Commercial trucks, also called semi-trucks or 18-wheelers, are common on U.S. roads as they help in delivering various products throughout the country. These trucks present a danger as they share roads with other trucks, passenger cars, and even motorcycles. Due to their weight, crashes involving semi-trucks can be fatal whenever they occur.
Semi-truck drivers carry a huge responsibility whenever they get on the road. Where truck accidents occur due to the truck driver’s negligence, victims have a right to seek compensation. In such cases, working with a Torrington truck accident lawyer can help prove liability and increase the chances of receiving compensation.
At Injured CT, we have a team of experienced Torrington personal injury lawyers who have worked on countless truck accident cases in the past. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to the truck driver’s negligence, call us today for a free consultation.
Truck Accident Statistics in Connecticut
Truck-related accidents are estimated at 500,000 every year. In 2017, there were 4,102 fatalities and 170,000 injuries that resulted from commercial truck accidents. Further, statistics show that in 97% of all deaths in large truck crashes, the victim was in the passenger vehicle. In 2017, Connecticut recorded 20 fatal crashes involving commercial trucks.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are characterized by a huge impact, and most victims are usually thrown into a state of confusion, not knowing what to do after the accident. Below are some important steps to take if you have been involved in a truck accident:
- Call 911 to ensure that police and other emergency services arrive at the scene.
- Help others if you’re uninjured and it’s safe to do so.
- Exchange important info with those involved in the accident, such as insurance information.
- Document the scene by taking clear pictures of the vehicles involved, detailing the extent of the damage. Make a point of speaking with witnesses and collecting their information.
- Even if you feel okay, seek medical attention to eliminate the possibility of suffering internal injuries.
- Contact an attorney to discuss your rights and legal options.
What Are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, there are federal and state laws that regulate trucks, truck drivers, trucking companies, and other related entities. Particularly, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are the agencies responsible for enforcing laws regarding trucking and truck accident liability.
Some specific laws regarding trucking include:
- Truck drivers are required to obtain the proper credentials for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDLs).
- Laws that regulate drivers’ hours on duty. Specifically, these laws cap on-duty hours to 14 hours, driving hours to 11 hours, 70 weekly on-duty hours, and require that truck drivers take a 30-minute break while on duty.
- Quality control in the manufacture, inspection, maintenance, and repairs of trucks and truck parts.
Truck drivers who break these laws and are subsequently involved in an accident may be held liable for the accident.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Besides advising you on your rights and legal options, a Torrington truck accident lawyer can help you with the following:
Truck accident attorneys work with other experts like accident reconstruction experts to reveal the facts of the accident and help build a strong case.
Filing a Claim
Besides investigation, truck accident lawyers help you file a claim by gathering the relevant documents such as medical bills and reports. With such documents, they help build a strong case against the defendant and increase your chances of receiving compensation.
Lawyers are experienced at negotiating with insurance companies and can help you negotiate for a maximum amount in compensation.
Where an insurance company fails to propose a fair award, a truck accident lawyer can help take your case to court and present the facts before a judge in a bid to win the case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
In truck accident cases, victims may recover the following damages:
- Economic: These are damages meant to compensate victims for monetary loss and may include medical bills, property damage, and lost income.
- Non-Economic:With these damages, victims are compensated for losses whose monetary value can’t be estimated easily. They include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of companionship.
- Punitive: Where the defendant’s actions are deemed wanton wrongdoing or amount to gross negligence, a judge might award punitive damages to deter the defendant from acting in a similar manner in the future.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Truck accident claims will not be worth the same amount due to different circumstances surrounding the case. However, the worth of your claim will depend on the damages that you are likely to be awarded. A good way of estimating the worth of your claim is by speaking to a Torrington truck accident lawyer immediately after the accident.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
In Connecticut, truck accident victims have two years to file a claim against a negligent truck driver. After this, they may lose their right to seek compensation.
How Is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
In a truck accident case, fault is determined by proving the following elements of negligence:
- Legal duty of care
- Breach of that duty
- Damages or injury
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver Was Negligent?
A Torrington truck accident lawyer can help prove that a truck driver was negligent by proving that they had a legal duty of care while on the road and failed to fulfill that duty. Further, the truck accident lawyer has to show that the driver’s negligence led to your injuries and that these injuries were a result of the truck accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
In a truck accident case, various parties can be held liable, including:
- Truck drivers, especially if they don’t have the required credentials on their commercial driver’s license.
- Trucking companies may also be held liable if they allow their drivers to be on the road beyond the allowable hours.
- The loading company can also be held responsible for a truck accident if they overloaded or improperly loaded a truck that was subsequently involved in an accident.
- Vehicle or parts manufacturers may also be liable for a truck accident if truck parts and accessories are found to be substandard.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
There are various factors that contribute to truck accidents, but the most common include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Careless driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Improperly secured freight or overloading
- Inexperienced or poorly-trained drivers
- Poorly-maintained trucks
- Malfunction of parts
- Poor weather and road conditions
Free Consultation with a Torrington Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are common on Connecticut roads and often lead to death and severe property damage. Victims who survive such accidents often find themselves out of work for a long time due to the severity of their injuries. In such circumstances, working with an experienced truck accident lawyer can help you receive compensation for your injuries while you focus on your recovery.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Torrington, Connecticut, reach out to us at Injured CT to speak to one of our experienced lawyers. Your initial consultation is free.