Colorado Truck Accident Lawyers

Lukas Gentara | 8/21/2011 06:51:00 PM | 33 comments

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Truck Accidents
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The Colorado truck accident law firm of D.J. Banovitz handles tractor-trailer injury and wrongful death cases. The number of truck accidents involving serious injury and death is shocking. There are simply too many truckers who drive too fast for conditions, don't keep a proper lookout for traffic and traffic signals, have improperly secured loads, too little sleep, unsafe rigs, and poor training on Colorado roads and highways. The frequency of rear end collisions on I-25 and I-70 is just too high. The forces involved when a loaded semi hits a car are huge and grievous injuries may result.

These cases share many of the same issues as ordinary car accidents. With regard to basic traffic rules and regulations truck accident cases, on their face, are no different from 'ordinary' car collisions. However, they often present many additional issues for a knowledgeable lawyer. Most trucks have black boxes similar to what is found on airplanes that can help reconstruct how an accident occurred. Your lawyer should request that this evidence be preserved right away. In addition, trucking accidents typically involve liability for the truck driver's company. This liability for the conduct of the trucking company's employee might extend to include negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, negligent training and supervision, and negligent maintenance. If the driver and the trucking company have a dismal driving record or safety record, a claim for punitive damages might arise. Punitive damages are exemplary dollar damages that punish the wrongdoer for egregious, reckless, and willful and wanton behavior. It is becoming far too common for trucking companies to hire illegal aliens whose real background and driving record is unknown, understanding of our traffic laws is questionable, and training nonexistent.

Here in Colorado, jackknifed trucks or failing to leave adequate stopping distance on icy roads can be a cause of serious injuries and death. Truck drivers and the companies that employ them frequently attempt to avoid responsibility by claiming that their rigs jackknifed or slid on ice through no fault of their own. Instead they blame the road conditions and weather for what is portrayed as an unavoidable accident. A proper investigation and expert accident reconstruction is essential to defeat these bogus defenses. A good trial lawyer will recognize these issues and conduct a thorough investigation so that the value of your case is maximized.

If you or your loved ones have been seriously injured or killed in a truck accident we can help. Call us at 303-300-5060 or contact us online for a free, no pressure, no obligation consultation and get honest, compassionate answers to your questions.


Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Accidents

Q: What is a "commercial truck"?

A: A commercial truck is a vehicle used in the course of business and/or for the transport of commercial goods. Examples are 18-wheelers, tractor trailers, tanker trucks, dump trucks, delivery vehicles, semi trucks and other large freight trucks.

Q: How are traffic accidents involving trucks different from accidents involving passenger cars?

A: Accidents involving trucks are typically more catastrophic than accidents involving cars due to the sheer size of a truck. A typical fully loaded large commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Due to this size disparity, and the basic laws of physics, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries.

Q: What are the most common causes of accidents involving commercial trucks and automobiles?

A: Some common causes of truck accidents include inadequate training as to driving technique, safety issues and defensive driving; driver fatigue; a truck's characteristics and capabilities (such as limits associated with acceleration, braking and visibility); drug or alcohol use by the driver; speeding; mechanical failure; defective parts; and improper loading or overloading the truck.

Q: I was injured in a crash where a truck driver was at fault. What kind of damages can I recover?

A: Your recovery in a personal injury action can include compensation for your medical expenses, hospital bills, income lost because of missed work, pain and suffering, future medical or physical therapy expenses and compensation for any loss of earning capacity resulting from the accident.

Q: Are commercial truck drivers required to have a special drivers license?

A: Yes. Drivers must have a commercial drivers license (CDL) if they drive a vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds; transport themselves and 15 or more passengers; or transport hazardous materials. To obtain a CDL, an individual must pass a knowledge and driving skills test taken in a truck that is similar to the type of truck that he or she will be driving.

Q: Are there limits on the amount of time that a commercial truck driver can spend on the road?

A: Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which apply to all vehicles engaged in interstate traffic, contain specific regulations governing hours of service of drivers (49 C.F.R. §395). For example, a driver is not allowed to drive more than 10 hours following 8 straight hours off duty or for any period after having been on duty 15 hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty.

Q: If I am injured in a truck accident, who can I sue?

A: Generally, you will likely be able to sue the driver of the truck, the trucking company and perhaps the truck's manufacturer. Whether you can sue the trucking company depends on whether an employment relationship is established between the truck driver and the trucking company. If such a relationship is shown, the company can be held liable for the driver's negligence under a legal theory known as "respondeat superior." If a truck driver is an independent contractor of the trucking company, and not an employee, it will probably not be possible to establish liability using respondeat superior. However, the trucking company may be liable for negligent hiring or supervision of the truck driver. It may be possible to sue the truck's manufacturer if you can show that the accident was caused by some defect in the truck.

Q: What is an "underride" accident?

A: An underride accident happens when a passenger car collides with a truck or the trailer of a truck or semi-trailer and runs underneath the truck. This type of collision can result in the roof of the passenger car being sliced off. If the impact occurs near one of the truck axles, it is likely that the vehicle will be prevented from going completely under the truck. There are two types of underride collisions: side underride and rear underride.

Q: What are some unique features of trucks that contribute to the severe nature of many truck accidents?

A: Trucks often have large tank bodies that affect the truck's maneuverability. Further, a tanker truck that is carrying liquid may be swayed by the sloshing of the liquid it carries. Trucks also have a longer stopping distance than passenger cars, and the brake systems of trucks and cars are completely different. Most tractor trailers have air brakes in which pressure is used to increase the braking force. Proper use of air brakes can help prevent a truck from sliding and jack-knifing. If a brake system is unbalanced, it can affect the steering, control and stopping distance.

Q: If I am partially at fault for the accident, can I still recover compensation?

A: It depends on the degree of your fault. Under the legal doctrine known as "comparative negligence," the amount of another party's liability for the accident is determined by comparing his or her carelessness with your own. That party's portion of liability determines the percentage of the resulting damages he or she must pay. In most states, you cannot recover anything if your own carelessness was 50% or more responsible for the accident.

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Colorado Truck Accident Injury Attorneys
Truck Crashes in the U.S.

With more than 8 million large trucks registered in the U.S., traffic crashes involving those commercial vehicles are not uncommon. Statistics for the most recent year available reveal thousands of crashes, resulting in injuries, death and property damage.

Large truck crashes 368,000

Fatal crashes 4,321

Injury crashes 77,000

Property damage 287,000

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Semi tractor-trailers, cargo vans and other large trucks are an integral part of commerce in the U.S., but they can pose serious hazards on the nation’s roadways. The sheer number of commercial trucks on the road means that there is plenty of opportunity for problems. Indeed, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety declares that “large trucks have a higher fatal crash rate per mile traveled than passenger vehicles.” In a year’s time, large truck crashes kill more than 3,100 people nationwide. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a truck crash, you may need the advice of a personal injury attorney.

The Colorado Truck Accident Attorneys at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal are experienced in handling cases involving truck crashes. We recognize that injuries caused by big rigs can be particularly devastating. Many large trucks outweigh passenger vehicles 20 times over, making it more likely that you’ll suffer serious injuries if you’re a truck crash victim. Traumatic head injuries, spinal cord injuries, multiple broken bones – these are the kinds of severe injuries that leave individuals in pain and in medical treatment for years. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, you need a strong legal advocate who will work for you, representing your interests in the face of truck companies’ insurance firms and attorneys. At the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal, you’ll find seasoned Colorado truck accident lawyers who will aggressively work to secure the compensation you need for the pain, suffering and financial loss you’ve experienced because of a truck accident.

Many businesses use trucks or vans to transport goods and supplies for commercial purposes. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that more than 8 million large trucks are registered in this country, and that they travel more than 200 billion miles per year. Because of the thousands of crashes involving large trucks that occur every year, the FMCSA reports that more than 100,000 people are injured. Nearly 5,000 lose their lives.

Often, those who suffer injuries in a crash involving a large commercial truck are occupants of vehicles struck by the truck. Because most passenger vehicles are so much smaller and lighter than commercial trucks, occupants are particularly vulnerable. Studies have reported that as many as 98% of deaths due to truck crashes are those of passenger vehicle occupants.

What causes truck accidents? Research by FMCSA says that “drivers of large trucks and other vehicles involved in truck crashes are ten times more likely to be the cause of the crash than other factors, such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle performance.” Because truck drivers spend long hours behind the wheel, fatigue and lack of sleep can be issues that contribute to crashes. Drivers may be distracted, their skills may be insufficient for the rig or road conditions, or they may be operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

The Colorado truck accident injury attorneys at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal recognize that many circumstances can figure into truck crashes. Our firm has the experience and the resources needed to investigate crashes as thoroughly as truckers’ insurance companies will do. We also have the proven negotiation, advocacy and trial experience required to successfully represent your interests against insurance carriers that balk at paying the compensation you deserve for your pain, your lost wages, and your medical care. When you’re the victim of serious injuries, you need an experienced attorney who will provide you and your family with personal attention and who will explain your rights.

At the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal, our Colorado truck accident lawyers are ready to fight for your rights and the compensation you and your family deserve. When your future and your family’s well-being are at stake, contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal and request a free consultation to review your case. We’re on YOUR side.

Contact our Denver Colorado Motor Vehicle Accident Law Firm at 303-825-2223

ColoradoJusticeNow.com


CO Truck Wreck & Accident Injury
Lawyers Attorneys
Do Not Lose Twice
Denver | Boulder | Colorado Springs | Fort Collins
When an auto is involved with a truck in an accident, one outcome is for sure: the auto loses. If you do not select Gordon, Elias & Seely as your truck accident lawyers, you could lose twice. Hiring dedicated truck accident attorneys may mean the difference of receiving tens of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars. Simply put, if you hire just any lawyers and not a truck accident law firm, you may be making a serious mistake.
You do not have to retain a firm in Colorado if the accident occurs in Colorado. You need to retain a firm that specializes in truck accidents. Often times, firms from other states, such as ours, are retained because of their experience and knowledge. Many times, though the injured auto occupants may live in Colorado, the truck company is from a state other than Colorado. You need truck accident attorneys that do the following:
Answer the phone when you make that first call
Send out an investigator to obtain photos and make measurements and, if forensic work is necessary, send out a trucking accident reconstructionist
File any necessary equitable relief, e.g., writs of sequestration, pleadings to protect the truck from any repairs that would alter the evidence
Get you to Board Certified Physicians to make sure that you receive the best medical care possible for your injuries
File your suit as soon as possible and aggressively fight for your rights taking depositions, sending out discovery and building your legal case
Where ethically permitted, advancing you monies, interest free, to pay for necessary expenses since your income is stopped due to an inability to work
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, treating you like family instead of just a client. We know full well what a severe disabling and permanent injury, or worse yet, the death of a loved family member means to you. We find that some law firms around the country have lost their way and often times forget that they are representing a person, and not just a file. We pledge to you that you will always be able to call us and ask whatever you want and get a full explanation. Please do not misunderstand, we like to make money as much as the next guy but, we know that if we work hard and do a good job, always with compassion for our client, the money will follow.
At Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., we have witnessed firsthand the immediate impact and long-term effects of injuries caused by trucking accidents. The sheer weight and speed of a tractor-trailer has resulted in life-changing damages where it seems impossible to recover completely. While you focus on that much-needed recovery, we will dedicate ourselves to your personal injury claim and securing the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in a truck wreck that occurred in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins or anywhere throughout Colorado, contact us toll free at 800-773-6770.

Truck Wrecks Happen When Laws and Safety Standards Come Second
With or without pressure from their employers, truck drivers must ensure that every function they perform has the safety of others in mind. When safety is not a priority, drivers travel with little sleep, consume alcohol or drugs, or drive with too heavy of a load. Within a split second, that truck collides with your car, leaving you and family members injured.
Holding Drivers and Trucking Companies Accountable for Trucking Accidents
Truck drivers work long hours and are often pressured by their employer to complete their tasks by any means necessary. That results in shortcuts that amount to negligence. Drivers are required to adhere to regulations involving time on the road, number of breaks, and weight of the load they carry. Under the law, a trucking company can be held liable for the negligence of its drivers.
Experience and Resources to Mediate or Litigate Your Trucking Accident Claim
We use experience and thorough legal knowledge, coupled with vast resources, to build your tractor-trailer crash injury claim based on the facts. Expertise comes from our network of trucking industry experts and accident reconstructionists. From there, we seek the best resolution, through negotiation, mediation or litigation.
Catastrophic Injuries When Safety Was Not a Priority
Before getting into the truck cab, a driver is required to perform a pre-trip inspection so that when a truck driver before the driver turns the ignition key, they are doing so with the notion that everything is safe. The pre-trip inspection is to detect problems before the rig gets on the street. There have to be periodic brake checks, including caliper settings, hydraulic, pneumatic and air brakes, adequate sleep and rest time in accordance with federal laws, and a trailer load that is properly secured, loaded and manageable. If they fall short, each and every car they pass is at risk of an accident. Every driver could suffer injury or death. These requirements apply to all interstate drivers and the failure to do any of these things often results in negligent driving and is often the cause of a truck accident resulting in serious injury. It does not matter what kind of truck as these requirements apply to:
Tanker Trucks - Oilfield Trucks- Pipe Haulers- Chemical Trucks and other trucks with trailers carrying hazardous materials
Slow Moving - Log Trucks, Garbage Trucks, Dump Trucks, Cement Trucks, Gravel Trucks and Construction Zone Trucks entering and exiting a highway construction zone, Wide-Load Convoys, Bulldozers, Farm Equipment and slow moving Paving Equipment
Freight Liners, UPS, DHL, Fed-Ex, U-Haul, Mayflower and other van lines
Shuttle Bus, Casino Buses to and from Cripple Creek, Vacation Bus, Tour Bus, Greyhound Buses
Most all other 18-wheeler, Big-Rig, Flatbeds, Tractor/Trailer combinations
Commercial Trucks Not Large In Size But With A Large Insurance Policy
The difference in size of cash settlements in commercial truck cases are potentially much larger than auto to auto accidents generally for one reason: the size of the insurance policy. You know that your personal auto policy is sometimes as low as the Colorado state mandatory minimum limits of $25,000. When there is a commercial vehicle, such as a company van, company pick-up, tow trucks, etc., the policies of insurance coverage are usually much larger and you can be fairly and fully compensated when the driver is negligent.
Contingency-Based Advocacy for Colorado Residents
At Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., we represent Colorado residents on a contingency basis with no up-front money required. We manage all aspects of your case while you focus on recovering from serious semi accident injuries caused by:
Rear-End, Head-On Crashes and Jackknives
Poor Maintenance, including Tires and Brakes
Driver Fatigue
Unsecured Loads
Aggressive Driving
DWI / Drug Use
Lack of Reflectors and Poor Visibility
Dangerous Roads
Contact us if you have been injured in a truck accident while driving on I-25, I-270, I-225, I-70, I-76, US 6, US 36, US 287, US 85, US 6, US 287, Hwy 58, Hwy 470, Hwy 1, CO-105, Loveland Pass, Eisenhower Tunnel, Founders Parkway, The Mousetrap or Santa Fe Drive.

Seeking the Best Outcome For Your Truck Wreck Claim
While our legal knowledge in trucking accident litigation is vast, we still rely on industry experts to help build a claim of negligence by a truck driver or their employer. All cases are built with attention to every detail. We tell your story and fight for the compensation you deserve either through negotiation, mediation or litigation.

We Have A National Network of Competent Truck Accident Lawyers
At times, we need a local Colorado law firm to assist us perform various functions. In light of this, we have already put in place an arrangement with Colorado-based competent counsel that we have already vetted and that we can call on in a moment's notice and at no additional fee charge to you.

Contact Us
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced personal injury lawyer following a serious collision with a commercial truck, please contact us.

Colorado Trucking Companies
Automobile Transport Specialists, INC.
Citizens Carpet Service, INC.
Eisenman Transportation Services, INC.
Fleet-Car Lease, INC.
High Country Transportation, INC.
Hvh Transportation, INC.
Mesa Systems, INC.
Ralph Martinez Trucking, INC.
Richard Nestor, INC.
Sunward Trucking, INC.
Tri-State Commodities, INC.
Willies Grain, INC.

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33 comments

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