Many local residents still remember the headline after a deadly tractor-trailer accident on I-95 in 2007. The truck accident killed three and left others injured. Last week, those victims’ allegations of negligence were confirmed as a Hartford jury awarded them $15.7 million in damages.
One of the victims in the accident was the driver of the tanker-truck. However, it is the owner of the truck, Northeast Carriers, who will be paying the judgment. One of Northeast Carriers’ defenses, that another truck driver contributed to the cause of the accident, was not accepted as a valid defense by the jury.
The large jury verdict will be apportioned amongst several victims. The estates of the other two victims killed in the accident will both receive over $3 million. Surviving victims received anywhere from $1-5 million, depending upon the severity of their injuries. The owner of the trailer being pulled by the tractor-trailer was even awarded $50,000 for its property damage.
The large trial verdict is one of the largest in Hartford history. Despite its size, however, most experts agree that the damages are relatively consistent with this type of accident. Serious injuries or deaths on the roadways often result in large losses to the victims and their families. Whether it is a lifetime of lost earnings or a lifetime struggling with a debilitating injury, these accidents often merit large financial awards, particularly where a company is found to have committed negligence or recklessness, as was the case here.
Source: Hartford Courant, “Jury Awards $15.7 Million to Victims of 2007 Crash on I-95,” Karen Florin, April 26, 2013