Truck accidents tend to lead to the most devastating accidents on our roads. Tractor-trailers can be 60 feet long and weigh 80,000 pounds. As a result, accidents involving tractor-trailers commonly lead to life-changing injuries. There are federal rules and regulations that truck drivers and truck companies must follow. However, there are times when companies and their drivers put their profits before the safety of others. This is unacceptable and they must be held accountable for their negligent conduct.
At Bert McDowell Injury Law, our accomplished personal injury lawyers well versed in Connecticut trucking accidents. In fact, years ago, Attorney Bert McDowell represented trucking companies in a multitude of highway accidents. There are very few Connecticut truck accident attorneys who have experience in representing the other side. Due to Attorney McDowell’s unique experience, we implement a very aggressive investigative approach with all truck accident cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, Bring on Bert!
Types of Truck Driver Negligence
Unfortunately, there are many different ways that a truck operator can behave recklessly or carelessly that put other people on the road in danger. Below are some of the more common causes of 18-wheeler collisions:
Due to federal rules and regulations, truck drivers have strict guidelines on the number of hours they can travel in a 24-hour period. However, there are instances where drivers are not following the guidelines in order to meet their company’s deadlines or simply trying to rush home.
Alcohol and/or Drugs
Operating any motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, let alone a tractor-trailer, cal lead to complete devastation.
Due to the massive size of trucks and its trailers, they are difficult to control, especially at high speeds. Trucks do not accelerate/decelerate as quickly as cars. Therefore, there is little room for error. Speeding is completely intolerable when operating a truck.
Lane Changes/Blind Spots
Lane changes are very difficult for trucks due to their large size. There is a large number of blind spots associated with operating a truck, and there are times when truck drivers overlook certain areas. This can lead to a catastrophic collision.
Drivers found guilty of these or other forms of negligence can be held liable for your injuries and damages. If a truck driver’s negligence can be connected to the hiring, maintenance, delivery and deadline pressures from the trucking company, a Connecticut tractor-trailer crash lawyer will make sure they are held accountable.
Types of Trucking Company Negligence
A lot of parties in the trucking industry are only focused on one thing, their profits. They pressure their drivers to make impractical deadlines, or they fail to even hire competent drivers so they can pay them less. Other trucking companies fail to properly inspect their trucks and trailers, or they allow their trucks to operate with faulty parts. These decisions can lead to devastating results on the highway.
Failure to Train
Trucking companies are obligated to train their employees and make sure that they can handle the conditions and situations that come with long-distance trucking.
Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their employees are qualified for operating a tractor-trailer. However, some trucking hires unqualified drivers in order to pay them a lower wage.
Hours of Service Violations
One of the federal rules and regulations pertaining to driving hours is that drivers can drive a maximum of 14 hours on the road before they are required to take a 10-hour break. However, some companies pressure their drivers to drive additional hours to make deadlines.
When a trucking company acts negligently, such as in any of the ways above, a truck crash lawyer in Connecticut will hold them legally accountable for their misconduct.
What to Do after a Connecticut Tractor Trailer Wreck
After you have been in a Connecticut truck accident, there are a few things you should try to do:
Call the Police
The police report is crucial to your injury case. The police report typically provides the officer’s thoughts on fault, witness statements, names and addresses of everyone involved, and their insurance policies.
Take Pictures/Video Recordings of the Scene
Pictures and video recordings will help your injury case. However, you must take pictures/videos of every vehicle involved. Evidence of property damage can be used to help increase the value of your injury case. These pictures/videos help demonstrate the amount of force that was applied at the time of the truck accident.
If Injured, Seek Medical Attention Immediately
f you are hurt, let the police officers know so that they can dispatch emergency services. Do not refuse medical attention when you are hurt.
How We Investigate 18-Wheeler Collisions
When a tractor-trailer is involved in a highway accident, it is common for the trucking company’s insurance provider to dispatch their own investigator to the scene. Immediately after the accident, the trucking company is taking steps to defeat your case. There are a number of strategies that we implement in fighting for you in your claim. These strategies are critical in proving your case.
- Send letters/notices to the truck company, its driver, and the owner of the trailer in order to preserve all evidence.
- Obtain photographs of the scene.
- Retain an accident reconstructionist for your Connecticut trucking accident: An accident reconstructionist is specially trained and qualified in scientifically recreating the accident scene to determine the events leading up to the collision. Usually, these experts have an engineering and/or science background.
- Obtain the driver’s qualification file: Every trucking company must maintain a driver’s qualification file per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The file includes the driver’s employment history, medical certifications, personnel records, quarterly/annual reviews, vehicle maintenance records, driving records, certifications, drug/alcohol tests.
- Obtain the driver’s logs, the truck’s GPS data, dispatch records, and the policies and procedures implemented by the trucking company.
Truck companies are not going to roll over and easily provide the materials we are seeking. A lot of Connecticut truck crash lawyers analyze truck accidents like other motor vehicle accidents. That is a mistake. Truck accidents require a different level of knowledge and expertise. At Bert McDowell Injury Law, we will analyze the driver’s on the road hours, whether he/she was under the influence of drugs/alcohol, information recorded by the truck’s ECM (the ECM or electronic control module is used to determine how fast the truck was traveling immediately before the collision, sudden braking, speed changes, and gear shift), as well as other pertinent information. truck accidents are specialized cases that require great skills.
Schedule a Consultation with a Connecticut Truck Accident Lawyer to Learn More About Your Rights
It is very important that you contact a Connecticut truck accident attorney to help you navigate through the chaos after a trucking accident. With offices in Hartford and Bridgeport, we are able to assist our clients throughout the state. Bert McDowell, used to represent insurance companies, and he uses those experiences to get his clients maximum compensation for his truck accident clients. Call now to learn more.