A tractor-trailer recently overturned on I-95 south when it was involved in an accident with a SUV. The drivers of both vehicles were taken to a local hospital to be treated for neck injuries. The accident shut down 2 lanes of Connecticut traffic and caused a 3-mile backup. The truck also spilled some fuel on the highway.
In this case, the truck driver may not have been at fault, as the SUV is reported to have cut off the truck when it made a lane change. Yet the story still illustrates the large-scale consequences that can result from a truck accident.
Truck drivers owe a greater duty of care to other drivers due to the size and nature of their rigs. For that reason, they are expected to keep an adequate distance behind other vehicles in case they are required to come to a stop. A tractor-trailer that tailgates may soon find itself overturned on a highway, blocking traffic for hours.
If you incurred property damage or personal injury from a truck accident, your means of obtaining a recovery may not be the same as for typical car accidents. For example, the semi-truck may be a commercial vehicle subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. In such event, the theory of liability may be defined by federal law.
Semi-truck accidents may also implicate multiple parties at fault, rather than just the driver. You may be able to bring a claim against all individuals or business entities responsible for the truck's ownership, maintenance, loading and operation, and licensing.
Finally, a commercial vehicle often carries a large commercial insurance policy, which means any claim you file may be reviewed by a team of lawyers and investigators working for the trucking company.
For all of these reasons, it is important to have an attorney by your side who understands the differences between car and truck accident litigation.
Source: WTNH, "Truck rolls over on I-95 in Bridgeport," Erin Cox, July 10, 2012