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.