Any traffic accident threatens the health and well-being of the parties involved, but a collision involving a large truck poses a particular threat to life. A person injured in a truck accident may face daunting medical bills, emotional trauma, and a reduced quality of life.
If you were involved in a crash with a semi-truck or any other type of truck, you do not have to face it alone. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help. By speaking with a Bridgeport truck accident lawyer at Ganim, you could make an informed decision about how to proceed while protecting your legal rights.
Establishing Negligence in a Truck Collision
When filing a claim based on negligence, there are certain elements that a person must prove. Therefore, in a negligence claim it must be proven that:
- The truck driver owed the claimant a duty of care
- The truck driver breached that duty of care
- The breach caused injury to an innocent party
- The injury resulted in damages
A person seeking damages after an accident with a commercial truck has a different burden of proof than someone harmed by a non-professional driver. This is because the duty of care for a truck driver or a common carrier is much stricter than that of an average motorist. Local attorney George W. Ganim, Jr. can further explain the duty of care owed by truck drivers and how this concept applies to a particular accident case.
Who is Liable in a Semi-Truck Accident Claim?
An accident involving a commercial truck may present questions as to which party must assume responsibility for damages. A driver who transports goods via truck may either be an employee of a trucking company or an independent contractor. An independent contractor is someone who works for himself and agrees to perform a service mostly independent, typically using their own supplies, managing their own schedule, and completing the work in their own way. While an employer of a truck driver may be liable if their employee causes an accident during the scope of employment, a driver who works as an independent contractor faces personal liability. An experienced Bridgeport attorney can help determine who may be liable for the damages caused by a truck crash.
Could a Third Party Bear Liability for a Truck Wreck?
A third party may be held liable for a trucking accident. Although the most common causes for truck accident claims in Bridgeport is due to the negligence of a truck operator, truck owner or trucking company, a third party may also be held responsible. Third party responsibility can stem from the reckless or careless actions or conduct. For example, a person can file a lawsuit against a mechanic who did not perform proper maintenance or repair on the truck; or a contractor who did not properly secure cargo on a truck.
In rare circumstances, liability may even lie with a local government entity if poor road conditions directly caused a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle. However, these types of cases tend to be especially complicated, so working with a Bridgeport tractor-trailer truck accident lawyer is recommended.
What Damages May Be Recoverable Following a Truck Accident?
The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks tends to make for catastrophic outcomes when these vehicles collide with other smaller cars. Even with all the safety features in modern commuter cars, an individual struck by a tractor-trailer truck will often suffer severe bone fractures, internal organ damage, traumatic brain damage, spinal cord damage and severe burns, any of which could potentially be fatal.
Accordingly, if it can be proven that another person’s negligence directly led to the truck accident then the victim of that accident may seek to recover for both short-term and long-term forms of economic and non-economic harm. Recoverable damages in a typical Bridgeport truck wreck case may include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future wage loss, including loss of ability to hold gainful employment
- Physical pain and emotional suffering, including loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Various impacts of permanent disability and/or disfigurement
- Costs of repairing a damaged vehicle
What Could Restrict Recovery in a Truck Crash Claim?
If an injured person is found to be partially responsible for the trucking accident, then civil compensation may be reduced based upon their own percentage of responsibility. Under Connecticut General Statutes §52-572h, a civil court has the authority to restrict person’s recovery based on their percentage of fault, or completely take away their right to recovery if they are more than 50 percent to blame.
Additionally, anyone who fails to file suit within two years of the date of the accident may be barred from seeking civil compensation.
Consult with a Bridgeport Truck Accident Attorney
A personal injury claim against a truck driver or owner requires details that may not seem evident at first. Yet these legal particulars could affect the outcome of a case. An injured person who does not fully understand the nuances of pursuing legal action after a collision with a commercial vehicle should consider seeking a Bridgeport truck accident lawyer.
If you wish to seek damages for an injury suffered in a truck accident, it is wise to work with someone who has handled and litigated these types of cases. Speak with Attorney George W. Ganim, Jr. about the details of your case and how you can recover compensation. Place a call to our office today to learn more about how we can help you.