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Semi-truck Accident Lawyer in Rhode Island

LEGAL HELP FOR RHODE ISLAND TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, but in terms of industry, Rhode Island makes a big splash. Several Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies call the Ocean State home. The diverse economy includes contributions from many different industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, health services, and tourism.

When it comes to motor vehicle transportation, unfortunately Rhode Island’s size does not mean it is safer in terms of traffic crashes. Although trucking accidents occur seldom in the Ocean State, every year senseless accidents cause serious injury and death for Rhode Island residents. If trucking companies and their employees follow the safety rules prescribed by the law, catastrophic accidents and fatal injuries could be avoided every day.

When the unthinkable happens, you need an attorney who is ready to serve your best interests. Thomas J. Henry will take immediate action on your case and work to ensure crucial evidence is preserved.

Trucking accidents can be complex. Our Rhode Island trucking injury attorneys have experience handling some of the largest semi-truck accidents in the United States. No matter the size of the trucking company, we understand how they operate and how truck drivers are supposed to handle themselves while driving commercial motor vehicles. Our financial resources and experienced lawyers help us achieve real results for our injured clients.

LEGAL RESOURCES TO WIN YOUR TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE

In order to successfully take on the largest trucking companies in the nation, you need a firm with the necessary resources to do so. Thomas J. Henry ensures your case is handled with care from intake to resolution. The firm’s resources and decades of experience allow us to assist you efficiently and effectively every step of the way.

  • Mobility
    • Our Rhode Island truck accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Clients can access our experienced team of lawyers at anytime from anywhere in the world. We can visit you wherever you reside through jet services if you cannot make it to one of our offices. Distance is never an issue because our attorneys have access to your files through satellite and cutting-edge mobile technologies, allowing them to hold meetings, draft and review files from anywhere. We make sure you have an advocate fighting on your behalf throughout the entire process, no matter where you live in Rhode Island. We can come to your home, office, or visit you at the hospital.
  • Technology
    • Thomas J. Henry operates with state-of-the-art technology in an environment conducive to efficient and effective legal representation. No punches are held and no exceptions are made when it comes to using top-of-the-line case management, client interaction, and information security technologies when representing our clients. From the first time a new client meets at our office (or we visit them in Rhode Island), a case profile is created and active in our modern computer system — accessible from anywhere in the country. Security and accessibility are of the utmost importance, and the ability to expedite case information to clients and legal professionals at the click of a mouse helps keep you informed with the most up-to-date information possible.
  • Experts
    • Our firm employs a multitude of trucking expert witnesses from across the world for every Rhode Island trucking accident case. Experts can provide invaluable reports and testimony for judges, attorneys, lawyers, law firms, and government agencies in Federal and State court trials and arbitration. Having the right expert for the case is often vital in advancing your case. Experts can shine light on important aspects and details of a trucking accident, and Thomas J. Henry has spent years selecting only the best experts through thorough examining and questioning. Trucking accident experts may include:
      • Accident reconstruction experts
      • Hazardous materials experts
      • Doctors, surgeons, toxicologists, and other medical professionals
      • Transportation safety specialists
      • Human factors forensic science experts

WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR MY TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURIES?

Trucking accidents can be complex, and knowing who and where to sue can be a crucial aspect to the success of your case. These types of personal injury cases are complex because there are several different parties that may be at fault in the accident, including:

  • The commercial motor vehicle or truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Commercial motor vehicle manufacturer

Thomas J. Henry has the knowledge and experience to make sure your case is handled correctly. Our experienced trucking attorney will make sure all the details of your trucking accident have been researched and discovered so you are in the best possible position to receive the compensation you deserve for your trucking accident injuries. For years, our firm has demonstrated how commercial motor vehicle operators and trucking companies across the United States have caused catastrophic injuries and deaths that were completely preventable.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER BEING INVOLVED IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?

Your safety and well-being are paramount following a trucking accident. Your rights as a victim of a trucking accident are also important, and there are steps you can follow to help preserve those rights. We understand that truck crashes can be shocking and overwhelming. That’s why your choice matters when it comes to choosing a trucking injury attorney. Our team of lawyers will advocate for your financial and physical well-being throughout the process.

Following a Rhode Island trucking accident, you should:

  • Stop after the crash and assess your health and the health of any passengers. Do not exit the vehicle before checking to make sure it is safe to do so.
  • If possible, make the accident scene visible to other drivers by turning hazard lights on or setting out road flares.
  • Notify the police of the accident and be sure to file a police report. If there are any injuries, make sure a paramedics team is sent to the scene as well.
  • Record accident facts and take pictures of the scene, your injuries, and any other accident factors. Speaking accurately and truthfully to the responding police officer but do not speculate about facts about the incident.
  • Gather names, addresses, and phone numbers of those involved in the trucking accident and any witnesses to the event. In addition, obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved in the wreck.
  • Seek medical attention, even if you aren’t entirely sure you have sustained an injury. It is better to err on the side of caution and receive a check-up from a physician following the wreck. Some injuries or pain will show up days after the accident.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company, and keep a log of any medical or crash-related expenses. Do not speak with other insurance companies (advise them to contact your injury attorney, if you have retained one).
  • Contact an experienced Rhode Island truck accident lawyer.

Attorneys at Thomas J. Henry will assist you with your trucking accident case, protecting your rights as a victim and making sure insurance companies act in your best interest. Our lawyers understand how important it is to acquire evidence immediately following a trucking accident. Available 24/7, nights and weekends, we are always available to answer your concerns and help you get through a very difficult time.

COMMON CAUSES OF RHODE ISLAND TRUCKING ACCIDENTS

Several factors can lead to a serious semi-truck accident. Due to the size differential between large trucks and passenger cars, small mistakes can turn catastrophic in the blink of an eye. In the United States, semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., or 40 tons. When the average car weighs around two tons, disastrous injuries and death can result from simple traffic infractions.

Common causes of Rhode Island trucking accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Improper turning
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
    • Perhaps the most common traffic violation, speeding was a contributing factor in at least 30 percent of annual fatal crash totals between 2003 and 2012.
  • Unsecured loads
    • Motorists are put in danger when truck drivers and trucking companies fail to secure cargo. When cargo, including hazardous materials, spill onto the highway, serious accidents can occur.
  • Failure to maintain vehicle
    • Truck drivers are compelled to perform daily inspections on their vehicles. Even the smallest mechanical issue can turn deadly at 65 mph on the highway.
  • Improper lane changing
  • Impaired driving

ECM AND GPS DEVICES: WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT TO MY TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE?

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Electronic Control Modules (ECM) are present in many commercial motor vehicles in the United States. These devices record important information about the truck and the behaviors of the truck driver — data that can be invaluable to your trucking injury case. ECM and GPS devices record and track the movement of the truck, including the speed at which the truck was traveling prior to a collision, the driving habits of the operator, and which routes were taken before an accident.

Our experienced Rhode Island injury attorneys will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to secure and obtain the data found on the ECM and GPS devices. In addition, we will obtain the truck driver’s required Federal Motor Carrier documents, which can also play a huge role in determining fault and negligence in your potential case.

WHAT TRUCKING REGULATIONS EXIST TO KEEP RHODE ISLAND DRIVERS SAFE?

Trucking companies and their drivers are required to abide by a variety of regulations that have been put in place to keep other motorists safe on the roads. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains all of the regulations regarding the operation and maintaining of commercial motor vehicles. Oftentimes serious trucking accidents are a result of a truck driver or trucking company’s failure to abide by these laws.

Truck drivers are required to obtain and hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard than regular driver’s license holders, which means they can lose their CDL certification by committing serious traffic violations.

The following are just a few of the many commercial motor vehicle regulations:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
    • Rhode Island CDL holders must be 18 years of age or older to operate within the state.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

HOURS OF SERVICE (HOS) REGULATIONS

Truck drivers are also required to abide by the hours of service regulations. These regulations are important in keeping drivers and other motorists safe. Drowsy driving is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents in the United States. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation revealed that driving on only four or five hours of sleep increased the risk of a crash as much as driving with a blood alcohol content between .12 and .15.

Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED RHODE ISLAND TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY

For decades, Thomas J. Henry has helped trucking accident victims throughout the country stand up against large trucking companies and obtain record-breaking verdicts and settlements. Thomas J. Henry has the experience, the knowledge, and the resources you need to win your case. If you were injured in a trucking accident in Rhode Island, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our truck accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case.

Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

877-969-8159 • info@tjhlaw.com

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