Colorado has several large interstates that allow for truckers and motorists to reach their destination quickly and easily. Unfortunately, with high speed and large loads comes the possibility for very dangerous, potentially fatal accidents involving semi-trucks.
In recent years, Colorado Semi-Truck Accidents have become more prevalent. Some of this is to blame on typical causes like distracted driving and DUI, while some of the blame can be put on fatigued or drowsy driving. Either way, these recent stats from the USDT are very alarming:
- In 2017 4,102 people died in car accidents involving semi-trucks. Of these deaths, 17% were the semi-truck occupants, while a staggering 68% were drivers or passengers in the other vehicles involved. The remaining 14% comprised of pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists.
- The number of people who died in large semi-truck accidents has increased by 30% since 2009.
Given that truck drivers are legally allowed to drive upwards of 11 hours at a time, it is no wonder that there are increased accidents statistics as a result of fatigued drivers, negligence, and system failures.
These commercial trucks can weigh over 80,000 pounds which poses a danger to other drivers, especially in the event that accidents take place. While most truck drivers are very responsible and aware of their surroundings on the road, this does not prevent these types of accidents from happening. Sadly, when they do occur, they usually result in catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death.
I’ve Been in A Colorado Semi-Truck Accident - Now What?
If you were involved in a car accident with an 18-wheeler or semi-truck in Colorado, the steps you follow are similar to any other car accidents:
Exchange information with the semi-truck driver not only contact information but insurance information. This will be needed by your attorney, your insurance company, and the police when you file a report. For truck drivers too you want the information pertaining to the trucking company if there is one.
Call the police and file an official report. You will want an official report for your case down the line. Your attorneys can get the report from the police if you cannot.
Document the damages with pictures if possible, and document pertinent information such as the location of the accident as well as the time it took place, license plates, police officers and their badge numbers who were involved, and any injuries.
Seek medical attention for any injuries. If you fail to seek medical attention, or you do not follow through with the treatment options you are given, it would work against your case especially if your condition has worsened because you failed to get treatment.
Contact an attorney. You will need a qualified attorney to help you gather medical documents, evidence, and be the go-between for insurance companies.
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Most Common Injuries in Semi-Truck Accidents
The most common injuries that occur in these types of accidents are:
- Severe Head Trauma
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Injuries & Paralysis
If you or a loved one have experienced injuries from a Colorado Semi-Truck Accident, it is vital that you speak with an attorney immediately in order to begin working towards getting the compensation you deserve for your damages, pain, and suffering.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for My Colorado Semi-Truck Accident Claim?
There are many things that an attorney can do for you depending on the complexity of your situation but in general, we are able to help you by:
- Communicating with the insurance company for other drivers
- Obtaining the necessary evidence in order to substantiate the claim that the other driver was negligent and therefore liable
- Organizing any of your medical records or bills for the medical damages portion of your claim
- Communicating with your healthcare providers in order to access records that you might have problems obtaining and concurrently working with your doctors to make sure they give you the medical information necessary to prove the damages
- Organizing and presenting the evidence for your case in order to get the best possible compensation
- Negotiating a satisfactory settlement with any other insurance auditors or defense attorneys involved in the case
Let’s take a second to explain each one of these steps a bit more in-depth in order to help you understand why having a Colorado Truck Accident Attorney is so important for your case.
1. Communicating with Insurance Companies
In any situation involving a personal injury, your attorney is there to communicate with the insurance adjuster for any other parties involved. Remember that the insurance adjuster is not your friend. They hold the key to your compensation and settlement, but they are also trained to avoid paying out if possible. Trained attorneys understand the tactics employed by insurance adjusters and can help you to get the compensation you truly deserve.
2. Gathering Evidence
Immediately after an accident of any kind, you should focus on your recovery. Being overwhelmed with bills and claims forms happens often which is why having a qualified attorney can help you alleviate some of the stress and focus on your recovery.
A good attorney will help you obtain any evidence you need to prove negligence and establish liability in your claim. Any pictures you took at the scene of the crime will be used to substantiate that claim. Your attorney will make sure to gather all accident reports, speak with the other witnesses and the investigating officers on your behalf and make sure that no stone is left unturned.
It is much easier to get a witness to provide their statement when an attorney is the one reaching out then it would be for you just making phone calls on your own.
3. Working with Medical Professionals
Working with an attorney is essential to gathering evidence of damages and injuries. It can be difficult for you to get your hands on bills from healthcare providers that were sent to your insurance company as well as certain medical records.
The issue here is that sending medical records is not necessarily a priority, especially for large hospitals which have procedures in place for medical record requests which are typically not publicized.
Therefore as a regular citizen, you wouldn't necessarily know how to follow those procedures but a qualified attorney would. More importantly, a good attorney will know when your records are incomplete and follow up as often as is necessary to get what you need.
In some cases, the doctor simply failed to use a word like disability, causation, or prognosis all of which are paramount to prove through medical evidence what injuries or disabilities you sustain, and that those injuries or disabilities were caused by negligence. If the magic words aren't in the report, a good attorney will follow up with your doctors and medical staff until they are.
If your doctor gave a detailed report about the injuries you sustained but didn't mention the cause or the extent of them, your attorney can ask for a special letter where the doctor provides their qualified opinion that's the disability or injury was the result of the accident in question.
4. Negotiating A Settlement
A good lawyer will tactfully negotiate on your behalf. They know how much your case is worth and they know what steps to follow to make sure that you get what you deserve from your insurance provider.
Colorado truck accident attorneys are qualified professionals when it comes to gathering evidence and documents and negotiating on behalf of your best interest. You might not know when your case is something complicated, but attorneys do. After an accident of any kind, the last thing you need is the additional stress of trying to coordinate with the different parties involved, reach out to witnesses, contact your doctor's office again and again and again, all while trying to fix any damages to your car and get back to work.
At the end of the day, you need things to get done correctly, and quickly. Attorneys help to assure that your claim is filed properly, on time, and can help you maximize your compensation.
Colorado Truck Accident FAQ
How much does a Colorado truck accident lawyer cost?
This is based on the attorney. Some charge a contingency fee which means you don’t pay until the case is won in your favor, and if it isn’t, you don’t pay. Others charge based on hours and materials.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a truck accident in Colorado?
The Statute of Limitations for car accidents in Colorado is 3 years, meaning you have three years after your accident to file your claim.
Can I sue the trucking company?
If it was the fault of the trucking company, you can. An example would be the trucking company knew of a serious system failure and did not fix it, which led to the accident.
How much compensation am I entitled to for my Colorado truck accident?
This is based on the severity of the case, the injuries, the damage, and medical bills.
How is compensation calculated?
Compensation is calculated based on things like physical damages to property, medical bills from injuries, lost wages from injuries, and emotional suffering.
How Anderson Hemmat Can Help Your Case
Our Denver Truck Accident Attorneys have over 40+ years of experience helping victims of accidents get the compensation they deserve. Our expert team of attorneys can help you to seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses (today and in the future)
- Rehabilitation and associated expenses
- Any lost wages from the truck accident
- Physical and mental pains of the accident
- Property damages
If you or a loved one has been in an accident with an 18-wheeler in Colorado, you deserve compensation. Our attorneys can help you to understand your case, answer your questions, learn more about the next steps, and get started working towards compensation.
We are passionate about helping each client get what they deserve. Our team works tirelessly to help your case move along quickly and smoothly, with in-depth help each step of the way.
Have You Been Hit by A Truck Driver in Colorado? Get A Free Case Evaluation!
If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a tractor-trailer in Colorado, you should speak with an attorney immediately. Depending on who is at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, damages, and suffering.
Contact us today to get a free case evaluation from one of our experienced Denver Truck Accident Lawyers that will help you understand your case, how much you are entitled to, and what steps to take next.
Don’t fight your legal battle alone, get the legal assistance you need to win your case and get the compensation you deserve for your experiences.