?

The first steps you’ll take after a Massachusetts commercial truck accident are similar to the steps you would take after any motor vehicle accident. You will want to exchange insurance information with the other driver, make a police report, and let emergency personnel check you out or go to your doctor or a hospital to be assessed after the accident.  If you are able, you’ll also want to gather whatever evidence you can at the accident scene, such as collecting witness contact information and taking photographs of the crash site.

2. Why are truck accidents often more serious than other motor vehicle accidents? 

Commercial truck accidents can be more dangerous than car and light truck accidents for several reasons. One is simply that these vehicles are so much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles that they tend to do significantly more damage. Another is that commercial trucks are typically carrying materials, which may range from heavy objects that can break loose and cause serious injuries and damage to vehicles to toxic chemicals that can contaminate an area and shut down a roadway.

Large truck accidents can also be more serious because of the momentum with which the truck collides with another vehicle. A fully loaded semi truck may weigh up to 80,000 pounds, meaning that it takes longer to reduce speed or stop the vehicle.

 3. Who is responsible for commercial trucking accidents?

Not every large truck accident is the truck driver’s fault. As with any other type of motor vehicle accident, either driver may be at fault or there may be one or more third parties who share in the blame. However, this analysis gets a little more complicated with commercial truck accidents. That’s because the truck driver may or may not be the owner of the truck. If the truck driver is an employee – – or in some cases even a contractor – – the hiring company may be liable for damages. If the truck driver is an independent owner operator driving his own vehicle, he will typically be responsible for his own negligence. But, there are limited circumstances in which the company contracting with him may bear or share responsibility.

The analysis is further complicated by the fact that other parties may have played a role in the accident. That could be another vehicle on the road, just as it could in any motor vehicle accident. Or, it could be a third party who negligently loaded the vehicle, or the manufacturer of a defective part, or a company that was responsible for maintaining the vehicle in safe condition and failed to do so.

Because of this complexity, it is important to talk to an experienced Massachusetts commercial trucking accident attorney as soon as possible after your injury.

4. Do I really need an attorney for a commercial truck accident?

In most personal injury cases, it is to your advantage to work with an experienced attorney. Insurance companies tend not to deal with individuals in good faith, and overlooking responsible parties could leave a gaping hole in your compensation. In addition, if you are required to file a lawsuit to collect fair compensation, you will be held to the same standard as an attorney would when it comes to authenticating and presenting evidence, meeting and filing deadlines, appropriate form of pleadings, and other technical issues.

In a commercial trucking accident case, the importance of working with an attorney who is experienced with truck accident cases is even greater. That’s because the complexity of determining who is liable, potentially serving parties in other states, and quickly gathering evidence before it is lost or destroyed can be a challenge – – even for a lawyer who doesn’t have specific experience with truck accident cases. The sooner you speak with an attorney who is experienced with truck accident cases, the better opportunity your lawyer will have to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

5. How do I find the right truck accident lawyer?

Experience with motor vehicle accidents generally and commercial trucking accidents in particular is critical. But, experience isn’t the only variable to consider. You should also look for an attorney who is able and willing to listen to your concerns, take your priorities seriously, and answer your questions thoroughly and in a way that makes sense to you.

You can learn a lot about a lawyer by reading the information on their website, looking at Google reviews and getting recommendations from friends and family members. But, the only way to determine whether you are comfortable with and have faith in an attorney is to have a conversation with that attorney. That’s why many personal injury attorneys, including the Broderick Law Firm, offer free consultations to people who have been injured in commercial truck accidents and other motor vehicle accidents.

We also represent victims of New Hampshire truck accidents. 


Have you been injured?

Let Attorney Kevin Broderick answer your questions and evaluate your personal injury or vehicle accident case for free!

CALL TODAY 978-459-3085

Kevin Broderick Law serves clients in Massachusetts and

New Hampshire.


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The information you obtain on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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