How Comparative Negligence Applies in Truck Accident Lawsuits

Posted on 10/02/23

Truck accidents often involve vehicles with considerable differences in weight and force, leading to severe injuries and even death for truck crash victims. Personal injury cases for truck accidents may be complex because of shared liability between multiple parties. How can a truck accident attorney help you navigate your claim after a truck crash?

Seeking Compensation for Injuries After a Truck Crash

You may pursue economic, non-economic, and punitive damages when bringing a lawsuit against a truck driver or company after an accident. Economic damages compensate victims for quantifiable losses, including medical expenses, appointment travel costs, and lost wages from time away from work.

Non-economic damages compensate victims for intangible losses, such as diminished quality of life, anxiety and depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and emotional distress from an accident.

If the truck driver, trucking company, or a defective truck part manufacturer was reckless, wanton, oppressive, or intentional in the actions that led to the truck crash, the court may also award punitive damages to punish wrongdoing and deter similar behavior.

Victims and their truck accident attorneys have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit against any negligent parties who contributed to the crash. These may include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The dispatch company
  • The loader who failed to load the trailer properly
  • A part manufacturer that sold or installed a defective part

Wrongful Death in Connecticut

If a victim passes away from their injuries, their family may seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. In Connecticut, only an executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate can bring the wrongful death claim to court. Damages the court may award in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Future earnings the decedent would have contributed to their household
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent after the accident and before death
  • Medical expenses incurred due to the accident before the decedent’s passing
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of consortium and companionship
  • Loss of inheritance the decedent would have contributed to their estate

Connecticut’s statute of limitations to bring a wrongful death case forward is two years from the date of the decedent’s passing but no more than five years after the date of the truck accident.

Connecticut’s 51% Comparative Negligence Law

Connecticut courts may reduce your total compensation award based on comparative negligence. Comparative negligence describes the shared fault that you, the plaintiff, may have contributed to your injuries. For example, if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt when the truck hit you and were ejected from your vehicle, the court may consider you partly at fault.

In Connecticut, a victim must not be more at fault than the defendant. The plaintiff can be as much as 50% at fault but not 51% or more. So if you were 30% at fault, you would recover 70% of the total award. However, if you were 60% at fault, you wouldn’t recover any compensation.

How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help

Personal injury lawyers can help build your case by providing essential evidence to an expert witness like a medical professional or accident reconstructionist to give testimony for your claim. Comparing medical history to accident injuries can demonstrate the degree of injury, and an accident reconstructionist can develop a simulation of the accident events.

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome

For help with a truck accident case in Connecticut, reach out to the Law Offices of James A. Welcome. Call today at (475) 241-0824 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a truck accident attorney at one of our offices.