If you’ve ever driven on a major highway, you’ve probably seen the aftermath of a collision between a truck and a personal vehicle. Either way, you can imagine that the results for passenger vehicles and their drivers are often catastrophic in truck accidents. However, there are some key differences between a car accident case and a commercial truck accident case that victims should know.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the hours of service that truck drivers may drive when on duty. Still, a trucking company may pressure drivers to violate their hours of service to meet delivery deadlines. Overworked truck drivers are more likely to make mistakes on the road that could lead to truck accidents.
Common causes of commercial truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Failure to leave enough braking distance
- Tire blowouts
- Failure to inspect or maintain a truck
- Overloading the truck
- Failure to secure cargo properly
- A truck company not performing appropriate certification and background checks
- Manufacturing defects in truck parts
Depending on the cause of the accident, different parties may be liable for your injuries if you were injured in an accident with a commercial truck.
Liability in Truck Accidents
To hold a party liable for your injuries or damages, you must be able to prove negligence. Proving negligence requires you to demonstrate that a party owed you a duty of care, they breached their duty, you suffered injuries, and that your injuries resulted from their action (or inaction).
Because of the nature of most truck accidents, there are often multiple negligent parties that you may be able to hold liable for your injuries, including:
- The truck driver
- The truck company
- The company that owns or leases the truck
- The manufacturer of a defective truck part
- The truck loaders who failed to load the truck properly
- The municipality if the crash was caused by a city or county vehicle
The issue with holding multiple parties responsible for their share of liability in a truck accident case is that each will have representation through its insurance company. Each party’s attorney will attempt to shift a larger portion of the blame onto another defendant in your claim.
As the plaintiff bringing the charges against the negligent parties, you need an experienced attorney to represent you. Your attorney can help you gather evidence, recreate the accident events, research previous complaints against a driver or company, and demonstrate how each defendant played a part in your injuries.
Typical Injuries in a Truck Accident Case
Injuries in passenger vehicle accidents can be catastrophic even when a truck isn’t involved. However, trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, requiring approximately twice as much stopping distance as a passenger vehicle.
Truck accidents don’t always include 18-wheelers, either. Similar injuries can occur in accidents involving dump trucks, garbage trucks, coach or city buses, cherry pickers, flatbed trucks, and other large vehicles. In accidents involving these vehicles, passenger vehicle drivers often suffer severe injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Limb amputation
- Temporary or permanent loss of vision in one or both eyes
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Connecticut
If you were in an accident involving a truck in Connecticut, contact us at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome. We have over 18 years of experience in personal injury law and five offices across Connecticut. Call us today at 203-753-7300 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.