Connecticut Truck Accident Attorney
As the driver or occupant of a car, pickup, or motorcycle, your vehicle is no match for a tractor-trailer that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
In the event of an accident, you will likely be the one who suffers the most severe injuries and incurs the most property damage. The truck driver will usually walk away unscathed, and their employer and the insurance company will likely get to work on minimizing their liability and protecting their company’s profits from your injury claims.
That’s why you need a strong advocate and ally in your corner if you’ve been hurt in a truck crash. The Connecticut truck accident lawyers of the Kocian Law Group know how traumatic and life-changing a truck accident can be.
We have helped many other injured people through the process of pursuing an injury claim after a truck accident. We treat you as we would want to be treated after something so devastating: with care and concern, and with a determination to get you the justice you deserve.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, call Kocian Law Group now to schedule a free consultation to explore your legal options. If we take your case, we will do so on a contingency fee basis. There will be no retainer or other fees. We will recoup our expenses and collect our fee only if and when we successfully secure compensation for you.
Why Are Truck Accident Claims More Difficult to Pursue Than Regular Car Accidents?
Generally, there are multiple parties involved in a truck crash, including the trucker, other drivers, the trucking company, insurance companies, maintenance companies, cargo loading companies, and potentially others. Each could bear some responsibility for the crash, depending on the specific circumstances of your accident.
While you may believe you did nothing to cause the accident, know that the truck driver, the trucking company, and the insurance company will likely try to place at least a portion of the responsibility for the crash on you. Their goal is to reduce the amount they have to pay you for your claim.
Some of factors that make truck accidents more complicated than regular car crashes include:
- Who is liable? Some truckers are owner/operators. Some work for a trucking company, who owns the truck. Some trucking companies mislabel employees as “independent contractors” in hopes of ducking liability. The issue of liability is crucial from the very beginning of any civil claim because you will sue the liable parties and it must be determined exactly who they are.
- Did the driver observe all the laws and regulations? There are many different rules and laws that drivers must observe that regulate hours and conditions. What’s more, some are different in every state. Your lawyer will review which regulations apply and if the driver obeyed them.
- What does the “black box” show? Many heavy trucks have devices that record information like how fast the truck was going, whether brakes were applied, how long the driver drove that day, and other data that can help reconstruct exactly what happened in the accident.
Who Could Be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?
To successfully secure compensation after a truck accident, you will have to identify the potentially liable parties. This is why it is vital to hire an attorney with specific experience handling truck accident cases. A skilled lawyer will know how to investigate the crash and will know the tactics the trucking company and insurers might employ to minimize liability.
Your attorney will specifically be looking at the actions of:
- The truck driver. Truck drivers are professionals and they know how to avoid collisions, but they are also human. They may push themselves to get a delivery in on time, and they may not get enough rest. Or they might become momentarily distracted. In rare cases, they may take drugs or alcohol while driving, though that is the first thing they will be tested for in the event of a crash. In any case, they may be liable for the truck accident.
- The truck owner. The owner can be found liable if the truck was not properly maintained and/or inspected. However, proving this will require experts to take a close look at the truck and the circumstances of the crash. The owner is responsible for having good tires on the vehicle, checking braking systems and following all federally mandated regulations regarding trucks inspections and maintenance. It is always tempting for owners to cut corners, but that can put other drivers at risk.
- The trucking company. In general, trucking companies are liable for the negligent acts of their employee drivers. Even if the driver truly is an independent contractor, the company still could be liable. For example, the trucking company may also place undue pressure on the driver that causes the driver to not get enough rest or break speed limits. Companies can also liable if they hired or continued to employ drivers who they knew were unsafe. Truck accident civil claims often place shared responsibility for the crash on the trucking company owner and the driver.
- Truck manufacturers. If it can be proven that the truck itself was poorly designed and/or manufactured and that the specific defect was responsible, in whole or in part, for the truck accident, then the manufacturer can be sued for negligence. It is a long and complicated process to find a truck defect and determine it contributed to the accident. But it is also an important part of a truck accident lawsuit process to help get dangerous vehicles off the road.
- The cargo loaders. In many cases, truckers do not load cargo into their trucks. If a load is not secured and it shifts while turning or stopping, it can send the truck out of control and cause a major accident. An unsecured load could fall of the truck and cause a crash.
- Third-party maintenance companies. If a third-party was responsible for inspecting and maintaining the vehicle, that company could bear some responsibility for the crash.
- Parts manufacturers. If the crash was caused by a defective truck part or system, the manufacturer could be responsible for injuries to others.
Your lawyer will play a vital role in determining who is liable for your accident, and what percentage of responsibility is shared by multiple parties. Lawyers are tasked with thoroughly researching the crash, gathering proof, interviewing all participants and witnesses to the crash, and developing personal injury claims to file against all the liable parties.