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A big rig crashed into your car — what now?

Drivers of cars and SUVs will always be vulnerable — especially when they have to share the busy Connecticut roads with big rigs. Regardless of how careful you are and your safe driving habits, a distracted semi driver can cause a devastating crash in the blink of an eye. Given the size of a tractor-trailer compared to a passenger vehicle, a truck driver may walk away unscathed while you and your passengers might suffer catastrophic injuries or worse.

Commercial trucks are dangerous and require specially trained operators. For that reason, their drivers must have commercial driver’s licenses. Truckers and their employers have exceptional responsibilities to drive safely and comply with all the road laws.

What should you do following a collision with a big rig?

If you are in a car that is involved in an accident with a commercial truck, there are certain things to do for everyone’s protection. Getting emergency services to the crash scene is the top priority, and if it is possible, move your vehicle away to prevent additional collisions. Activate your car’s hazard lights to warn others. Contact law enforcement as soon as possible because their incident report could play an important role later.

Gather as much information about the truck driver, including his or her personal and insurance details and driver’s license number, along with the truck’s license plate number, make and model. The name of the company that owns the truck will also be necessary. If you can, make notes of the time, place and any other details that might help in the event of future legal proceedings.

Can you recover damages?

This is a question for an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your legal rights and the prevailing laws of the state. Your lawyer can launch an independent investigation to determine who was at fault by looking into many of the following potential causes that may have played a role in your accident:

  • Lack of maintenance — Malfunctioning parts due to inadequate maintenance
  • Service hours — Noncompliance with continuous driving limits
  • Untrained operator — Drivers with insufficient training and experience
  • Unstable cargo — Unbalanced freight or overloading
  • Driving while impaired — The presence of alcohol or drugs in the driver’s blood or in the truck
  • Moving violations — Road law violations such as speeding or reckless driving

What parties could be liable in a civil lawsuit?

In most cases, truck drivers and their employers can be named as defendants in personal injury or wrongful death claims following accidents involving commercial trucks. You can file such a lawsuit in a Connecticut civil court in the pursuit of recovery of financial losses and emotional damages.

Archives

Verdicts & Settlements

36-year-old laborer for landscaping company fractured wrist when fellow employee hit him with truck. Claimant received in excess of $30,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for total disability and medical expenses and settled with automobile insurance company for fellow employee for $95,000.

1989 workers’ compensation claim settled for $125,000. Claimant originally sustained a low back injury when she slipped and fell at local grocery store resulting in low back surgery in 1989. Several years later, claimant exacerbated her low back injury. Claim was reopened and settled with carrier for $125,000 in 2006.

47-year-old deli clerk sustained low back injuries at work for local supermarket. Carrier originally denied claim on the grounds that the injury was pre-existing. After formal workers’ compensation hearing carrier accepted claim and paid all total disability benefits and medical expenses in excess of $100,000. Case then settled for an additional $100,000 after injured person received a permanent disability rating.

34-year-old male roofer sustained multiple injuries to his shoulder, neck, back and hip when he fell from roof during work. Claimant was provided workers’ compensation benefits in excess of $100,000 and settled remaining claims for an additional $55,000.

40-year-old male working for cleaning company sustained neck and low back injuries when he fell on defective staircase while cleaning local museum. Claimant recovered over $95,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and resolved claim against museum for $85,000.

26-year-old laborer sustained fractured foot when a cast iron pipe was dropped on his foot. Employer and workers’ compensation carrier denied claim on basis that injured worker was an independent contractor. After a series of informal and formal workers’ compensation hearings, carrier conceded that claimant was an employee and settled case for $85,000.

24-year-old waitress sustained back injury while working at Outback Steak House. Workers’ compensation insurance company initially denied the claim. After a series of informal hearings, carrier accepted claim paying medical expenses and total disability benefits. In addition to those benefits paid, claim settled for an additional $75,000.

Delivery truck driver sustained right wrist fracture in rear-end motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment. Claimant recovered in excess of $40,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and total disability benefits. Claimant settled case against at-fault driver for $105,000.

22-year-old male working as stocking clerk at “big box” retailer sustained herniated disc in low back. Workers’ compensation carrier refused to accept the claim. After formal workers’ compensation, hearing commissioner ordered carrier to pay over $35,000 in past total disability benefits and pay for surgery and all related medical expenses. Case settled for an additional $35,000 for a total recovery in excess of $100,000.

Rear-end collision on entrance ramp to Merritt Parkway resulting in 49-year-old woman sustaining mid-back injury. Case settled at mediation after filing suit for $300,000.

28-year-old passenger sustained multiple herniated discs in automobile accident in New York state. New York no-fault carrier paid for extended period of disability from work and medical expenses, including expenses for surgery. Case settled against driver of vehicle for $300,000 policy limits shortly after filing suit.

54-year-old man sustains shoulder injury when hit from behind by uninsured motorist on New Jersey Turnpike. Case settled for $135,000 prior to trial.

CT Transit bus driver sustained torn meniscus in collision with another vehicle. Claims made against at-fault driver, workers’ compensation carrier and client’s underinsured motorist policy. All claims settle for a recovery in excess of $100,000.

68-year-old woman sustained neck and back injuries in rear-end collision and required extended course physical therapy, but was not a surgical candidate. Case settled for $100,000 prior to filing suit.

34-year-old woman sustained concussion and neck and back injuries in hit-and-run accident on a New York highway. Claimant settled uninsured motorist claim for her $100,000 policy limits.

80-year-old woman sustained right foot fracture when her foot was run over in a parking lot. Case settled for at-fault driver’s policy limit of $100,000 prior to filing suit.

38-year-old nanny sustained right femur fracture when she fell down defective stairs in home of her employer’s neighbor. All medical expenses and lost wages reimbursed and case settled for an additional $150,000.

Claim against landlord for defective staircase in multi-family rental house. Claimant sustained a right femur fracture. Case settled for $125,000 prior to filing suit.

$95,000 judgment obtained against bar and nightclub for assault by one of its patrons against another patron.

47-year-old woman sustained a broken left wrist when she fell from porch stairs at house she was renting. Case settled for $95,000 shortly before trial.

26-year-old male bitten on leg by German shepherd. Claim against dog owner settled for $65,000 plus payment of all medical expenses.