Even the most experienced drivers can become distracted, and the consequences are often dangerous, as one Connecticut man was forced to learn painfully. In many cases, however, distractions may be considered negligence under the law, leaving a distracted driver liable for injuries or damages sustained as a result. Such was the situation in a New Britain courtroom recently, as the jury awarded more than $2 million in damages to a man whose foot had been crushed by a towed trailer.
Anger Over Parking
According to court records, the injured had parked the dump truck he was driving in a Farmington cul-de-sac in connection with a landscaping job for which he was partially responsible. The owner of the landscaping business, who was driving a pickup truck and towing a Bobcat on a trailer, pulled up extremely close behind the dump truck, reportedly to “chastise” the dump truck driver for how he had parked. When the owner finished, he went to drive away, and the 4-ton trailer drove over the dump truck driver’s right foot, causing a crush fracture. Surgery was not performed, but the accident allegedly also caused irreversible nerve damage and significant pain.
Two Sides of the Story
The plaintiff’s legal team stipulated that the pickup truck driver was competent in operating the vehicle, but presented the idea that he was angry and distracted at the time of the accident. The pickup driver claimed that he thought the dump truck driver had moved out the way. At least one witness also said the dump truck driver stepped in front of the moving pickup truck. In addition, lawyers for the pickup driver presented video footage at trial that showed the injured dump truck driver playing horseshoes, suggesting that the injury was not as serious as the man claimed. The injured man’s attorney responded by showing a longer version of the same video, which showed how much pain a simple game of horseshoes caused for his client. Ultimately, the jury found in favor of the injured man, awarding a verdict of $2.89 million.
Comparative Negligence in Connecticut
The injured man will not receive the entire verdict award due to his own partial responsibility for the accident. The jury found that the dump truck driver was 27 percent at fault for the incident. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence used by Connecticut courts, the man’s award was reduced by that same percentage, leaving him with an award of about $2.1 million. If the jury had found that the injured man was more at fault than the pickup driver, recovery would have been barred completely.
Recovering the Damages You Deserve
When you have been injured as the result of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to collect compensation for injuries. Contact an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer today to learn more about your available options. Call the Woolf Law Firm, LLC at [[phone1]] for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are here to help you get what you need to get your life back on track.