An accident with a semi-truck in Colorado can cause serious injury and financial losses. Unfortunately, the trucking company may make it difficult for you to get compensation for your losses. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Mandelaris Law, LLC, we fight for our clients to get the maximum compensation after a trucking accident.
Trucking Accidents in Colorado
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2017, there were 4,657 large trucks and busses involved in fatal crashes. The number of fatal truck and bus crashes was up 10% from 2016. There were approximately 107,000 injury crashes involving large trucks and property damage only crashes accounted for another 363,000.
The majority of injury and fatal accidents involve a large truck crashing with another vehicle. The majority of fatal trucking accidents occur in rural areas and on Interstate highways. In Colorado, trucking accidents regularly occur on the steep and windy stretches of the highways, including places like Highway 40 and along I-70.
Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents
Truckers are often under time pressure to deliver their cargo on schedule to maximize their profits. Unfortunately, this can lead to unsafe driving which puts others on the road at risk of injury. This can make truck drivers more likely to speed, take drugs to stay away, drive while tired, or even falsify their driving records to operate on the road longer than they should.
Truck accidents can be caused by bad weather, dangerous road conditions, or even faulty vehicle parts. However, most truck accidents involve negligence by the truck driver, trucking company, or another driver. Some of the careless or negligent driving that may lead to a trucking accident in Colorado may include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs,
- Driving under the influence of alcohol,
- Driving while texting,
- Driving while distracted,
- Drowsy driving,
- Following too close or tailgating,
- Failure to signal,
- Running a red light, and
- Traveling too fast for road conditions.
Dangerous weather and road conditions are common in Colorado. A sudden tornado or snowstorm can come out of nowhere. Glare from the sun and icy roads can make driving more dangerous. Even though the weather and road conditions can make driving more difficult, it is up to the driver to take into account the road conditions, which may require slowing down and leaving more room between vehicles.
Some trucking accidents are caused by the trucking company without the driver knowing anything about it. There are strict regulations on weight limits which some trucking companies may violate in order to save money. Trucks that are improperly loaded may unsteady and could tip over in a sharp turn or in heavy winds. Trucking companies may also falsify maintenance records in order to keep an unsafe vehicle on the road.
Who is Liable in an Accident with a Commercial Truck?
Liability in an accident with a commercial truck may be based on negligence. If a truck driver or the trucking company breaches their duty of care which causes an accident, the injury victim may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages. The trucking company may also be liable for damages even if the accident was caused by the driver.
Liability is not always clear and the insurance company may try to get out of having to pay for damages by blaming the accident on someone else. Contact your Colorado trucking accident attorney as soon as possible. Not only will your lawyer handle the insurance company and the trucking company, but your attorney will also investigate your accident to make sure the party who caused the accident pays for your losses.
Trucking Accident Injuries
An accident involving a semi-truck can be much more serious than an accident with a passenger car. Truck accident injuries may include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Brain injury
- Head injury
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Crushing injuries
- Road rash
- Internal injuries
- Burn injuries
- Chemical burns
- Facial trauma
- Loss of a limb
The average weight of a passenger car is just about 4,000 pounds. However, a fully-loaded semi can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The mass of a truck in an accident can crush a regular car, trapping the driver and passenger inside. When the occupants cannot get out of the car, it may take longer to get emergency medical care and put the accident victims at risk of further injury in a fire or explosion.
Damages in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
When a driver is involved in an accident with a regular car, they still have to deal with the hassle of the insurance company. However, with a truck accident, the injury victim may have to deal with the insurance company and the trucking company.
Trucking companies and truck insurance providers are in the business of making money and they may not want to take responsibility or pay for your losses. This is where an experienced Colorado trucking accident attorney can help. Your lawyer will deal with the insurance company and the trucking company so you can focus on recovery.
Be careful if the trucking company makes a fast settlement offer. They may be trying to convince you to take the money before you really understand the full extent of your losses. Accepting the settlement check means giving up your rights to sue for damages in court. When calculating your losses, it is important to make sure you get the maximum compensation for your injuries, including:
- Medical bills,
- Loss of income,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Property damages,
- Future medical treatment, and
- Pain and suffering.
Contact Denver Trucking Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a trucking accident in Colorado, make sure you understand your rights before accepting a settlement offer. Call Mandelaris Law at (303) 357-9757 today and schedule a free initial consultation with our highly skilled Denver attorney.