The type of vehicle involved in an accident can make all the difference in the outcome. While no accident is good news, some categories are much more dangerous than others. For example, accidents involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or another large commercial vehicle usually result in much more severe injuries than regular car accidents.
Statistics show smaller car occupants sustain the most catastrophic injuries from truck accidents. This is because trucks are enormous and tend to provide more of a protective barrier for their driver. However, the consequences for passenger vehicles can be grave or life-threatening.
Often, accident victims assume that their injury claim will be the same as any other car accident claim. However, truck accident claims differ from car accident claims in several ways.
Read on to find out how truck accidents differ from typical car accidents. Remember, it’s essential to practice safe driving strategies no matter what. But sometimes, even the most cautious drivers are subject to accidents.
If that happens to be you or someone you love, contact an experienced Denver truck accident lawyer. An experienced truck accident attorney knows how to handle the complexities of truck accident claims. In addition, they can help you secure the maximum compensation for your damages.
Truck Accident Victims Tend to Incur Greater Damages
A fully loaded truck can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. That type of massive weight paired with speed is a recipe for disaster. At higher speeds, the consequences of a crash can be catastrophic.
Victims who sustain injuries in truck accidents rarely walk away with minor damages. Instead, they often require emergency care, hospitalization, therapy, and long-term medical care. Sadly, it’s also common to see life-altering injuries that can change a victim’s entire life path. Sometimes people can’t return to work due to injuries from truck accidents.
Furthermore, since truck accidents are likely to yield more severe injuries, the financial damages are usually more significant. As a result, the settlement you could win from a truck accident case might be more lucrative than a regular car accident claim.
Sometimes a Third Party Can Be Liable for the Accident
While most truck accidents result from driver negligence, sometimes other parties can be liable. For example, the trucking company might be legally responsible for the accident. Or, perhaps there could be more than one liable party.
Here are some other possible liable parties in a truck accident:
- The truck driver
- The driver’s employer
- The truck manufacturer
- The cargo carrier company (if the cargo somehow contributed to causing the accident)
- Other drivers
- Government agencies
- Insurance companies that any of these parties have a policy
The more parties involved in a legal dispute, the more complicated it can become. Truck accident victims often seek compensation from multiple parties.
Defendants usually deny liability and will try to place blame on the other parties. Sometimes, defendants may file lawsuits against each other as well.
Most of the time, these are sizable corporate trucking companies with vast resources. They are also equipped with large legal teams. The result can be back-breaking work for the victims who try to hold them accountable. However, you can count on our Denver truck accident lawyers to protect your legal rights. Our solid legal representation gives you a better chance of winning against big commercial entities and their aggressive tactics.
The Structure of a Truck Makes for Particular Accidents
Large trucks are complex machinery with different anatomies than regular cars. As a result, the mechanics of a truck differ greatly from those found in typical cars. As a result, they are vulnerable to unique malfunctions. Furthermore, trucks are more likely to have certain types of collisions than smaller vehicles.
One example of a truck-specific collision is a jack-knife. A jack-knife happens when a truck’s trailer collides with the tractor. In other words, the truck crashes into itself at a 90-degree angle. A jack-knife accident occurs rapidly and is dangerous for all parties nearby. In addition, it’s almost impossible for the truck driver to regain control of the vehicle once this happens.
Another example is a runaway truck accident. Runaway trucks are trucks that lose their brake functions on a downhill slope. Large tractor-trailers are more likely to suffer brake malfunctions due to the size and weight of big rigs. Whether caused by faulty brakes or overloaded cargo, the outcome of a runaway truck can be disastrous.
No matter what type of truck accident happens, they have the propensity to cause monumental damages.
Truck Accidents Involve Unique Legal Issues
Truck drivers are heavily regulated and subject to very particular rules. For example, federal service hours guidelines ensure drivers don’t go too long without breaks. According to federal laws, truck drivers are not allowed to surpass eleven hours of consecutive driving. In addition, they must take a 30 minute non-driving break after eight consecutive driving hours.
Truck drivers are notorious for working long, continuous shifts, sometimes past the legal limits. Consequently, drowsy driving is a huge issue in the trucking industry. Sometimes it can be from employers over-scheduling drivers. If that’s the case, the employer could be liable for mandating unreasonable or unlawful work hours.
Some other common causes that commonly contribute to liability in truck accident claims include:
- Drunk or impaired driving
- Using prescription or other medication while driving
- Distracted driving
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Overloaded cargo
- Dangerous cargo
- Lack of adequate driver training or certification
- Employer negligence while hiring drivers
- Failure to properly maintain or inspect trucks
- Reckless lane switching or turning
Truck Accidents Require More Extensive Investigation & Research
It takes a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of what caused a truck accident. You may be able to find out a lot from a police report with a regular car accident. However, in a truck accident, that’s only a small part of the investigation.
Your claim may require consulting with expert witnesses and obtaining ample evidence. Examples of evidence for a truck accident could be truck drivers’ records, time logs, driver schedules, truck routes, drug tests, video surveillance footage, and more.
Sometimes the most common issues, like drowsy driving or violations of service hours, in truck accident claims are not readily apparent. In that case, it will be vital to have strong legal counsel to seek out the necessary records on your behalf.
Since truck accidents have higher stakes, evidence is more critical. Our Denver truck accident lawyers can work with accident reconstruction experts to conduct a detailed investigation on your behalf. We have a large network and considerable resources to build a solid case to support your claim. In addition, we know that each accident case is unique and requires a tailored plan.
Trucks Usually Have Bigger Insurance Policies
Trucks and their companies have bigger insurance policies. That means their insurance companies fight claims more aggressively. As a result, they are more reluctant to pay victims with more significant damage because that equates to larger payouts.
It’s important to remember that insurance companies and commercial trucking companies are interested in protecting themselves. Therefore, their priority is to reduce their liability to pay as little as possible. However, they have bigger budgets and extensive resources. While that means they have the means to compensate you, trying to handle your case alone will be an uphill battle.
Truck Accidents Are More Likely to Result in a Wrongful Death Suit
Truck accidents are more likely to have fatalities than other car accidents. Therefore, if you lost a loved one in a Colorado truck accident, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death suit. You can potentially recover for the loss of your loved one and any personal injury damages from the at-fault party.
An experienced Denver truck accident lawyer can help you and your family work through the claims process. Wrongful death cases are often some of the most emotionally charged and complex cases lawyers handle. However, we are passionate about helping victims’ families seek justice and win fair compensation for their losses.
We are compassionate and caring attorneys who will give your family the sensitive support needed during a tragedy. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one due to a trucking accident, we are here to help.
Contact a Denver Truck Accident Lawyer Today
We will fight to protect your rights and seek justice if you or a loved one was unfairly injured or died in a trucking accident.
Many victims make the mistake of trying to battle corporate trucking entities and their insurance companies themselves. However, that can lead you to settle for less than you deserve. Our Denver truck accident lawyers can help you maximize compensation and hold all responsible parties accountable.
Let us handle all the complex legal proceedings on your behalf so you can focus on healing and recovery.
We can answer your questions if you are unsure about your case or your legal rights after a truck accident.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation or call 720-500-HURT.