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Denver Truck Accident Lawyers
Our Denver Truck Accident Attorneys Have 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 Denver truck accident lawyers 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 – types of traffic collision on Colorado’s highways. What is it about trucking accidents that make catastrophic injuries 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. 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, other motorists in smaller, lighter vehicles can suffer lifelong injuries.
Common truck accident injuries often reported in truck crashes include:
- Catastrophic injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
Truck Accidents vs. Auto Accidents: What are the Differences?
Due to a number of factors, truck accidents are generally far more complex than a typical auto accident.
Truck accidents are typically more severe than a typical car accident, which leads to:
- More severe injuries
- Higher medical bills and expenses for the victim(s)
- Lifelong effects including the victim’s inability to return to work, chronic pain, emotional trauma, and many others.
- Extensive damage
In many cases, a truck accident involves more than one defendant:
- The driver of the truck may be deemed responsible for the accident, whether due to reckless driving, fatigue, distractions, or even drug or alcohol intoxication.
- The trucking company may also be liable for the accident, particularly if they knowingly placed a fatigued, inexperienced, or reckless driver on the roadways.
- If the accident occurred due to poorly secured cargo, the shipping/loading company might bear responsibility.
- The truck maintenance company or manufacturer may be held liable if an accident occurred as a result of issues with the truck or truck parts.
A key difference in a truck accident is that time is of the essence. Victims need help – often both medical and legal – and they need it quickly. In most situations, the trucking company will rapidly deploy a team of people to the scene of the accident. There have been instances of crucial evidence being removed, leaving victims unable to prove liability. This makes it critical to contact one of our experienced Denver truck accident lawyers as soon as possible.
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, has sufficient brake pads, and has safe tires are among the many things that trucking companies cannot overlook.
Truck operators and truck companies also have an obligation to comply with federal 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 truck driver who caused the crash 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 your true damages. For this reason, our Denver truck accident lawyers often try to find additional liable parties when possible, giving our clients a greater chance of obtaining all the compensation they need and deserve.
Take Immediate Action to Receive Maximum Compensation for Truck Accidents
In the first hours and days after an accident, many victims are still in a state of shock. However, it is during this time period that taking action is essential – especially to ensure that you receive the compensation and maximum settlement you deserve.
Meeting with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible reduces your risk of being taken advantage of by the insurance company investigators or trucking company attorneys. It is crucial to remember that these individuals do not have your best interests at heart. It is not unheard of for valuable evidence to be destroyed or even for victims to be wrongfully accused of being at fault due to:
- Following too closely
- Merging too closely to the truck
- Unsafe passing
- Driving in the truck’s blind spot(s)
- Distracted driving
- Driving over the posted speed limit
- Driving dangerously for the road conditions
Don’t let yourself be victimized again; make sure you have a skilled Denver truck accident lawyer to protect your rights and advocate for you at every stage.
Fair Compensation for Denver Truck Accident Victims
Could you be entitled to compensation after a truck accident? If you experienced any injury due to the accident, you are eligible to pursue compensation. The purpose of financial compensation/damages is to provide you with the means necessary to get back on your feet after a life-changing accident.
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.
Types of Compensation Available after a Truck Accident
There are various types of damages available for truck accident victims, including:
- Compensation for economic damages, which can be used to cover:
- Medical expenses, both paid and future
- Ongoing medical care or treatment
- Adjustments to the home and home care
- Loss of potential future income
- Medical rehabilitation
- Income lost during the recovery period
- Compensation for emotional injuries, which can be used to cover:
- Emotional stress
- Pain and suffering
- A decrease in your quality of life
- Physical impairment(s)
- Wrongful death
- Additional damages for your family due to loss of consortium (the inability to provide the same level of companionship to spouse and children)
- In certain cases, punitive damages may be available if the defendant intended to cause harm or acted in a way that they knew was likely to cause harm (note that, in CO, punitive damages cannot be requested at the beginning of a case and cannot exceed the award for actual damages)
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 in Denver, CO
Because truck accidents are so complex, there are usually multiple factors involved in the cause of the crash. Unlike a typical auto accident, which can generally be attributed to a single cause, trucking accidents may be related to an array of issues. However, the trucking company almost always has a team of professionals dedicated to eliminating any possible evidence or usable proof – who do you have on your side?
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 information.
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.
What is the Settlement Process for Trucking Accidents?
It’s not unusual for trucking accident victims to feel overwhelmed by the accident settlement process, and far too many find themselves swept away by fast-moving insurance companies or attorneys for the trucking company. It may seem that it will be easier to attempt to deal with the settlement on your own. In fact, in many situations, insurance companies and lawyers for the defendant will attempt to convince you that you don’t need an attorney of your own – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
From the moment you contact our Denver truck accident lawyers at Springer & Steinberg, you’ll have a trustworthy professional advocating for your needs and rights. Only your lawyer has your best interests at heart and will protect you from being bullied into accepting a settlement that is less than you deserve.
Our team will make sure you are fully aware of all your options from the start, so you can make a confident and informed decision that serves you and your family. If none of the settlement options are sufficient, our Denver accident attorneys are prepared to fight for you in court.
Truck Accidents FAQ
After an accident, you may feel unsure about what action to take – it’s not unusual to feel as if you are in shock, especially after such a traumatic experience. However, being familiar with the right steps to take in the moments, hours, days, and weeks after an accident can help.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
Immediately after an accident, safety is the top priority. Call 911 if there are any injuries. Even if the accident appears to be minor, it is imperative to contact law enforcement to help secure the scene and ensure no further incidents occur. Contacting a truck accident attorney as soon as possible is crucial, particularly if you or a loved one sustained injuries.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer after a Truck Accident?
Contact an attorney immediately if you or a loved one experiences any injury in a trucking accident. Because these types of accidents are extremely complex, you should never attempt to represent yourself.
What Is the Colorado Truck Accident Statute of Limitations?
Under Colorado state law, you have three years to file an injury claim after a truck accident.
Contact Our Denver Truck Accident Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
Protect your rights and receive the compensation you deserve – no victim should be taken advantage of after an accident. When you reach out to our experienced truck accident attorneys in Denver, CO at Springer & Steinberg, you’ll gain a trusted partner in the legal process.
Our goal is to remove 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.