Truck accidents are increasingly becoming a menace to drivers in the Denver metro area including the northern suburbs of Broomfield, Westminster, Northglenn, and Thornton. A recent report suggests that traffic accidents involving trucks have increased by 52% since 2009, leading to severe injuries and fatalities. The destruction caused by big rig accidents can result in huge financial burdens, which for many families, are difficult to bear.
If you or your loved one is injured in a truck accident, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately and, at the same time, hire an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will help safeguard your rights and interests during the claim process. A skilled trial attorney will also be able to make strategic decisions early in your case to make it stronger for settlement and trial. Getting immediate medical attention does more than address your bodily injuries. It also provides documentation and evidence to prove your damages to an insurance carrier, and if necessary, to a jury. If your case goes to trial, the quality of medical attention given to your injuries can make or break your case.
Here's what you need to know about truck accidents in Denver and how a competent and qualified personal injury attorney at the Max Law firm can help you succeed in your claim.
How are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
There is an obvious size and weight difference between cars and trucks. Even slow-moving trucks can cause far more damage than a car travelling at a similar speed because of the enormous weight carried by the truck. Trucks are more difficult to stop, they tend to cause more damage when they collide with cars, and they have visibility issues that make it more difficult for truck drivers to see nearby cars. Truck accidents tend to cause far more vehicle damage and are much more likely to result in serious injury or death than other types of traffic accidents. To manage the increased risk, commercial trucking companies tend to have more extensive insurance policies than you would find in a typical car accident.
It is not unusual for commercial trucking policies to carry one-million dollars or more in liability coverage. Because the limits are high, insurance carriers will do everything they can to minimize their losses. This can make it a daunting task for victims of truck accidents to obtain fair compensation because the insurance company will try everything in their power to convince a jury that the truck driver was not liable. They will challenge your bills and medical treatment and will attempt to dig through your medical history to find a pre-existing medical condition to blame for your current injuries. If you try to go it alone, the fight can be complicated, emotionally draining and financially unsustainable. Unfortunately, people who go it alone often get taken advantage of by insurance adjusters who have far more knowledge than you. Failing to hire an attorney is often a very costly decision for victims of truck accidents.
This is why you need a competent, qualified, and aggressive personal injury attorney to give you the best chance of success in your personal injury claim against a trucking company and its insurance carrier.
Understanding Colorado Laws Regarding Truck Accidents
Colorado Law governing truck accidents safeguards victims who suffer injuries, damages and losses following an accident. A person injured in a truck-related accident has a right to file a claim for compensation. This helps them recoup past and future losses following the accident. You can recover your out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, and lost wages. You can also recover non-economic damages including pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and permanent physical impairment. If you need medical care going forward, you can also recover the value of that future medical care. Unfortunately, most people don't know how much their claim is worth. Nor do they know how to recover the full value of their claim. This is why you need an attorney.
It is important to remember, the clock is always ticking. A claim involving a truck accident is governed by what is known as the statute of limitations. This provides the deadline for a claim for compensation to be brought following an accident. If you don't file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you may be permanently barred from any monetary recovery from the at-fault party.
Colorado's statute of limitations provides three years for any automobile-related claim to be filed in court. The time limit is shorter, however, if the case involves a wrongful death where lawsuits have to be filed within two years of death. If there is a governmental entity involved, such as the Colorado Department of Transportation, there are special notice provisions which must be completed within 182 days of the accident otherwise you will risk losing your right to pursue any recovery.
When in doubt, it is imperative to seek help from a personal injury attorney in Denver who can manage your case through the complexities of the insurance claim system and position your case to recover the full compensation you are entitled to receive.
Who is Liable for the Truck Accident in Denver?
Obviously, the negligent truck driver is at fault. But liability usually extends beyond the truck driver. Often, the principle of vicarious liability comes into play during truck accidents. Vicarious liability places liability on the trucking company that employed the negligent truck driver. Essentially, this means an injured plaintiff can usually look to the deeper pockets of the trucking company to provide the necessary compensation. The primary claim that would be brought against the trucking company would be a claim for negligence. Depending on the facts, there may be other claims as well including negligent hiring, negligent entrustment, negligent maintenance, negligent training, negligent supervision, and punitive damages.
It is important to note that establishing liability in truck accidents is not always straightforward. Insurance carriers will explore every angle and argument to escape liability. For example, the trucking company may argue that the driver was classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee at the time of the crash. Similarly, they may argue that the driver was not conducting official business for the company at the time of the accident. This is a trucking company's way of shifting the blame to the driver without taking responsibility for the negligence. Other entities such as truck manufacturers, parts manufacturers, and maintenance companies may also be liable in a truck accident. Whether someone other than the truck driver is responsible for the crash is a fact intensive inquiry that varies from case to case. The analysis often requires a knowledgeable attorney who can investigate other potential sources of compensation that may not be obvious.
For this reason, common sense and basic legal knowledge alone isn't sufficient to manage your way through the complexities of a trucking case. You should strongly consider retaining legal counsel from a competent Denver personal injury attorney who can help you establish liability and make the right strategic decisions that will give you the best chance of making a full and fair recovery in your case.
How Can You Prove Negligence in A Truck Accident Case in Denver?
Proving negligence is critical to ensuring that your claim is successful. The involvement of multiple parties may make it more difficult, but it is possible to hold a truck driver and trucking company accountable after proving negligence. At the Max Law Firm, we do this kind of work all the time and have gotten great results for our clients.
To build a recoverable claim, the elements of negligence come into play. In nearly every negligent trucking case, your legal team needs to demonstrate that:
- The truck driver and other liable parties owed you a duty of care
- There is a substantial breach of the duty of care owed
- You suffered injuries, damages, and losses from the truck accident.
- The truck driver's beach of the duty of care was the cause of your injuries, damages, and losses.
What Should You Do Following a Truck Accident in Denver?
After a truck accident, there are critical steps that will safeguard your right to compensation and, at the same time, ensure that you receive proper medical care and treatment. Some of the vital steps to take after an accident include:
- Seeking Immediate Medical Attention: This helps ensure that any harm or injury sustained is documented and treated with proper medical attention. Seeking medical care is also the foundation of a robust claim because the medical records become the evidence that ultimately proves your injuries.
- Report to the Police: You should report any truck accident to the police. If the truck driver asks you to settle the matter privately without calling the police, politely decline and call 911. The police will investigate the accident, document the scene, and write a report. They will also determine who was at-fault and cite the driver with a ticket. Unfortunately, if you don't call the police, it becomes much harder to prove liability weeks or months after the crash. This is because evidence gets cleaned up, memories fade, and at-fault parties may lie about what happened. The truck driver who took full responsibility and apologized to you at the scene may change their story when they talk to their insurance carrier. If no one documented the scene and interviewed the witnesses immediately after the crash, it will be your word against theirs if the truck driver points the finger at you.
- Gather Evidence: It is essential to document the scene of the accident and, at the same time, collect any relevant evidence. This will help establish the validity of your claim. Use your phone to take pictures and record videos of the scene. Take wide shots, medium shots and close up shots of the damaged vehicles. Take a few wide photos of the entire accident scene. Collect the names and phone numbers of witnesses and bystanders who saw the accident. While you are waiting for police, ask the truck driver for his license and insurance information. Take pictures of any documents the driver provides. Take pictures and video of the driver as well.
- Contact an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney: Consulting a personal injury attorney is a crucial step following a truck accident. A competent attorney will level the playing field while dealing with the insurance adjusters and will safeguard your rights and interests throughout the process.
Why Choose The Max Law Firm?
To ensure that your claim is successful, it is important to have a competent and qualified personal injury attorney with a proven track record of success. The Max Law Firm understands complex truck accidents, the insurance claim process, and how to prevail over insurance defense tactics in Broomfield and metro Denver. We'll help you navigate through the confusing claim process while putting together a case that is built to win. We are passionate advocates who understand the small details and critical case strategies that make for stronger cases and better settlements. If your case needs to go to trial, The Max Law Firm has extensive jury trial experience and the courtroom firepower to present a powerful and persuasive case to the jury.
At The Max Law firm, we hold insurance companies accountable. We fight back against the strategies used by insurance companies to reduce the amount of compensation you deserve. We have a network of experts who can prove your case through science, technology, and cutting-edge medicine. We have access to top crash reconstruction experts, biomechanical engineers, human factors experts, neuropsychologists, neurologists, orthopedics, pain specialists, physical therapists, chiropractors, body, and brain imaging specialists, life care planners, and a variety of other experts who may assist with your case. By getting proper medical treatment, detailed medical documentation, and top experts, we'll put your case in the best position to win.
The Max Law Firm has the knowledge and resources necessary to handle even the most complex truck accident injury claims in Denver. Victims of these serious accidents are relieved to let us battle the insurance company while they focus on their physical and mental recovery. While you heal, we work hard to win your case.
Injured in a Truck Accident in Denver, CO? Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or your loved one sustains an injury due to a truck accident, it is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Contact The Max Law Firm and let us fight for the full value of your claim. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.