Denver Truck Accident Lawyers
We've Recovered Hundreds of Millions
Large commercial trucks are found on just about every roadway in Colorado. Denver is a major crossroads for goods moving along I-70 running east to west, and I-25 running north to south. In fact, Colorado is home to over 20 major trucking companies.
A truck’s large profile allows them to transport products long distances but also makes them a deadly force when something goes wrong. At Springer & Steinberg, P.C., our truck accident lawyers in Denver have decades of experience handling commercial truck and tractor-trailer accident claims in and around the Denver area. We are here to help you seek justice if you were hit by a negligent truck driver.
What Makes a Trucking Accident So Dangerous?
Traffic collisions of all types are extremely dangerous to motorists. Yet trucking accidents continue to be one of the worst – if not the worst – type of traffic collision on Colorado’s highways. What is it about a crash involving a truck that makes the incident of catastrophic injury or fatality so high? The answer lies within the nature of a big rig, semi-truck, and other commercial trucks.
The larger and heavier an object is, the more momentum it can generate while in motion. The greater the momentum, the more force necessary to bring the object to a stop again. In terms of a truck accident, this science means that trucks carry far more destructive force when they get into a crash than most other vehicles due to their larger, heavier designs. Even at low speeds, such as 20 miles per hour or so, other motorists in smaller, lighter vehicles can suffer lifelong injuries.
Catastrophic injuries often reported in trucking accidents include:
Determining Who is Responsible for Your Accident
Multiple parties could be responsible for a semi-truck accident, such as the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, and the truck driver. It is the trucking company’s responsibility to hire safe drivers and ensure their equipment is safe. Making sure the truck is not overweight and has sufficient brake pads and safe tires are among the many things that trucking companies cannot overlook.
Truck operators and trucking companies also have an obligation to comply with regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 49 CFR Parts 300-399 set forth several regulations related to Hours of Service, weight limits, overweight trucks, commercial license standards, alcohol and drug testing, special training requirements, inspection, maintenance, repairs, and more. Proving a violation of federal trucking regulations would greatly strengthen a truck accident claim.
Product liability is also a possibility in a truck accident case. If any part of the truck malfunctioned, the manufacturer could be found at fault for your crash. Colorado Revised Statutes §§ 13-21-401 through 13-21-406 define product liability, set forth certain presumptions as to when a product may not be considered defective, and discuss inadmissible evidence and product misuse. A thorough understanding of product liability laws is essential if a truck accident claim is to be brought on this basis.
Should You Sue the Trucker?
The driver can be held at fault too. Drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) before operating a semi-truck. Different levels of CDL qualification allow drivers to carry different loads, such as hazardous materials or drive different trucks such as a triple trailer. This license may subject the truck driver to a standard of care that applies to drivers holding such unique qualifications.
However, truck drivers are often insured under basic insurance policies with low damage caps. If you only bring a lawsuit against the trucker who caused your crash, then your recovery may be much lower than the damages you actually need to be reimbursed through compensation. For this reason, our Denver truck accident attorneys often try to find additional liable parties when possible, giving our clients a greater chance of obtaining all the compensation they need and deserve.
Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
Truck accident claim plaintiffs in Colorado can pursue compensation for a wide range of damages:
- Current and future costs of medical care
- Lost wages and other income
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death (if a loved one was killed)
Crashes involving large trucks tend to cause more serious injuries and damage compared to accidents with smaller passenger vehicles. For this reason, truck accident cases tend to have a much higher value and are more fiercely defended by trucking companies and their insurers. It is important to consult with an attorney to determine the exact value of your case.
What Is A Truck No-Zone?
The “No-Zone” refers to space around a large truck where the driver has zero visibility. Simply put, the no-zone is a big blind spot that makes driving a truck fundamentally more dangerous. However, when drivers understand a truck’s no-zone, they can reduce the risk of an accident caused by these blind spots.
Some commercial trucks have a sign attached to their trailer that reads, “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” While it may sound simple, a truck’s blind spots are deceptive. Next time you’re behind a truck, get an idea of where you can see their mirrors. You might be surprised to learn that the no-zone includes the space behind the truck and the surroundings to the driver's immediate left and right. Many motorcycle accidents occur when a merging truck fails to notice a driver in their no-zone.
There’s also an enormous blind spot directly in front of a truck. While it varies slightly between make and model, most truck drivers cannot see the first 20 feet in front of their vehicle. If a driver takes their eyes off the road for even a moment, they may lose track of the car directly in front of them. It’s critical that all auto drivers, especially motorcyclists identify a truck’s blind spots before attempting to pass them. It is especially dangerous to pass a semi-truck on the right side as the driver may try to merge but fails to notice someone in their no-zone.
It’s just as important for truck drivers to identify their blind spots and take extreme caution before attempting to merge or pass another vehicle. Truck accidents are particularly dangerous. Almost all trucking injuries affect the passenger vehicle, rather than the truck driver.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
As each truck accident is unique, you need an attorney who will thoroughly examine the facts of your case to determine liability. Investigators who work with our firm can obtain crucial evidence to build your case, such as photographs, witness statements, and background investigation.
Evidence for your case may reveal that the crash was caused by:
- Truck driver fatigue: Truck drivers are often required to drive for 11 hours or more in a single day. Needless to say, truckers can become exhausted due to these long workdays, putting everyone else on the road at unfair risk of a truck accident.
- Lack of truck maintenance: Commercial trucks often drive hundreds of thousands of miles every year. Normal wear-and-tear will degrade different components and parts, increasing the chances of a truck accident. It is up to the trucking company to maintain their vehicles, making repairs and replacements as needed.
- Poorly loaded cargo: How freight is loaded into or onto a commercial truck is crucial for the vehicle’s safe operation. If a trailer is overloaded, it can tip over while in transit, spill cargo onto the road behind the truck, or greatly increase the truck’s braking distance due to the excess weight.
- Speeding: Most truck drivers are paid not by the hour but per transport job completed instead. This system encourages them to drive above posted speed limits and drive recklessly.
Our goal is removing as much liability from your shoulders to maximize how much compensation you can recover from the liable party or parties. With strong evidence that suggests you were not liable, we can do just that. Get started on your case today with a free consultation! Our attorneys are ready to help you.
Product Liability $4.35 Million
A roll-over of a small motorized vehicle.
Personal Injury $800,000
Explosion/fire resulting in a severely burned worker.
Car Accident $600,000
A family was seriously injured.
Car Accident $500,000
Personal Injury $300,000
A child was injured during an incident on a school bus.
Personal Injury $120,000
A client after suffered significant injury after a fall in a nursing home.
Personal Injury $900,000
Wrongful Death in a work-related accident.