Unlike most motor vehicle accidents, which only involve the drivers of the vehicles in the crash, a truck accident involves many more parties that may bear responsibility for the crash.
Parties that might be held responsible following a truck accident in Colorado include:
- The truck driver, who can be held responsible when their own negligent or reckless operation of their vehicle causes an accident
- The trucking company, which can be held liable for the negligence of a truck driver that it employed, or for its own negligence in hiring, training, or supervising drivers that operate for the company
- The truck’s owner, if different from the truck driver or trucking company, who can be held responsible for deferred maintenance of a truck that causes an accident
- The freight company that loaded the truck or trailer if problems with the load cause or contribute to the accident
- The truck’s mechanics, who may be held responsible for negligently performed maintenance that leads to an accident
- The manufacturer of the truck or parts used in the truck, who may be subjected to a products liability claim if design or manufacturing defects lead to the truck accident
Evidence Our Firm May Use to Support Your Truck Accident Claim
Truck accident claims require us to review many more pieces of evidence than in other kinds of motor vehicle accident cases. Examples of evidence that we may use in your truck accident claim include:
- The truck driver’s logs, which may show if the driver had exceeded their hours-of-service limitations and may have been exhausted or tired at the time of the accident
- The truck driver’s toxicology report if the crash involved serious injury or death
- The truck’s vehicle data recorder, a “black box”-like device which records information during the truck’s operations, such as speed, GPS position, and steering/acceleration/braking
- The truck’s dashcam footage from a video device that is common in most trucks today
- The trucking company’s dispatch logs, which might show if the driver was using the radio at the time of the crash
- The truck driver’s cell phone logs, which might show if the driver was using their cell phone immediately before the accident
- The load manifest, which can show if the truck was carrying an unsafe load that may have caused or contributed to the crash
- The truck’s maintenance records, which can show if necessary or recommended maintenance was not performed
In addition, we may use other evidence commonly used in other types of motor vehicle accident cases, such as police accident reports, vehicle damage reports, and accident scene photos.
How Much Is Your Truck Accident Case Worth?
If you have been involved in a truck accident caused by the truck driver’s or trucking company’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation for losses arising from:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, doctor’s appointments, surgery, physical therapy, medication, or medical equipment you are required to purchase
- Lost income and earning potential when your injuries cause you to miss time from work or disable you from being able to return to your job
- Lost quality of life such as due to scarring or disfigurement, or due to disabilities that interfere with your daily life
- Pain and suffering caused by your physical injuries and emotional distress
- Property damage, such as repair or replacement costs for your vehicle that was involved in the accident
Colorado Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Lawsuits
Under Colorado law, if you wish to pursue a lawsuit to recover compensation following a truck accident, you typically must file your suit within three years of the date of the accident. Filing suit after the statute of limitations has expired on your claim can give the court grounds to permanently dismiss your case regardless of the merits of your claim. For that reason, you should not wait to get legal help.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Colorado
Many truck accidents occur due to the negligence or recklessness of truck drivers and trucking companies. Some of the most frequent causes of truck accidents in Colorado include:
- Careless or reckless driving, including speeding or going too fast for road conditions, failing to signal, following too closely/tailgating, and failing to check mirrors and blind spots
- Distracted driving, including using a cell phone while driving
- Drowsy or fatigued driving, often caused by a truck driver remaining on duty for too long
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which could include prescription medication
- Inexperienced drivers, as safely operating a commercial truck requires a degree of training and experience
- Unfamiliarity with routes, which can lead truck drivers to end up on roads and streets unsafe for large commercial trucks
- Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo, including failing to secure cargo from shifting during travel or having an unbalanced or top-heavy cargo load
- Deferred or negligently performed vehicle maintenance
- Design or manufacturing defects that contributed to the accident
Other factors that can cause or contribute to truck accidents in Colorado include adverse weather such as snow, ice, heavy rain, or fog, and poor road conditions, including potholes or debris in the roadway.
Truck Accident FAQs
Just because you may bear some fault for the accident does not mean you cannot pursue a compensation claim. Colorado uses a “modified comparative negligence” rule in truck accident cases. Under this rule, an injured party is not barred from bringing a claim so long as their share of fault for their injuries is not greater than the percentage of responsibility of the party from whom compensation is sought. In other words, so long as you were not 50 percent or more responsible for the truck accident, you can still file a claim against the other at-fault parties.
However, under comparative negligence, your total compensation must be reduced in proportion to your share of fault for your injuries and losses. For example, if you suffer $100,000 in losses from a truck accident that you bear 20 percent responsibility for, your compensation will be reduced by $20,000 to reflect your share of fault.
The truck accident lawyers of Earl & Earl, PLLC handle our clients’ cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that a client does not have to pay anything upfront for our assistance and representation. We get paid only if we secure compensation on a client’s behalf. We get paid a previously agreed-upon percentage of the total compensation we obtain for our client.
It’s hard to say. How long any truck accident case will take depends on multiple factors. These include whether the truck driver and trucking companies contest liability for the accident, the severity of your injuries and whether you are still receiving treatment by the time you begin pursuing your claim, and how many people had been injured in the accident. A truck accident case can also take longer if your claim ends up going to court and trial, with the length of your case largely dependent upon the court’s availability and schedule.