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Boulder Truck Accident Lawyer

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If you are involved in a truck accident in Colorado, you have legal rights. Both truck drivers and those who employ them may be held responsible for the harm you experienced if the truck driver was to blame for the crash. At Daniels & Scriven, PC, we have decades of experience representing victims of truck crashes. Our Boulder personal injury attorneys know the law inside and out and are prepared and ready to offer you compassionate advocacy as you fight for your right to recover your damages. 

Give us a call at (720) 903-4770 to schedule a free consultation with a Boulder truck accident lawyer and find out how we can help you. 

When Can You Make A Truck Accident Claim In Boulder?

In Colorado, you can make a claim in a truck accident case whenever a truck driver was at least 51% responsible for harming you. If your own negligence played a role in the crash, you aren’t prevented from making a claim, unlike in some other states. That’s because Colorado follows a rule called modified comparative negligence, as outlined in Colo. Rev Stat. § 13-21-111

Under this statute, you can “recover damages for negligence resulting in death or in injury to person or property, if” your own “negligence was not as great as the negligence of the person against whom recovery is sought.”  However, your damages will be reduced by the proportion of your negligence, so if you were 25% to blame, you could only get compensated for 75% of your losses. You can make your claim against the truck driver who harmed you but also, in many situations, could also pursue a claim against their employer as well.  CO Code § 13-21-111.5 (2021) makes clear employers can be held responsible for damages their workers cause under vicarious liability laws.

These laws hold companies responsible for on-duty actions of their workers regardless of the company’s own negligence. They make it easier to recover full compensation as employers often have more insurance coverage and funds available to provide compensation. 

Whether you’re making a claim against the trucker or their employer, though, you must act within the three year statute of limitations established by  Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-101 for claims involving motor vehicles. 

Common Types Of Truck Accidents

Large trucks can be involved in various types of accidents. Some of the most common types of large truck accidents include:

  • Wide-turn accidents – Commercial trucks have a wide turning radius. Drivers must often swing their cabs to the left in order to execute a right turn. They can hit vehicles in other lanes if they fail to check adjoining lanes or make turns that are too tight.
  • Blind spot accidents – Commercial trucks have large blind spots around all areas of the commercial motor vehicle. Truck drivers must vigilantly monitor all traffic around them to avoid colliding with another vehicle.
  • Jackknife accidents – A jackknife accident generally occurs when a truck driver slams on the brakes, causing the cab to slow down while the trailer swings sideways, sometimes swiping vehicles in other lanes.
  • Override crashes – An override accident occurs when a smaller passenger car gets run over by a taller and larger truck, such as if the truck is following too closely and doesn’t stop after the front vehicle brakes.
  • Underride accidents – Underride accidents are particularly catastrophic collisions in which a smaller passenger vehicle slides underneath the trailer and gets stuck. In some cases, the truck sheers off the top of another vehicle.
  • Rollovers – A rollover accident can occur when cargo shifts or a driver overcorrects, causing the vehicle to tip onto its side.
  • Cargo spills – Unsecured cargo can fall off the vehicle. When the truck is transporting gas, flammable materials, or other hazardous cargo, other motorists can be endangered. Accidents can also occur when other motorists swerve to avoid fallen cargo.

Common Causes Of Truck Accidents

According to The Large Truck Causation Study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver error contributes to 80% of all large truck crashes. Common causes of accidents caused by driver error include:

  • Speeding
  • Distractions
  • Fatigued driving
  • Following too closely
  • Driver impairment by drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to perform adequate surveillance while driving
  • Unfamiliarity with the road

Trucking companies can also contribute to large truck crashes by encouraging drivers to work beyond the federal hours of service rules, hiring unqualified drivers, failing to maintain their fleets, or violating other federal or state laws. Truck accidents can also occur because of vehicle issues, such as tire blowouts, malfunctioning brakes, or defective parts. Trucking companies, owners, or product manufacturers may be responsible for such accidents.

Catastrophic Injuries In Truck Accidents

Commercial trucks weigh several pounds and sit much higher than average passenger vehicles. When these vehicles collide, the occupants in passenger vehicles often suffer catastrophic injuries because of the wide disparity in the sizes of these vehicles. Some of the most common catastrophic injuries that truck accident victims suffer include:

  • Amputations
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, including injuries that result in paralysis
  • Complex bone brakes
  • Severe burns and disfiguring injuries
  • Severe soft tissue injuries that sever tendons or ligaments

The most tragic accidents result in the wrongful death of the accident victim. According to the FMCSA, 494,000 large truck accidents were reported to law enforcement in 2021. Of these, 5,149 were fatal. 110,000 were injury crashes. If you were injured in a truck accident or lost a loved one in an accident of this nature, Daniels & Scriven, PC can investigate your crash, determine how it happened, and identify all the parties who contributed to it. We will fight for the fair compensation you deserve.

How To Make A Boulder Truck Accident Claim 

You can make a Boulder truck accident claim by showing:

  • The truck driver had a duty to exhibit safe behavior on the road
  • The driver fell short, failing to act with the level of care expected

You’ll also need to demonstrate that the truck driver’s failure directly caused you damage, for which you should be entitled to compensation.

As  Perreira v. State, 768 P.2d 1198 (1989) explains, “to recover on a claim in negligence, the plaintiff must establish the existence of a legal duty, breach of the duty, causation, and damage.”

How To Prove Fault In A Truck Accident

To recover compensation in a truck accident, you will need strong proof of liability, especially because the trucking company will have insurance companies and defense lawyers aggressively denying your claims. Many trucking companies immediately deploy an investigation team that will do everything possible to protect the company’s interests. You need an advocate in your corner who can help level the playing field.

At Daniels & Scriven, PC, our skilled legal team knows how to build a strong case against a trucking company. We have extensive experience obtaining compelling evidence in truck accident cases, such as:

  • Electronic logging devices that record how many hours the driver logged before the accident and movements the truck made immediately before the crash
  • Log books
  • Black boxes that show the speed, braking patterns, and exact location of the crash
  • Witness statements
  • Video footage from onboard cameras
  • Reports from expert accident reconstruction specialists
  • Surveillance and dashcam video footage
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Personnel records, which may indicate qualification issues, drug or alcohol problems, or a history of unsafe driving
  • Accident reports
  • Cell phone records, which may indicate the driver took a call or was texting right before the accident
  • Toxicology reports, which can indicate if the driver was drunk or high at the time of the crash

Let our experienced legal team take care of evidence collection while you focus on your recovery.

Compensation for a Boulder Truck Accident

You should be fully compensated for the harm a trucker has caused you. This includes receiving payment for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Damages for pain and suffering are, however, limited by Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-102.5, which caps non-economic damages at a set amount, with that limit adjusting periodically to keep pace with inflation. 

Guide On Immediate Steps After an Accident

If you are involved in a truck accident, here is your guide on the immediate steps to take:

  • Get to safety – Pull your vehicle over to the nearest safe spot. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries.
  • Report the accident – Call 911 or the local police to report the accident. A law enforcement officer can respond to take a report. Answer their questions honestly and concisely. Avoid giving opinions about what you think happened and don’t admit fault for the crash.
  • Seek medical attention. If an EMT recommends you go to the emergency room, follow their advice. Keep all of your medical records and bills related to the accident.
  • Gather information – Ask the other driver for their name, contact information, and employer information. Write down all markings on the truck, including the trucking company’s name and the US DOT number. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information.
  • Notify your insurance company of the accident. Your lawyer can handle your claim with the trucking company’s insurance provider.
  • Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer. The trucking company will have an entire legal team protecting its interests and will do everything possible to minimize its liability. You need someone in your corner working just as hard to protect your interests.

Getting Help from a Boulder Truck Accident Lawyer 

Truck accident cases can be complicated because there may be multiple defendants you can hold accountable for your damages. Our team of vehicle accident attorneys at Daniels & Scriven, PC will help you to understand your rights and maximize the chances of getting the full compensation you deserve to cope with the serious injuries truck crashes often cause. To find out more about the help our Boulder truck accident lawyers can offer, contact us today at (720) 903-4770.