With vehicles weighing up to 80,000 lbs., these collisions are violent and often life-changing. If the accident was even partly someone else’s fault, you are likely entitled to compensation.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck crash, contact our Lakewood truck accident lawyers today for a free consultation.
Why Hire a Lakewood Truck Accident Lawyer?
Filing a personal injury claim is usually more complicated than it would be with a regular car driver. Truck accidents usually involve large commercial trucks and companies with armies of lawyers and daunting insurers.
If the accident wasn’t your fault, you deserve compensation. And it shouldn’t be an undervalued offer.
Our Lakewood truck accident lawyers have the experience and expertise to tackle them on your behalf.
We will utilize our impressive legal resources, specialists and legal expertise to win you the maximum possible settlement. With a thorough investigation, detailed damages calculation and negotiations, we will do everything within our power to help you or your family recover.
Lakewood Truck Accident Statistics
To highlight the serious nature of truck accidents, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s latest report reveals the U.S. has seen the following figures every year:
Deaths from Large Truck Crashes:
- 2010: 3,686
- 2011: 3,781
- 2012: 3,944
- 2013: 3,981
- 2014: 3,908
- 2015: 4,094
- 2016: 2,678
- 2017: 4,905
- 2018: 4,951
Injuries from Large Truck Crashes:
- 2010: 80,000
- 2011: 88,000
- 2012: 104,000
- 2013: 95,000
- 2014: 111,000
- 2015: 116,000
- 2016: 134,000
- 2017: 148,000
- 2018: 151,000
Victims of Truck Crashes Trends:
- 17% are large truck drivers
- 72% are occupants of other vehicles
- 11% are non-occupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
How Is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
To win your case, our Lakewood truck accident lawyers must prove that the other party was liable. This is done by proving that their negligence or error directly resulted in your injuries.
Truck accident cases have a challenging reputation for involving multiple defendants.
Although the driver is often to blame, there may be other elements such as a vehicle fault or mechanic negligence.
To prove negligence, the evidence must be displayed before the court. We will work hard to collect and protect any evidence and utilize specialists, if needed, to show the link between the cause of the accident and your injuries.
This could include CCTV footage, dashcam footage, vehicle computer data, witness reports, doctors’ notes, crash reconstruction experts, financial experts and much more.
Who Is Liable in a Lakewood Truck Accident?
The FMCSA reports that 32.3% of fatal truck accidents are caused by some sort of driver error. From distracted driving and speeding to failure to yield, a truck driver is responsible for keeping others safe while driving such a heavy vehicle.
In many cases, the truck company may still be liable as the driver was their employee. There are also times where drivers are off-duty.
The commercial trucking company may be liable for your truck accident if, for example, they failed to train or vet the driver properly, hired a driver without appropriate background checks or overworked their drivers into fatigue.
Trucks can be extremely heavy vehicles that rely on their brakes, gears and hydraulics to avoid disaster. If a vehicle part is found to be defective after it failed in an accident, then the truck manufacturer may be liable for your damages.
Truck Maintenance Providers
Regular maintenance of trucks is crucial to protect the safety of our roads. If the technician who performed the maintenance overlooked problems or failed to do their task, then the provider may be liable for the resulting damages.
Other Vehicle Drivers
Truck accidents are not always caused directly by the truck. The accident may have been triggered due to someone else’s negligence, such as a car driver.
The Distributor or Shipping Service Provider
The weight balance of a big rig is crucial to avoid tipping over round curves and to allow for safe braking. If the party responsible for packing a trailer did their job incorrectly, then they may be at least partly liable for your damages.
Our roads, traffic signals, speed limits and even some trucks are controlled and maintained by local, state and federal government agencies.
Taking legal action against a government entity is complex and requires various requirements when making the claim. It is advised that you contact a Lakewood accident lawyer if you believe a government agency was at fault.
Common Causes of Lakewood Truck Accidents:
The FMCSA reports there are many causes for trucking accidents, with driver error a major contributing factor. Common causes include:
- Faulty truck brakes – 29%
- Driver speeding or driving too fast for the conditions – 23%
- Driver unfamiliar with the route – 22%
- Roadway problems or damage – 20%
- Driver affected by over-the-counter drugs – 17%
- Driver inadequate surveillance – 14%
- Driver fatigue – 13%
- Driver distraction – 10%
- Driver under work pressure, such as time constraints – 10%
- Illegal maneuvers – 9%
- Driver inattention – 9%
- Truck tire failure or problems – 6%
- Tailgating – 5%
- Driver jackknifing truck – 5%
- Truck cargo shift – 4%
- Driver illness – 3%
- Intoxicated driver – 3%
Our Lakewood truck accident lawyers will use our resources and experience to determine the cause of your accident and prove it before showing it directly caused your injuries.
What Damages Could I Win in a Truck Accident Injury Claim?
Victims are often unaware of the true far-reaching extent of their accident. Insurers and opposing lawyers take advantage of that by undervaluing their claims.
But in reality, you likely deserve compensation for far more than just your medical expenses. Our Lakewood truck accident lawyers can fight to help you win compensation for the following damages:
- Medical Expenses (past and future, since the date of the accident)
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Treatment Costs
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Future Earnings
- In-Home Care Expenses
- Childcare Costs
- Medical Equipment Costs
- Transportation Expenses
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Scarring / Disfigurement
- Long-Term Disability
- Potential Punitive Damages
- Property Damage
- Wrongful Death
What Injuries Are Commonly Suffered in Truck Accidents?
Our roads see a large variety of trucks, many of which weigh tens of thousands of pounds. Victims often suffer severe injuries with long-term, life-changing effects. Our Lakewood truck accident lawyers have helped victims who have suffered:
- Back, shoulder, and neck injury
- Brain Injury
- Burn Injury
- Catastrophic injury
- Chest injury
- Crushing injury
- Eye injury
- Fractures and broken bones
- Head injury, including concussion
- Scarring & Disfigurement
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Traumatic brain injuries
What to Do if a Loved One Dies in a Lakewood Truck Accident?
In the heartbreaking situation that someone close to you has died in a truck accident in Lakewood, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. These claims are designed to help surviving families recover their expenses and receive compensation for their suffering.
You are welcome to contact us today for a free consultation.
Types of Trucks on Colorado Roads:
In Colorado, we see a variety of large trucks, each presenting a unique danger to road users. These include:
Commonly referred to as ‘semis’ or ‘big rigs’, these large trucks feature a tractor unit attached to a long freight trailer. They weigh many tons and struggle to stop quickly. Their size leaves them vulnerable to blind spots and catastrophic accidents.
Dump and Garbage Trucks
Garbage trucks are not as big as tractor-trailers but still carry a vast amount of weight. They can also drop debris or objects that trigger accidents.
Tankers carry the extra danger of hauling hazardous materials such as gas, oils and toxic chemicals. They can be flammable and explosive.
Flatbed trucks are tractor-trailers carrying flatbeds instead of freight trailers. They often carry large items such as logs or construction material. Poor packing can cause the trailer to swerve or cargo to come loose.
Tow trucks are commercial trucks designed to tow damaged vehicles. Their extreme weight and towing arms have been seen to cause catastrophic accidents and injuries.
Moving trucks such as U-Haul, Budget, Penske and Ryder also have blind-spot and weight distribution issues that threaten other road uses. These trucks are also regularly operated by regular drivers who have not been given the same training as commercial drivers.
What Are Lakewood’s Truck Safety Regulations?
With over 13,180 trucking companies located in Colorado, the state takes commercial trucking safety very seriously. Lawmakers have strict rules and regulations to reduce the number of accidents, especially during the winter months.
Truckers and truck companies must also follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules. Failure to do so would likely make them liable in an accident.
These laws include:
- The gross weight of a truck on the interstate cannot be over 80,000 lbs.
- A vehicle not on an interstate cannot exceed a gross weight of 85,000 lbs.
- The vehicle must follow the “federal bridge formula”, which controls the weight and axle set-up of the vehicle.
- Single unit trucks and trailers cannot exceed 85 feet in length.
- The height of a truck may not exceed 13 feet.
- The total width of a truck may not exceed 103 inches.
Truck Chain Law
Every year from September 1st to May 31st, commercial vehicles must have chains when using certain roads. Failure to do so can leave them at risk of an accident on icy or snowy roads.
What Is a Truck’s Black Box?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) requires all commercial trucks to record and report specific data. This is usually done via the ‘black box’.
You may have heard this name used in airplanes and it is effectively the same thing. A black box contains:
- Electronic Control Modules (ECM)
- Event Data Recorders (EDR)
- Electronic Logging Devices (ELD)
The device preserves crucial vehicle data about the truck and the driver’s behavior. If an accident occurs, the box can be retrieved to reveal crucial information. Our Lakewood truck accident lawyers will work hard to gather evidence from the black box, which may reveal:
- The truck’s speed
- Precise GPS location
- Whether the truck driver was wearing a seat belt
- The steering angle
- The use and force of brakes
- The truck’s RPM
- Airbag status
- Cruise control settings
- Throttle application
- Tire pressure
- Communication information
What to Do After a Lakewood Truck Accident?
The initial actions you take after a truck accident in Lakewood can have a significant impact on the direction of your personal injury claim:
Receive Medical Attention
The safety of all involved is the number one priority in any road accident. Check yourself and passengers for injuries. Call 911 and receive medical attention if required.
If you don’t feel comfortable, do not move unless there is a fire. Doing so can aggravate your injuries and potentially cause more damage.
Taking photos yourself ensures evidence of the accident is recorded. Take photos of the accident scene, your vehicle, the truck, road conditions, barriers, skid marks and your injuries.
Gather Witness Information
If there are any witnesses, ensure you collect their information. The police will likely speak to them too, but you cannot risk losing the vital evidence they can provide.
Speak with Police
Speak honestly and concisely, but never admit fault or apologize when speaking to the police. This is not the time to be determined if you were at fault – analysis of evidence later will likely reveal a truth you may not have been aware of.
Contact a Lakewood Truck Accident Lawyer
You may be contacted by an insurance company with a low-ball offer early on. Do not accept this without speaking to a Lakewood truck accident lawyer first. These offers almost certainly are not a true reflection of the suffering you’ve experienced and will continue to experience.
Our Lakewood truck accident lawyers will be able to advise you on the next steps and protect you from insurer manipulation.
Visit a Doctor
A doctor can make a thorough examination of any injuries, keeping you safe and providing you with crucial evidence for your claim.
Even if you feel fine, you may not notice the true impact of these heavy accidents until days or even weeks after the event. For example, whiplash or traumatic brain injuries are often experienced slowly.
Keep all doctors’ notes and medical bills. This will help create a link between the accident and your damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Claim?
In Colorado, the Statute of Limitations limits you to three years for a personal injury claim involving motorized vehicles. (§13-80-102 and §13-80-101).
If you’re filing a claim against a government entity, you must do so within 180 days of the accident. Strict compliance with the notice requirement must also be followed, and failure to do so can see your claim denied.
Contact our Lakewood truck accident lawyers today to get started.
How Do Truck Accident Claims Differ from Car Accidents?
Although the causes may be similar, truck accidents are almost always far more severe and complex than car accidents. The sheer nature of the vehicles makes them wrecking balls for anything that stands in their way.
- 11.8% of large truck accidents involve serious injury
- 34.1% involve minor injuries.
In car accident claims, you’re usually dealing with one person and their insurer. But in truck accidents, the stakes are higher.
Sadly, insurance companies working on behalf of large commercial truck companies and manufacturers will have one priority – to pay you as little as possible. They are for-profit businesses that have no interest in giving you the maximum amount you deserve.
Our Lakewood truck accident lawyers will not buckle under their pressure. We will fight aggressively to win you the money you deserve.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Lakewood, CO
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a truck accident in Lakewood, CO, then contact our licensed Lakewood truck accident lawyers for a free consultation as soon as possible. Within a few minutes, we believe that you will understand that you can trust us.
With a combination of a proven track record, impressive financial resources, esteemed legal reputation and a compassionate approach, we believe there is no better Denver personal injury lawyer team than us.