Whether there is snow on the ground or summer sun in your eyes, Colorado’s roads can be dangerous when you are sharing them with large trucks. Suppose you are in an accident involving a truck, and you are injured. In that case, the truck driver and other parties, like the driver’s employer and the truck’s manufacturer, may be responsible for your injuries.
If you have been harmed in a Colorado truck accident, speak to a lawyer immediately. When is the trucking company liable? Experienced counsel can help you understand the complex issue of liability and how it can help get you compensated for your injuries. If there is not an issue of employer liability, a lawyer can help you investigate whether other parties may be responsible for providing you with compensation.
In this post, the team at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. will help you navigate some of the complexities of identifying the parties liable for your truck accident. We are always available to help you obtain the compensation you deserve after a truck accident.
Is Colorado a No-Fault Truck Accident State?
Colorado is not a no-fault state. In Colorado, the party at fault for the accident typically pays all of the other party’s damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. However, Colorado also follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if an injured party is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their damages may be reduced in proportion to their level of responsibility for the accident.
It is important to note that truck accidents can be complex, and liability can be difficult to determine. If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Colorado?
Any number of factors can contribute to truck accidents in Colorado. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Colorado include the following:
- Driver fatigue: Pressure to meet deadlines and drive without sufficient rest can lead to fatigue and impaired driving;
- Distracted driving: Cell phones, radios, GPS devices, and other technologies in use while driving can serve as distractions and cause accidents;
- Poor maintenance: Trucking companies may fail to properly maintain their vehicles, including brakes, tires, and other important safety equipment, leading to mechanical failures and accidents;
- Speeding: Deadline pressure may cause drivers to exceed the speed limit, increasing the risk of accidents;
- Improper loading: Improperly loaded cargo can shift during transport, causing the truck to become unstable or unbalanced, which can cause accidents;
- Impaired driving: Operating a truck under the influence of drugs and alcohol can reduce response time and create serious risks for everyone on the road; and
- Poor weather conditions: Adverse weather conditions such as snow, ice, and heavy rain can make it difficult to control a large truck, increasing the risk of accidents.
These are just a few of the most common causes of truck accidents in Colorado. Trucking companies and drivers must work to prevent accidents by following safety regulations, maintaining their vehicles properly, and driving responsibly. In some of these instances, drivers may act inappropriately and cause accidents, but in other cases, trucking companies may fail to provide tools, training, or maintenance. Such failures may seriously increase the risk of an accident.
Who Are the Liable Parties in a Truck Accident Case?
Even if a truck accident is the driver’s fault, the company that hired the driver may still be liable for their bad conduct on the job. In Colorado, an employer is responsible for the negligent conduct of its employees when they are acting within the course and scope of their employment. This means that if a truck driver causes an accident doing their job driving a truck—unless their conduct was extremely out of the ordinary—the trucking company will likely be held jointly responsible for the accident.
Proving fault by the trucking company is straightforward under this legal doctrine, known as respondeat superior. The company can be held responsible under this doctrine, even when the truck driver was at fault and even if the company did everything else right.
In some cases, it is very clear that the truck driver was individually negligent. Perhaps they were texting while driving, or perhaps they were driving under the influence. In these cases, they or their insurance company may bear a greater portion of responsibility for the accident. However, their employer may still be held responsible under Colorado law.
In other cases, the trucking company may have done or failed to do something that directly led to the accident. This can include negligent hiring of drivers with known substance use problems and active traffic violations, or it can mean failing to properly maintain the company fleet. Demonstrating that the trucking company did or did not take certain safety actions can help to prove its responsibility and can lead to higher damage awards. An experienced truck accident attorney can explain the best approach to your demand for compensation.
Why Is Timing Important?
Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after a truck accident is extremely important. Colorado has a three-year statute of limitation on truck accident claims. This means that you have only a limited window to fully investigate your truck accident claim, collect evidence, and attempt to settle the case out of court by reaching a settlement before the time period for filing a lawsuit in court disappears.
How Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. Can Help with Your Truck Accident Claim
Our experienced Denver 18-wheeler accident lawyers know that an injury can affect your life, employment, and security. That’s why the lawyers of Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., fight tirelessly to protect your rights. You deserve maximum compensation for your injuries, and we will work hard to ensure you get it.
If you were injured in a truck accident, speak with a Denver truck accident attorney from Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., immediately. We offer free initial consultations, so obtaining the information you need to make a decision regarding your potential claim is risk-free.