Commercial Trucking Accident Lawyers in Littleton
Representing 18-Wheeler Accident Victims Across Colorado
One of the most terrifying experiences any automobile or motorcycle driver can experience is an accident with a semi-truck. Because commercial trucks are so massive, and at times unstable, a significant number of this type of auto accident results in the driver of the smaller vehicle being severely injured or killed. Unfortunately, these types of collisions are all too common on our roads and interstates today. In 2019, Business Insider listed Colorado as one of the most dangerous states to drive in according to U.S. truckers. Our Littleton commercial trucking accident attorneys at Curtis | Walton Law can represent you if you’ve been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Trucks are large and imposing, yet surprisingly susceptible to crashes. Their bulk creates sizable blind spots, cargo can shift if improperly loaded causing the trailer to flip, and driver fatigue is common thanks to strict delivery deadlines. These only scratch the surface as to what can go wrong.
There are many other factors that can potentially cause a truck accident, including:
- Another vehicle suddenly cutting into the truck’s lane
- Dangerous road conditions due to poor maintenance or inclement weather
- Driver fatigue
- Eating while driving
- Talking or texting on a cell phone while driving
- The truck driver changing the radio station while driving
- Foreign objects on the highway
- Improper driver training or inexperience driving a truck
- Improper truck maneuvering
- Lane drifting, either caused by the truck or another vehicle
- Loss of control of the truck, due to an event such as a tire blowout
- Shifting cargo
- Usage of drugs or alcohol
- Vehicle failure, such as an engine malfunction or mirror mishap
Because truck accidents can be caused by so many different factors, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault.
Who Is at Fault in a Truck Accident?
An injury case involving an accident with a semi-truck will present some unique issues.
Commercial Truck Regulations
First, semi-truck operators must follow numerous federal and state regulations. For example, how much weight a rig can haul, how long a driver can go without rest, and quality control in manufacturing and repair are just a small fraction of the kinds of conduct regulated in the trucking business.
Secondly, commercial vehicles are required to carry insurance with higher limits than non-commercial drivers. For this reason, a person injured by a semi-truck driver often has a better chance of reaching a settlement amount that properly compensates the person, versus the generally lower insurance coverage available in a “standard” car accident.
Lastly, parties other than the semi-truck driver, such has the company that hired the driver, may also have a financial responsibility to compensate the injured person.
What are the Maximum Hours a Truck Driver Can Drive in Colorado?
According to the Colorado General Assembly, commercial truckers are limited to driving up to 11 hours a day as part of their 14-hour "on duty" period (Hours of Service Laws).
This law also mandates the following for commercial drivers:
- They must take 10 hours off duty after driving for 11 hours
- They may not be on duty for more than 60 hours in 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days
If you believe that your accident was caused by a truck drivers' disregard for Colorado hour restrictions, you may have a case. Contact our firm today!
The Aftermath of a Commercial Truck Accident
When a person is injured in a trucking accident, it can take months to completely assess all the person’s injuries. At that point, the person may need surgery or other extensive future treatment. Yet, these injuries may leave the person permanently impaired, even after corrective surgery. Therefore, the true value of a claim can only be assessed after a firm prognosis has been established by medical providers.
With such large insurance coverage policies at stake, the trucking company's insurance carrier will quickly try to limit the recovery of the injured person. Accordingly, these companies have established procedures for handling commercial trucking claims, especially in the early stages of the claim. Oftentimes, an insurance company will try to quickly settle a case for an amount far less than what the plaintiff actually deserves. This is an unjust trap, which an injured person needs to avoid—while already dealing with their wounds, trauma, and other misfortunes.
It is important to consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible following your crash, and especially before signing anything from either your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company. Call (720) 815-4402 to speak with an attorney now.
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