Fairfield Truck Accident Lawyer

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If you were involved in a truck accident, you probably have a lot of questions: “How do my medical bills get paid?” “Should I hire a lawyer?” “how much does a Fairfield truck accident lawyer cost?

These questions are completely normal.  You are in the right place for immediate help after a truck wreck.  Whether you just want general information or are looking for a personal injury lawyer in Fairfield, this article will explain everything you need to know about these serious and unfortunate accidents.

Truck collisions are different from regular car accidents.  Here’s how:

  1. Car crashes involving trucks are more severe because of the weight differential.
  2. Truck wreck injuries and medical treatment are more extensive.
  3. Tractor trailers have more insurance coverage than regular cars.
  4. The laws governing truck crashes are different.

What to Do After a Fairfield Truck Accident.

A trucking collision may lead to fatal and complicated damages. Proving your case and getting the medical care you need is much more complex than a layperson can handle on their own. Unlike a simple fender-bender, you should not try to settle your own claim if it involves a truck.

A Fairfield truck accident lawyer can be invaluable in getting your life back on track. Here’s how they can help:

Gathering Evidence

Immediately after a tractor-trailer accident, the insurance company will send an investigator to the scene. A skilled lawyer will also send their own private investigator immediately to take measurements and interview witnesses.

An experienced law firm will obtain the police reports, photos, medical records, and witness statements. An injury law firm should also be obtaining the results of any drug or alcohol tests taken from the truck driver.

Downloading crash information

 

Many people do not realize that after a truck collision, it is possible to download information about the accident. Trucks contain what’s called an “Engine Control Module” or “ECM” which is the truck engine’s “brain.” 

The ECM may contain information about how the truck wreck occurred. Was there a sudden deceleration? A brake failure? ECM evidence can prove vital to identifying the causes of truck crashes.

A trucking company may also use telematics, which gathers GPS data on its fleet’s routes. This information is helpful in establishing the location of the accident.

Accident Reconstructions

 

The battle lines in the truck accident claims are often drawn right at the accident scene. Your lawyer will hire experts, investigators, and accident reconstructionists to prove that the collision was the truck driver’s fault.

What Laws Apply To A Trucking Company?

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations (“FMCSR”) apply to all interstate trucking companies. The Connecticut legislature has adopted the FMCSR for Connecticut trucks. These trucking regulations are governed by the Connecticut regulations on trucking.

A truck is defined as a “commercial motor vehicle,” which means a vehicle designed to transport passengers or property weighing over twenty-six thousand pounds or more. The trucking regulations cover more than your typical 18-wheeler. Vans and other smaller trucks may also qualify.

Some of the Trucking company’s responsibilities involve the following:

  1. Background checks on all trucking drivers
  2. CDL certification of all drivers
  3. Drug and alcohol testing after an accident
  4. Mandated breaks during commercial routes
  5. Limits on truck driver’s hours on the road

Well-versed lawyers know these regulations inside and out. Therefore, they can use the regulations to prove both the truck driver’s negligence and potentially the trucking company’s negligence.

Who Pays for Truck Accidents?

Trucking companies and their insurance carriers pay for accidents resulting in the failures of their drivers (including negligent hiring). A trucking company must carry at least $750,000 in insurance coverage for their trucks. If the company has a whole fleet of trucks, they usually carry excess insurance in the millions.

As a result, if you are seriously injured in a truck crash, you have a larger pool of money to recover from to compensate you for your injuries than if you were hit by a car.

What Is The Fee for a Fairfield Truck Accident Lawyer?

A personal injury attorney charges 33.33% of your recovery. Under Connecticut law, personal injury lawyers’ fees are set by a “sliding scale.” This means as your recovery increases, the attorney’s fee decreases. For example, the first $300,000 has a fee of 33.33% but the next $300,000 has a fee of only 25%.

How Much Are Most Truck Accident Settlements?

It is impossible to estimate the average settlement. This is because each case is unique. One person may suffer severe injuries from a crash involving surgery, paralysis, or even death. Another accident victim may have minor injuries that heal.

The value of your settlement will depend on:

  1. The severity of your injuries.
  2. The amount of medical expenses.
  3. Your lost wages, if any.
  4. The decrease in your quality of life as a result of your injuries.

Does a Fairfield Truck Accident Lawyer really charge “no fee” for consulting?

The short answer is yes, personal injury lawyers charge no fee for a consultation. However, once you sign up with a lawyer, you will be obligated to pay a legal fee out of your settlement. If you lose the case, you don’t owe the lawyers anything.

Employers’ Liability In Trucking Cases

Employers of truck drivers have legal responsibility when their drivers break the law and cause tractor-trailer accidents. They are typically responsible for their truck driver’s negligent actions. This is called “respondeat superior.”

Truck Manufacturers’ Liability For Truck Crash Cases

If the truck driver acted reasonably in operating his truck, you may still have a claim against the truck’s manufacturer. If there was a manufacturing defect such as the failure of the automatic emergency braking system, you may have a truck wreck claim against the truck manufacturer.

Common Causes Of Truck Accidents Include

 

  • Following too closely
  • Driver fatigue
  • Speeding
  • Driver under the influence
  • Distracted driving
  • Improper loading
  • Mechanical failures

Truckers Driving On Truck-Restricted Roads

There are many roads in Connecticut where trucks are prohibited from driving. The Merritt Parkway is the most famous of these roads. Yet at times, a truck driver, who is usually from out of state, illegally drives on one of these roads.

When a truck drives on a prohibited road, the risk of a serious truck wreck goes up enormously. Drivers in passenger cars are not expecting to encounter tractor-trailers on these roads. Thus, when truck drivers ignore our road-specific rules, truck crashes often result.

What Are the Most Common Injuries in Truck Accident Claims?

Truck collisions can be devastating. 4,041 people died in tractor-trailer accidents in 2020. Apart from death, some common injuries include:

  1. Traumatic brain injuries
  2. Fractured bones
  3. Spinal injuries
  4. Paralysis
  5. Lacerations

Examples Of Truck Driver Negligence:

Improperly Secured and Dangerous Cargo

 

Truck drivers and trucking companies must ensure that their cargo is adequately secured before embarking on a route. Improperly secured cargo, or cargo that is not sufficiently weighed out can impair a driver’s ability to brake in time to avoid a collision.

Trucks often transport dangerous goods. Trucks that carry oil or hazardous materials are subject to even stricter federal laws. They must also carry higher insurance coverage.

Inattention to Truck Blind Spots

Because commercial trucks are so large, they have mutliple blind spots where drivers cannot see other cars. These are called “no-zones” and include both sides and rear of the cargo trailer and the rear of the trailer. A driver of commercial truck must be aware of their “no-zones” at all times.

Trucks Illegal Parked On Highway Shoulders

Trucks should not be parked on the side of highways. A truck driver should always try to park the truck in a designated rest area. If the truck is parked on the shoulder, there should be flares, cones, and other bright traffic signals to alert drivers of its presence.

Driver Fatigue and Distraction

Drivers involved in truck wrecks often report fatigue from driving. Truckers usually face long commutes which often cause impairment. When drivers are distracted by texting, eating, etc. they could potentially fail to respond properly during emergency conditions. 

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident Claim?

Truck crash claims are very complex and take time to settle. A typical truck crash claim will take anywhere from 1-4 years to settle. All lawyers try to move cases to the finish line quickly, but that’s not always possible.

Why? Because your lawyer will need to take multiple depositions and request voluminous documents. There will be many court delays. And you will probably need an expert to explain how the trucking laws were violated.

 

How a Fairfield Truck Accident Lawyer Helps

A lawyer can send preservation notices to the trucking company to prevent them from destroying vital evidence. They will also send Freedom of Information requests to the State and Federal agencies responsible for investigating trucking accidents.

Remember, State and Federal law regulates commercial truckers heavily. Trucks require special training and commercial driving licenses. Truck accident attorneys will uncover whether any law was violated as it relates to the accident. An attorney will also seek information from other witnesses and hire medical experts to prove your damages.

Should You Contact A Fairfield Truck Accident Attorney?

If you were injured, consider consulting an attorney as soon as possible. Early legal advice can help preserve critical evidence and strengthen your case.

Remember, the trucking company has already sent an investigator to the scene, you don’t want to lose valuable time before retaining an attorney. The last thing the trucking industry wants is for people to get a lawyer after a tractor trailer accident.

What is the Statute of Limitations for filing a truck accident case?

The statute of limitations for truck collisions is two years from the date of the accident.

 

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Hear From Our Clients

Having Dan Brill as an attorney has been a great experience. He was extremely accommodating and readily available. He got the best results for my personal injury case in a speedy manner. Highly recommended!

Zammy Lee

I was rear ended by a drunk driver in Stamford and my car was badly damaged. Dan took over my car accident case and did a great job. He answered ny questions and made me feel very comfortable during the process. Highly recommend!

Ronald Chamale

Attorney Brill is an exceptional lawyer! He is professional, detailed and swift! I cannot praise him enough for handling an incident for me that came out very favorable!
A great lawyer! Its hard to find lawyers like Mr. Brill!

Martha Wallace

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