We’ve all been there. You’re driving down I-95 and, all of a sudden, traffic comes to a stop. Collisions seem to be happening more frequently in Connecticut — like the motorcycle and truck collision in Andover, the crash in Torrington a few days earlier, or even recent crashes in New London. Motor vehicle collisions have become more common, and many of the most severe crashes involve semi-trucks, which can result in severe or fatal injuries while the truck driver walks away unharmed. The reason for this is the massive size and weight differential between semis and other vehicles.
Truck crash have doubled in the past ten years
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there were 118,000 truck-related crashes involving injuries in 2019. That number was up from 53,000 crashes in 2009. There were also 5005 truck-related deaths in 2019, which is a 36% increase in ten years.
The NSC did not list the causes for the crashes. However, a 2006 study on truck accidents by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides valuable information. The most common causes were:
- Driving mistakes
- Non-performance issues like fatigue, illness and incapacitation
- Adverse driving conditions
Truck crash settlements are increasing
Victims of truck collisions and their families often file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit when the injuries and damages are severe or fatal. Insurance companies have found themselves having to pay multi-million-dollar verdicts awarded by juries. While the average claim settles for much less, a Georgia jury awarded $280 million to a Louisiana family who lost five members in a truck-versus-car collision.
Difficult cases require experienced attorneys
Even if the victim wins a large verdict, the insurance company will often challenge the awards and negotiate a new, lower settlement after taking an appeal. Because of the complexity of these cases, experienced personal injury attorneys are needed in order to have the best chance for success in these long and difficult lawsuits.