In recent years, semi-truck accidents in Colorado have made national news. Many of these accidents were caused directly by the negligent actions of commercial vehicle operators. Have you been in a commercial trucking accident? If so, there are a few things that you should know.

A personal vehicle weighs about 4,000 lbs. However, semi-trucks can weigh upwards of 80,000 lbs! Moreover, commercial truck drivers have financial incentives for covering long distances in short periods. As such, the safety of other vehicles is not always a priority for commercial semi-truck operators. Obviously, this does not bode well for drivers or passengers in smaller vehicles.

Other differences like ride heights, equipment pre-op inspections and a driver’s field of vision must also be taken into account with these types of accidents. Although these collisions can be complex, laws exist in Colorado to protect drivers.

Below, we will go over what you need to know about commercial trucking accidents and how you can protect your rights in Colorado. We will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about semi-truck collisions and commercial vehicle accidents. That way, you can proceed more confidently with your personal injury case.

Have You Been in a Commercial Trucking Accident in Colorado?

Trucking accidents should be taken seriously. It is easy to see how serious injuries can result when very large commercial vehicles collide with regular-sized automobiles!

If you have been in an accident with a semi-truck or commercial vehicle in Colorado, we encourage you to contact an experienced local commercial vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible. That way, you have the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve.

Having an experienced commercial truck accident lawyer on your side can help you significantly. If you are the victim of an accident with a semi, call the experienced professionals at Matlin Injury Law today! Our team will do everything we can to answer your specific questions.

For a free consultation, call 720-464-3600. You can also fill out our convenient online case form, and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

What are some of the most common causes of commercial trucking accidents?

There are many forms of truck driver conduct that may result in accidents with pedestrian drivers. Some types of accidents occur more frequently than others. Specifically, when a commercial truck driver fails to stop with adequate time to slow down, accidents are likely. Moreover, substance abuse such as the irresponsible use of amphetamines or sleep suppressing drugs behind the wheel can lead to serious accidents.

The most common types of semi-truck accidents are caused by human error. In fact, driver error accounts for most semi-truck-related accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 80% of commercial truck-related crashes are caused by errors on the part of the truck driver. Moreover, the FMCSA reports that non-performance, failure to apply recognition, and poor decision-making are leading causes of truck accident fatalities.

Issues with commercial engine brakes are the top cause of commercial truck accidents. An interruption of traffic flow like congestion or a previous crash is the second most common contributor to highway accidents. Prescription drug use comes in third. Traveling too quickly is fourth. Then, unfamiliarity or issues with a roadway is fifth.

The failure to stop in time is the sixth most common cause. Finally, over-the-counter drug use, inadequate surveillance, and fatigue follow, in that order. Here are the 10 most common associated collision factors in order according to the FMCSA.

Top Commercial Truck Accident Causes

  1. Brake problems
  2. Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
  3. Prescription drug use
  4. Traveling too fast for conditions
  5. Unfamiliarity with roadway
  6. Roadway problems
  7. Missing a required stop (traffic control devices, crosswalk, stop signs)
  8. Over-the-counter drug use
  9. Inadequate surveillance
  10. Fatigue

National Crash Estimates

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were approximately 120,000 fatal and injury crashes out of 141,000 accidents involving large trucks over a 33-month recording period. That means that over 85% of crashes from this study resulted in serious injuries or death. With statistics this serious, it makes sense that there are strict laws to govern the behaviors and safety actions of commercial semi-truck drivers.

Which injuries are most common in commercial trucking accidents?

When large commercial trucks collide with small personal vehicles, serious injuries often occur. Among the most common injuries are head and brain traumas. These can include traumatic brain injuries, blunt head traumas, concussions, deep lacerations, and so on.

Most Common Injuries from Commercial Vehicle Accidents:

  • Head trauma
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal and neurological damage
  • Amputated limbs
  • Lacerations
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal injuries

What commercial trucking accident injuries are the most catastrophic and traumatic?

When commercial vehicles collide with smaller vehicles, the drivers and passengers of the lighter-weight vehicles are seriously injured around 80% of the time. This is because commercial vehicles are so much larger than personal vehicles. Semi-trucks are more than 20 times larger than the average car which puts pedestrian drivers and passengers at a distinct safety disadvantage.

As such, traumatic and catastrophic injuries can occur for those inside the smaller vehicle. The most catastrophic result of a commercial Trucking accident is death. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a commercial vehicle driver, contact our attorneys. Apart from death, permanent paralysis, traumatic head injuries, amputated limbs, and internal bleeding are among the most common types of catastrophic injuries.

Catastrophic injuries like this can take months, years, or even a lifetime to recover from. This can lead to a loss of income, permanent Lifestyle Changes, suffering, and more. Sometimes, the victim never fully recovers from their injuries and is permanently damaged by the actions of a negligent trucker.

What to do if you have been in a commercial trucking collision or semi-truck accident?

If you have been in a commercial trucking collision, the first thing you should do is get to safety. Make sure that your injuries are addressed and call 911. Then, try to help anyone else who was involved in the accident.

Keep track of your injuries and medical expenses. If possible, gather evidence at the scene while you wait for an ambulance to arrive. Then, contact a Colorado truck accident lawyer. The sooner you speak with an injury attorney, the better your chances will be of claiming the full amount of compensation for your suffering.

Be careful what you say in the meantime, and do not post on social media. Your official statement may be used against you if your case goes to court. It is your lawyer’s job to protect you and represent your best interests so that you can get the compensation you deserve.

What to Do if You Are the Victim of a Commercial Trucking Accident

  • Call the police. In most situations, you should immediately contact 911
  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • If possible, document the evidence at the scene
  • Write down your contact information for witnesses
  • Get your vehicle appraised
  • Keep track of your medical bills
  • Be careful what you say after an accident before speaking with a lawyer
  • Do not post on social media
  • Wait to file insurance claims until after speaking with an attorney
  • Call a Colorado truck accident lawyer

Should I get a lawyer after being in a semi-truck or commercial trucking collision?

Yes, if you are the victim of a commercial truck accident, you should contact a reputable personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your commercial truck accident lawyer will be able to advise you on the specifics of your case. They will also help you decide how to proceed and handle your individual situation.

Moreover, your lawyer will work hard to help you get the compensation that you are entitled to. Insurance companies and the company of the truck driver will want to protect their interests, not yours. These institutions may offer settlements that do not cover your damages adequately.

So, be careful what you say and who you talk to until you have retained a qualified attorney. At Matlin Injury Law, we are here to help clients get the best possible outcomes for their claims and cases. After a commercial truck accident, the last thing you need is more stress. Let us handle the legalities for you. Then, you can focus on what is important: getting well!

What insurance policies do semi-truck or commercial vehicle operators have?

In Colorado, all commercial and business-owned vehicles must be covered by commercial automobile insurance. The minimum requirements for this type of insurance in Colorado are $25,000 bodily injury liability insurance per person. I definitely, $15,000 of property damage liability insurance is required for each incident. Generally, liability insurance for commercial vehicles covers around $750,000 worth of damage.

Primary Liability Insurance is also required for all semi-trucks. This is a legal requirement for all truckers. Covers any damages to other vehicles, property, injuries, and more. Whether a truck driver is the owner of their semi or leasing a vehicle, this insurance is a necessity.

Do commercial operators or truckers have to carry insurance in Colorado?

Yes, in the state of Colorado, all drivers must have insurance. The company of a commercial truck driver may also have certain policies that cover damages to other vehicles. To learn more about commercial truck insurance laws in Colorado, call us.

What are Colorado’s commercial trucking accident reporting requirements?

If the negligence of a truck driver causes an accident, they, or their company, will be responsible for any damages. With that being said, most truck drivers and the companies they are employed by will have commercial liability insurance as well. As such, the insurance companies of these parties will almost always be the entities that pay for all damages to victims.

Who can be held liable for a commercial collision in Colorado?

With commercial trucking accidents, the responsible party is often the commercial truck driver. This is because many trucking companies make unworkable and dangerous demands on their employees. Moreover, many commercial drivers are not incentivized to drive safely. In fact, the exact opposite often occurs. Indeed, Commercial truckers have incentives to deliver loads quickly. As such, they are often in a hurry on the highway or Interstate. This is a recipe for disaster.

Although a private party may be at fault for a commercial trucking accident, eight times out of ten, the fault of an accident is likely to lie with the semi-truck driver.

Determining Liability

Determining liability involves proving fault. With a commercial truck accident, “fault” must be proven by showing that one of the entities involved caused the accident or showed negligence which then resulted in a collision. For example, if a truck driver ran a red light and hit your car, that driver and their company would be held liable for damages.

What are comparative fault laws and how do they work in Colorado?

Under Colorado’s modified comparative negligence laws, the damages that a plaintiff is entitled to can be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault in an accident. To put it simply, if the company or insurance agency of a truck driver can prove that an accident is your fault or even partially your fault, they may try to get out of paying for your damages.

This is why it is so important to hire a commercial accident attorney immediately after you have been involved in a collision with a semi-truck or large commercial vehicle. Our team has the skills and experience needed to go up against large corporations!

Who can be held liable for an accident involving a commercial vehicle or semi-truck?

In most situations, the trucker will be held liable for damages. A commercial vehicle operator or semi-truck driver has a higher burden of care than a pedestrian. The burden of care is how much responsibility a professional vehicle operator has when behind the wheel.

Since a commercial truck operator is expected to professionally operate their large vehicle with care and consideration, they have a higher burden of care. By breaching that burden of care, they show negligence and disregard for the safety of others.

What is the process of determining liability in a commercial trucking accident?

The process of determining liability involves looking at the facts, statements, and evidence surrounding a commercial trucking accident. Police reports, witness statements, injury reports, and other types of evidence may be taken into consideration. This is one of the reasons that it is important to be careful who you talk to and what you say after a commercial collision.

By examining the factors surrounding a commercial truck accident, insurance companies will try to figure out who is responsible for the damage. An example of this would be the trajectory of the truck, the speed both vehicles were going, the amount of damage sustained by a vehicle, and the circumstances surrounding the accident in question.

If you would like to find out if you have a case against a commercial trucking company, contact us. We will look at the facts surrounding your case with confidentiality and help you find out how much it is worth.

How long do you have to file a claim or lawsuit after a commercial vehicle accident in Colorado?

According to Colorado Revised Statute 13-80-101(1), you have three years to file a lawsuit regarding the injuries you have sustained in an accident. After this allotted period, the courts can deny your claim automatically. Moreover, if you are bringing a claim against the state of Colorado or any city or government vehicles working for the state, you only have 180 days to file your claim.

What compensation is available for victims of commercial trucking accidents in Colorado?

Negligent commercial vehicle operators should be held accountable for injuring pedestrians. All cases are different. As such, the amount of compensation that you could be entitled to can vary greatly. To find out what your commercial trucking accident case is worth, contact our law offices or fill out an online case form.

Compensation for damages may assist with:

  • The loss of a loved one
  • The price of medical care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Incident-related wage loss
  • Hospital costs and aftercare
  • Other damages related to a commercial truck accident

How do you file a commercial automobile accident claim in Colorado?

There are many ways to file a commercial trucking accident claim in Colorado. Filing claims takes several steps and can be a complex process. If you are injured or suffering in the hospital, filing a claim is probably the last thing on your mind. If you are a victim of injuries, let us handle the legal paperwork for you!

Why choose Matlin Injury Law after a commercial trucking accident?

If you are the victim of a commercial trucking accident, we are here to help. These kinds of accidents can be devastating and life-changing. Your pain and suffering should be taken seriously by a considerate team of legal professionals.

Our personal injury attorneys can represent you in court, help you file claims, protect your rights as liability is determined, and more. We will also help you receive the compensation you deserve for commercial trucking accident damages!

Our skilled team of truck accident attorneys is here for accident victims in Colorado. We serve Parker and all surrounding areas of Douglas County. If you aren’t sure whether we can help you with your Colorado semi-truck accident case, simply call us. Whether we can represent you or not, we will still treat you with professionality, care, and consideration.

If you have been in a commercial truck accident you may be entitled to significant compensation. In these cases, liability is usually premised on the doctrine of negligence. It’s a negligent party is a professional commercial vehicle operator or truck driver, the law is likely to apply in your favor in the state of Colorado.

Don’t let a large corporation sweep your pain and suffering under the rug! You should not have to settle for anything less than what you deserve. At Matlin Injury Law, we will not be paid until you are. So, you can trust us to do everything possible to get you the best results after your commercial truck accident!

Our team has years of commercial vehicle accident personal injury experience in Colorado. We can make the legal processes of filing claims and lawsuits as painless as possible. We take all commercial vehicle accident cases very seriously!

Contact a Top-Rated Commercial Accident Lawyer at (720) 464-3600