Truck Accident Lawyer in West Hartford
Our nation’s roads are becoming more congested each year, and Connecticut is no exception. When we’re forced to share the road with more vehicles, the chances of a dangerous encounter with a commercial vehicle increase. In some cases, truck drivers who are delayed by traffic may try to make up time by speeding through our state, creating more hazardous conditions on Connecticut’s roads.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are more than 4,300 commercial truck-involved crashes each year that result in fatalities, and more than 97,000 that involve injuries. In Connecticut alone, there are nearly 100,000 traffic crashes annually, and over 18,000 involve tractor trailers or other types of trucks.
If you or a loved one are a victim of a truck accident, you are entitled to make a claim for damages if the crash was the fault of a third party. Truck accidents are notoriously complicated matters because of the competing interests involved in these cases. An experienced Connecticut truck accident attorney can investigate your claim, explain your options, and work to protect your recovery rights.
When Truck Accidents Cause Serious Injury
Crashes on Connecticut’s roads have become all too common. Through our firm’s handling of these cases, we have witnessed a variety of causes, but there is a definite pattern that emerges from these dangerous events. The most common causes of semi-truck crashes include:
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe speed
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Inexperienced or untrained operators
- Unsafely loaded or secured cargo
- Truck defects
The differences between a truck accident and a car accident can be stark. Trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than a passenger vehicle and are higher off the ground, so the damages they cause can be devastating. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, just 16% of all truck accident fatalities were truck occupants, so the odds are not in favor of passenger car drivers and passengers.
When these massive forces collide with a passenger vehicle, they can cause substantial property damage, life-changing injuries, and even death. Some of the most common types of injuries sustained from truck crashes can include:
- Back and spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken and fractured bones
- Bruises and contusions
- Burn injuries
- Facial and dental injuries
- Internal injuries
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident that result in injuries, seek immediate medical attention. This is not only vital for your health and well-being but also to document your injuries for the sake of a potential personal injury case against those responsible for your crash.
Rules and Regulations for Trucking Companies
Truck drivers and their companies are subject to more than just the rules of the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) establishes and enforces rules and regulations for commercial vehicles and their drivers that are meant to make the roads safer. Those rules generally focus on these five areas:
- Commercial Driver’s License. Drivers of commercial trucks must have a valid CDL.
- Equipment Standards. Every commercial vehicle must comply with stringent equipment standards.
- Insurance Coverage. Drivers and trucking companies must be covered by insurance.
- Hours of Service. Drivers can only operate their vehicles a certain number of hours per day.
- Driver’s Log. Drivers are required to keep a written log of their activities for each hour of operation.
Whether or not a truck driver’s company is in compliance with these rules could impact the outcome of your case. Unfortunately, these records can be difficult to obtain or could disappear soon after an accident. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after a crash.
Who is Responsible for Damages?
These dangerous crashes are usually caused by either negligence or the failure to adhere to safe driving standards. A truck driver or his employer could be found liable for damages and injuries in a truck crash if either are found to have caused or contributed to the accident through negligence. Some of the parties that could be responsible for a Connecticut truck accident include:
- The truck driver
- Truck owners
- Trucking companies
- Truck and parts manufacturers
- Maintenance companies
- Truck loaders
- Government entities responsible for road conditions
The question of who should be held accountable in a trucking accident can be a complicated and contentious one. Trucking companies and their insurers may claim that drivers are independent contractors, but this isn’t always the case. The truth is that insurance companies are not on your side and will say just about anything to minimize their exposure to damages. Only a skilled attorney has the resources and knowledge to thoroughly protect your rights and fight for justice in these serious cases.
Seeking Full Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
Crashes can leave victims with significant damages that involve claims for property damage, personal injury, and even wrongful death. Your claim for compensation may include the cost of medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one are the victim of one of these tragic accidents, you may be entitled to damages if a third party is responsible for your harm.
At The Upton Law Firm, our legal team works closely with accident reconstruction specialists, investigators, and other professionals to determine what happened and who is to blame for your injuries. We have a thorough understanding of the strict trucking industry rules and know what it takes to deal with insurance companies who don’t have your best interests in mind.
While you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, this is only the case if you file your claim within the time allotted by law. In Connecticut, you have just two years to make a claim for damages, but the evidence in a truck accident case can disappear much sooner. Contact our West Hartford office as soon as possible at (860) 893-0558 or online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
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