The commercial trucking industry is big business in the United States. It serves the American economy by transporting various types of goods and products from manufactures to retail centers across the country. When demand is high, there are thousands of commercial trucks traveling on the roadways and major highways all over the U.S. Massachusetts is no different. Whether you are driving on the Massachusetts Turnpike, I-95 or the Expressway, there always seems to be many trailer trucks and other commercial vehicles sharing the highways with us.
Among all the vehicles driving on the Massachusetts highways, none pose more risk of serious injury or death than the large tractor trailers. Passenger vehicles are no match for the sheer size and power of commercial trucks. In a collision between the two, the consequences could be catastrophic. In most commercial truck crashes in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, law enforcement conducts effective, but sometimes limited investigation of the accident. When someone is seriously or fatally injured in a commercial trucking crash, however, the accident may require a more thorough and comprehensive investigation to obtain the compensation victims deserve for the injuries and losses they suffer in these crashes.
General Investigation of a Trucking Accident
Generally, trucking crashes are initially investigated by the police responding to the accident. Often, the Massachusetts State Police will be the law enforcement agency that will respond and investigate commercial truck accidents. This is typically because most trucking crashes occur on the state highways. However, some commercial trucking accidents are investigated by local police too.
Law enforcement usually investigates all motor vehicle accidents, especially those that result in serious injuries. However, more attention and detail are normally afforded to commercial trucking crashes. Why is more attention paid to accident investigation with commercial vehicles? Basically, it’s because the more serious the accident the more involved the accident investigation. Out of all the motor vehicle accidents, large tractor trailer crashes typically cause the most damage.
The potential for injury in trucking accidents is simply due to the weight difference of a commercial vehicle. The size and weight of a commercial vehicle creates more kinetic energy than a smaller passenger vehicle. When a car and tractor trailer collide, even when traveling at the same speed, the tractor trailer will create much more kinetic energy and, obviously, the car will sustain more damage in the impact. The more severe the collision, the greater the potential for serious bodily injury.
Although the police may investigate a crash and prepare an accident report, they may not be enough to determine the cause of the crash or may not have discussed the cause or contributing factors to the accident. This may create difficulties in successfully pursuing compensation in a personal injury case resulting from a trucking accident.
Serious Injuries in a Trucking Accident May Require a More Detailed Investigation
While the police almost always investigate trucking crashes, their investigation is sometimes limited. This is because their motive and reasons for the investigation is usually differs from that of an accident victim or his or her Massachusetts trucking accident attorney. The police are usually concerned with criminal acts. For example, the police want to determine if a driver involved in a car crash was intoxicated or violating some other criminal statute. But if there is no criminal aspect to a crash, their investigation and accident reports may be limited.
In order for someone seriously injured or killed in a trucking crash to obtain financial compensation in a Massachusetts personal injury case, among other things, they must prove that the truck driver or trucking company was negligent. This means that the truck driver was careless, and his careless operation of the truck caused the accident and injuries to the victim. When a police investigation is limited, a trucking accident victim may need more evidence to satisfy their burden of proof in a personal injury lawsuit. This is where an experienced Massachusetts trucking accident lawyer is needed.
An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to review all police reports generated after a truck accident and determine if they are sufficient enough to establish the truck driver’s negligence. In the event the police reports are insufficient, a professional, independent investigation may be needed.
A personal injury firm experienced in representing victims of trucking accidents generally use experts or investigators to investigate commercial trucking accidents. These expert investigators will examine all evidence and factors involved in a trucking accident and prepare a more thorough accident investigation report. The crux of the report is to conclude what or whom was responsible for causing the crash.
In trucking accidents that cause severe injuries or death, the trucking company’s insurance carrier almost always defend with vigor. This is because the damages can be catastrophic and the potential liability to an insurance company very high. In these types of situations, an accident victim or their family should prosecute their personal injury lawsuit with the same aggressiveness.