Denver Truck Accident Lawyers
Denver Truck and Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorneys
The Lamber Goodnow injury law team protects the victims and families of truck accidents.
Ensuring Justice Amid Tragedy: Helping Colorado Truck Accident Victims Battle Insurance Battles
Commercial trucking accidents can be absolutely catastrophic, and the pain and loss can feel insurmountable. While you’re grieving or recovering, fighting an insurance company is the last thing on your mind. And that’s where an experienced Denver Truck Accident Lawyer can make all the difference.
“As a seasoned attorney specializing in truck accidents in Denver, I’ve witnessed the immense devastation these incidents can wreak on victims and their loved ones. Our mission at our Denver Car Accident Law Firm is to fiercely represent the rights of these victims, tirelessly pursue the justice they so rightfully deserve, and contribute to road safety awareness efforts to help prevent future catastrophes on Denver’s thoroughfares.”
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Delving Beyond the Crash Scene to Hold Trucking Companies Accountable
Trucking companies are hesitant to admit liability after a truck accident, which is why you need an investigator on your side digging for facts and evidence beyond what was visible at the scene. After one of our clients has been hit by a truck, these are some of the things our team looks for:
- Evidence of driver fatigue
- Driver logbooks
- Driver history
- Training history by the trucking company
- Truck maintenance records
- Road conditions
- Weather conditions
- Trucking company recruitment procedures
- Cargo being carried
- Endorsements on the driver’s record
- Other contributing factors
When a professional truck driver enters a public road, he/she should have endorsements that ensure the driver can operate the cargo, load and volume. Our investigation will uncover if there’s been any wrongdoing, and whether those failures led to a collision.
Recovering from an Accident
After being hit by a tractor-trailer, the recovery time can be extensive. Families often grieve the loss of a loved one, and those who survive the crash face months of rehabilitation. It can take months, or even years, to return to normal life.
Some of the injuries that can result from a tractor-trailer accident include:
- Wrongful death
- Traumatic brain injury
- Organ damage
- Loss of vision or hearing
While you’re healing, you need a lawyer on your side conducting the investigation, and giving you time to heal. Our Denver truck accident attorneys and knowledgeable staff know how to successfully fight insurance companies — no matter how big or strong they are.
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FAQs: Truck Accidents Denver
When commercial truck accidents happen in or around Denver, Colorado, they frequently involve deaths or serious injuries.
Q: What is the difference if I am injured in a semi tractor-trailer accident as opposed to a motor vehicle accident?
A: Because semis travel in interstate commerce (travel between different states), they are subject to many federal regulations that do not apply to other vehicles. Semi-trucks are required to carry higher amounts of insurance coverage because of the federal regulations, and drivers must also meet higher safety standards than other vehicle drivers. Trucking companies also have responsibility to periodically evaluate their existing employees and perform background checks prior to hiring drivers. Additionally, semi drivers are subject to limits on the number of hours they can drive in a given day, and must keep a log and routes records. Drivers are also subject to testing for drugs and alcohol, both randomly and in the event of an accident.
Motor vehicle drivers generally carry the amount of insurance that is mandated by the state. Some states, including Colorado, don’t require motor vehicle drivers to have uninsured/underinsured coverage. Additionally, motor vehicle drivers must abide by general traffic laws, and do not have to meet additional high safety standards.
The importance of this difference is that if you are injured in an accident with a semi and sustain severe injuries, the driver and the company should have multi-layer insurance coverage that will adequately cover your damages, and will be held to a higher safety standard when determining liability (fault).
Q: What is a commercial truck?
A: A commercial truck, such as a “big rig,” is a vehicle used in the course of business and for the transport of commercial goods. Some examples are eighteen-wheeler tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, delivery vehicles, and other large freight trucks. Although some businesses use standard pickup trucks for their day-to-day activities, commercial trucks are generally much larger and require a commercial driver’s license to operate.
Q: If I am injured in a semi-truck accident what type of damages may I recover?
A: Generally, injuries from a semi-truck accident are severe because of the size of the vehicle involved. If you are involved in an accident in which you have severe injuries you may receive many types of damages from the at-fault driver or, in certain circumstances, the company that employs the driver.
The losses that you sustain in a semi-trailer accident will affect you at the time of the accident, but also may last far into the future. Therefore, if you are injured you may recover (if they apply to your situation) past and future earnings and profits, loss of earning capacity, loss of time (if you are a homemaker), pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress (if you are in the zone of danger), physical impairment, past and future medical expenses, and loss of consortium.
Q: How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
A: The statute of limitations in Colorado for a personal injury claim arising out of the auto-negligence (carelessness) of another driver is three years from the date of the accident. The statute of limitations for wrongful death is within two years from the date of the death and without regard to when the claim is discovered .
Q: Who can be sued in my truck accident case?
A: Depending on certain circumstances, the driver, owner of the truck, owner of the trailer, the company identified on the trailer, (because many times the driver may own the vehicle and be doing business for a company) the loading facility that placed the contents in the trailer, and possibly the owner of the contents of the trailer may be liable.
It is important that you consult with a Lamber Goodnow attorney who has experience with truck accidents so that they may direct you to the appropriate liable party in your unique situation.
Q: Is it important to conduct an investigation after my accident with a truck?
A: Yes, although it is important to conduct an investigation after any automobile accident, it is even more important if you are involved in a truck accident. Drivers of large trucks must keep a detailed log and only drive a certain number of hours a day. If you are involved in an accident it is important to view the log to see if the driver has stayed within their allotted driving hours per day. Violation of these standards may show liability (fault) on the part of the driver. It is important to begin your investigation immediately as evidence is easily lost or moved.
Q: Working with Lamber Goodnow truck accident lawyers
A: When you hire the Lamber Goodnow injury law team, you’re hiring a group of personal injury lawyers with partner firms in Colorado who are experts in their field. Our team includes expert physicians and accident reconstructionists, as well as experts on auto accidents, distracted driving and commercial truck accidents.
Colorado Large Truck Accident Stats From 2022
Large Truck Crashes Total
Large Truck Crashes With Deaths
Data from FMCSA – Large Truck Injury Facts – 2022
Analyzing the Trends in Colorado’s Large Truck and Commercial Vehicle Accidents: A Five-Year Retrospective
The roads of Colorado are not just traveled by private vehicles. Large trucks and commercial vehicles also populate these roads, and unfortunately, they too are involved in accidents – some fatal, others leading to severe injuries. Analyzing data spanning five years provides crucial insight into the frequency and severity of these accidents.
In the year 2019, Colorado saw 2,344 large trucks and commercial vehicles involved in both fatal and non-fatal crashes. This number declined slightly in 2020 to 2,046 vehicles, possibly influenced by reduced road traffic due to the global pandemic. However, the subsequent years saw an upward trend, reaching 2,280 incidents in 2022.
Fatal crashes have varied slightly over the years, with a spike of 115 in 2019 and 2021, while 2022 saw a slight dip with 100 fatal crashes. Conversely, non-fatal crashes have steadily risen, moving from 2,236 in 2019 to 2,180 in 2022.
Examining the number of crashes, the pattern echoes that of the vehicle involvement, with an initial decrease in 2020, followed by a steady increase. Fatalities resulting from these crashes similarly fluctuated, with a high of 115 in 2019, a low of 94 in 2020, before rising to 103 in 2022.
Injuries resulting from large truck and commercial vehicle accidents have been gradually increasing over the years, reaching a peak of 728 in 2022, suggesting that while the overall number of crashes may vary, the potential for harm remains a significant concern.
These statistics underscore the importance of diligence and safety on Colorado’s roads, particularly when sharing them with large commercial vehicles. It also illustrates the crucial role that Denver’s car accident law firms play in supporting victims of these incidents.
Causes of Large Truck Accidents in Colorado
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study reveals that truck driver factors were responsible for 33% of the fatal crashes, while passenger car driver factors accounted for 57%. The common causes of these accidents often involve:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions, which is especially dangerous in Colorado’s unpredictable weather that often involves sudden snowfall or icy roads.
- Driver inattention or distraction, a hazard that can become even more deadly during Colorado’s harsh winter months when roads demand constant vigilance.
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, an issue that can lead to significantly reduced vehicle control on slick or snow-covered roads.
- Obstructed view or fatigued driving, both of which can contribute to accidents, particularly when visibility is already compromised due to snowfall or fog.
- Improperly secured loads or failing to stay within a lane, which can lead to accidents, especially when navigating icy or slushy roads.
- Careless or reckless driving, that can have devastating consequences on Colorado’s often slippery winter roads.
- Inadequately trained drivers, particularly those not experienced in handling large trucks under Colorado’s often severe winter weather conditions.
Accidents may be attributed to slick roads, a common condition in Colorado’s winter months, or poorly maintained/defective truck parts. At the Truck Accident Lawyers in Denver, lawyers frequently conduct thorough investigations of truck accident claims to identify all the potential causes, considering the unique weather-related challenges Colorado drivers face.
Common Types of Large Truck Crashes in Colorado
Commercial trucks, with their multiple blind spots, are particularly prone to accidents, especially during Colorado’s harsh winters. Snow-covered or icy roads can exacerbate visibility issues, often resulting in accidents when truck drivers fail to spot smaller vehicles in their vicinity before changing lanes.
Jackknifing is another frequent occurrence in Colorado’s adverse weather conditions. In these incidents, the truck’s rear swings beyond the tractor’s control, typically due to slippery road conditions or sudden brake applications. If the driver cannot promptly regain control, the entire truck may lose control, posing a significant risk to all road users.
Colorado’s notorious winter weather can also facilitate underride collisions. These happen when smaller vehicles slide under the back or side of large trucks due to icy road conditions, resulting in extreme damages and often fatal outcomes. Similarly, accidents can be caused by trucks losing control due to tire blowouts, or debris hitting nearby vehicles, made worse by snow and reduced visibility.
Trucks are at heightened risk of overturning due to Colorado’s unique and often harsh weather conditions that can include high winds, unexpected snowfall, and slippery roads – situations that are further intensified when a truck is speeding or has a shifting load. Overturned trucks frequently become significant road hazards, leading to secondary accidents with other vehicles. As dedicated truck accident attorneys, our team at Lamber Goodnow meticulously examines all evidence and scrutinizes each detail to ascertain the elements contributing to these accidents, underlining the critical role of Colorado’s weather in the context of trucking incidents.
Colorado Trucking Regulations and Laws
The FMCSA has hours-of-service rules for commercial trucks over 10,000 pounds to reduce accidents caused by drowsiness. Here are some of these rules:
- Drivers can drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off.
- Drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty following a 10-hour off period.
- Drivers may not drive after 60/70 hours in 7/8 days and must take at least 34 hours off before restarting.
- Drivers using sleeper berths must take eight hours in their berths and an additional two hours off duty or in their berths.
- Drivers must keep logbooks for inspection when requested.
As a fraud prevention measure, the FMCSA passed the ELD mandate, which will electronically track all driven miles and hours.
Commercial Truck Liability and Insurance Information in Colorado
In large truck crashes, several parties might bear liability, which can include the truck driver, their employer, the company that leased the truck, the manufacturer of any defective parts, or even the loading/shipping company in situations of improper loading. As a seasoned truck accident law firm in Denver, we understand the critical importance of deciphering the dynamics of responsibility and securing rightful compensation following a semi-truck accident. The potential for considerable property damage, severe injuries, or even tragic fatalities, makes this understanding all the more vital.
Our experience tells us that in cases where multiple parties are at fault, a jury typically assigns a percentage of fault to each party involved. Each defendant is then obligated to pay their respective portion of the damages. If the plaintiff is also deemed partially at fault, their award may be reduced proportionately.
Under federal law, commercial trucks are required to carry significantly higher liability insurance coverage compared to standard vehicles. This heightened coverage aims to ensure that victims can recover costs for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering.
However, it’s no secret that dealing with insurance companies can present its own set of challenges. These companies often endeavor to limit their financial liability, making the negotiations a complex and tedious process. It is here where the expertise of a skilled truck accident law firm can play a crucial role in pushing back against these companies and securing fair compensation for the victims.
 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study: FMCSA Website
 FMCSA Hours of Service Rules for commercial truck drivers: FMCSA Website
 FMCSA’s Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) Mandate: FMCSA Website
 Colorado Revised Statutes Section 13-21-102 on Wrongful Death Claims: FindLaw
 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulations on Commercial Motor Vehicle Insurance Requirements: FMCSA Website
 Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Report on Colorado Statewide Large Truck Crash Data: CDOT Website
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