Need Help After A Truck Accident In Colorado?
Our Denver Truck Accident Lawyers Can Provide Assistance
Commercial truck accidents are typically more complex than passenger car accidents. The destructive force of a semi-truck can demolish more property, inflict more severe injuries and result in more wrongful death cases. Due to these dangerous outcomes, commercial trucks carry high levels of insurance. Commercial truck companies use insurance companies to vigorously defend accident cases and avoid costly payouts. Finally, state and federal regulations govern commercial trucking activity. Many cases are won or lost based on the intricacies of trucking law. In order to combat this, it is important for you to hire a Denver truck accident lawyer who has experience with truck accident lawsuits. Our attorneys understand the importance of anticipating the moves of the defense and will work hard to procure you an acceptable financial settlement.
At Lampert & Walsh, LLC, we have detailed knowledge of trucking accident law and are highly experienced in civil court. Since 1979, our firm has dedicated our practice to resolving tough motor vehicle and truck accident cases. Due to our decades of service, we have developed a reputation as one of the premier personal injury firms in Denver and Aurora. Our attorneys have experience providing clients with personalized legal services. When you bring a truck accident lawsuit to our firm, you will be treated with respect and can expect to receive a positive legal outcome. If you or a loved one have been injured in a commercial truck accident, then you should retain the services of our Denver truck accident lawyers and let them handle the specifics of your case.
How Do Denver Truck Accident Lawyers Determine Liability for a Colorado Crash?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,800 commercial trucks were involved in fatal crashes nationwide in 2012. Of these fatal commercial truck crashes, more than eighty-one percent of them involved another vehicle. However, the mere involvement of a semi-truck in a traffic accident does not mean that the truck, its driver or the trucking company are at fault. A trucking accident attorney must investigate the cause of your accident to help you recover compensation. Factors that lead to commercial truck accidents include:
- Cargo company errors. The companies that load commercial trucks can overload the vehicles or fail to properly balance the cargo. This can result in tip-over accidents when traveling on tight curves or in high winds.
- Driver errors. Commercial truck drivers work on tight schedules and are prone to aggressive driving. Many crashes can also be traced to driver fatigue or drug and alcohol abuse.
- Employer errors. The trucking industry is heavily regulated. However, some employers still allow or require drivers to spend more time behind the wheel than the law permits. In situations like this, accidents are more likely to occur. Failing to maintain company equipment can also lead to severe problems.
- Faulty roadways. Roads that are not designed to accommodate eighteen-wheelers or big rigs can produce accidents. Often times, state and local governments fail to adequately maintain these roads, inviting accidents due to faulty infrastructure.
- Motorist liability. Many passenger vehicle drivers do not know how to safely share the road with semi-trucks. They either fail to give the trucks enough room to turn or do not leave enough distance for a sudden stop.
Do I Really Need the Help of Denver Truck Accident Lawyers?
While truck crashes are always unpleasant, Colorado personal injury litigation can also be extremely irritating. For example, the laws regarding trucking accidents are more rigorous than the laws governing passenger vehicle accidents. However, retaining the right legal representation can help put your mind at ease and sharpen your focus. At Lampert & Walsh, LLC, we assist truck accident victims in numerous ways:
- Evaluating your case. It takes specific knowledge to ascertain the value of a personal injury case. Unless you speak to a trained professional, you risk settling for much less than you deserve.
- Fighting for fairness in court. At our firm, we employ trial lawyers. We do not accept settlement offers unless we think they are fair and our client agrees to the terms. We are prepared to go to court and make our case in front of a jury if necessary.
- Filing your claim in a timely manner. Typically, motor vehicle accident cases have a statute of limitations of three years. We will make sure to file your claim within the appropriate time frame. We can also inform you if an exception applies in your case.
- Helping you obtain medical assistance. Our firm works with a network of medical professionals who can provide you with restorative care. This even applies to individuals who do not have insurance. Working with our medical team also ensures that you have accurate medical records to present as evidence in your case.
- Preventing you from making statements against your interest. When you speak directly to an insurance company representative, you risk making a statement that can be used to reduce your compensation. By having an attorney present, you are actively protecting your own interests.
Contact Our Denver Truck Accident Lawyers for a Free Consult Today
Although hiring an attorney may seem like an unnecessary expense, our firm will work with you on a contingency basis. We do not charge by the hour or demand a retainer. Our Denver truck accident lawyers only recover legal fees if they obtain an agreed upon settlement or receive a favorable jury verdict. This ensures that you are protected financially and are receiving quality legal services.
If you have been injured in a truck accident and want to hold the responsible parties accountable, then contact Lampert & Walsh, LLC today at 720-487-1080 and schedule a consultation. The first meeting is free of charge and is a great way for us to review the merits of your case. You can also contact us online through our Denver office and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
What Steps Need to be Taken After a Denver Truck Accident?
There are several steps you will want to take after a Denver truck accident. How you handle these steps will aid in determining how your truck accident case is handled.
Stay at the scene of the truck accident. Never leave for any reason. You risk being labeled as a hit-and-run driver, which is a crime in Denver and could cause you legal issues as well as make you liable for any damages or injuries
Check yourself, the other driver, and any passengers for injuries. If you or anyone involved in the accident is injured, call 911 right away. In the event of unconsciousness or neck or back pain, do not move the person until experienced medical personnel is on the scene. Moving this person could cause further damage.
If there are no injuries, you may opt to call the Denver police department or highway state patrol instead of 911. They will be able to assess the situation and instruct you on what to do next as well as take a report from both drivers and any witnesses.
You will need to exchange insurance information with the truck driver. Also make sure to get the names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, plate numbers for all drivers involved. If there are passengers, you should obtain their information as well. Your insurance company will need this information to process a claim.
Take pictures of the Denver crash scene. This will allow your insurance company and truck accident lawyer to be able to see the weather conditions, any road debris, and the damage to the vehicles. This is also a great way for insurance companies and any lawyers to be able to see “before” and “after” pictures of your vehicle.
Do not admit guilt, even if you believe you are at-fault. Admitting fault could put you at being legally liable for any damages or injuries and ruin any chances of a truck accident claim. This is especially important if anyone in the accident received injuries or if there was significant property damage. This is a good time to consider hiring a truck accident lawyer.
Do not talk to insurance companies or lawyers without notifying your Denver lawyer first. Opposing insurance companies or lawyers may try to offer you a small settlement claim. You should be leary of this. Let your personal lawyer know the opposing insurance company or lawyer is attempting to contact you. Your lawyer will then be able to schedule an interview when the day and time are convenient for all parties involved.
Can I Get Compensation From a Denver Truck Driving Accident?
A truck accident typically involves more than just the drivers, as with a car or motor vehicle accident. It can involve a combination of the truck driver, the trucking company, a maintenance technician, or others. If you are injured in a truck driving accident, a Denver lawyer can help you get the settlement you deserve.
Some of the items you can reimburse for include medical expenses, property damage or loss, financial compensation, and pain and suffering.
If you were injured in the Denver truck accident, you will most likely incur medical bills. This includes immediate emergency care directly after the accident and any future care you may need, such as surgeries, physical therapy, prescription medications, or any other medically necessary treatments. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you have obtained any injuries after a truck accident.
You may also be able to recover any losses or damages pertaining to your vehicle.
With injuries and property damage, you might suffer a financial loss, especially if you are unable to return to work following the truck accident. You are entitled to those lost wages by the responsible party of the accident. A Denver lawyer will fight for you to get this, plus consider future wages.
Pain and suffering cover a multitude of situations, ranging from mental health issues to chronic pain from injuries, or loss of enjoyment in your day-to-day life. The right Denver lawyer will take this into account and get you the settlement you deserve.
What are the Statistics of Truck Driving Accidents?
According to a report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were over 4,200 fatal crashes in 2017 that involved trucks. This was up 8% from the previous year. The majority of these fatal truck crashes (63%) involved two vehicles while 20% were single-vehicle accidents that involved a pedestrian, bicyclist, a non-motorized vehicle, etc.
The report also shows that 35% of these truck accidents occur between the hours of 6:00 pm to 6:00 am. 57% of these fatal truck crashes happened in local areas and 27% on the Interstate highways. There were 13% that fell into both categories for rural Interstate highways.
What to do if the Truck Driver is Not Responsible?
If you’ve been in a truck accident in Denver, you may be surprised to learn that the truck driver may not be the responsible party for your injuries or property damage. Because they are often an employee of a company, you may need to file a claim against the company itself, or the distributor of the load for compensation. This is why it is vital to hire a lawyer after a truck accident. A lawyer will find the person or entity at fault and get you results. If you try to do it alone, you may not be able to discern who is appropriately responsible.
However, there may be circumstances where the truck driver is not at fault in Denver. Examples include loss of control of the truck because of failed brakes, a broken axle, or the loss of power steering. If this is the case, the part’s manufacturer may ultimately be at fault for the truck accident.
Another scenario where the driver may not be responsible is for the road conditions. Potholes can pose a problem for truck drivers. If there are deep potholes or other road defects, Denver’s department of transportation could be responsible since it is their duty to ensure the roads are safe for travel and maintaining traffic safety.
What Federal Relations is a Truck Driver Responsible For?
There are certain guidelines every truck driver holding a CDL must comply with, whether they are a Denver truck driver or driving in another state. This includes a physical examination along with knowledge of where to keep all of their trucking documentation, the number of hours they are allowed to be on the road, the weight and height load limits, how to haul hazardous materials, and the use of illicit drugs and alcohol.
A physical examination is conducted in order to prove the driver is healthy and can safely operate a truck. Certain health conditions may pose a risk to the safe operation of their vehicle and they may be asked not to drive.
A truck driver will be required to keep required information to be displayed on either the truck cab door or another visible area in decals at least 3” tall. This information should include the truck owner’s name, business address, and the gross weight of the vehicle.
Each Denver truck driver is required to log his or her driving hours, breaks, and rest time for the week. This is to ensure they are not working extreme hours, which could potentially be hazardous. If he or she is found to be falsifying log entries, they run the risk of having their CDL revoked.
If a truck driver is hauling hazardous materials, they are required to obtain a special endorsement. This endorsement should be placed on the truck clearly to show other drivers and law enforcement what is being transported.
The dimensions of a truck, as outlined by federal regulations, are 14.6’ high by 8.5’ wide. This ensures the truck will fit under overpasses and pass through tunnels safely. The maximum weight allowed of a commercial truck is 80,000 lbs.
A truck driver should never use any illicit substance while they are on duty. If the driver has been drinking alcohol before their shift, their blood alcohol level cannot exceed .04%. Failure to follow these guidelines and found to be under the influence of any substance while operating their vehicle could cause them to lose their Denver CDL.
Tips for Avoiding Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are sometimes unavoidable. This includes those in Denver. However, there are some precautions you can take to ensure a safer driving experience when sharing the road with a truck. Below are just a few tips to keep you and your loved ones safe while traveling in Denver.
Look for their mirrors to avoid blind spots. Remember, if you cannot see their mirrors, they cannot see you. It is also safer to pass on the driver’s side as they have limited visibility on the passenger side due to a wider blind spot.
Give your blinker signals plenty of time for the truck driver to either move out of the way or adjust to your driving. Avoid erratic movements. You want your movements to be predictable.
If you are on an open roadway, give the truck some distance. This allows for maneuvering on your part in the event of a blown tire or loss of control of the truck. If you are on a city street in Denver, a truck may block streetlights and road signs. The truck may reduce your visibility to see what is ahead or to be able to anticipate slow or stopped traffic.
Limit your distractions when driving near a truck in Denver or any place where trucks are near. This includes talking on your cell phone, turning to other passengers in the vehicle, or eating. These distractions could prove fatal.
Leave plenty of space for the truck. Trucks are larger and heavier than regular passenger vehicles and therefore require more time to stop. Never cut a truck off. If you can’t pass safely while giving the truck their space, stay in your lane until it is safe to do so.
Consider weather conditions. Bad weather conditions could be potentially dangerous for trucks and other motorists on the road and this is no different for Denver.
Appreciated the willingness Sean had to work on a case that was difficult. He negotiated a settlement that was 3 times more than the original offer. Saved me a lot of hours of hassle and I was grateful for the guidance through a complicated process. He also found money my insurance company failed to inform me about. I recommend Sean and his team for anyone who needs help fighting insurance companies.