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Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Commercial vehicles are responsible for hundreds of accidents every day. Learn about the most common causes of commercial vehicle accidents in this podcast with car accident attorneys Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough.

John: Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of the Law Office of Mazow McCullough. Today our topic is Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents. Welcome Robert and Kevin.

Robert: Thank you John.

Kevin: Thanks John.

The Most Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

John: Kevin, what are the most common causes you see in commercial vehicle accidents?

Kevin: Great question John. At the Law Office of Mazow | McCullough, we handle numerous types of collisions including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, collisions involving MBTA buses, trolleys, [and] trains. The most common causes of these collisions that we see is just a general lack of paying attention. Whether it’s someone having a beverage, eating some food, not familiar with the area that they’re in, [or] looking at a map within the vehicle, and also lack of training, especially on the commercial side of things.

Unfortunately, unless there’s a significant collision or injury involved, a lot of the employers and businesses don’t really dive into the depths of the training that’s needed for driving an MBTA vehicle or a commercial bus or a commercial truck. Once we handle these types of cases and we conduct depositions and discovery, and we sit people down in a conference room and question them on what training they’ve had, it’s shocking sometimes to find out how little training they’ve had, if any. I’d summarize that up with the most common causes of these types of collisions being just a general lack of training and also not paying attention.

Commercial Vehicle Accidents Involving Taxis

John: Right. Are taxis included in the commercial vehicles and do you handle those as well?

Kevin: Definitely John, we do handle collisions involving taxis [and] Uber vehicles and the same answer holds true there. A taxi is commonly in a rush either to pick up a fare or drop off a fare, they [are] maybe in a part of the city that they don’t know about or they’re not familiar with. Just in general, we all see it, driving in the streets of the North Shore area of Boston. When we see a taxi driver, sometimes they may go a little too fast, they may cut off that person in front or behind them just to get to where they need to go.

What to Do If You’ve Lost a Loved One in a Commercial Vehicle Accident

John: Right. Robert, what can the survivors of a victim killed in a commercial vehicle crash do after they’ve lost a loved one?

Robert: John, it depends on if they’re hit or killed as a pedestrian or if they are a passenger in another vehicle, or if they’re a passenger in the vehicle that caused the accident. For instance, if they’re a pedestrian, they have a couple of resources that they can turn to for payment of medical bills, or in the case of a death payment for a burial and funeral expenses. First thing they can do if they’re a pedestrian is look at the vehicle that caused the crash, go after their Personal Injury Protection coverage, go after their coverage to get the medical bills, funeral bills, [and] burial expenses paid for. If they have their own insurance, their own medical bill payments coverage, if they have their own on or under-insured motorist coverage and their own policy, if they happen to have one or a family member had one, they can look to that.

If they’re a passenger in a cab for instance, their recourse initially is going to be getting their medical bills taken care of by the vehicle that they’re in, by the cab’s PIP or Personal Injury Protection coverage. Then if there’s not enough coverage [or] if there’s not any coverage, they can look to their own policies if they happen to have one. There are different resources, there are different primary versus secondary, versus excess coverages that need to [be looked] at. People probably need to be talking to a professional to make sure that the right coverages come in at the right times. Balance [that] with perhaps their own private health insurance coverage that might come into play as well.

How to Handle the Other Side’s Lawyers

John: Right. Are you looking at potentially going after a company, like a cab company or a trucking company or something like that, where that company might have their own set of lawyers that you’re up against? In that case it would be very difficult as an individual to try to navigate that whole system?

Robert: Certainly in the cab companies’ situations, Massachusetts has allowed taxi cab companies to set up each cab as its own separate company. Even if there’s a large cooperation that might own 100 medallions and have 100 vehicles out on the road, each one of those vehicles has been able to see protection of only up to $20,000 of insurance coverage. You need to seek [out] a professional to see whether you can pierce the cooperate veil to get cooperation, to see whether or not this is a phony setup and that you can get access to the coverage that a person may really need to access. But in the case of a truck or some other commercial vehicle, generally those are insured better and they provide more liability protection if the driver or employee is at fault for an accident.

John: All right, that’s great information. Robert and Kevin, thanks again for speaking with me today.

Robert: Thanks John.

Kevin: Thank you John.

John: For more information, visit helpinginjured.com or call (978) 744-8000.

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