Commercial vehicles like semi-trucks and delivery trucks transport goods all over the nation, including Colorado highways.
Any time you drive your car, you may see a large truck on the road, especially on a major interstate such as I-25. Inevitably, commercial vehicles get involved in car accidents, just like any other automobile. In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported approximately 159,000 injuries sustained in crashes involving large trucks and approximately 5,005 fatalities. The occupants of other vehicles involved in a crash with a large truck made up 71% of those fatalities.
As you can see, vehicles like semi-trucks can inflict devastating injuries during an accident. Because trucks are typically owned by a business, several parties may share responsibility for the harm you suffered in a crash. One of our Colorado Springs truck accident attorneys can help you determine what compensation you are owed in your case. Contact our office today to begin your free initial consultation.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
A large truck accident is a situation most people do not expect to find themselves in. We have compiled some helpful advice for anyone wondering what to do after their accident.
Get Medical Attention
Most large trucks weigh more than twice as much as the average passenger vehicle. As a result, trucks can inflict devastating injuries in automobile collisions. To receive compensation in Colorado, you must prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. Seeking medical attention immediately can help establish a causal link between the accident and your injuries, and documentation can protect your legal rights and ensure fair compensation. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can. Some injuries do not present symptoms until several hours after the fact. If you can get a doctor to document your condition soon after the crash, the defendant cannot claim you suffered injuries in a separate incident.
Contact the Police
If another person at the scene does not contact authorities for you, you should contact 911 and report the accident. While contacting the authorities might seem intimidating, doing so can benefit your potential legal claim moving forward. When you report an accident to law enforcement, they will generate a formal accident report. This accident report will likely include:
- Names of the parties involved,
- Names of the parties’ insurance carriers,
- Contact information and statements from any eyewitnesses,
- Types of automobiles involved in the accident, and
- Officers’ opinions regarding the cause of the accident.
The information included in the accident report can assist with proving who was responsible for causing the accident. It can also provide valuable information about the basic facts of your case.
Gather Any Relevant Evidence
After you call law enforcement, you can take certain steps to collect information on your own before they arrive. In many cases, the best evidence is available at the scene of an accident in the moments immediately following the collision.
If you can do so safely, the following evidence and information can benefit your case:
- Photographs of the scene;
- Names, contact information, and statements of any witnesses to the accident;
- Photographs of your injuries; and
- Identifying information for the at-fault party and their vehicle.
Often, collecting this information can lead to valuable evidence in support of your claim.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident, contact Colorado Springs 18-wheeler accident lawyers as soon as possible. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we offer free initial consultations, so you can get the information you need to hire an attorney risk-free.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can occur for a wide range of different reasons. The size and mass of commercial vehicles typically make basic maneuvers like stopping and turning more complicated. If a truck driver fails to leave enough space between the vehicle in front of them, it can lead to a serious collision. Other factors that may contribute to 18-wheeler accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
- Truck loads shifting while in motion,
- Making wide right turns,
- Improper truck maintenance,
- Poor road conditions,
- Driving too fast for conditions, and
- Distracted driving.
Another common factor in commercial vehicle accidents is driving while drowsy. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the truck driving industry within the U.S. and imposes mandatory rules to reduce the number of accidents caused as a result of tired truck drivers. Some of the FMCSA regulations for truck drivers include:
- Truck drivers cannot operate their commercial motor vehicles more than 11 hours in a single work period;
- Drivers must have at least 10 consecutive off-duty hours before each work shift; and
- Truck drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours in one week or 70 hours in eight days.
For these regulations to impact the number of accidents, trucking companies and drivers need to follow them. If a truck driver caused an accident while in violation of these regulations, that can help establish your claim that the driver was negligent.
Common Injuries in Semi-Truck Accidents
Many commercial truck collisions result in significant, sometimes life-threatening injuries. Some injuries frequently suffered in truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Back injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Road rash,
- Loss of limbs,
- Broken bones,
- Disfigurement, and
Any time spent in the hospital may lead to very costly medical bills—especially if you spend a long time in the hospital or need physical therapy to fully recover from your injury. Our Colorado Springs 18-wheeler accident attorneys can handle the legal process while you focus on your recovery.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Truck Accident Attorneys at Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C.
When navigating your most important legal decisions, you need a dedicated truck accident lawyer who is fully prepared and equipped to protect your legal rights and interests. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we have our clients’ best interests at the forefront of our minds. We are not a volume firm that takes hundreds of cases and gives limited attention to those cases. We pride ourselves on devoting individual attention to our clients. No matter the circumstances in your case, our trucking accident lawyers in Colorado Springs are prepared to fight for you. If you were injured in a semi-truck accident, contact an attorney from Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. right away.