Wheat Ridge Truck Accident Lawyer
Tractor-trailers and commercial trucks are integral parts of the US economy, and every year these large vehicles transport billions of tons of cargo. Many communities in Colorado and throughout the US rely on commercial trucking for the goods they use every day, and most drivers are accustomed to seeing commercial trucks on the roads every time they drive. Every driver needs to understand the inherently dangerous nature of tractor-trailers and the potential consequences of a truck accident. Suppose you or a loved one recently suffered injuries and other losses in a truck accident. In that case, a Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer can provide the legal guidance you need to secure compensation for your losses.
The attorneys at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal have years of experience representing clients in truck accident claims, and we can put this experience to work for you. We understand the devastating injuries and substantial financial losses that truck accidents often cause and the uncertainty that most victims face after these incidents. We can answer your questions and provide the compassionate, detail-oriented legal counsel you need to successfully navigate a truck accident claim.
Why Should I Hire a Injury Lawyer after Truck Collision?
Even if the fault for your recent truck accident seems clear, you should still consult a Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer before proceeding with any type of legal action or an insurance claim. These accidents are typically more complex than standard passenger vehicle accidents and result in more substantial damage. Additionally, the question of liability is likely to be more complicated if your claim implicates a truck driver and their employer.
Hiring an attorney ensures your case is not jeopardized by procedural errors and increases the chances of securing maximum compensation for your damages. Additionally, you will be able to focus on your recovery with peace of mind knowing your claim is in capable and trustworthy hands. Your attorney can handle court filings on your behalf, help you navigate any insurance claims related to your accident, and ultimately guide you through personal injury proceedings. An experienced Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer is also more likely to secure maximum compensation for your damages compared to what you might be able to obtain on your own.
How Do Truck Accidents Happen?
Tractor-trailers are inherently more dangerous than passenger cars due to their size, height, and weight. Tractor-trailer accidents happen for many of the same reasons as accidents involving smaller vehicles, but other risk factors can cause truck accidents:
- A commercial truck without a full trailer is more susceptible to rollover and tip-over accidents from strong winds.
- Fully loaded trucks traveling at high speeds are vulnerable to tipping over around sharp turns.
- Most commercial trucks stand more than 13 feet tall, meaning they have higher centers of gravity and are vulnerable to sudden momentum shifts.
- Large trucks have more blind spots. Some truck drivers may be unable to see vehicles immediately behind them, resulting in severe rear-end collisions in some situations.
- Some commercial trucks carry large cargo, such as smaller vehicles, construction equipment, building materials, lumber, concrete pipe segments, and other items that cannot be packed into a trailer. If special cargo isn’t secured correctly, it may dislodge in transit and cause an accident.
- Large commercial trucks are larger and heavier than other vehicles, meaning they require more time and distance to slow and stop than most other vehicles. Truck drivers may not be able to respond to a sudden change in traffic conditions quickly enough to avoid collisions.
- Unfortunately, some truck drivers behave dangerously and operate their trucks after taking drugs or drinking alcohol. Truck drivers may also drive while fatigued, putting other drivers around them at risk.
- Drivers who do not use appropriate caution around tractor-trailers can easily cause severe accidents.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways truck accidents might occur. Ultimately, these large vehicles are inherently some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road, and all drivers should do their best to drive defensively around them at all times.
Proving Fault for Truck Accidents
If you are involved in a truck accident that you believe occurred due to the negligence of another party, your Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer can help you identify the party or parties responsible for the incident and hold them accountable for your damages. In a standard car accident claim involving private drivers, the plaintiff must identify the defendant responsible for their accident and prove the defendant was negligent in some way that directly resulted in the accident. Truck accident claims are a bit different. In many cases, truck drivers and their employers face liability under the legal doctrine of “vicarious liability.”
Vicarious liability states that an employer can be liable for the actions of an employee under certain conditions. Suppose a truck driver engaged in willful misconduct, such as driving under the influence of alcohol. In that case, this is likely against their employer’s policies and a violation of the driver’s duty of care, so fault would likely fall to the driver alone. However, if the driver had a history of drunk driving and the employer failed to conduct an appropriate background check on the driver before hiring them, vicarious liability would apply. The employer would face partial liability for the plaintiff’s damages.
In any personal injury claim, the plaintiff’s success with the claim typically hinges on their ability to prove the defendant was negligent in some way that directly resulted in the plaintiff’s damages. The plaintiff and their Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer must establish the defendant’s duty of care for the situation in question, prove the defendant breached this duty of care in some way, provide a full accounting of the plaintiff’s claimable damages, and prove that those damages occurred solely due to the defendant’s breached duty of care.
Trucking Regulations and Personal Injury Claims
A trucking company or a truck driver’s employer can face vicarious liability if an investigation into a truck accident reveals that the defendant violated any applicable trucking industry regulations in any way that contributed to or directly caused the accident in question. For example, truck drivers must follow Hours of Service regulations upheld by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations outline how long a driver may operate their vehicle and when they must take rest breaks. If a driver failed to abide by these regulations to meet a deadline and causes an accident due to fatigued driving, this violation will likely come into play during a resulting personal injury case.
It is also possible for liability for a trucking accident to fall to the party responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of a commercial truck. For example, if a maintenance provider failed to conduct a thorough check of a tractor-trailer before clearing it for delivery, or if they performed any type of faulty maintenance on the truck in question, this would likely implicate this party as at least partially responsible for the resulting damages. A truck driver, trucking company, maintenance team, or even a product manufacturer can potentially absorb liability for a trucking accident.
Possible Injuries and Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
Truck accidents tend to be some of the most damaging vehicle accidents that occur in the US. A truck accident victim may sustain injuries such as:
- Broken bones.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Internal organ damage.
- Facial and dental injuries.
It is also possible for a truck accident to cause fatal injuries. If a driver dies in a truck accident, their surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim instead of the personal injury claim the victim could have filed had they survived.
The personal injury statutes of Colorado allow a plaintiff to recover multiple forms of compensation. Medical expenses are one of the most commonly cited damages in Colorado truck accident claims. A plaintiff can claim immediate medical costs following their accident, such as hospital bills and prescription medication costs, and long-term medical expenses resulting from the incident. For example, an injured plaintiff who suffered a spinal injury may require months or even years of physical rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and other treatments to reach maximum medical improvement. Your Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer can help you claim the full scope of your immediate and anticipated future medical costs in your truck accident lawsuit.
It is also possible to claim lost income in a truck accident lawsuit. If your injury leaves you unable to work, you can claim the wages lost during your recovery time. Some truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that leave victims unable to work at all in the future. If your injuries prevent you from returning to the same job or working any job after reaching maximum medical improvement, your Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer can help you secure compensation for your lost future earning capacity.
Colorado state law allows personal injury plaintiffs to recover compensation for non-economic damages, including physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological suffering. A truck accident can be a severely traumatic experience that causes mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Your attorney can help you prove the totality of your losses and recover non-economic damages too.
How to Prove Negligence in My Accident Claim
“Negligence” is the central legal concept of any personal injury claim, and this term describes a failure to act with reasonable care in a given situation. Every driver has a duty of care to drive responsibly and abide by traffic signals, but truck drivers have a higher duty of care in this regard because they drive as their primary job duty and operate inherently dangerous vehicles. If you intend to pursue a personal injury claim after a truck accident, you and your Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer must identify the party or parties you believe is liable for your damages, prove the extent of your damages, and provide clear evidence linking the defendant’s negligence and your claimed damages.
Many truck accidents involve multiple vehicles, and your truck accident claim can involve multiple defendants or raise questions concerning unclear liability. Depending on how your accident occurred, the collision may involve complex questions of engineering or physics. An experienced Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer can coordinate expert witness testimony to support your claim when these complicated matters arise. Experts across multiple disciplines can help the court fully understand how your accident occurred and what the total damages to you are.
What to Expect From Your Wheat Ridge Truck Accident Lawyer
Once you have decided to pursue legal action against the driver responsible for your recent truck accident, your attorney will likely begin handling your case by filing the appropriate complaint documents with the local court. The court, in turn, serves the complaint to the defendant or defendants named in your case. Most personal injury claims will end with settlement negotiations. Private settlement is typically the best way for the plaintiff to secure compensation for their losses as quickly as possible while providing the defendant an opportunity to settle the issue expediently and quietly.
Settlement may not work if the parties cannot reach a mutually agreeable resolution to their case. If the defendant contests their liability for the plaintiff’s claimed damages, or if they accept liability but claim that the plaintiff’s damages are exorbitant or exaggerated, the case will proceed with litigation.
Your Wheat Ridge truck accident attorney should strive to settle your case as quickly as possible and provide responsive, detail-oriented legal counsel if litigation is unavoidable. Depending on the complexity of your case, litigation can take several months or even more than a year before you reach a conclusion. An excellent personal injury attorney should strive for the most expeditious result that provides maximum compensation for their client’s damages.
Choose the Law Firm to Represent Your Colorado Truck Accident Claim
If you need to speak with an experienced Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer, the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal is available to assist you. Our team has years of experience handling complex truck accident cases throughout Colorado. We have an extensive network of professionals and experts who may be able to provide valuable insights into the details of your case and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. Our goal is to maximize our client’s recovery in every case we accept. If you are ready to discuss your legal options after a truck accident, contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal today to schedule a consultation with a Wheat Ridge truck accident lawyer.