truck accident attorney in rhode island
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Rhode Island Truck Accident Attorney

Rhode Island Truck Accidents

A crash involving a commercial semi truck is a terrifying experience, with 80,000 pounds of a fully-loaded vehicle bearing down on your small passenger car or SUV. Injuries from a commercial truck accident can be catastrophic, changing your life forever.

But you can get justice after a truck collision, and we can help. At Sands Law, we’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars in settlement awards for our clients — and our Rhode Island truck accident attorneys can help you, too.

Start by contacting our Rhode Island truck accident law firm for a free consultation.

Rhode Island Commercial Truck Accident Facts

A commercial truck weighs up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded, compared to about 3,000 to 6,000 pounds for a passenger car or SUV. The difference in size means that the occupants in a passenger car are usually grievously injured, while the truck driver may walk away with minor injuries.

Here are a few commercial truck accident facts that may surprise you:

  • In 2020, there were nearly 5,000 fatalities in commercial truck accidents
  • 71% of those killed in these collisions were passengers of the non-commercial vehicle
  • Commercial truck drivers involved in accidents have a higher percentage of past accidents on their driving record than other vehicle drivers
  • At 3%, Rhode Island had one of the lowest rates of commercial truck accidents in 2021

When the unthinkable happens, count on a Rhode Island truck accident attorney from Sands Law to advocate for you and your family.

Common Causes of Big Rig Collisions

Commercial drivers must adhere to strict standards for responsible driving set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These standards cover licensing requirements and the training and certification a driver must maintain to keep their license valid and current.

FMCSA guidelines also cover how long drivers can travel before taking a mandatory rest break and how many hours per day they are permitted to travel. This is because tired driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence.

Other main causes of semi truck crashes include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Speeding
  • Improperly balanced loads or overweight trucks
  • Distracted driving
  • Inclement weather or high winds
  • Malfunctioning rig

In some of these cases, the driver is to blame for the accident; other times, the case could be more complex, with multiple defendants sharing liability for the accident. Our Rhode Island car accident lawyers will be able to determine who is at fault for your accident.

Possible Defendants in Your Truck Accident Case

A driver who is speeding, in violation of FMCSA regulations for hours on the road, or who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be held accountable for the collision. However, they may not be the only defendants.

Trucking companies are responsible for hiring fully qualified and licensed drivers with clean driving records. The carrier is also responsible for supervising each driver, making sure that their drivers adhere to FMCSA regulations.

Your Rhode Island truck accident lawyer may ask for the driver’s annual safety record as part of the evidence in your case; if the company was negligent in hiring or lacked proper oversight of drivers, they may be liable for the accident, too.

Finally, some trucking accidents are caused by malfunctioning vehicles. Independent contractors are responsible for maintaining their own vehicle safety, while trucking companies must keep their fleets in good repair. If a mechanic performed shoddy repairs, leading to a malfunctioning vehicle, then they, too, may be liable.

As your Rhode Island truck accident law firm, we investigate every possible defendant in your case.

Catastrophic Injuries from Truck Crashes Change Your Life

The force of a commercial truck impacting a much smaller vehicle usually causes severe inquiries to the car’s occupants. Typical car accident injuries are exacerbated in a truck collision, such as:

  • Facial damage, disfigurement, and lacerations
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Involuntary amputation 
  • Crushing injuries
  • Neck, back, or spine damage
  • Partial or total paralysis
  • Concussions or traumatic brain injuries

Days or weeks in the hospital, surgery and painful physical therapy, or permanently changed abilities are often consequences of a truck accident.

How Can a Rhode Island Truck Accident Attorney Help You?

As your Rhode Island truck accident lawyers, we advocate for you from the moment you become our client. Our decades of collective experience as a Rhode Island truck accident law firm have given us the qualified expertise to provide thoughtful legal advice tailored to your situation.

Although each decision in the case is yours, we provide the insight you need to make the right choices for you and your family.

1. Preparing a Case Against the Other Party or Parties

Our first step is collecting vital evidence against the defendant(s) in your case, including:

  • Photos and video of the accident or crash scene
  • The police officer’s crash report
  • Witness statements
  • Your medical records

We also may ask you to keep a daily log of your pain levels and how your injuries affect your daily life, like taking care of your family and going to work. This is part of our evidence for pain and suffering damages.

We may also use expert witnesses to reconstruct the crash for a jury or provide a qualified second medical opinion about the extent of your injuries and your chances for recovery.

2. Dealing with the Insurance Company for You

Although your insurance policy may require you to report the accident, you are under no obligation to give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, it’s usually better to refer all communication from the defendant, their lawyer, and the insurance company directly to your Rhode Island truck accident law firm.

We ensure that nothing you say can be misconstrued by the truck driver’s or trucking company’s insurance company as an admission of fault.

3. Negotiating a Fair Settlement

Our legal team is comprised of skilled negotiators. We represent you in structured mediation to negotiate a fair settlement, which is almost always higher than you would be able to achieve on your own.

4. Working with a Third-Party Arbitrator

If we cannot reach a reasonable settlement, our preferred course of action is to work with a neutral party in arbitration to reach a fair, binding settlement. By choosing this path, you ensure that someone takes an objective look at your case — outside the influence of the other party’s insurer.

5. Representing You at Trial

If we cannot reach a settlement acceptable for your losses in mediation or arbitration, we will take your case to trial. Our Rhode Island truck accident lawyers have litigated many commercial truck-driving accident cases, and we understand the complexities of these kinds of cases.

Truck accident cases may be more likely to have punitive damages assessed against one or more of the defendants than other vehicle accident cases.

Punitive damages are financial punishment in cases where a defendant acts with willful disregard for the safety of others, like a trucking company that hires a driver with a history of DUIs or a carrier that encourages drivers to drive longer hours for faster delivery times.

Part of our legal services includes determining when punitive damages are necessary and building the case for them.

Trucking Accident FAQs

Some of the most common questions our Rhode Island truck accident attorneys receive are provided here.

How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?

Cost is a common concern and a popular barrier that keeps people from pursuing legal action. However, you won’t have to pay our attorneys anything up front, and you’ll only pay if we win your case. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by working with our reputable attorneys.

How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?

Typically, the worse your injuries and the more permanent the damage, the higher your settlement will be. Personal injury claims — which a truck accident is considered as — are intended to restore the plaintiff to their financial condition before the accident.

So, the settlement should cover all medical costs, current and future, plus property damage and consideration for pain and suffering. You’re entitled to collect the full amount of your actual losses; the pain and suffering compensation is calculated as a factor of your overall losses.

The Commercial Driver’s Insurance Company Offered Me a Settlement. Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Working with a Rhode Island truck accident lawyer often gives you a better chance of securing a fair settlement. Our years of experience valuing cases means we can accurately assess the true value of your claim.

In addition, you may be in no state to negotiate with the insurance company or prepare the documents needed to substantiate your claim after an accident. We take care of all of that for you.

Do I Need to Call the Police After a Truck Accident?

Yes, calling 911 is a good idea no matter how minor the accident can be — and trucking accidents are rarely minor.

When you call the police, the responding officer collects information for the official police crash report. Your lawyer can use this to build the case against the trucker and shipping company.

Do I Need to Go to the Doctor After a Truck Accident?

You should, because you may be hurt much worse than you think. Some soft tissue injuries — like those to muscles and ligaments, hairline fractures, and head injuries — may not present symptoms right away, so it’s best to have a medical professional look you over.

In addition, your post-crash medical records provide documentation of the extent of your injuries, the prognosis for healing, and how much all your treatment costs. Your lawyer uses this information to calculate your economic damages.

Do You Need Help from a Trusted Rhode Island Truck Accident Attorney?

Have you or a loved one been injured in a trucking accident in Rhode Island? Turn to a seasoned legal team to help you obtain the justice you deserve.

Contact Sands Law for a free consultation with one of our qualified Rhode Island semi truck accident lawyers today.

Was the first time I ever had to seek legal representation after a car accident that I was injured in. Rich was recommended to me through a family member, and I am so glad that I decided to be represented by Rich.”
Nicole, Rhode Island
Rich was supportive and helpful throughout a very difficult time for me. I recently got into a car accident where I was injured and my car was declared totaled. In complete panic not knowing what to do, I called Rich.”
Karissa, Rhode Island
Rich was a wealth of knowledge and support during a difficult time. He always made time to explain procedures and answer all questions in a timely manner.”
Mark M., Rhode Island
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