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Stopping Distance

Massachusetts Attorney for Victims of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can have devastating consequences for motor vehicle accident victims due to their massive size and weight. There are a number of ways that a truck accident can occur, and a wide variety of trucks can be involved. These types of accidents aren’t limited to the large tractor-trailers we often see hauling cargo on the freeway. Some truck accidents even involve rental trucks and inexperienced drivers. A common example of a truck accident is a stopping distance accident, which involves situations where the truck driver fails to stop at an appropriate distance from the object the truck collides with. A Massachusetts truck accident lawyer at our firm is prepared to assist you in seeking compensation if you were injured due to a truck driver’s failure to stop appropriately.

Stopping Distance Truck Accidents

Due to the size and load capacity of most trucks, they require far more time to come to a complete stop than a normal passenger size vehicle. This is referred to as stopping distance. Before someone can operate a commercial vehicle, he or she must obtain a commercial driver’s license, which requires the applicant to show that he or she has sufficient knowledge and experience to operate a truck safely on the roadway.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, stopping distance is one of the three main challenges that truck drivers face. A fully loaded truck carrying cargo under good conditions on the highway requires a stopping distance of roughly 200 yards, which amounts to two football fields, to stop. This means that any sudden changes in road conditions like snow, ice, or heavy traffic can put a driver and nearby motorists in a seriously dangerous situation. There are some instances, however, where the truck driver is either following too closely, speeding, or not paying appropriate attention, preventing him or her from utilizing an appropriate stopping distance. Some stopping-related crashes can also be been avoided if the driver is fatigued or paying adequate attention. Like regular motorists, commercial drivers are susceptible to behind-the-wheel distractions like texting or talking on a cell phone. The heavier the load, the more distance that the vehicle will require to come to a complete stop, as well.

Seeking Damages after a Truck Accident

If you were harmed in a stopping distance accident, you can bring a personal injury claim against the truck driver and/or trucking company that employed the driver. Under the vicarious liability doctrine, an employer is vicariously liable for the tortious acts that its employee commits during the course and scope of employment. This means that if a truck driver is speeding or tailgating at the time of the accident, then the company that employs the driver can be held vicariously liable for any resulting damage. There are some additional causes of action that you can assert directly against a trucking company, including negligent hiring and negligent supervision. A seasoned truck accident lawyer can help you develop any applicable claims against a trucking company.

In your claim against the truck driver, you must prove that they failed to use reasonable care and skill when operating the truck and that you were harmed as a direct and foreseeable result. Many lawsuits involving truck accidents require testimony from an expert to help describe common industry standards and what a reasonable and prudent truck driver would have done when faced with a similar situation. In situations involving stopping distance, a reasonable truck driver would know that it takes far longer for them to come to a complete stop compared to a passenger vehicle. He or she would also refrain from engaging in distracted driving activities and would refrain from speeding or tailgating.

If you are successful in establishing liability and causation, you can recover compensation for your damages including coverage for past and future medical bills, missed wages, and more.

Seek Guidance from a Truck Accident Lawyer in Massachusetts

Truck accidents are incredibly stressful and often painful for the victim. Whether you suffered minor injuries or devastating injuries that will leave you with permanent disabilities, you deserve experienced and compassionate legal counsel. The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates P.C. and our team of legal professionals in Massachusetts will guide you through the legal process while seeking to protect your rights. An attorney at our firm is available to serve clients in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody. To learn more about how we can help you, call us at  (800) 262-9200 or contact us online.

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