As a victim of a trucking accident, you need maximum compensation, and only a truck accident lawyer in Bridgeport, CT, can help you get it. Learn about it here.
Residents of Bridgeport, Connecticut, experience different types of auto accidents. This could be car accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, or truck accidents. A truck accident is the most severe of these motor vehicle accidents. This is because of the size of commercial trucks compared to other vehicles on the roadway.
Trucks generally refer to tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, dump trucks, etc. Due to the nature of their job, truck drivers travel long distances from Bridgeport to other parts of Connecticut and outside the state. This time on the road makes them more susceptible to factors that cause accidents like fatigue.
Aside from these factors, truckers exhibit different types of negligence behavior when on the road. When this behavior causes an accident, they open themselves and their trucking companies to a personal injury claim. However, personal injury victims who want fair compensation need an experienced attorney before starting the legal process.
Our personal injury attorneys at Jacob & Wallace have combined decades of experience handling truck accident claims. We are available every day to listen to you and offer excellent legal advice. So contact us immediately after a trucking accident.
What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Large truck accidents are pretty common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,005 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2019. That same year, 77% of all those killed in fatal truck accidents were occupants of other vehicles. So, what exactly caused these commercial truck collisions? Below, we discuss the most common causes of trucking accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, over 2,800 people were killed, and an estimated 400,000 sustained injuries in crashes involving a distracted driver in the United States. Distractions could be mental, manual, or visual. In addition, it takes a distracted driver only about three seconds to crash. So, it is prudent for drivers to keep their attention on the road ahead and the task of driving.
Truck drivers consume alcohol in between stops despite the law against drinking and driving. These drivers believe that drinking alcohol will keep them awake, but this belief is false. Alcohol is a depressant, impairs a person's cognitive abilities, and doesn't help to stay awake. When taken too much, the driver becomes intoxicated and causes a drunk driving accident. An accident victim can bring a negligence action against a drunk driver and get maximum compensation.
Commercial truck drivers operating trucks travel for long hours. These drivers often fail to observe the mandatory number of hours they should be on the road and drive longer than necessary. This causes fatigue, which causes drowsy driving and, ultimately, a collision. A commercial driver who causes an accident due to fatigue will compensate an injured person.
Other known causes of truck collisions are speeding, tailgating, mechanical failure, overloaded cargo, adverse weather conditions, etc. Any of these factors can cause a rear-end collision, head-on collision, multi-vehicle accident, or rollover accident. Whatever the accident type, ensure you speak with a Bridgeport truck accident attorney after the crash.
What Should You Do After a Trucking Accident?
Victims of auto accidents must take specific steps to ensure fair compensation for their injuries and other losses. Below are steps to take if you hope to have a successful personal injury compensation claim.
- Report the Accident: Call 911 to request an ambulance and alert the police of the accident. Even if you did not suffer an injury, you should still do this and stay at the accident scene until the first responders arrive. The record of the 911 call will serve as evidence when you decide to take legal action.
- Get Treatment: Next, you should check yourself for injuries and get medical treatment. Even if it seems you were uninjured, you could have delayed injuries that might prove fatal later. So, ensure you go to the hospital and perform all the required tests to rule out internal wounds.
- Gather Evidence: If you can move around after a truck accident, try to gather evidence. The latter includes photos of the accident scene, injuries, debris, and vehicle damage. In addition, try to obtain any video footage and get witness statements and their contact address. An accident reconstruction specialist's report is also a crucial piece of evidence. But you can only get this after the crash investigation.
- Get the Truck Driver's Information: Get the truckers license information, insurance details, plate number, name of the trucking company, if they work for one.
- Get legal representation from a personal injury law firm.
What Injury Will You Sustain in a Truck Driving Accident?
There are different degrees of injuries accident victims sustain in auto accidents. An accident victim can sustain a minor wound, severe injury, or catastrophic injury. Some physical injuries suffered in this type of accident are:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries or bleeding
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Any of the above wounds could lead to the accident victim's death. When this happens, their families can file a wrongful death claim against the truck driver or trucking company. If you lose a loved one to a truck collision, get a trucking accident lawyer to handle the compensation claim process.
What Compensation Can You Get After a Truck Accident in Bridgeport, CT?
Under personal injury law, truck accident injury victims can get compensation against a negligent driver. This compensation covers economic and non-economic damages.
It refers to the calculable losses suffered by the injured accident victim. It is easy to calculate because these losses have a fixed dollar amount. Common examples of economic damages are:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Cost of vehicle repair
- Property damage
- Legal costs
- Funeral and burial expenses (in wrongful death claims)
- Out-of-pocket expenses, etc
It refers to incalculable losses. Since they have no fixed dollar amount, it is hard to quantify non-economic damages. In addition, this compensation covers emotional injuries. As such, you get non-economic damages for:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium, etc.
Punitive damages serve to punish a negligent driver for their grossly negligent actions. It is not compensatory and is awarded by courts and not insurance companies. Note that you must ask the court for it to get punitive damages.
Who Can You Sue Following a Truck Collision?
There are times when the truck driver may not be the only party responsible for a truck accident. When this happens, you need to know who you can sue. Below are the possible defendants to a truck accident claim.
- The Truck Driver: The driver will be liable when their negligence is the primary cause of the crash. Negligence here could be that they were drunk driving or failed to obey a traffic rule. If the trucker is solely responsible for the collision, their insurance company will handle the compensation payment.
- The Trucking Company: A company that knowingly hired a driver with a history of reckless driving will be liable if they cause an accident. The trucking company will also be responsible if they fail to carry out routine maintenance on their trucks and that failure causes a crash. Your legal team can file the claim against the driver and their employer.
- Cargo Loader: If overloaded cargo causes a rollover accident, the cargo loader or loading company will compensate the victim.
- Truck Manufacturer or Mechanic: If a design defect or malfunctioning part caused the auto collision, the truck manufacturer would be the liable party. Similarly, a mechanic who failed to correctly fix a fault and release the truck will compensate any victim from a resulting accident.
- Third-Party Drivers: Sometimes, other drivers' actions may cause the truck accident. Suppose a truck driver swerves to avoid hitting a car that suddenly veers into their lane. If they hit your vehicle, the driver who turned in front of the truck would be the at-fault party.
What Will a Truck Accident Lawyer in Bridgeport, CT, Do for You?
Victims of trucking accidents need a truck accident lawyer to handle their cases. A legal team is crucial because you can't deal with insurance adjusters and the trucking company lawyer alone. These people already have decades of experience handling these cases and will keep you from getting the best accident injury compensation.
Here are some things your lawyer will do for you:
- Investigate the accident details
- Gather the relevant pieces of evidence
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters
- Explain legal terms and jargon to you
- File a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary
- Represent you during trial
Book a Consultation With Injury Attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace
At Jacobs & Wallace, we have helped several persons with injuries get the maximum compensation. Our combined experience and in-depth legal knowledge make us the best law office to handle your claim. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don't charge you at the initial consultation. We only get paid when we win. So call today to schedule a free case review.