The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted a set of regulations that govern the way truck drivers do their jobs. These regulations were developed specifically to ensure their safety and the safety of everyone sharing the road with them. Failure to follow these regulations can result in serious accidents that lead to severe injuries.
Negligent truck drivers, their employers and the insurance companies that carry their policies will go to great lengths to avoid their responsibility in these matters. If you have been injured in an accident involving any kind of commercial truck, it is important that you seek the advice of a qualified New Haven truck accident attorney as soon as possible. You have advocates at the Law Office of Carl A. Secola, Jr., LLC, and our lawyers will fight to get you the representation you deserve.
Our History of New Haven Truck Accident Representation
Our founder was the attorney for the estate of Fred Held, one of the victims who was killed and included in the case of Thomas Dugas, et al. v. Northeast Carriers, et al., which resulted in a verdict that totaled $15,795,600. The case involved a tanker truck driver who was estimated to be traveling approximately 75 miles per hour on I-95. The driver jumped the median near the I-395 interchange and caused an accident that resulted in multiple deaths and numerous severe injuries.
Accidents involving tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles can be very difficult matters to prove, as stated from our New Haven car accident lawyers. There are frequently multiple parties who can share in the liability for the accident, and each one will attempt to place the blame on another. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the driver, the trucking company, the maintenance company, the truck manufacturer and others can all be held partially liable in these cases.
Our New Haven personal injury attorneys have been practicing personal injury law in Connecticut for over 30 years. We know how to investigate truck accidents and uncover the truth, and we will hold the negligent parties accountable and seek maximum compensation on your behalf. When appropriate, we will bring in accident reconstructionists, medical experts, life-planning specialists, economists and others who can help us present a more compelling case in pursuit of maximum compensation.
Examples of New Haven Truck Accidents
Due to the size and weight disparity between trucks and other vehicles, truck accidents often have severe consequences. Truck accidents can occur due to various factors, often resulting in severe injuries and property damage. Here are some common types of truck accidents that our New Haven truck accident attorneys have seen:
- Jackknife accidents: A jackknife accident occurs when a truck’s trailer swings out to the side, forming a V or L shape with the truck cab. This typically happens when the truck driver applies the brakes suddenly, causing the trailer to skid and lose control. Jackknife accidents can block multiple lanes of traffic and involve multiple vehicles.
- Underride accidents: Underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicle collides with the rear or side of a truck and slides underneath it. These accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities for occupants of the smaller vehicle. Underride accidents often happen due to the lack of appropriate rear guards on trucks or inadequate reflective markings.
- Rollover accidents: Rollover accidents involve a truck tipping onto its side or roof. Factors that contribute to rollover accidents include speeding, sharp turns, uneven road surfaces, overloaded cargo, or driver error. Rollover accidents can lead to significant injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and crushing injuries.
- Wide turn accidents: Due to their size and longer turning radius, trucks often require extra space to make turns safely. When a truck makes a wide turn without proper signaling or awareness of surrounding vehicles, it can collide with other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists, leading to accidents and injuries.
- Blind spot accidents: Trucks have large blind spots, known as “no-zones,” on all sides. If a truck driver fails to check their blind spots before changing lanes or making a maneuver, they can collide with vehicles occupying those areas. These accidents can result in serious injuries, especially for smaller vehicles.
- Tire blowouts: Truck tire blowouts can occur due to tire defects, inadequate maintenance, overloading, or road hazards. When a truck’s tire suddenly bursts, the driver may lose control, leading to accidents, rollovers, or collisions with other vehicles.
- Rear-end collisions: Rear-end collisions involving trucks can cause significant damage and injuries, especially when a truck rear-ends a smaller vehicle. Factors such as driver fatigue, distracted driving, or sudden stops can contribute to these accidents.
- Hazardous material spills: Trucks carrying hazardous materials pose additional risks in accidents. If a truck carrying hazardous materials is involved in a collision or rollover, it can result in spills and potentially endanger nearby individuals, leading to chemical exposures, fires, or explosions.
Important New Haven Truck Accident Laws
Some important New Haven truck accident laws to be aware of include:
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL): Truck drivers in New Haven must possess a valid CDL, which requires meeting specific qualifications and passing both written and practical exams. CDL holders must adhere to state and federal regulations regarding truck operation and safety.
- Hours of Service (HOS) regulations: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces HOS regulations for commercial truck drivers. These regulations limit the number of hours a driver can operate a truck without rest to prevent fatigue-related accidents.
- Weight and size limits: Connecticut has specific weight and size limits for trucks traveling on its roadways. Violating these limits can lead to fines and penalties.
- Negligence and liability: In truck accident cases, negligence is a key factor. If a truck driver’s negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, or violating traffic laws, causes an accident resulting in injuries or property damage, they may be held liable for the damages.
- Employer liability: Trucking companies can be held liable for accidents caused by their employees, under the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior.” This means that if a truck driver is acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident, their employer may also share liability for any damages caused.
- Vicarious liability: In addition to the truck driver and their employer, other parties may also be held liable for a truck accident. This can include truck owners, maintenance companies, cargo loaders, or manufacturers in cases involving defective truck parts or improper loading practices.
- Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations sets a time limit within which a legal claim must be filed after a truck accident. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from a truck accident is generally two years from the date of the accident. Property damage claims also typically have a two-year statute of limitations.
New Haven Truck Law Enforcement
In New Haven, truck law enforcement is primarily handled by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Connecticut State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit (CVEU). These agencies work together to enforce laws and regulations related to commercial trucks and ensure compliance with safety standards.
Here’s an overview of their roles:
- Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): The DMV is responsible for overseeing motor vehicle regulations and licensing, including commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). They enforce trucking regulations, including vehicle registration, weight and size limits, and ensure proper licensing and permits for commercial trucks operating in Connecticut.
- Connecticut State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit (CVEU): The CVEU is a specialized unit within the Connecticut State Police that focuses on enforcing commercial vehicle laws and regulations. They conduct inspections and patrols to ensure compliance with state and federal trucking laws, including vehicle safety standards, hours of service regulations, and weight limits. The CVEU also investigates truck accidents and enforces penalties for violations.
Contact Our New Haven Truck Accident Attorneys Now About Your Accident Claim
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a skilled New Haven truck accident lawyer. At the Law Office of Carl A. Secola, Jr., LLC., our dedicated team of New Haven truck accident lawyers has extensive experience in handling truck accident cases. We understand the complexities involved in these types of accidents and are committed to fighting for your rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Don’t face the aftermath of a truck accident alone—contact our firm today for a free consultation. Let us protect your rights, seek justice, and help you on the path to recovery. We represent clients throughout the New Haven area and across Connecticut. If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, contact our office to discuss your case. Reach us by phone at 203-891-5265 or contact us by scheduling a free initial consultation.