Denver and Colorado Truck Accident Attorney
In collisions involving large commercial trucks and cars, most of the people who suffer serious injuries and fatal injuries are occupants of automobiles. As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,852 people were killed in collisions involving large trucks in 2015. In two-vehicle collisions that involve a large truck and a car, 97 percent of those who died were occupants of the passenger vehicles. Occupants of smaller vehicles are vulnerable in any crash involving an 18-wheeler.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a collision caused by a large commercial truck driver, it is important to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. At The Sawaya Law Firm, our attorneys have been successfully handling a range of truck and automobile accident and other injury cases for more than 35 years. Our Colorado personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and resources to handle complex commercial truck accident claims.
Truck Accidents in Colorado
With increasing numbers of semi tractor-trailers and other big rigs on our roadways, truck accidents are bound to be common in the state of Colorado. The NHTSA reported that 64 people died in crashes involving large commercial trucks in Colorado in 2015. Most of those who died were occupants of other vehicles that collided with trucks.
Nevertheless, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that only 13 large-truck occupants died in traffic crashes in Colorado in 2013, as compared to 315 passenger vehicle occupants, 83 motorcyclists, 50 pedestrians, and 12 bicyclists. When large and fully-loaded commercial trucks collide with much smaller vehicles, other motorists and their passengers – not the truck drivers – face the greatest risk of catastrophic or fatal injuries.
What are common causes of truck accidents?
Truck driver error is a leading contributing factor to crashes involving tractor trailers and semis. Truckers spend many hours behind the wheel and often drive too fast for roadway conditions. Driving too fast for road or weather conditions is particularly dangerous on the steep grades and mountainous terrain of the I-70 corridor through the Colorado high country west of Denver. The interstate is a major east-west corridor for truck traffic and is also heavily travelled by ski traffic and visitors to the Rocky Mountains. Truck accidents on the I-70 corridor are common.
Under pressure to make delivery deadlines, truck drivers may drive aggressively and follow other vehicles too closely. Large trucks take longer distances to stop safely. When a truck driver tailgates or follows other vehicles too closely, the driver creates a situation in which an accident is unavoidable if traffic stops suddenly. Large trucks often hit the vehicle in front of them because a driver was following too closely or driving too fast for traffic conditions.
A trucker entering a highway entrance ramp or exit ramp may lose control of the truck if the driver misjudges the safe speed to enter a curve. Most crashes on ramps are due to misjudgment. Truck rollovers are more likely to occur on ramps or curves if truckers approach them traveling too fast. Although ramps and interchanges account for less than 5 percent of all highway miles, 20 to 30 percent of 18-wheeler crashes occur on or near ramps, according the Journal of Transportation and Statistics.
A truck driver may have spent many hours behind the wheel without adequate rest. Drivers who are dangerously fatigued pose a danger to others on the roads. Drowsy drivers are slower to react to changes in traffic conditions to avoid a crash.
Truck drivers may be distracted and cause a crash. Truckers often travel on unfamiliar roads to make deliveries. Drivers may look away from the road to consult a map, set an electronic navigation system or review directions to their destination. A study of the causes of commercial truck accidents by researchers at the University of Michigan found that 20 percent of large-truck accidents occurred when truck drivers were navigating unfamiliar roads.
The Colorado truck accident lawyers at The Sawaya Law Firm will investigate and determine all the contributing factors to your accident. Even if you were partially at fault, the truck driver also may have contributed to the accident and be liable for your injuries. Let us review your truck accident and go over your legal options for pursuing compensation.
Why are truck accidents different from other types of accidents?
Truck accidents are more complex to resolve than a typical automobile collision. One tractor trailer may have multiple insurance companies separately providing insurance coverage for the trucking company, the truck driver, the cargo shipper and the trailer owner.
Crashes involving large trucks and cars frequently produce more serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicles because of the difference in the size and weight of 18-wheelers and automobiles. Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies are required by law to carry much higher amounts of liability insurance than automobile drivers because of the damage a large truck may cause. That raises the financial stakes after an accident. It also means a trucking company will have lawyers working to defend its business interests.
Our truck accident attorneys at The Sawaya Law Firm investigate each tractor trailer accident to determine all the responsible parties and all the insurance policies available to provide compensation. If more than one party is liable, it may broaden the amount of insurance coverage available to pay for your injuries.
We craft a plan to achieve the best outcome and quickest outcome for our client. We often represent people who have been frustrated in their dealings with another law firm and did not receive the individual attention they expected.
What types of compensation can be collected after a truck accident?
Some of the types of compensation that you may be entitled to receive after a truck accident in Colorado include:
- Reimbursement for your doctor bills, hospital bills, prescription medications and physical therapy as well as for future medical care related to the truck accident injury;
- Lost past and future wages;
- The cost to replace or fix your automobile, including the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is undergoing repair;
- Compensation for non-economic damages such as emotional distress and physical pain and suffering related to your injury;
- Exemplary damages may be appropriate in an accident in which the conduct of the truck driver or trucking company was outrageous.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Denver or anywhere in Colorado, it is important to contact a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer promptly to review the case, and start an investigation if appropriate.
How can a truck accident lawyer help me?
A knowledgeable attorney can review the details of your injury from a truck accident and discuss whether you have a valid claim. Our attorneys will answer your questions and help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case based on our years of experience handling thousands of accident claims.
We will investigate the accident in detail and identify all the parties that are responsible for your injury. We may work with accident reconstruction experts to show how an accident occurred. We will estimate your losses from the injury including the costs of future medical care and lost income if you cannot return to work after a serious injury. We will submit a claim to the appropriate parties for compensation that reflects all your losses.
It is common for a trucking company or its insurer to make a settlement offer to limit their financial liability. The offer may seem like a large sum of money at first glance. But without legal guidance, you may not know whether the offer is reasonable. Initial offers are often quite low. An experienced truck accident lawyer at the Sawaya Law Firm will have an informed perspective about the value of your injury case. That prevents an insurance company from forcing you to accept an unreasonably low settlement offer that does not reflect the full extent your losses.
The Denver truck accident lawyers at The Sawaya Law Firm will negotiate aggressively on your behalf for a full and fair settlement. We have the experience and resources to stand up to trucking companies and seek just compensation for people who have been seriously injured by the negligence of commercial truck drivers and trucking companies.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are sometimes caused by other motorists, road hazards, vehicle failure, or weather conditions. However, according to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study Analysis Brief published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a comprehensive study conducted by the NHTSA and the FMCSA revealed truck driver error to be a major contributing factor to accidents. Researchers assigned the following associated factors in large-truck collisions, along with their relative risk importance:
- Truck brake problems (29%)
- Driver traveling too fast for conditions (23%)
- Driver unfamiliar with the roadway (22%)
- Roadway problems (20%)
- Driver use of over-the-counter drugs (17%)
- Driver inadequate surveillance (14%)
- Driver fatigue (13%)
- Driver under work pressure (10%)
- Driver made an illegal maneuver (9%)
- Driver inattention (9%)
- Driver distraction – external (8%)
- Truck tire problems (6%)
- Truck driver tailgating (5%)
- Driver jackknifing truck (5%)
- Truck cargo shift (4%)
- Driver illness (3%)
- Driver distraction – internal (2%)
- Driver use of illegal drugs (2%)
- Driver consumption of alcohol (1%)
Injuries and Damages in Truck Accidents
The size and speed at which large trucks travel often makes the injuries more severe. Among victims of traffic collisions with large commercial trucks, those who survive often suffer catastrophic injuries with long-term debilitating effects. Common truck accident injuries include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Internal injuries
- Rib and torso injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
It is important to have skilled legal representation after a truck accident resulting in serious or catastrophic injuries. The damages you may be entitled to claim include present and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, and other losses. Our Colorado truck accident lawyers at The Sawaya Law Firm are dedicated to fully assessing the extent of your injuries and aggressively pursuing the compensation you need.
Contact Your Colorado Truck Accident Lawyer
Call us today to speak with an experienced:
- Colorado truck accident lawyer
- Denver truck accident lawyer
- Colorado Springs truck accident lawyer
- Aurora truck accident lawyer
- Fort Collins truck accident lawyer
- Lakewood truck accident lawyer
- Thornton truck accident lawyer
- Greeley truck accident lawyer
Our Truck Accident Lawyers Serve Denver, Greeley and all of Colorado
When you come to The Sawaya Law Firm after a serious truck accident, we will immediately and thoroughly investigate your accident, and file claims for the compensation we believe you are entitled to receive. We will also work to ensure that you receive proper medical treatment for your injuries and help you get your life back on track.
Due to the multiple potentially liable parties and federal regulations involved, truck accident cases can be complicated legal matters. Our Colorado personal injury lawyers have the skills, experience, resources, and dedication to fight for your rights and interests after a catastrophic truck accident. Contact our office today to arrange for a case consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer with our firm, free of charge.