That enormous weight of semi trucks, coupled with a longer braking time, means occupants of passenger vehicles are four times more likely to be injured or killed in a truck accident. If you were injured in a semi truck accident, you’ll likely have steep medical bills and other expenses. That’s why you need a dedicated Denver truck accident lawyer to defend your rights and work toward getting you the maximum amount of compensation.
Truck drivers and their employers are subject to state and federal regulations that are meant to keep truckers and other drivers safe. However, they don’t always follow these rules, often leading to other drivers’ injuries or even deaths.
Our law firm will work diligently to determine the worth of your claim and won’t settle for less than what you need. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
Accidents in Denver
You may be able to obtain compensation for a truck accident through a lawsuit or an out-of-court settlement. Our law firm will evaluate every aspect of your case and help you decide which option could be best in getting you maximum compensation.
One of the first things your lawyer will investigate is the cause of the crash. This is important in establishing liability and setting the facts straight so there is no room for the other party and their lawyers to devalue your claim.
There are many causes of truck accidents, but the four main types are:
Some truckers take illegal substances such as methamphetamine or cocaine to help them work longer shifts. Others drink or take substances to cope with stress and their often unfavorable working conditions.
These substances can significantly impair a truck driver’s ability to perform their job, think clearly, and make responsible decisions. It’s dangerous for anyone to drive while impaired, but the risk is tenfold for a driver operating a 40-ton truck.
Commercial truckers drive for hours on end, often on interstates or other long stretches of road. Out of boredom or disregard, some truckers take their eyes or attention away from the road to talk or text on the phone, scroll through social media, or change the radio station.
These actions are especially dangerous because an inattentive truck driver is more likely to make a mistake, such as swerving off the road or into another lane.
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) carried out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found truck driver fatigue to be associated with 13% of crashes+ involving a semi-truck.
Some truckers may take fewer rest or sleep breaks (or none at all) to earn overtime or bonus pay. This is a reckless practice that puts many lives in danger, including the truck driver’s.
Failure to Perform Maintenance
Commercial truck drivers are required to have specialized training in the repair and maintenance of certain vehicle parts. For example, truckers must check their tire tread and oil lines regularly. Failing to do so could cause an equipment malfunction that could lead to a wreck.
But the truck drivers themselves aren’t the only ones responsible for maintenance. Some trucking companies fail to conduct routine inspections of their vehicles, a negligent act that could cause injury.
Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Semi trucks are big, heavy, and generate more than 10 times the torque that passenger vehicles do. That adds up to a much greater risk of severe injury and death when these enormous vehicles collide with 2,000-pound cars.
Victims of truck accidents can suffer a wide range of injuries, but these are some of the most common:
The neck is fragile, so when a vehicle is hit from behind, passengers can be thrown forward and suffer whiplash, dislocated discs in the cervical spine, and general pain in the neck and back.
These injuries can be minor, but most are serious. Victims may suffer paralysis in one or several limbs, and severe pain is common. Sometimes, spinal cord injuries are latent, which is why it’s imperative that you visit a doctor after being in a truck crash.
Head trauma can lead to a brain injury, which can have deadly complications. A brain injury can occur as a result of whiplash or if an object slams into the skull. Victims may experience nausea, loss of consciousness, and cognitive difficulties. Concussions are also common head injuries in truck accidents.
Blunt trauma can cause internal injuries and bleeding in the kidneys, pancreas, liver, and other organs, which is a serious complication and is difficult to treat.
Broken bones may not seem serious, but they can easily become infected, which can be deadly if the infection spreads throughout the blood.
Types of Damages in Colorado Truck Accident Cases
In Colorado, victims of truck accidents can recover compensation for the following economic damages:
- Medical expenses, including surgery, emergency response services, hospital visits, physical therapy, and medications
- Loss of income
- Property damage
Victims may also recover compensation for the following noneconomic (more abstract) damages:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
To learn more about the specific damages you may be entitled to, contact our law firm today.
Establishing Negligence in a Denver Truck Accident Case
Your attorney at our law firm will do so by:
- Establishing that the truck driver had a duty to be reasonably careful (following traffic laws, not being intoxicated, etc.)
- Proving that the trucker breached that duty through their negligent actions
- Proving that the breach of duty directly caused your injuries
- Providing evidence of your injuries and monetary losses
Comparative Negligence in Colorado
Each state has specific laws regarding liability and fault, two factors that determine how much compensation a truck accident victim can receive.
Colorado follows a system of modified comparative negligence, meaning the victim of a truck accident can recover compensation as long as they are no more than 50% responsible for the crash. If the victim is found to be more than 50% responsible, they cannot recover compensation.
The amount of compensation also depends on how much each party is at fault. The amount of compensation that the victim receives will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
For example, a truck driver is found to be 70% responsible for a crash whose settlement is $100,000. Because the driver of the car is 30% at fault, they will receive $70,000 instead of the full $100,000 because they share some of the responsibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you were injured in a Denver truck accident, you need an attorney who will stand up for you and advocate for your best interests. Trucking companies are notorious for fighting claims against their drivers and minimizing their responsibility.
You need a lawyer who won’t settle for anything less than what you need and deserve.
Call our law firm today to schedule your free case consultation and to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney in Denver.
1. How are truck accidents different from car accidents?
An accident involving a semi truck will likely be more complex than an accident between passenger vehicles. This is because truck accident cases can involve multiple defendants, including the truck driver, the trucking company, and the truck manufacturer.
Semi-truck accidents also differ from car accidents in their severity. Because of their size, weight, and force of acceleration and deceleration, truck accidents often cause devastating injuries to victims, including spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and even death.
Lastly, compensation often looks different in a truck accident case than in a passenger vehicle case. Because truck accidents often result in severe injuries, victims may be able to receive greater compensation.
2. What kind of evidence is used in a truck accident case?
There are many types of evidence that can be used against a negligent truck driver. Certain kinds of evidence can be difficult to obtain, but the Denver truck accident lawyers at our firm know where to look and how to prove that the driver acted negligently and caused the accident that led to your injuries.
Some types of evidence we look for include:
- Truck driver’s work logs - These can provide evidence that the driver violated federal or state trucking regulations.
- Recordings from a semi truck’s electronic on-board recorders (EOBR) - These recordings can prove that a trucker was working beyond federal regulations.
- Maintenance records - These can prove that a trucker or the trucking company failed to properly maintain the vehicle or ensure that it was safe to operate.
3. How long do I have to file my case in Colorado?
Each state has a different statute of limitations for lawsuits and legal proceedings. A statute of limitations is essentially a deadline that you must follow or else risk having your case thrown out.
These limitations keep the legal process running smoothly and ensures cases are based upon relevant, timely evidence.
If you were injured in a truck accident and wish to pursue legal action, you have three years to file a claim and begin the process.
Colorado Revised Statutes section 13-80-101 states that “all tort actions for bodily injury or property damage arising out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle” must be filed within three years of the accident date.