Flatbed Truck Accidents In Rhode Island and MA

August 23, 2015

RI Flatbed Truck AccidentsMany flatbed truck accidents and big rig crashes in Rhode Island are deadly, taking the lives of innocent victims who were just sharing the roadway. Most businesses rely on the efficiency of delivering their products, goods and cargo on flatbed trucks that have the added capacity to transport oversize loads over long distances. The configuration of a flatbed trailer increases its ability to carry substantially heavier weight compared to enclosed 18-wheelers.

The highways, streets and side roads of urban and rural areas are filled with flatbed tractor-trailers hauling goods across the city, state, region and nation. The exposed cargo on open flatbeds require substantially more care during the loading process in an effort to secure the load safely.

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) maintains strict regulations involving loading and transporting every type of material on a flatbed truck as well as regulating tractor trailer trucks. These regulations help increase safety to ensure that every load is balanced to avoid rollovers, jackknife accidents, driver negligence problems and failure of the breaking and steering systems. Unfortunately, many serious flatbed truck accidents still occur every year.

Common Accident Causes in Rhode Island and Massachusetts (MA)

Unlike a traditional semi-truck trailer, flatbeds are designed to pull heavy loads on an open flat surface area without walls. Typically, these trucks carry cargo that is awkward, heavy or odd sized including lumber, building materials, concrete slabs and large equipment. However, if the truck and trailer are involved in a collision, crash or accident, the cargo can easily shift, move or completely fall off the flat surface.

Many times, the heavy load will become a projectile, causing subsequent collisions while crashing into oncoming traffic or others sharing the road. These MA and RI accidents are usually the result of insufficient securing of the load by personnel required to ensure its safety. In some incidences, pieces of loose cargo fall from the flatbed into surrounding vehicles, killing or maiming innocent victims.

However, not every flatbed truck accident occurs on the road in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is because loading the cargo onto a flatbed truck is just as dangerous and hazardous as transporting it. The individuals loading the truck can easily make mistakes and place the goods in a precarious position that leads to an accident when the load shifts unexpectedly.

A Duty of Care in Rhode Island and Mass.

Flatbed truckers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are obligated to provide a duty of care to every other motorists, biker, passenger and pedestrian on the roadway. Their duties to ensure safety include:

• Keep a lookout for dangerous conditions on the roadway.
• Comply with every applicable federal and state traffic law.
• Use every reasonable means required to avoid an accident.
• Follow all federal and state regulations mandated by the FMCSA.

In addition to the above duty a care, all flatbed truckers in RI and Mass. must follow CDL driving regulations and maintain full proficiency in handling the truck that include: backing up, parking, maneuvering, and maintaining the tires, lights and engine. Every trucker must also perform a pre-trip inspection of the entire vehicle and follow all hazardous material containment procedures and regulations.

Damages in Providence Superior Court or in Boston Courts

If you, or a loved one have been seriously injured in a flatbed truck accident in Rhode Island or Boston Massachusetts, you likely have the legal right to seek financial compensation from the trucking company and driver. You are likely facing a barrage of medical expenses, especially if you are unable to work because of the accident. Your injuries were not your fault and you should not be left paying the bills to recover fully. However, filing a claim and negotiating a settlement is often complex and requires the skills of a reputable Providence personal injury attorney or Boston truck accident lawyer who specializes in these types of cases.

A Rhode Island personal injury lawyer or a RI truck crash attorney working on your behalf can ensure you receive monetary recovery for all damages that include the cost of medical care, hospitalization, rehabilitation and physical therapies. Your Rhode Island flatbed truck personal injury attorney will also seek compensation for non-economic damages including recovery for your pain, suffering, mental anxiety, emotional distress and grief while holding those accountable for your injuries legally and financially responsible for their actions.

In the event that a spouse, Loved or family member was killed in a fatal semi truck, tractor trailer or 18 wheeler big rig collision then the executor of the estate needs to retain a Rhode Island wrongful death attorney or Massachusetts fatal truck crash lawyers. A deadly truck collision requires the experience and expertise of a Wrongful death attorney in RI who has litigated many fatal truck and car wreck causes of action.


Hiring a RI Truck Accident or MA Semi Crash Personal Injury Attorney

September 5, 2014

Rhode Island Truck AccidentNearly everything consumers use is transported by commercial trucks, traveling on America’s highways. In fact, the trucking industry collects and delivers over $650 billion worth of goods and products every year.

Unfortunately, this huge demand for hauling and transportation crowds the nation’s roadways, increasing the potential of being involved in a commercial truck accident. According to records maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large commercial vehicle accidents with fatalities are on the rise.

The size and weight of the large commercial truck increases the likelihood of catastrophic injuries or death when involved in a RI or MA collision with a passenger vehicle. Professional truckers spend long hours behind the wheel every day carrying loads weighing up to 80,000 pounds or more, which can be disastrous when colliding with a passenger vehicle weighing just over 3000 pounds.

The high majority of Rhode island and Massachusetts truck accidents involve driver error, mistakes or negligence. Many claims and lawsuits filed in a Mass or RI truck accident cases involve a violation of federal or state regulations.

Truck Accident Causes of action in Massachusetts (Mass.) or Rhode Island

A commercial vehicle accident typically involves an array of issues not usually dealt with in most Mass. motor vehicle collisions. RI truck accident Attorneys and Massachusetts Big Rig lawyers working for victims injured or the estate of a deceased killed in a truck crashes will often reconstruct the accident to determine liability. Many times, the Rhode Island accident or Massachusetts collision is caused by a variety of factors including:

• Shifting cargo loads
• Lack of vehicle maintenance
• Failing tires or braking systems
• Heavy loads that exceed the allowable gross vehicle weight
• Hazardous materials
• Poor visibility
• Inadequate training and supervision
• Driver impairment due to fatigue, drugs, alcohol or distraction such as texting or talking on the phone
• Truck driving negligence including not allowing adequate stopping distance

Additional Parties at Fault

In many incidences, a skilled Massachusetts Semi Truck attorney will file a claim against additional parties responsible for causing the accident with injuries or fatalities. Rhode Island Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers working on behalf of the victim can sometimes establish an employment relationship between the trucking company and the trucker. As a result, both parties can be held legally liable for the negligence of the driver under the legal theory “respondeat superior.”

The trucking company may be held liable for the RI accident if it can be shown the driver was improperly hired due to lack of training and experience. The company may also be found at fault if they improperly maintained the vehicle, installed faulty tires on the tractor or trailer, or other factors.

Building a Case

In addition to proving fault of the accident, the Rhode Island personal injury attorney will gather evidence, speak to eyewitnesses, and build the case on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include:

• Info in the driver’s logs
• The condition of the roadway
• The trucker’s training and credentials
• Test results for drug or alcohol use

Building the case often involves witness statements, police reports and communication records including cell phone use, along with the driving record of the trucker and safety record of the trucking company.

A skilled RI personal injury attorney or Providence truck accident attorney that specializes in truck accidents will often hire expert witnesses to prove the case by establishing liability. These experts can include:

• Forensic specialists
• Vehicle accident reconstructionists
• Trucking safety specialists
• Technicians specializing in computer graphics
• Medical doctors

It is best to hire a reputable RI truck accident attorney as soon as possible following the accident. Adequate time will allow the Rhode Island Big Rig attorney to consider filing a truck accident lawsuit and/or a product liability claim for financial compensation.


Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most personal injury cases are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.

Truck Car Rear-end Multivehicle Accident on Bridge; Auto falling into Bay

June 16, 2014

RI Rear-end Multivehicle AccidentThere was a very serious motor vehicle accident on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland in July 2013. Thankfully, this vehicular collision did not result in any fatalities or catastrophic injuries. It was a miracle that this bridge vehicle wreck was not fatal.

This motor vehicle accident post was authored by RI Personal injury Lawyer, David Slepkow 401-437-1100.

A Chrysler car went through a tollbooth on the bridge and traffic slowed so that the Chrysler was going 4 miles an hour in the right hand lane. A Tractor Trailer truck travelling at a speed of 47 mph at the moment of the crash, slammed into the Chrysler in a rear-end collision.

The force of the collision between the truck and the Chrysler caused the Chrysler to hit a Mazda CX-5. The Chrysler then plummeted off the bridge, 27 feet into 7 feet of water. Miraculously the Chrysler driver was able to swim from her motor vehicle to be rescued and brought via ambulance to the hospital for medical treatment.

After a full and thorough investigation by the National transportation Safety Board, the NTSB determined that the crash was caused by “the failure of the truck-tractor driver to slow for traffic due to his inattention to the forward roadway while looking in his side view mirror. Contributing to the crash were the truck driver’s unfamiliarity with the area and lack of knowledge that traffic routinely slows on the eastbound span of the bridge after exiting the toll plaza and before entering the leftward curve.” https://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2014/HAB1401.pdf

It is unclear whether any of the victims retained personal injury attorneys or car accident lawyers.

According to the NTSB, the trucker had at least 4 years of experience driving “commercial vehicles” in Hungary. He also spent a couple of weeks in Canada with an American trained semi-truck (18 wheeler) driver.” The accident trip, which began in Dedham, Massachusetts, was the truck driver’s first time driving in the United States on his own.”

Absence of mechanical issues on Tractor Trailer

“National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators also inspected the brakes on the truck-tractor and semitrailer and noted no defects. The trucker was going “47 mph at the time of the crash.”https://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2014/HAB1401.pdf

Was there a history of collisions caused by driver error and negligence on the Bridge?

The NTSB determined that in a 10 year span previous to the crash there had been 624 motor vehicle collisions of different severity. There were three fatal accidents on the bridge and 5 people were killed in those 3 deadly mishaps. 70 percent of the motor vehicle collisions on the bridge during that 10 year period constituted rear-end crashes. Surprisingly, there are only 2 known occurrences of a vehicle falling into the Chesepaeke bay. Id.

In the exact words of the NTSB report:

“On Friday, July 19, 2013, about 8:24 p.m., a 2007 Chrysler Sebring passenger car operated by a 24-year-old female driver was traveling eastbound on US Route 50/301 near Annapolis, Maryland. The Chrysler had passed through the toll plaza to enter onto the east bound span of the William Preston Lane, Jr., Memorial Bridge (Chesapeake Bay Bridge). Less than a mile past the toll plaza, after vehicles had merged from 11 toll lanes into two travel lanes, traffic began to slow as the bridge ascended above the Chesapeake Bay and curved to the left. The Chrysler was in the right lane and had reduced speed to 4 mph due to the traffic queue ahead when it was struck from behind by a 2010 International truck-tractor and refrigerated semitrailer combination unit traveling 47 mph.1 The truck-tractor, operated by a 29-year-old male driver, collided with the left rear corner of the Chrysler, pushing it into the concrete barrier adjacent to the right lane. As the truck-tractor and the Chrysler continued forward, the front of the Chrysler collided with a 2014 Mazda CX-5 occupied by a 65-year-old male driver and his wife. During the collision sequence, the Chrysler was pushed up onto the barrier wall and then rode along the top of it, before falling approximately 27 feet into the Chesapeake Bay. The Chrysler came to rest between two bridge piers to the south of the eastbound span, in approximately 7 feet of water. The Mazda rotated counter-clockwise and came to rest near the left front corner of the truck-tractor in the middle of the two travel lanes.”

Did truck driver fatigue or sleepy (tired) driving appear to be an issue in this crash?


The Federal Motor Carrier safety Administration reported in a different report that, “Driver fatigue may be due to a lack of adequate sleep, extended work hours, strenuous work or non-work activities, or a combination of other factors.” http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/outreach/education/driverTips/Driver-fatigue.htm

If you were injured in an accident in RI or MA then contact Rhode Island and Massachusetts Personal Injury lawyer, David Slepkow 401-437-1100.

“There is quite a bit of political support for authorities to construct median barriers on the Newport Bridge in Newport Rhode Island. This increased pressure comes after three fatal accidents in approximately 48 months on the bridge.

Channel 10 reported “There is little room for error driving over the Newport Pell Bridge. One small mishap becomes a serious if not deadly accident.” http://www.turnto10.com/story/24298894/accident-stops-traffic-on-newport-pell-bridge” http://www.rhodeislandpersonalinjuryattorneyblog.com/2014/01/fatal-bridge-accident/

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.

Crucial Issues a RI Injury Attorney Must consider in a Truck Accident Claim

May 29, 2014

Rhode Island Truck Accident ClaimsIn order to prevail in your RI or MA trucking accident case, your personal injury attorney needs to have a firm understanding of the engineering involved in a truck crash. Of course, your injury lawyer does not need an engineering degree, but must have enough of a baseline to be able to understand and analyze all the engineering reports and documentation.

More importantly, the best truck accident lawyers in Rhode Island and Mass. know how to spot the pertinent issues and ask the correct questions to the accident reconstruction expert or the engineers involved in the tractor trailer accident litigation.
Almost immediately after a Rhode Island truck Crash or Massachusetts (MA) tractor trailer collision, your attorneys will need to take action. The RI Personal injury lawyer may need to immediately retain an engineer or accident re-constructionist to evaluate the damaged truck as well as all motor vehicles and motorcycles involved in the wreck. The engineer will need to evaluate and measure skid marks as well as evaluate the scene of the truck-car crash.

In order to get the best settlement or judgment in a big rig or 18 wheeler accident cause of action, a lawyer must have a firm understanding of federal, state and local regulations pertaining to trucking collisions. Even a strong knowledge of the regs may not be enough because an understanding of trucking industry practices and norms is also crucial.

It will give you an added advantage if your negligence lawyer understands the mentality of the trucking companies and their safety departments. There may be issues concerning driver qualifications and trucker training. There may be issues concerning drowsy / sleepy driving, distracted driving / texting and driving or a multitude of other issues that need to be explored properly.

Here are some of the most important issues involved in a Truck accident in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations or in Massachusetts (MA)

-Identify Defendants and Insurance coverage
-What are the internal safety rules and practices of the trucking company and were they followed in this incident?
-Retaining qualified trucking experts
-Was the trucker properly trained and supervised?
-Drugs, alcohol / drunk driving and impaired driving issues
-The special considerations in left hand turn truck collisions
-Was the Driver properly qualified?
-Was the accident caused by shifting merchandise or improperly secured cargo
-Drowsy/ sleepy/ Fatigued motorist or tired driving issues
-Special Considerations in Side Swipe Accidents, T-bone collisions, rear end accidents, Blind spot caused collisions and lane change crashes
-Determining proper damages, lost wages, pain and suffering and disability
-Hours of service violations, Log audit issues
-Special considerations in Rhode Island Wrongful death cases as a result of fatal / deadly truck mishap.

If someone is killed in a tractor trailer or pickup truck accident in Rhode Island then it is important that the spouse, child, family member or loved one retains a wrongful death attorney in RI.

FMCSA Hours of Service http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service

49 CFR Parts 300-399 http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/b/5/3

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.