Colorado Truck Accident Lawyers
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Wrecks involving 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles commonly result in injuries that affect a victim for the rest of their life. Those who don’t survive such disasters often end up leaving surviving family members with unpaid medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of income, all of which can cause severe financial and emotional burdens for many years.
If you have been injured or have lost of a loved one in a trucking accident, you shouldn’t be stuck paying the price. The Colorado truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Our skilled 18-wheeler accident lawyers serve the entire state of Colorado, including Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. As one of our clients, you will pay nothing unless we can win your trucking accident case.
YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION
When seeking compensation, there a several steps that need to be taken to ensure your health and also protect evidence and the strength of your case.
What to do After a Truck Accident
Here are a few steps you can take after a truck accident to not only make sure you are safe but to make sure you put yourself in a position to recover the legal compensation you deserve:
1. Seek Medical Attention
After suffering an accident, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Injuries can range from mild to severe, but even mild injuries need to be evaluated by a medical professional. A medical professional can also play an important role in documenting your injuries, which can be used as evidence in your claim.
2. Report the Accident
It is crucial that you contact law enforcement as soon as you are able. The police play an important role in getting emergency dispatch to the scene to tend to injured parties as well as play a pivotal role in documenting the accident. The police are able to file an official report on the accident. This report can be very helpful later on when filing a personal injury claim.
3. Document the Scene
Preserving necessary evidence is key to prevailing on your claim. Beyond speaking with the police and getting a medical professional to evaluate your injuries, do everything you can to document the scene of the crash. This can include simple tasks such as taking pictures or making quick notes of important memorable details.
4. Call an Attorney
Those filing personal injury claims can get easily taken advantage of by opposing parties and insurance companies. If a truck has hit you, the best way to make sure you are being treated fairly and are being offered the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced attorney. Our Colorado truck accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group may be able to help.
For more information, see the article What to Do After a Truck Accident.
How to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit
1. Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
Before you reach an agreement with the opposing party about fault and compensation, you should consider consulting an attorney. Trucking companies and insurance providers that represent them are much different than the typical insurance companies you would deal with after a car accident. The insurance companies representing commercial truck drivers will act quickly and aggressively to try and avoid liability. Having an experienced attorney on your side is the best way to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of, and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Initiating a prompt and thorough investigation into the truck accident is a crucial step in order to gather valuable evidence to fight your claim. Acting quickly after an accident is important in order to gather the physical evidence resulting from a truck accident while it is still fresh. In addition to documenting physical evidence, it is important to interview witnesses, file official reports of property damage and physical injury, and consider hiring an accident reconstruction expert.
3. Case Settlement
Often times the insurance provider for the trucking company will offer the victim of an accident a monetary amount if the victim agrees to cease the pursuit of further legal action. However, these settlement offers can often be minimal and inadequate. If you refuse a settlement offer from an insurance company, you have the option to pursue further legal action to receive the compensation you deserve.
Who is Liable?
Those who operate commercial trucks are expected to demonstrate reasonable care while driving on Colorado roadways. A party who fails to exercise reasonable care will likely be deemed negligent, and thus are liable for the accident. When it comes to truck accidents, the truck driver can be found liable or their employer can.
The truck driver themselves may be held liable when they fail to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by their employer and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They may also be held liable if they are operating as an independent contractor, which limits their employer’s liability of the truck driver.
Truck drivers are expected to follow certain local, state, and federal regulations, but so are their employers. A trucking company may be held liable for failing to adhere to these regulations, for negligent hiring or retention, or by engaging in practices that cause their drivers to engage in unsafe behavior.
Semi Truck Wrecks Caused By Negligence
Truck drivers face tight deadlines that could cause them to exceed the speed limit or not properly load the truck. Regulations to avoid driver fatigue are in place to prevent drivers from exceeding a set number of hours per day. Yet it’s something that can be cast aside by companies looking for greater profits or trying to meet deadlines. The trucking company’s lack of training or poor maintenance could also lead to a truck accident in Colorado.
While the trucking companies will usually be insured to cover an accident, their insurance company will maintain a laser-like focus on their bottom line when they offer a settlement. That translates into an offer that will benefit them and not the victim or their family.
If you were harmed by a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, call a Colorado truck injury attorney at Zinda Law Group today. We can help you gather evidence, establish liability, and seek the full compensation you may be entitled to under the law.
Proving Truck Driver Negligence
As mentioned above, truck accidents are often caused by a party’s negligence. This means that a truck driver, who owed a duty of care to other motorists, breached that duty and caused harm to another driver. However, sometimes, the blame can be attributed to both drivers. Courts and insurance companies will analyze this under a theory of comparative negligence. If you are found to be partially at fault for your truck accident, this may affect your ability to recover.
Under Colorado law, if you are at fault in a truck accident, you cannot receive 100% compensation for your damages. However, while you can’t receive full compensation, you may still be entitled to some damages for recovery.
Colorado follows a rule known as the Modified Comparative Fault rule. This rule allows a court to determine your percentage of culpability in your truck accident claim and then reduce the total amount of recoverable damages by that same percentage. You recover whatever is left. However, in the event that you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, then you may be barred from receiving any compensation at all.
You may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your truck accident injury claim.
Economic damages compensate you for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other financially based injuries.
Non-economic damages are damages for your pain and suffering and reduced quality of life. Calculating pain and suffering is not an exact science, but often attorneys multiply your economic damages by a number that represents the severity of your suffering.
Colorado law places a cap on the amount of non-economic damages that can be recovered by accident victims. Non-economic damages are limited to a $250,000 recovery. The amount of compensation you may be able to seek is also capped by the insurance policy limits of the truck driver and/or the trucking company.
Colorado Statute of Limitations
Many truck accident victims don’t realize that time is one of the most important factors in being able to secure appropriate recovery and compensation. There are time limits in which you can make a claim. Making a claim outside of these time limits may mean that you won’t be allowed to pursue compensation. These time limits are called the ‘Statute of Limitations’. Under Colorado law, you have three years to file any claims related to injuries sustained within a truck accident.
The clock starts ticking on your truck accident claim the second you are injured in a wreck not when you decide to pursue legal action. After this, the statute of limitations will bar you from the opportunity to file a lawsuit against a liable party.
Other personal injury claims, such as a wrongful death suit resulting from a truck accident, have a statute of limitations of two years in Colorado.
Trucking Accidents: A Yearly Toll
The Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates than more than 500,000 truck accidents take place in the United States every year. The frequent inclement winter weather in Colorado only means that the likelihood of such a tragedy is increased.
Months of hospitalization and expensive medical bills can be a reality for victims after a semi-truck accident. You could also lose the ability to work or need continued rehabilitation. You may have experienced pain and suffering or the loss of a loved one. The tremendous costs are borne by the victims of a Colorado trucking accident demand some form of justice.
Aiding that cause is what the legal team at the Zinda Law Group does on a daily basis. Our experienced Colorado semi-truck accident attorneys have seen the effects of these catastrophes and are prepared to vigorously fight on behalf of our clients. We’ve seen first-hand how truck drivers and their employers either avoid responsibility or focus on offering minimal compensation in order to make the case go away.
Our Colorado Truck Lawyers Will Fight For You
Zinda Law Group is prepared to represent the family or victims of semi-truck accidents. We will fight passionately to help see that the guilty parties are held accountable for their negligence and help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you were the victim of a Colorado trucking accident, chat or call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free attorney consultation. We accept cases on a contingency basis, which means that you pay nothing unless we win.
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