Commercial trucks are the lifeblood of the Denver economy. We rely on these large vehicles to deliver goods that help ensure the stability of our residents and visitors. Unfortunately, accidents involving these large vehicles can lead to significant injuries. At The O’Sullivan Law Firm, we are here to help if you need a Denver truck accident lawyer. Our team has extensive experience handling complex injury cases, and we know what it takes to help clients secure full compensation for their losses as they stand up to aggressive insurance carriers and trucking companies.
Why Choose The O’Sullivan Law Firm?
At The O’Sullivan Law Firm, we take the time to listen to every client’s concerns. We pride ourselves on providing a personalized approach to every case so that we can ensure that our client’s goals and needs are met.
Our team is successful in 99 percent of our cases, and we have secured significant multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.
Every case is handled by an attorney, not a paralegal or a case manager. An attorney will always be available to answer any questions or address concerns from clients.
How Can a Denver Truck Accident Attorney Help My Claim?
Please do not try to handle a truck accident case without assistance from a skilled attorney. A truck accident lawyer in Denver is going to be an invaluable asset when it comes to ensuring victims secure full compensation in these situations. A lawyer can use their resources to conduct a complete investigation into the claim and obtain any evidence needed to prove liability. In a truck accident case, some of this evidence can include:
Photographs taken at the scene
Video surveillance from nearby homes or businesses
Statements from eyewitnesses
The truck’s electronic control module (ECM)
The truck driver’s electronic logging device (ELD)
Truck company safety and training records
Truck company inspection and maintenance records
Mobile device data
In addition to gathering the evidence needed to prove liability, an attorney will simultaneously ensure that their client is evaluated by trusted medical professionals while also working with economic professionals to properly calculate the client’s total losses.
With all this information, a truck accident lawyer will negotiate with every party involved in order to reach a fair settlement on behalf of their client. If necessary, an attorney will fully prepare to take the case to trial.
Common Injuries Associated With Truck Accidents
Data available from the Federal Highway Administration shows us that a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. These vehicles can reach lengths of 75 feet and a width that takes up most of a lane on the highway. Due to the size and weight of these vehicles when compared to the average passenger car on the roadway, it is easy to see why injuries are so severe when collisions occur.
In addition to these acute traumatic injuries caused by the collision, our attorneys also recognize that truck accident victims regularly sustain significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of what happened. This could include feelings of fear, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our goal is to ensure that our clients receive compensation for every injury they sustain, including the visible traumatic injuries as well as the hidden psychological and emotional injuries.
According to data available from the National Safety Council, we can see that there were approximately 118,000 total large trucks involved in injury collisions during the latest reporting year across the country. Additionally, there were more than 5,000 total large trucks involved in fatal collisions during that same reporting year. These incidents do occur, and they can result in severe injuries and fatalities for those involved.
How is Liability Determined After a Denver Truck Accident?
There may be various parties that could be held liable in the aftermath of a truck collision in Denver. When we investigate these cases, we are going to zero in on the truck driver and the truck company.
The actions of truck drivers often lead to severe accidents. When we determine that a truck driver was at fault for a collision, it is not uncommon to discover that the driver:
Failed to follow traffic laws
Failed to yield the right of way
Was operating too fast for conditions
Failed to properly inspect the truck before operating
Ignored federal hours of service requirements
Operated while distracted by their phone or another device
Operated while impaired by alcohol or drugs
When a truck driver is found to be at fault for a collision, we will generally see that the trucking company they work for will ultimately be held liable for their actions. However, we also need to be aware that many truck drivers are also the owner/operator of their own trucks, working as independent contractors in these situations. When this occurs, liability will fall squarely onto the truck driver and their insurance policy.
Trucking companies could also be held liable for their own actions in these situations. This could include instances where the truck company:
Has inadequate hiring practices and failed to conduct background checks
Failed to properly train new employees
Failed to ensure the trucks were regularly inspected or maintained
Encouraged drivers to overload their cargo or ignore hours of service regulations
When a truck versus vehicle collision occurs, there will need to be an extensive investigation in order to determine exactly what happened so that liability can be properly assigned.
How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
Truck accidents must be approached differently from traditional car accidents in the Denver area. The reality is that these vehicles are much larger than traditional passenger cars, and the injuries and property damage are often much more severe. For this reason alone, it is critical to involve law enforcement officials as well as legal assistance as soon as possible. Evidence must be gathered appropriately and quickly.
Another major factor that must be considered in these situations is that there will be many other parties involved aside from the drivers. Accidents involving commercial trucks may involve various companies that you may not even be immediately aware of at the scene of the crash. This could include:
The truck driver
The trucking company
Third-party cargo loaders
The truck manufacturer
State or federal regulatory agencies
With those many parties involved, the outcome of a successful truck accident case hinges on clarity of liability. This clarity can become muddled, particularly when these other parties start to push back against liability. It is crucial for any truck accident victim to work with a skilled attorney who can step in and handle every aspect of the claim as soon as possible.
Denver Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Claims
Truck accident victims in California have a limited amount of time to file their claims. First, it is crucial to understand that insurance carriers all have their own deadlines for reporting these claims. Typically, an insurance carrier requires an accident to be reported within a few days after the incident occurs. Failing to promptly file a claim with an insurance carrier could result in a claim delay or denial.
Additionally, the personal injury statute of limitations in Colorado applies to these scenarios. Truck accident victims in Denver will have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against an alleged negligent truck driver or trucking company. Failing to file the lawsuit within this two-year timeframe will result in the victim becoming unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Denver
There are various ways that truck accidents occur in Denver. Just like any other type of vehicle accident, any of the drivers involved could share fault for the incident. However, we want to specifically focus on truck driver error and trucking company error.
Truck drivers could be at fault for vehicle accidents in a variety of ways. This could include the driver:
Failing to abide by hours of service requirements set forth by the state and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
Operating too fast for conditions or above the speed limit
Failing to ensure the cargo was properly loaded
Failing to follow basic traffic laws, including yielding the right of way
Operating on roadways not suited for large commercial trucks
Operating during inclement weather, including snow, ice, or sleet
Operating while distracted by phones or other devices
Trucking companies could also be at fault for these incidents. First, if the truck driver works directly for the company, then the company will likely hold ultimate liability for the incident. Additionally, companies could also be at fault if they:
Fail to regularly inspect and maintain each truck
Fail to adequately train each driver
Do not conduct a background check before hiring a driver
Encourage drivers to overload the vehicles or operate beyond the hours of service allowed
What Compensation is Available After a Truck Accident in Colorado?
There may be various types of compensation available to victims of truck accidents in Denver. At The O’Sullivan Law Firm, our goal is to help ensure that clients receive the economic and non-economic compensation necessary to make them as “whole” as possible after a collision occurs.
Economic compensation. This is also referred to as special damages and includes the types of compensation that are relatively calculable after a collision occurs. Calculating this type of compensation will be done by gathering bills and receipts as well as proof of lost wages, and can include coverage of:
Physical therapy and rehabilitation
General household out-of-pocket expenses
Property damage expenses
Non-economic compensation. This type of compensation is also referred to as general damages, and this will make up the types of losses that are harder to calculate because they do not necessarily come with bills or receipts. General damages are awarded in an attempt to cover a victim’s emotional and psychological suffering, and can include:
Physical pain and suffering damages
Emotional distress damages
Loss of quality of life damages
Loss of consortium damages for a spouse
Calculating economic damages will be done by gathering up any medical bills, out-of-pocket receipts, vehicle appraisals, and other quantifiable damages. However, calculating non-economic damages can be more challenging. Typically, this will be done by using a multiplier method where an attorney will add up all of the economic damages and then multiply that total by a set number (usually ranging from 1.5 to 5). The two totals will be added together to help create the “demand” that will be presented to the insurance carriers involved. If the insurance carrier refuses to pay a fair settlement to a client, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
What Steps Should I Take Following a Denver Truck Wreck?
If you or somebody you love is involved in a truck accident in the Denver area, there are various steps that you can take immediately as well as in the days and weeks that follow the incident to help improve your chances of securing full compensation.
Seek immediate medical care. The absolute most important thing for a person to do after being involved in a truck accident is to seek medical care immediately. This could include taking an ambulance to the hospital from the scene or going directly to an ER or emergency clinic. Seeking immediate care accomplishes two goals. First, and most importantly, this helps ensure a person’s well-being. Many truck accident injury signs and symptoms may not appear until hours or even days after the incident occurs, and delayed medical care could result in problems when it comes to seeking compensation from insurance carriers. The second thing that seeking immediate medical care accomplishes is that it establishes a direct link between the injuries and the collision, setting up a timeline that is hard for insurance carriers to refute.
Report the incident to authorities. All truck accidents need to be reported to the Denver Police Department as soon as they occur. These are serious incidents, even if they do not seem so at the time they occur. Truck drivers and companies are highly regulated, and the proper authorities need to investigate what happened after each crash.
Gather evidence. If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, those involved can begin gathering evidence. Importantly, this will include using a phone or another camera to take photographs of anything at the scene, including vehicle damage, injuries, debris, causes of the crash, truck company name, etc. Additionally, the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses should be written down as soon as possible.
Continue all follow-up medical care. It is important for any truck accident victim to continue all follow-up medical care until the doctor says they have reached maximum medical improvement. If a truck accident victim stops their care before they have fully healed, this could impact their ability to receive maximum compensation.
Be wary of insurance carriers. Anyone involved in a truck accident needs to be wary when speaking to anybody, particularly insurance carriers. The goal of insurance carriers will be to limit the amount of money they pay in a settlement, which means they will be looking for the accident victims to say or do something that could jeopardize the claim. It is better to refer insurance carriers to an attorney in these situations.
Contact an attorney. Victims need to consider seeking assistance from a Denver accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can get involved quickly and help obtain and preserve evidence, determine liability, and handle all communication with other parties involved.
Time Limit to File a Denver Truck Accident Claim
Victims of truck accidents in Denver need to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in these cases. The Colorado personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. If a truck accident victim fails to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver or company within this two-year window, they will likely lose the ability to recover any compensation at all.
Please understand that this statutory deadline has nothing to do with the deadlines put in place by insurance carriers in these situations. Insurance carriers for the truck companies will likely have very short reporting deadlines after an incident occurs, and any delayed notification could result in complications when working to secure a settlement.
Contact a Denver Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a trucking accident around the Denver area, please seek assistance from The O’Sullivan Law Firm as soon as possible. Our attorneys have the resources necessary to handle every aspect of these complex claims. We will investigate what happened, help determine the liability of the truck driver or trucking company, and work to secure full compensation on behalf of our clients. When you need a Denver truck accident attorney by your side, you can contact us online for a free consultation or call us at (303) 388-5304.