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What to Know if You Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident

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December 12, 2023 Truck Accidents

Careless and reckless drivers of large commercial trucks, including big rigs, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers, can cause severe accidents and debilitating injuries.

When a large commercial truck strikes a much smaller vehicle, it may lead to permanent and sometimes fatal injuries.

If you or someone you love has recently suffered injuries in a local truck accident, you must obtain the legal help you need as quickly as possible. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can investigate your truck accident and file a claim on your behalf for the monetary compensation you deserve.

Your lawyer can also handle all settlement negotiations with representatives of the truck driver or trucking company’s insurer. Furthermore, if the insurance company does not compensate you fairly, your lawyer may file a lawsuit seeking the monetary recovery you deserve.

Your attorney will work hard on your behalf to maximize the overall monetary damage award you receive.

The Truck Driver or the Trucking Company that Employs Them Is Likely at Fault for the Accident

What to Know if You Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident

Negligence or carelessness cause most truck accidents.

One of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents is a driver’s failure to follow standard traffic laws – especially regarding truck speed limits, right-of-way laws, and turn signal laws.

Truck drivers may also cause accidents if they violate state or federal motor carrier regulations. These regulations prescribe weight limits for large commercial vehicles and standards for loading and unloading cargo and securing truck cargo to the trailer properly.

When truck drivers and trucking companies violate these regulations, cargo may slide off the trailer into the road, bringing about a serious accident (such as a multi-vehicle pile-up). Alternatively, the commercial truck may become top-heavy, offsetting the center of balance and leading to a truck rollover accident.

Many truck accidents also happen when people drive in an overly aggressive manner. For example, a driver might aggressively tailgate other vehicles or weave in and out of busy traffic without using a turn signal.

Truck drivers may resort to these reckless driving maneuvers to get ahead of other traffic and arrive at their destination ahead of schedule, reaping significant financial benefits from employer trucking companies.

At other times, a truck accident happens when a driver becomes distracted while at the wheel. Distracted truck driving can take multiple forms, but it usually occurs when a driver programs a GPS navigation device or uses a cellular phone or tablet while driving their truck.

Whenever a driver fails to observe the road or look into their mirrors, they may not see an approaching vehicle or pedestrian, bringing about a severe accident.

Another common cause of truck accidents is fatigued driving. When truck drivers hurry to arrive at their final destination, usually because a trucking company offers them a financial incentive, they may fail to stop and take regular breaks.

When truck drivers do not get enough sleep, they often experience limited concentration and delayed reaction time while on the road, causing a collision.

Finally, a truck accident can occur when a driver operates their vehicle while intoxicated.

While most passenger vehicle operators are intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (or BAC) reaches at least 0.08 percent, the law holds commercial truck drivers to stricter standards. For example, a commercial truck driver may face arrest for DUI if their blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.04 percent.

The law imposes harsh penalties on intoxicated truck drivers because of their professional status, as well as the many dangers associated with drunk driving. For example, drunken truck drivers frequently experience a lack of coordination, poor judgment, limited concentration, and delayed reflexes.

Consequently, they may not see other vehicles clearly or judge distances between vehicles accurately. Similarly, an intoxicated truck driver may not stop in time to avoid colliding with another car.

In addition to truck driver negligence, some truck accidents happen when trucking companies commit serious errors. For example, they may negligently entrust one of their vehicles to an irresponsible driver with a prior record of moving violations or DUIs.

Accidents may happen when truck drivers and trucking companies commit acts of negligence.

Some of the most common include:

  • Rollover accidents, where a large truck or a tractor-trailer fully or partially turns over in the middle of the road, causing a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle accident
  • Rear-end accidents, where the front of a large truck strikes the back of another vehicle
  • Sideswipe accidents, where a truck driver negligently causes the side of their truck to strike the side of another vehicle moving in the same direction
  • T-bone accidents, where the front of a large truck hits the side of another vehicle
  • Head-on collisions, where the front of a truck and the front of an oncoming vehicle strike one another
  • Jackknife accidents, where a tractor and trailer fold inward on one another, resembling the form of a jackknife, causing the truck to skid forward and strike other vehicles in its path

If you sustained injuries in a recent truck accident resulting from trucking company or truck driver negligence, consult an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.

Your lawyer can promptly investigate your truck accident and determine the cause. Your attorney may then file a personal injury claim with the negligent party’s insurance company on your behalf and begin pursuing the fair settlement compensation you deserve for your accident-related injuries.

You Can Suffer Permanent Injuries in a Truck Accident

Depending on the force associated with a truck accident, along with the respective speeds of the involved vehicles, you can suffer severe and sometimes permanent injuries.

A permanent injury is likely to affect an accident victim for the rest of their life, frequently leading to ongoing pain and suffering and requiring additional medical treatment or physical therapy.

How an accident victim’s body moves inside their vehicle at the time of a truck accident can determine the severity of one’s injuries.

In a forceful truck accident, the accident victim’s body can strike the window, headrest, or steering wheel, bringing about debilitating injuries.

Some of the most common injuries that truck accident victims may suffer include:

Upon suffering injuries in a truck accident, consult a medical professional right away and continue your treatment until a medical provider or facility formally discharges you.

By seeking ongoing care for your injuries, you are more likely to achieve a full recovery. Additionally, you show the negligent party’s insurance company that you suffered severe injuries in your accident that warrant significant monetary compensation.

A truck accident attorney can start advocating for you while you focus on getting the medical treatment you need.

Specifically, your lawyer can begin to gather your medical records and bills, police reports, photographs, and other pertinent documentation to use as evidence in your case.

The Trucking Company or Truck Driver’s Insurer is Never on Your Side

Involved in trucking accident

In any accident involving a large commercial truck, remember the negligent truck driver or trucking company’s insurer is never on your side. In fact, they are your direct adversary in any personal injury case that you file.

Many insurance company adjusters will go out of their way to deny liability for a truck accident, claiming that their insured was not at fault. They may also argue that the accident victim somehow caused or contributed to their accident.

Also, in terms of a truck accident victim’s claimed injuries, an insurance company adjuster might allege that the injuries are pre-existing or that they are otherwise unrelated to the subject truck accident.

A knowledgeable truck accident attorney can handle all settlement negotiations and communications with insurance company representatives.

Specifically, your lawyer can point to expert reports, medical evidence, and other documents to successfully prove the legal elements of your personal injury claim. They may also inform the insurance company they are ready to pursue litigation if the adjuster refuses to compensate you fairly for your accident-related losses.

If the insurance company still refuses to increase its offer to an appropriate amount, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and litigate your case to an efficient resolution.

Throughout the process, your attorney can answer all of your questions and provide you with the information necessary to make crucial decisions, including whether or not to accept an insurance company settlement offer or pursue litigation in your case.

You May Recover Significant Monetary Compensation and Damages

Victims of commercial truck accidents can recover monetary damages, depending on the extent of their injuries, the force of the subject collision, the specific medical treatment they underwent, and the total cost of their accident-related medical treatment.

First, accident victims may receive compensation for out-of-pocket costs, including medical expenses, lost earnings, and loss of earning capacity.

Additionally, they can claim non-economic damages. These damages compensate them for all of their intangible losses.

For example, an injured truck accident victim may pursue compensation for all of their:

  • Mental distress
  • Inconvenience
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of spousal consortium and companionship
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part
  • Lost quality of life
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Ongoing or lifetime care costs

Your attorney will do everything possible to maximize your compensation. If the insurance company does not offer you favorable monetary damages, your attorney may take your case to a civil jury trial, mediation, or binding arbitration.

You Have a Limited Amount of Time to Take Legal Action

Accident victims have a short time to seek monetary recovery for their injuries and other truck-accident-related losses.

Under the state statute of limitations in Colorado, an injured truck accident victim must file a personal injury lawsuit in the court system within three years of their accident date in almost all circumstances. Otherwise, the court will prohibit them from filing a lawsuit and recovering any monetary damages for their accident-related losses.

A truck accident attorney in your area will know the statute of limitations and can file a timely personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. However, you never want to wait until the last minute to engage a law firm, as waiting can weaken your case.

The trucking company often possesses important evidence, and you want a legal professional to send an evidence preservation demand letter as soon as possible following the crash. If you delay, the company can lose, alter, or destroy the evidence you need to prove your case.

Talk With a Truck Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today

Keith Fuicelli, Attorney for Motorcycle Accident

Keith Fuicelli, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you are the victim of a severe truck accident, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you as soon as possible.

The last thing you want to do while you are dealing with your injuries is to spend hours on the phone with a pushy insurance adjuster. Your lawyer can promptly file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit on your behalf and begin pursuing the full monetary recovery you deserve.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today!