Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents occur regularly in Connecticut. As a matter of fact, close to 1,000 truck accidents take place in the state every year, causing injuries of both a fatal and nonfatal nature. This is not surprising if you consider the high volume of truck traffic in Connecticut, with trucks utilizing Interstate Highways 95, 91, and 84 for the transportation of goods all over New England.
Truck accidents can take an enormous toll on the people involved in so many ways. They can be draining physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you end up seriously hurt from the accident, your finances will start to take a hit as well.
Prepare yourself better for the legal battles ahead. Partner with a truck accident lawyer in Simsbury, Glastonbury or Hartford County and give yourself the best odds of winning the compensation that is rightfully yours.
Table of Contents
Truck Accident Statistics
Common Causes of Truck Crashes
What To Do Immediately After Getting in an Accident With a Truck
What Does a Truck Injury Lawyer Do?
Determining Liability in a Truck Wreck Case
How Are Truck Accident Cases Different from Car Accident Cases?
How Much is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
Additional Truck Crash Resources
Truck Accident Statistics
Accidents involving trucks, particularly large trucks and 18 wheelers, are common throughout the United States. According to Connecticut Crash Data and Connecticut accident records, 4,965 people died in large-truck crashes in 2020.
Of the deaths that occurred, 71 percent were occupants of other vehicles, 17 percent were people occupying trucks, and 12 percent were pedestrians and bicyclists. Despite a slight drop in the number of deaths in 2019 (1 percent), fatalities increased by 31 percent since 2011. Most of the accidents took place in October.
As one might expect, not all truck accidents in 2020 resulted in death. Actually, the majority resulted in injury. Data from the NSC shows that there were 107,000 large-truck crashes in that year that caused physical injuries. A truck accident attorney would have been involved in many cases, and again, most accidents occurred in October.
In Connecticut, the most serious injuries and deaths result from tractor trailer crashes, while collisions involving semitrucks tend to be the most devastating, especially for those outside the vehicle.
Identifying the Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Connecticut being an at-fault state means that the party who caused the accident will be held liable for it. Truck drivers and trucking companies are well aware of that. As experienced local Connecticut truck injury lawyers, we will tell you not be surprised if those truck drivers or trucking companies blame others to avoid making any substantial payouts.
Teaming up with a highly skilled Connecticut truck wreck attorney will help you avoid bearing blame undeservedly. You can also avoid being victimized by that tactic by educating yourself. Learn about the common causes of truck accidents. Refer to them as you try to figure out who is to blame for what happened.
Detailed below are some of the most common causes of truck accidents.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers often need to be on the road for several hours continuously. While they are used to that kind of driving, they are still not immune from fatigue. Once fatigue sets in, truck drivers become more susceptible to making mistakes. They may take their eyes off the road or even doze off.
Sometimes, the pressure of making a delivery on time can cause an otherwise reliable driver to make a poor decision. Unfortunately, that decision to get behind the wheel while tired can lead to an accident.
Lack of Training
Driving a truck is not the same as driving a typical passenger vehicle. There are more components to be mindful of, and the truck itself may be harder to control. Braking is one particular area where truck drivers have to exercise more caution.
According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, trucks with loaded trailers need 20 to 40 percent more clearance to stop safely. If a truck driver approaches braking the way they do with a passenger vehicle, they will likely crash into something. Better training can help truck drivers fully understand the machines they are working with. They will also be safer on the road as a result.
Poor Cargo Loading
Hauling heavy cargo should not be an issue for those massive trucks. However, issues could arise if the cargo was not loaded properly. The cargo may fall off at some point during the journey, and it may spill out on the road. Unsuspecting drivers nearby may crash into that cargo and get seriously hurt as a result.
Truck drivers must be sure that their cargo is secure before going on the road. You can hold a truck driver liable if you prove that they did not secure their cargo properly. Enlist the help of a truck injury lawyer if you need help proving that.
Negligence by Surrounding Drivers
The truck driver is not always the one to blame for an accident. The drivers around them could also be at fault. Driving too close to a truck is asking for trouble. You can say the same thing about trying to pass a truck without alerting the driver to your presence first.
Truck drivers must be extra cautious to keep the other drivers around them safe. We also need to return the favor by driving carefully whenever they are around.
What Should You Do After Being Involved in a Truck Accident?
The things you do immediately after will help determine the distribution of blame and compensation. You must be fully aware of what you are doing to avoid incurring blame unnecessarily. Follow the tips below, so you do not run into any more trouble after being involved in a truck accident.
Check for Any Injuries
The first thing you should do following the crash is to check for injuries. Check yourself and any people in the vehicle with you for those injuries. If someone is badly hurt, avoid moving them for now. You may end up hurting them even more if you try to take matters into your own hands.
Call for Help
Next up, you need to call for help. Call 911 and ask for police assistance. They will help you with the other steps to come. You should also call for emergency responders if someone is injured severely at the scene.
Gather Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
Are you well enough to move around? If so, try to exit your vehicle and start jotting down details of what happened. Note the address of the accident and the vehicles involved. You should also take pictures if you can. This will help later when the police officers put together the accident report required by Connecticut Code Section 14.108a.
Get Vital Information from the Other Party
At this point, you should now talk to the other driver involved in the accident. Ask for their contact information and insurance details because you will need them later on.
During this time, the other party may ask you to make a deal of some kind. Resist that offer because they are most likely trying to take advantage of you. Do not agree to anything without your truck wreck lawyer present.
Obtain Information from Witnesses
Witnesses can help shed light on what truly caused the big rig or commercial vehicle accident. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that “speeding of any kind” commonly plays a role in vehicular crashes. A witness nearby may tell you if the truck driver was speeding prior to the crash. Make sure to write the contact details of any witnesses so you can speak to them later.
Talk to the Police
You should go and speak to the police after they arrive at the scene. Share any information you gathered with them to help them out. If you had trouble getting information from the driver of the semi-truck, the police can help you out with that. Also, remember to ask for the police officers’ contact details. Speaking to them will likely be necessary as you build your case.
Visit a Doctor
Although you may feel fine right after the accident, there is still a chance that you were injured. Make sure you are in good condition by paying a visit to your doctor.
What Does a Connecticut Truck Injury Lawyer Do?
There are a lot of things that a truck wreck accident lawyer does, some of which are rather complex, but in a nutshell, they tend to the legalities of road accidents involving trucks and large motor vehicles designed to carry heavy loads. Connecticut tractor trailer accident lawyers handle truck accident cases from beginning to end, typically assisting victims with:
- claims for medical expenses,
- physical pain and suffering,
- emotional distress,
- vehicle damage,
- lost wages,
- loss of earning capacity,
- and wrongful death.
Some of the specifics that lawyers specializing in cases having to do with big rigs and semi-trucks will handle include:
- investigating accident cases to determine strength and validity,
- gathering evidence and accident details for claims,
- sending demand letters,
- negotiate with insurance companies for fair settlements,
- prepare complaints when insurance companies aren’t willing to negotiate,
- and initiate the discovery phase of lawsuits.
When a case ends up in trial, truck accident attorneys will provide professional legal representation for their clients in court.
Determining Responsibility in a Truck Accident
When a truck accident occurs and there are injuries, damages, and or losses, multiple parties may be held legally responsible. These parties include truck drivers, owners and companies, rental companies, shippers, and big rig, trailer, and parts manufacturers.
Oftentimes, the parties involved will deny that they were at fault to avoid liability. A truck accident lawyer can help determine responsibility, however, and ensure that justice is carried out and victims are appropriately compensated.
Truck accident attorneys can assist with legal proceedings due to negligence, where accidents will commonly occur due to inexperience, overloading of trucks, failure to obey traffic laws, and so on. These Connecticut personal injury lawyers can also assist with product liability lawsuits when a truck or truck component defects contributed to the occurrence of the accident.
In cases where the crash is so severe that the victim does not survive, a truck accident injury attorney can help family members recover economic, noneconomic, and even punitive damages.
How Are Truck Crashes Different from Car Crashes?
Truck crashes and car crashes are not the same. They differ in a number of ways. In truck accidents, where freight trucks and big rigs can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds, there is more property damage, the injuries are more severe, and the medical bills are a lot steeper — at least, that is usually the case.
Additionally, with accidents involving large commercial trucks, death is far more likely to occur than when two passenger cars collide. These differences call for the expertise of a Glastonbury or Simsbury lawyer.
Larger insurance policies are a major way in which truck crashes and car crashes differ. Insurance policies of truck drivers are significantly larger than car insurance policies. Often, the total value of insurance runs into millions of dollars, raising the stakes for insurance companies and motivating them to do everything possible to demonstrate they weren’t liable.
Elaborate tactics are commonly employed by experienced claims adjusters, but with a trusted truck accident attorney, the process is much less stressful.
How Much Is My Truck Wreck Case Worth?
Because commercial trucks are large and carry massive amounts of weight, truck accident injuries have a tendency to be serious. Moreover, determining who’s at fault after an accident can be difficult, with many parties involved. The consequence is that there will be numerous factors to consider when determining a truck settlement amount for a truck accident claim in Connecticut.
Generally, though, the settlement will correlate with losses suffered and the severity of injuries sustained.
Accidents involving trucks can be incredibly complex, and every case is different. For this reason, it is beneficial to consult a Connecticut truck attorney that covers Glastonbury, Simsbury, and Hartford to discuss all the options available to you. How much your truck wreck case is worth will depend on your specific circumstances, ultimately, and the truck lawyers who represent you.
Truck Wreck Lawyers in Hartford County, CT
Some of the locations in and around Hartford County our truck wreck lawyers and 18 wheeler accident attorneys serve include: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more.