Truck driving accidents are surprisingly common in Massachusetts. Each year, several thousand trucking accidents occur in Massachusetts, causing, on average, 2,000 injuries and nearly one hundred deaths.
Trucking accidents cause more serious injuries than any other type of auto accident because of trucks’ greater weight (including the weight of the loads that they carry), their larger engines and their elevation off the ground. The only silver lining in being involved in a truck accident is that Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations require that commercial vehicles traveling in interstate commerce carry a minimum of $750,000 in insurance for bodily injury resulting from an accident. Most trucking companies carry more than the minimum in insurance, so it is likely that if you are injured in a trucking accident you will not be faced with the specter of an underinsured driver who is unable to compensate you for your injuries.
Massachusetts trucking accidents are complex cases that can be difficult to litigate because they involve the intersection of both federal and Massachusetts laws. Trucks that travel in interstate commerce are required to comply with federal regulations that are promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Some of these regulations are familiar – mandating limits on truckers’ hours of service and periodic inspections of the trucks themselves – but there are also numerous other regulations.
In addition to complying with federal regulations, trucks that travel in interstate commerce may also be bound to comply with Massachusetts laws and regulations. In some instances, federal trucking regulations merely set a threshold level of safety regulation.
Trucks that operate exclusively in Massachusetts are not necessarily bound by the federal regulations. However, because the federal trucking regulations are a well-developed body of law that has been heavily refined, the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety has incorporated many of the federal trucking regulations into its own code of trucking regulations.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Massachusetts, you are likely to be quickly contacted by a representative of the trucking company or an insurance adjustor. They are looking out for the truck company’s interests, not yours. That is why it is essential that you contact a lawyer. Call the Law Office of Alan H. Crede at (617) 973-6434.
Read more about tractor trailer accidents.
- 49 CFR 350: Commercial Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program
- 49 CFR 382: Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing
- 49 CFR 383: Commercial Driver’s License Standards; Requirements and Penalties
- 49 CFR 391: Qualification of Drivers
- 49 CFR 392: Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles
- 49 CFR 395: Hours of Service of Drivers
- 49 CFR 396: Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance
- 49 CFR 397: Transportation of Hazardous Materials; Driving and Parking Rules
- 49 CFR 398: Transportation of Migrant Workers
- 49 CFR 399: Employee Safety and Health Standards
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