All vehicle crashes can lead to serious injuries. However, because trucks are so much larger than other vehicles, the injuries that occur in commercial trucking accidents are often more severe. In some cases, Connecticut truck accidents can even result in the death of one or more people involved in the crash.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a commercial truck accident, you need to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible to begin the process of recovering compensation.
Connecticut Truck Accident Statistics
In the state of Connecticut, there were a total of 266 traffic fatalities in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of these fatalities, 37 involved a large truck. However, only three of the people who died were occupants of the truck involved in the crash. The other truck accident deaths were pedestrians or occupants of another vehicle.
These statistics draw attention to an important fact: when large commercial trucks are involved in traffic accidents, the danger of serious injury or death is usually higher for bystanders or people in other vehicles.
Types of Commercial Vehicles
Commercial vehicles are regular fixtures on our roads. We drive alongside them every day and rarely think about the fact that they are governed by different rules and regulations than passenger vehicles. The differences between commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles becomes clear, however, when they are involved in crashes. At the Law Office of Ronald M. Scherban, we have years of experience helping motorists who have been involved in these crashes.
The term “commercial vehicles” includes many vehicle types. Here are just a few examples:
- Garbage trucks
- Tow trucks
- Agriculture-related vehicles
- Food trucks
- Delivery trucks
Technically, any vehicle that is used for business purposes can be considered a commercial vehicle, though its most common usage applies to larger vehicles that are used by businesses to transport goods or services.
Special Considerations for Commercial Vehicle Drivers
Most types of commercial vehicles are driven by people who have special licenses, Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL’s). There are different types of CDL permissions and a driver must hold the proper classification to operate the vehicle they’re driving. Drivers of commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard than other types of drivers. Commercial vehicles are also governed by more specific laws than passenger vehicles. There are federal laws governing commercial vehicles and commercial vehicle drivers. Laws also vary from state-to-state.
If you’ve been involved in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, it’s important to speak to an attorney who is familiar with these laws. Cases involving commercial vehicles are often complex. Commercial vehicle drivers might also be represented by their employer’s legal team, which are intimately familiar with the subtleties of commercial vehicle law. Picking the right attorney will ensure that you have the best possible chance of getting a favorable outcome.
Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
Like all vehicle crashes, trucks accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver fatigue – Federal regulations are in place to prevent truck drivers from spending too many hours on the road without resting. However, in some cases, truck drivers ignore these rules and drive when they aren’t alert enough to operate their vehicle safely. In addition, some truck drivers may be too tired to operate their vehicle even when they are following federal regulations.
- Unsafe driving practices – To get to their destinations faster, some truck drivers may speed or engage in other unsafe driving practices that increase the risk of truck accidents.
- Distracted driving – Truck drivers sometimes drive with distractions, such as texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting the radio. In some cases, these distractions lead to accidents.
- Equipment problems – If trucks aren’t maintained properly, they may malfunction and cause accidents. Random, unexpected equipment failures can also lead to truck accidents.
- Substance abuse – Some truck drivers may abuse controlled substances that make them unable to operate the truck safely, leading to an increased risk of accidents.
Commercial truck accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Concussions and other head injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Injury to internal organs
Although these injuries are also possible in other car crashes, they are more likely to be severe when a large vehicle like a truck is involved in the accident. In many cases, victims in truck accidents will have a combination of serious injuries. In the worst cases, victims may even die because of their injuries.
Compensation for Commercial Vehicle Accident Victims
When someone is injured in a truck accident caused by the driver of the commercial vehicle, the driver and/or the driver’s employer may be held responsible. Depending on the situation, the party responsible for the crash may need to pay for the victim’s:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle damage
The exact amount of damages owed to the victim will depend on the estimated losses the victim sustained in the crash. To ensure that you get all the money you deserve as a victim in a truck accident case, you will need a skilled attorney to represent you in court.
In some cases, the responsible party and/or their insurance company will offer a settlement to prevent the case from going to trial. However, these settlement offers aren’t always sufficient. A skilled attorney can help victims review settlement offers and respond to them appropriately.
Contact an Experienced Commercial Truck Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been involved in a commercial truck accident, you may be able to recover compensation for injuries or death. However, to ensure that you have the best chance of winning your case, you need the help of a truck accident attorney. Please contact the Law Office of Ronald M. Scherban, P.C. today to make an appointment or ask questions about filing a case. Keep in mind that Connecticut imposes a strict statute of limitations on all truck accident lawsuits, so it’s important to act as quickly as possible.