Truck Accident Lawyers in Colorado Springs CO Answer Your FAQs
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a large commercial truck, you’re likely facing mounting medical expenses, as well as a long period of recovery during which you are unable to work. Our team of truck accident lawyers in Colorado Springs CO can help you recover compensation for your losses. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Serious?
Trucking accidents that occur between large commercial delivery trucks often leave the driver in the passenger vehicle with devastating injuries. Sometimes these injuries are life-threatening or cause permanent damage. Oftentimes such injuries impair the victim’s ability to do their job or participate in activities they once enjoyed. Many of these accidents also result in fatalities. Families who have lost loved ones not only suffer from severe grief but also have financial concerns from the loss of their loved one’s income.
What Is a Commercial Vehicle?
When injury attorneys talk about commercial vehicles, they are generally referring to large freight trucks like tractor-trailers or semis. Vehicles that transport people across large distances are also considered commercial vehicles. Those who operate commercial vehicles are required to have a CDL or commercial driver’s license. They either work as independent contractors or for a company that specializes in logistics. Your attorney can help you determine whether or not the truck that caused your injuries is a “commercial vehicle”.
How Common Are Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents have always been a serious problem in America. Federal regulators have seen fit to institute mandatory breaks at 8-hour intervals and prevent drivers from driving more than 11 hours over a 14-hour period. In addition, more trucks can be found with underride guards on the sides and the backs of their vehicles even though federal law only requires them in the back. Technological improvements to tire manufacturing, diagnostic systems, and blind spot sensors should have all improved the safety of both truckers and other drivers on the road. Yet, 2018 saw a 29-year high for fatalities involving large trucks. And the larger the truck, the higher the increase of fatalities. In other words, trucking accidents are more common than they should be.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Accidents Between Passenger Vehicles and Commercial Vehicles?
Trucking accident causes fall into one of four categories:
- Operator error,
- Failure to load the trailer properly,
- Mechanical failure of the truck, and
- Some other factor that was not the trucking company’s fault.
In the event that the trucking company or their driver cannot be held liable, it is generally because the passenger vehicle driver either violated some traffic law or was driving too closely to the truck. In other cases, a dangerous road condition may have contributed to the crash.
The most common reasons for truck driver liability include:
- Failure to abide by traffic rules/unsafe driving,
- Driving while tired, distracted, or impaired by drugs or alcohol,
- Speeding or unsafe passing,
- Failure to check mirrors before changing lanes, and
- Poor driver training.
Trucking companies are also responsible for ensuring their vehicles are safe before sending them out on delivery. Mechanical problems that lead to accidents include:
- Failure to perform diagnostics,
- Tire failure, brake failure, or other mechanical problem,
- Lack of side rails to prevent undercarriage accidents, and
- Failure to load the truck properly.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Truck Accident?
There are three kinds of damages you are allowed to recover in a trucking accident: economic, noneconomic, and punitive.
- Economic damages are related to any financial loss. This includes past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and any out-of-pocket costs related to your injury.
- Noneconomic damages cannot be so easily quantified. These include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, emotional trauma, and things of that sort.
- Punitive damages are awarded when the trucking company was grossly negligent and put other drivers at risk on the road. They are exacted to punish the trucking company for behaving negligently.
In some cases, the court will find that both the trucking company and the driver of the commuter vehicle were both partly at fault for the accident. So long as your portion of the blame does not exceed 50%, you are entitled to recover damages under Colorado law.
Can I Sue a Company That Is Transporting Toxic Substances?
In the majority of such cases, you can sue the trucking company that is transporting the dangerous substance. If, however, the company that paid to have the substance shipped failed to tell the trucking company that the substance was toxic, then the liability shifts to them. Your truck accident attorney can make sure that you’re suing all of the negligent parties responsible for your injuries.
What Is a Truck “No Zone” and Why Is It Dangerous to Drive In?
The “No Zone” is a blind spot where the trucker cannot see you. It is on the passenger side of the truck and to the back. A general rule of thumb is as follows: If you can’t see the trucker in their mirrors, then they probably can’t see you either.
Do I Sue the Driver or the Trucking Company?
If the truck driver is self-employed then they carry commercial liability insurance and you would file a claim against that and sue them directly. If the driver is employed by a trucking company, they are liable for the accident as any company would be for the conduct of their employees.
Does a Jackknife Accident Automatically Mean the Truck Driver Is at Fault?
No. An accident reconstruction specialist can help make a determination as to how the accident occurred. In some cases, the jackknife could be the result of a hazardous road condition and have nothing to do with the driver.
Talk to a Colorado Springs CO Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you think you have a case against a commercial trucking company or driver, give Brylak Law a call. We can help you recover damages for your injuries.