Truck Accident Lawyers in New Britain
Many people who get injured in truck accidents will never be the same again. Their injuries will affect them for the rest of their lives, causing chronic pain and permanent disability. Even if you do not suffer a permanent injury in the crash, you might need months or years of treatment to recover.
This is why victims of these accidents should consider talking to an attorney to determine their legal options. The New Britain truck accident lawyers at D'Amico & Pettinicchi understand what truck accident victims go through. Partner Mike A. D'Amico is on the National Advisory Board of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America. Our trusted attorneys have obtained fair compensation for victims of a variety of truck crashes, including more than $3 million for a man whose vehicle was struck by a tractor trailer. Your consultation with our attorneys is free and there is no obligation to pursue a claim. You only pay us if we obtain the compensation you deserve.
The experienced lawyers at our firm take cases involving many types of truck accidents throughout New Britain, including crashes on State Highway 9 and Interstate 84, along with other major roads.
Deadline for Filing a Truck Accident Claim
If the driver or another entity is liable for the truck crash that caused your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation. Crash victims often pursue compensation by filing an insurance claim – there are various types of insurance you may be able to draw compensation from, such as insurance for the truck, trailer or the cargo being hauled.
There will likely be deadlines for filing an insurance claim, so it is best to try to file a claim as soon as possible. Your New Britain truck accident lawyer can review your situation and help ensure a claim is filed before the insurance company's deadline passes.
However, sometimes it is not possible to obtain insurance compensation – either the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to offer fair compensation. When this happens, your attorney may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Personal injury lawsuits over truck accidents are governed by Connecticut's personal injury statute of limitations, which is two years from the date your injury was sustained or discovered or should have been discovered by exercising reasonable care. If you do not file a lawsuit within that period of time, you lose the right to do so.
This is why contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is so important. A knowledgeable New Britain truck accident attorney can determine how much time you have to file a lawsuit and ensure one is filed before the clock runs out.
Contact D'Amico & Pettinicchi right now at (866) 848-7077 for a free legal consultation.
Steps to Take After a Truck Crash
The first priority after a truck accident is your health. You need medical treatment as soon as possible. Doctors will be able to diagnose all of your injuries, including ones with delayed symptoms that you might not notice. Oftentimes, waiting to get treatment can cause your injuries to get worse.
The other reason to seek medical treatment soon after the crash is so your injuries can be documented in your medical records. When people receive treatment soon after a truck crash, it makes it much more difficult for insurance companies and attorneys for the liable parties in the accident to deny or devalue your claim by arguing your injuries are not connected to the accident. If you wait a few days to seek treatment, it becomes more difficult to disprove claims that your injuries were caused by something else.
Your ability to obtain compensation after a truck crash also depends on the strength of your case. This is why you should try to collect evidence at the scene before it is removed or altered. If you are physically able and you will not be putting yourself in danger, collect information, such as:
- Name of the driver and his or her contact information
- Name on the side of the trailer
- Cargo being hauled
- License plate number
- Name of the driver's employer
- Vehicle information
If you have a phone with a camera, take pictures. Make sure your pictures show:
- Damage to both vehicles, including debris from the vehicles in the roadway
- Damage to the road or other things in the area, such as guardrails or road signs
- Street signs indicating your location
- Your injuries
- Skid marks on the road
Keep taking pictures of your injuries throughout your treatment. This will help to demonstrate the severity of your injuries and that you are following treatment instructions from your doctor.
If there are any witnesses at the scene, talk to them about what they saw. They may have noticed things you did not that could help prove the driver or another party was liable for the accident. Write down their names and contact information for future reference.
If you have a chance, write down your thoughts on the accident, including what happened before the crash and what you remember when the collision occurred. You may forget later so it is best to write things down now while you can still remember them.
After you receive treatment, you should strongly consider meeting with a truck accident lawyer in New Britain. At D'Amico & Pettinicchi, you can meet with an attorney in a free, no obligation legal consultation. We will explain how we may be able to help you pursue compensation and the benefits of having an attorney.
If you decide to take legal action, we can review the evidence you have collected and conduct our own investigation into the crash to build a strong case. We are prepared to manage the entire legal process on your behalf, so you can concern yourself with managing your injuries. We have in-depth knowledge of the many factors involved in a truck accident case, including:
- Insurance coverages
- Proving liability
- Parties that could be held liable, not just the driver
- How to investigate
- Determining the full value of your damages
- Trucking industry regulations that often factor into these cases
We can handle all settlement negotiations on your behalf. If an insurance company or attorney for the other side contacts you and offers a settlement, you should strongly consider discussing it with a truck accident attorney in New Britain. Insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests, and their initial settlement offers are usually well below the full value of your damages.
Call (866) 848-7077 today to find out how we can help you with your case.
Examples of Truck Crashes
Our New Britain truck accident lawyers are prepared to take cases involving a variety of truck crashes, such as:
- Jackknife crashes – If the axle brakes on the trailer lock up, the trailer could swing out to form a 90-degree angle with the cab. This is extremely dangerous and puts any nearby vehicles at risk of being hit.
- Lost cargo accidents – When trucks are overloaded or cargo is not properly secured, it can cause the truck to tip over or cargo to fall out of the trailer.
- Underride accidents – The underside of a commercial truck is much higher off the ground than the underside of a traditional passenger vehicle. This means that if a car crashes into the back of a truck, there is a danger it could slide underneath the trailer. This increases the risk of severe, or life-threatening injury.
- Blind-spot crashes – These accidents happen when a truck hits a car in its blind spot. These are often caused by truck drivers not checking their blind spots or using enough caution when switching lanes.
- Rear-end crashes – If drivers are not paying attention, they could easily rear-end a passenger vehicle. Trucks take a long time to slow down and stop because of their size and weight, which is why drivers should always be paying attention. Unfortunately, drivers are often distracted or drowsy.
These accidents are caused by a variety of factors, including things the driver does like:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued
- Disobeying traffic laws (speed limits, yield signs, etc.)
- Turning too fast
- Failing to properly secure the cargo in the trailer
The truck driver's employer could also be held liable for the accident for failing to maintain or repair the truck, pressuring the driver to meet unreasonable deadlines and causing him or her to drive while drowsy, employing a driver who did not pass a drug test, and a variety of other reasons.
Sometimes the company that performed maintenance or repairs on the truck could be held liable for doing bad work or failing to check certain things on the truck.
There are also cases where the manufacturer of the truck or parts on the truck can be held liable because parts were defective or poorly manufactured.
Determining who is liable for a truck accident can be very complicated. This is one of the reasons having a New Britain truck accident lawyer can be so helpful. The attorneys at our firm understand how complicated these cases can be and we know how to identify the liable parties.
Federal Regulations That Affect These Cases
The trucking industry is governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which sets a variety of regulations on various aspects of the industry, such as hiring and drug-testing drivers, inspecting vehicles, and the number of hours drivers can be on the road. If any of these regulations were violated in the accident, it may help your New Britain truck accident attorney prove you are entitled to compensation.
Regulations on Inspections and Maintenance
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, motor carriers must systematically inspect, repair and maintain all motor vehicles under their control. All parts must be in safe and proper operating condition at all times.
Motor carriers must also require their drivers to file a written report at the end of each day's work about various parts on the vehicle, including:
- Parking brake
- Steering mechanism
- Wheels and rims
- Lighting devices and reflectors
- Service brakes
- Coupling devices
- Emergency equipment
- Rear vision mirrors
- Windshield wipers
Before drivers can operate a truck, they must do three things:
- Be satisfied that the vehicle is in safe operating condition
- Review the last inspection report
- Sign the last inspection report acknowledging that any necessary repairs have been performed
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Before a driver can perform any safety-sensitive functions for a motor carrier, he or she must undergo controlled substances testing. The driver must have a verified negative test result.
Motor carriers must also conduct alcohol testing as soon as is practical after an accident in any of the following situations:
- The accident involved a fatality, and it does not matter whether a citation was issued.
- The accident caused bodily injury that required immediate medical treatment away from the scene and the driver was issued a citation.
- There was disabling damage to any motor vehicle that required it to be towed away and the truck driver was issued a citation.
Hours of Service Rules
One of the common causes of truck crashes is drowsy driving. This happens because drivers have deadlines that are tough to meet and they may feel pressure from their employers to meet these deadlines. Missing deadlines can result in the driver's employer losing money.
However, the FMCSA has regulations on the number of hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel. These regulations are meant to help prevent drowsy driving, which dramatically increases the risk of an accident.
For example, drivers who are carrying property cannot drive more than 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours. Also, drivers can only drive if eight hours or less have passed since the driver's last sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. Property-carrying drivers also cannot drive after being on duty between 60 and 70 hours over seven or eight consecutive days.
If these or other regulations were violated and it led to your accident, our truck accident attorneys in New Britain may be able to help you obtain compensation.
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Contact a New Britain Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Truck accidents often cause devastating injuries that affect victims for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, many of these accidents were the result of the negligence of the truck driver or another party responsible for the truck or its cargo. This means these terrible collisions could have been prevented.
Our New Britain truck accident attorneys can review your situation in a free, no obligation legal consultation to determine all of your legal options for obtaining fair compensation. You will not be charged for our services unless you receive the fair compensation you deserve.
We have in-depth knowledge of the complexities of these cases and how to prove liability. We can conduct a detailed investigation to determine the cause of the crash and the full value of your damages.
Schedule a free legal consultation today by calling (866) 848-7077.