Denver Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a Denver truck accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to pursue compensation for your losses. It's vital to contact a Denver truck accident lawyer to learn more about your legal options. At Alpha Accident Lawyers, our team of truck accident attorneys is ready to handle your truck accident case. We have the knowledge and resources to help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.
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What to Do After a Commercial Truck Accident
After a crash involving a large truck, victims should take proactive measures to ensure their safety and to help strengthen their truck accident claims. After a truck accident, victims can take the following proactive actions:
1. Call 911
Contact law enforcement immediately to report the accident. Wait until the police arrive at the truck accident scene and ensure that you get a police report. A police report has important information including:
- Information on the scene of the incident including a drawn diagram of the accident
- Contact and insurance information of the people involved in the accident
- The license plates of the vehicles involved
- Witness statements
- Police observations on how the accident occurred
- Any traffic violations
2. Get Medical Attention
Seek medical treatment for your injuries, even if you do not feel hurt. In many serious injury cases, you will not display symptoms immediately. Victims can experience an adrenaline rush and shock in truck accidents that make mask the injuries sustained. A doctor will perform an evaluation and will identify and record any truck accident-related injuries.
3. Exchange Information
Swap important information with the other persons involved such as:
- Full name, phone number, and address
- Insurance policy number and company
- Driver's license and license plate number
- Vehicle registration
4. Take Photos and Videos
It's essential to take pictures of the accident scene. Take photos from different angles and ensure you get pictures of the position of the vehicles, skid marks, broken glass, car parts, damages property, and your injuries. If you cannot, ask others if they are able to take some photos for you.
5. Talk to Witnesses
If witnesses are present, ensure you get their contact information. Ask any eyewitnesses if they are willing to give a statement on how the truck accident occurred.
6. Don't Talk to the Insurance Companies
Notify your own insurer about the trucking accident, however, don't give additional information, including the extent of your injuries. The trucking company has its own team of truck accident lawyers on retainer and will fight to avoid paying out a high settlement. Insurance companies will do their own investigation and will try to devalue a trucking accident claim. They will also attempt to intimidate victims into believing that their low offer is the best option. Be aware of this and do not settle. Additionally, do not sign anything without consulting your truck accident attorney.
7. Contact a Denver Truck Accident Attorney
Your personal injury attorney will know the true value of your settlement. They will also instruct you exactly what to do and say to help your claim. Additionally, they will deal with the trucking company and insurance agents so you won’t have to. Denver truck accident lawyers will protect your best interests and work to resolve your claim in a timely manner.
Safety Regulations for Commercial Trucks in Colorado
In truck accidents, the passengers of the smaller vehicle face the most risks of catastrophic injuries or death.
Commercial trucks are a huge safety concern to other vehicles on the road. This is why Colorado has established regulations for commercial trucks regarding their size and weight. These trucking industry regulations include:
- A gross weight limit of 80,000 pounds for any vehicle driving on the interstate and 85,000 pounds for any vehicle not driving on an interstate. The weight of a vehicle is calculated by the federal bridge formula, which relates to the vehicle’s weight, the number of axles on the truck, and the distance between the axles. CRS 42-4-508.
- A single truck and trailer cannot exceed 85 feet. CRS 42-4-505.
- The height of a truck may not exceed 13 feet. CRS 42-4-504.
- The total width of a truck or load (if loaded) cannot exceed 103 inches. CRS 42-4-502.
- Any commercial vehicle driving to the west of Denver, between Dotsero and Morrison on I-70, must follow Colorado law.
Another notable factor is that semi-truck drivers, and their employers are not always liable for truck accidents. However, if the trucking accident was caused because of negligence, then the commercial truck driver and potentially other parties can be held responsible.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Commercial truck accidents usually result in serious injuries or death to the occupants of passenger vehicles. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 4,119 individuals died in collisions involving large trucks in 2019. About 16% of them were truck occupants, 67% were auto occupants and other passenger vehicles, and 15% were motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Common causes of trucking accidents include the following:
- Driver fatigue
- Truck driver error
- Lack of training
- Reckless driving
- Driver distraction
- Poor truck maintenance
- Improperly loaded cargo
- A multi-vehicle collision involving multiple drivers
- Poor visibility
- Poor weather conditions
Who is Liable in a Denver Truck Accident?
According to federal law, commercial vehicles traveling on an interstate must carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance. They may also be required to have up to $5 million, depending on the carrier. Many commercial trucking companies carry an excess of insurance coverage due to the type and value of the cargo and the potential risk of severe injuries and damages in an accident. Some commercial vehicles carry passengers or hazardous materials and are more expensive to insure. In a commercial vehicle accident, multiple parties may be held liable. The following parties may be held responsible for truck accidents:
Truck drivers may hold liability in a crash for several reasons. The truck driver may have broken the law, been drowsy driving, or distracted driving. Truck drivers spend several hours on the road each day, increasing the risk of being fatigued while driving. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study reported that about 13% of commercial truck drivers were driving while fatigued when they got in an accident.
Trucking companies are subject to Colorado trucking laws and are also required to follow federal truck regulations. When trucking companies cut corners and skip mandatory inspections, they can be held accountable for their actions.
The truck manufacturer can also hold liability in Colorado truck accidents if there is a defect that causes the Denver commercial truck accident. Some defects can include mechanical failures, faulty breaks, and tire blowouts.
Truck accidents can often involve improperly loaded or unbalanced cargo. If an unbalanced load of cargo causes a commercial truck to tip over and cause an accident or if cargo falls off the vehicle and causes an accident, the cargo loaders can be held responsible.
Colorado's Modified Comparative Negligence
Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state. More specifically, Colorado uses a 50% modified comparative negligence. This means that if a motorist is over 50% at fault for the Colorado truck accident, they may not be able to pursue compensation for damages.
The percentage of fault is determined on a case-by-case basis by an insurance adjuster. If it is determined that you are primarily at fault for the trucking accident, you may not be able to collect damages from the other driver's insurer. However, it is within your rights to appeal this insurer's determination of liability. Thus, it's crucial to have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side.
What Damages are Available in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Trucking accidents can cause very serious injuries, expensive medical bills, lost wages from missed work, mental distress, pain, and suffering. The three main types of damages you may be able to recover in a truck accident lawsuit include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are typically easy to calculate and prove because they have an assigned monetary value. Some of the common economic damages a victim can pursue include:
- Property damage
- Rental car costs
- Repair bills
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Physical therapy
Non-economic damages are not as straightforward as economic damages. Non-economic damages are usually more difficult to calculate and prove due to the subjective nature of these kinds of damages. These may include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Mental distress
Punitive damages are not commonly awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. However, at the court's discretion, these damages may be granted in order to punish at-fault parties for their egregious, and especially dangerous actions. For example, if a truck driver was driving under the influence and caused a crash, the accident victim may be granted punitive damages.
How a Denver Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
The first thing your trucking accident lawyer will do is gather all the evidence and information and let you know if you have a valid claim and what it may be worth. At Alpha Accident Lawyers, our Denver truck accident attorneys will discuss your legal options with you. We will also address any questions you may have to ensure you are fully aware of everything going on with your accident claim.
We will thoroughly investigate the details of the trucking accident, collect evidence, and gather witness statements to support your claim. Our legal team will also collect your medical records pertaining to the trucking accident and will talk to experienced medical specialists who will create a treatment plan for you. At Alpha Accident Lawyers, we also have connections with expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction experts, mental health specialists, and engineers who can help strengthen your claim.
Our Denver truck accident attorneys will also help you calculate and prove your damages. This includes medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, and lost future earnings depending on if you can return to work or if you will need to perform lighter duties.
We will help you file your truck accident claim for compensation from the other parties involved. Our Denver truck accident lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation for all your losses.
How to Deal With the Insurance Companies
If you were involved in a truck accident caused by a truck driver, the insurance company might contact you to offer you a settlement. The insurer is motivated by its bottom line and may even tell you that what they are offering you is a generous offer. Insurance adjusters know that truck accident victims are likely feeling overwhelmed and will want to resolve their truck accident cases as soon as possible. The insurance adjusters may use misleading tactics to justify a low settlement or assign partial blame to the truck accident victim. It's best to consult with a Denver truck accident attorney before communicating with the insurance company.
Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer right away. An experienced truck accident attorney will fight to protect your rights and negotiate a much higher settlement. Don't deal with the insurer alone or feel pressured into accepting a low settlement offer. A low settlement may not cover all or most of the damages incurred by the truck crash. At Alpha Accident Lawyers, we will fight to protect your best interests and recover the maximum compensation.
Contact Experienced Colorado Truck Accident Lawyers
When you work with Alpha Accident Lawyers, you will be taken care of. We work tirelessly to help our clients recover the maximum compensation for their truck accident injuries. In addition, we do not charge our clients any upfront legal fees and only collect payment after your truck accident case is won.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your personal injury case. You may not realize you are owed a lot of compensation for your losses. Let Alpha Accident Lawyers handle your case and get you the compensation you deserve.START YOUR FREE CONSULTATION
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