Commercial Truck Accidents
Commercial truck accidents are some of the most devastating wrecks that occur on America's highways. Each year, around 130,000 injuries are sustained in truck accidents. The size, weight, and mass of a tractor-trailer all combine to make it a dangerous threat in Connecticut's heavy, congested traffic.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Truck Accident
The first thing you should do after a tractor-trailer accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel “fine”, some injuries – such as a traumatic brain injury – do not show symptoms immediately. You should be examined by a qualified medical practitioner as soon as possible.
Every time a tractor-trailer accident occurs, the motor carrier company will send investigators, representatives, and lawyers to the scene as quickly as possible to protect the company's best interests. With this in mind, the most important thing you can do after a truck accident is to contact our firm. We work to make sure essential evidence is preserved in your case and help you thoroughly document the accident scene.
Do not sign any authorizations or give any statements in the aftermath of your truck accident, since this could potentially harm your case. Instead, take immediate action to retain legal representation from our experienced truck accident attorneys.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck Driver Fatigue: According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), driver fatigue is a contributing factor in around 13% of all commercial truck accidents. Fatigue may occur when a truck driver skips mandatory rest breaks, resorts to using dangerous drugs and stimulants to stay awake or drives more consecutive hours than allowed by law.
- Negligent Truck Maintenance: the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) estimates that negligent maintenance plays a role in more than one-quarter of all truck accidents. The truck driver and the motor carrier company are both responsible for ensuring that a commercial truck is cleared for safe travel. Drivers must review the inspection reports made by the previous driver of any and all trucks and are required to ensure that all necessary repairs indicated on the report are addressed. Drivers should perform routine inspections of trucks' steering, brakes, safety systems, tires, coupling devices, emergency equipment, hoses, belts, lights/reflectors, electronic systems, and general operational systems. Trucking companies are also required to have annual inspections performed by outside agencies.
- Texting while Driving: As of October 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established a federal ban on texting while driving a tractor-trailer, or any other commercial vehicle. The FMCSA has officially banned texting (both business-related and personal) whenever a commercial truck is in operation. Cell phones, onboard computer systems, and laptops are all included in the ban. If a trucker needs to communicate with their employer, they must pull over first.
Compensation in a Truck Accident Case
If your truck accident case is successful, the person (or parties) who are found liable for your injuries can potentially pay you:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Long-term or permanent physical disability or disfigurement
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
In a personal injury case, “damages” are designed to restore you to the position you were in before the accident and your resulting injuries.
Truck Accident FAQ
How many truck accidents are there each year?
There are 15.5 million trucks currently in the United States. Of those 15.5 million trucks, for every 100 million miles driven in the U.S., there are 2.3 deaths and 60 injuries caused by big rigs alone. Also, around 98% of all semi-truck accidents result in at least one death a year. About 75% of commercial truck accidents are caused by a driver of a smaller vehicle rather than the truck driver. Overall, there are 130,000 truck accident injuries annually.
What should I do if I am injured in a truck accident?
Contact our truck accident lawyers as soon as possible. It is important to do so since you may otherwise do something which can negatively affect your case. Our attorneys may advise you not to sign any authorizations or give any statements which can harm your suit. Since some cases do need to meet potential notice requirements, waiting too long can result in the dismissal of your truck accident case.
How is liability determined in a truck accident case?
How a “reasonable person” would act in the situation that caused the injury or accident is the critical issue in a truck accident case. When a person fails to act like a “reasonable person,” he or she may be deemed negligent. A trial will enable the jury to decide whether the person has met the “reasonable person standard.” Our truck accident lawyer may help you investigate your truck accident and help to find if negligence was present.
What compensation might I receive if my truck accident case is successful?
The person who is found liable for an injury caused by a truck accident generally will pay, through their liability insurance, the injured party:
- Past and future medical care
- Past and future income lost due to injury
- Long term or permanent physical disability or disfigurement
- Unable to or lack of participation in social and educational functions
- Long term or permanent assistance
- Strain on family relationships
- Emotional damages (stress, embarrassment, depression)
- Punitive Damages (in certain cases)
- Damaged Property
“Damages” or compensation will be rewarded to you and restore you to the position you were in before the truck accident and resulting injuries.
How do I go about getting experts to help me with my case?
Our personal injury law firm will hire the necessary experts to strengthen your case. Experts that may be hired are:
- Forensic tire experts
- Accident reconstruction specialists
- Trucking experts, specializing in the standard of care of truck drivers
Who will pay the expenses of hiring all the truck accident experts?
Fees and expenses are not asked for upfront. Our Connecticut truck accident lawyers are reimbursed at the closing of a case and only if you collect a settlement. If no settlement is rewarded, you do not owe us anything! All fees and expenses will be fully covered by us.
Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers in Connecticut
Our personal injury law firm hires the necessary experts to strengthen your case. For example, we may seek the testimony of an accident reconstruction specialist, a forensic tire expert, or a trucking expert who specializes in the standard of care of truck drivers.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Connecticut truck accident, our Ridgefield truck accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP can help you effectively fight for the compensation you deserve. We serve Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford & all other towns in the state of Connecticut!
All fees and expenses related to your case are covered by our attorneys. You only need to reimburse us at the end of a case if you collect a settlement or award. If no compensation is recovered in your case, you do not owe us anything.
If you are looking for an experienced Connecticut tractor-trailer accident lawyer that you can trust, please click here Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP or call us at (203) 438-7450 for a free remote case evaluation.