Almost four years ago, a negligent decision made by one individual resulted in the death of another. A Connecticut Department of Transportation worker had noticed debris in the left and center lanes of the highway. He subsequently parked his truck on both the shoulder and right lane, blocking the only unobstructed lane.
An individual driving behind the DOT worker began slowing down when approaching the stopped vehicle, and a third vehicle did the same. A truck then approached from behind and hit the third vehicle, which caused a chain reaction collision of that vehicle into the second vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle died as a result of the incident and the driver of the third vehicle was seriously injured.
A negligent or distracted driver can cause substantial injury to others on the road, as is made apparent by the Connecticut incident. The tragic car accident not only left one dead, but another seriously injured, creating substantial losses for the injured parties and their loved ones.
Recently, a jury in New Haven Superior Court attempted to bring justice to those harmed. After the trial, the jury awarded $4 million to the estate of the man killed and $2.7 million to the other man who had been injured. The jury found the state 30 percent at fault and the other truck driver 70 percent at fault for the incident. Due to this division of liability, the state will be responsible for 30 percent of the damages awarded.
Connecticut officials say they will now appeal the decision, confident that their employee was not at fault in the accident. The fatally injured man left behind a wife and two children.
According to the plaintiff's attorney, the state could have settled for much less than the jury awarded, but was unwilling to negotiate prior to trial.
Connecticut law permits injured parties to seek compensation in civil suits for damages obtained as a result of an injury. Those parties partially at fault are responsible to pay their portion of damages awarded. Even an individual found to be partially at fault for an accident may still be entitled to recover for the non-fault portion of damages sustained.
Source: Boston.com, "Conn. to appeal $6.7M jury award in fatal crash," July 30, 2012