The average car weighs around 4,000 pounds and can wreak havoc when its operator drives negligently. Large trucks tend to weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Due to a truck’s size, the effects of a large truck accident can be catastrophic. If you have been injured in a truck accident, the Aurora truck accident attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., have the experience and passion to help make sure you recover what an at-fault driver owes you. Contact us today.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes that there were 510,000 accidents involving large trucks in 2019. Of those 510,000 crashes, 4,479 were fatal, and 114,000 caused injuries. Many characteristics of large-truck driving increase the likelihood of unsafe driving and lead to collisions.
Some of the most significant long-haul truck driving safety concerns reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are:
- Driving while tired,
- Heavy traffic,
- Bad weather, and
- Lack of training.
The FMCSA also listed frequent large truck driving violations from 2020. These violations included failure to obey traffic control devices and lane restriction violations.
Large trucks are massive and hard to maneuver, and many truck drivers are under unreasonable pressure to complete their routes quickly. These factors can spell disaster for innocent motorists and pedestrians in and around the roadways.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
If a truck driver’s misconduct causes you injury, you have a right to compensation. Common injuries caused by traffic accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Soft tissue injuries of the lower back;
- Injury of the lower extremities;
- Broken bones in the chest and sternum; and
- Muscle tears, joint damage, and broken bones in the shoulder.
Even if your symptoms after a truck crash seem mild, seek medical attention immediately. Your condition might require surgical attention, and you might also be suffering from internal organ or nerve damage.
If you suffer a truck accident injury, make sure that you follow your doctor’s medical recommendations and restrictions carefully. Regularly attending appointments, respecting your limitations, and keeping your medical records can prevent a defendant from claiming that your medical needs are not significant or are unrelated. These are arguments a defendant might use to justify a low settlement offer or undermine your right to a substantial trial award. Do not give a defendant any excuse to shirk an obligation to pay you.
Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
If you decide to file a truck accident lawsuit, you will likely be suing the insurance company of the at-fault driver or their employer. And you usually have to prove negligence to recover financial damages in a motor vehicle crash lawsuit. Negligence means that the at-fault driver failed to act reasonably and caused the accident and your injuries.
Ways to Prove Negligence
There are many ways to prove a truck driver’s negligence. You might point to the weather, the state of the road, or the condition of the at-fault driver’s truck to prove negligence. You can also use an at-fault driver’s failure to follow driving laws as proof of negligence.
Using violations of the law as your proof is more complex in a truck accident lawsuit because large truck drivers must follow a complicated set of regulations administered by the FMCSA. Aurora truck accident lawyers can increase your chances of winning by identifying all rules an at-fault driver disobeyed.
In addition to identifying FMCSA violations, an experienced Aurora truck accident attorney can also help you explore other potential grounds for negligence. For example, they can investigate the driver’s training and experience, as well as their driving record, to determine if they have a history of reckless or negligent driving. They can also look into the trucking company’s policies and procedures, including hiring practices, vehicle maintenance, and driver monitoring, to see if they contributed to the accident.
Whether you seek a trial award or a truck accident settlement, you want to make sure you receive all damages to which you are entitled. There are multiple types of damages you can receive in a truck accident case, such as:
- Compensation for medical care (past and future);
- Reimbursement for related out-of-pocket expenses;
- Payment for the replacement or repair of damaged property;
- Compensation for pain and suffering;
- Payment for lost wages and lost earning capability; and
- Exemplary damages.
Exemplary damages are meant to punish a defendant for acting fraudulently, maliciously, willfully, or wantonly. Winning these damages is often difficult, and proving your right to them is best handled by a skilled attorney.
You should also keep in mind that you cannot recover damages in a negligence case if you are 50% or more at fault. Additionally, Colorado law reduces your financial recovery by the percent of fault you had in the accident. Insurance companies love to find any excuse to withhold compensation from you in a claim or lawsuit, and they can exploit these recovery rules if you are not prepared to fight them. Knowledgeable attorneys know how to fight these arguments to protect your right to compensation.
Additionally, it is crucial to keep all receipts, invoices, medical records, accident reports, wage records, employment records, and witness information to help make sure the defendant recognizes all of your losses. Gather as much as you can on your own, and your attorney can recover the rest through legal tools.
Your Deadline for Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
You have only three years to file a truck accident lawsuit. Do not view this as a long period of time because rehabilitation from many truck-accident-related injuries can take years. And, if you don’t initiate legal action within three years, you could be permanently barred from recovering any compensation you deserve from an at-fault driver. If the negligent party is a governmental entity, you have even less time. You should speak to an attorney immediately after suffering harm in a truck accident to help make sure that you do not miss a deadline or waive a right.
Our Aurora Truck Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help
Gerash Steiner Blanton is an outstanding personal injury law firm ready to win the best results for truck accident victims like you. Our attorneys serve the Denver metro area and have over 75 years of combined experience. We also have Attorney Eric Steiner, M.D., as a part of our team. He has practiced cardiac anesthesiology in Denver for over 18 years and has the edge to help you receive proper legal relief for your medical needs.If you want an attorney who can skillfully fight your battles, protect your rights, and win results, talk to us. Contact us today.