Thousands of semi-trucks travel along Connecticut roadways every day, carrying consumer goods, gasoline, and other products from port cities to destinations nationwide.
Many drivers don’t think twice about these “gentle giants,” but people who have been involved in a collision with a commercial truck know all too well that these oversized vehicles are not so gentle.
Commercial trucking accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and can even be fatal. If you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial trucking accident in Connecticut, a trucking accident lawyer can help you file a claim for damages.
Call Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge today at 203-865-8430 to discuss your case!
From our offices in New Haven, the Connecticut personal injury law firm of Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., has advanced experience representing people seriously injured in collisions with 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks including:
Talk to a lawyer before you negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance carrier. Trucking accidents are almost always complex legal cases involving catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, brain injuries, paralysis, amputations or wrongful death.
In many cases, trucking insurance companies will offer a quick settlement designed to minimize their liability. Never accept an insurance company’s initial offer. It takes time to understand the full medical consequences of a trucking accident, and if you accept an early settlement, you run the risk of cutting yourself off from an important source of compensation if additional medical problems arise at a later date.
Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., recently resolved a trucking accident lawsuit in which a mother of two children was killed. Our investigation revealed defective truck parts that played a role in the accident. The case settled for $1.9 million. Read more about our recent settlements and verdicts.
Commercial trucks weigh about 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, more than ten times the weight of a typical passenger car or SUV. The weight of these vehicles gives them much more inertia than a passenger car, which means they need a longer distance to stop.
When these heavy vehicles collide with your car, the impact can cause severe damage. It’s not unusual to have your car totaled or for you and your passengers to have life-threatening injuries. The damage can be worse if the truck is carrying hazardous chemicals or flammable cargo.
Commercial trucks also have a higher center of gravity than passenger cars, making them more vulnerable to tipping over, especially in inclement weather or high winds. Due to the length of the trailer, they can require wider areas to turn.
All of these risk factors make sharing the road with semi-trucks dangerous for other drivers. And while you may drive defensively and try to give commercial trucks space, accidents can still happen. When they do, hire an experienced lawyer for trucking accidents.
Commercial trucks may tip over or can jackknife, which means the cab and the trailer land in a V-position. They have larger blind spots than other types of vehicles, which means they may sideswipe cars or merge into them when changing lanes.
If the victim's injuries are severe enough, they may die or fail to recover fully. Complications from serious trucking accidents are common, and many people may require surgery to repair the damage.
Even after your immediate medical treatment, you may still need physical or occupational therapy to regain range of motion, walk, and perform normal activities again.
However, if you are not to blame for the trucking accident, then your trucking accident lawyers can file a lawsuit for damages to cover your medical bills and the follow-up treatment you need.
At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we handle all Trucking Accidents cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid unless and until you receive a settlement or a jury award.
The moments after an accident can be chaotic and painful. If you cannot move or if you feel trapped in your car, try to stay put until medical help arrives. If you or your passengers have injured your neck or spine, you may need professional help to get out of the car.
Always call 911 after an accident — in Connecticut, it’s illegal not to report an accident. Calling 911 summons the police, and they will examine the accident scene and compile a police report. The officer will also check all the drivers to see if driving under the influence had any role in the crash.
The police report contains information about all parties involved in the accident, the circumstances of the crash, and whether any party violated Connecticut traffic laws. The police report is an essential part of the case that your truck accident attorney will build to file a suit for damages.
If you’ve been involved in trucking accidents, lawyers will tell you that getting medical attention is always important. Some injuries may not show up immediately, but having prompt medical care can start your recovery right away.
Additionally, the medical reports will establish that you received your injuries due to the crash — another important piece of evidence used for your claim.
Finally, hire an experienced trucking accident lawyer to represent your interests and file a claim against the driver and the commercial carrier.
Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers are properly trained and certified, with a valid Commercial Driving License (CDL), and have the proper certifications for the goods they are hauling.
If the commercial carrier doesn’t complete due diligence in the hiring process and hires a trucker with a spotty driving record, one with an expired CDL, or one who isn’t properly trained, then they can be held liable by your truck accident lawyers for your injuries.
Or, the commercial carrier may have failed to maintain its fleet properly, and a malfunctioning truck could have led to the crash.
Furthermore, commercial drivers must adhere to certain safety standards, which govern how long they're allowed to drive before they have to stop to rest, how long the rest periods are, and the maximum speeds they’re allowed to drive.
If a commercial trucking company doesn’t provide oversight and supervision for their drivers, or if they knowingly encourage truckers to drive faster or for more extended periods of time to save money, then the carrier could be liable.
Your trucking accident lawyers will likely request the company’s safety records and the driving records of the truck driver who hit you.
No Zones are the blind spots or dangerous areas around a semi-truck and the areas where accidents are most likely to happen. These are in the front, sides, and rear of the vehicle. Knowing where the truck driver’s blind spots are can help you avoid staying in them for too long and drive defensively to avoid them.
Although truck accidents can happen anywhere, some places in the state are more accident-prone than others. Three of the most dangerous roadways for a truck accident are Interstate 91, Interstate 95, and U.S. Highway 6. Between 2015 and 2017, nearly 70 deaths from trucking accidents occurred along those roads.
The circumstances of each accident are different; therefore, the settlement amount will also differ. Trucking accident attorneys will look at how badly you’ve been injured and the extent of the damages to your car.
Your medical bills, property damage, and lost wages from missed work all comprise the economic damages that can be sought by your lawyer. For trucking accident cases, medical treatment can include the cost of emergency care after the crash and any ongoing treatment you need, such as surgery, a chiropractor, or physical therapy.
After trucking accidents, lawyers also file for non-economic damages, covering the pain and suffering you experience after the accident. Non-economic damages can also include:
It’s hard to put a dollar amount on the cost of the trauma accident victims suffer, and typically the judge will use a multiplier of your economic damages to calculate non-economic damages.
However, Connecticut has no cap on damages that a plaintiff in a trucking accident can be awarded, so your truck accident lawyer may ask for more than the multiplier.
When trying to decide who’s liable, trust your lawyer. For trucking accidents, they may find the commercial carrier liable for the accident, too.
In that case, they may seek punitive damages against the company, which are a form of economic punishment for their negligence and gross oversight.
Many people may worry that they cannot afford a lawyer to represent them. However, many personal injury firms, including Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, work on a contingency basis. We only get paid if we win your case, and our legal fees will come from the settlement you’re awarded.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a commercial trucking accident, trucking accident lawyers can help you file a claim for damages or file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf.
Truck accident injuries may take many weeks or even months to heal, and you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical care and the time you've missed from work.
Contact Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, an experienced team of truck accident lawyers, for a free consultation about your case. You don’t have to face this burden alone. Your legal advocates can help.