Auto accidents involving large semi-trucks are very common in Colorado, and are becoming more common every single year. The Colorado Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) work in conjunction to collect data on all sorts of things, including semi-truck accidents. According to the latest data from NHTSA, just over 100 people died in semi-truck accidents in Colorado in 2018.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Trucking Accidents?
By far, the most common cause of trucking accidents is driver negligence on the part of the commercial driver. The vast majority of injuries are caused by the commercial driver running into one or multiple vehicles from behind. There are three main types of accidents with semi-trucks that result in injuries: front-end collisions, rollovers, and jackknife. By far, the most common is the commercial driver having a front-end collision, which means a commercial driver runs into or runs over another person or vehicle on the road.
What Are The Major Differences Between Trucking Accidents And Passenger Vehicle Accidents?
The trucking industry is very heavily regulated, for good reason. The trucks are 10 times the size of normal vehicles and are very often operated by large companies that are seeking to increase profits by requiring more hours and faster transportation by their truck drivers. In other words, these companies profit when their drivers are less safe on the road.
Whenever there is an accident involving a commercial truck, the regulations have to be examined. Very often, failure to follow those regulations, such as limiting the number of hours that a driver can drive in a particular day, contributes to the negligence of the driver. If a driver drives for too many hours, they usually become tired and less aware of their surroundings, which can translate to more injuries and deaths for other people on the road.
What Evidence Is Important to Preserve And Collect In A Trucking Accident Case?
One of the difficulties is that there is a lot more information that must be preserved in a commercial trucking accident than in a regular passenger vehicle accident. Regulation logs that are kept by the truck driver have to be secured before they can be altered, destroyed, or lost by the driver. If it’s available, all GPS data must also be secured. Tread depth and the length of the skid mark must be analyzed in order to determine how fast the truck was going.
Of course, we always hope that the investigating law enforcement agencies will preserve these types of evidence, but they don’t; many individual officers don’t know what is important to preserve for a civil case. It is imperative that anyone who has been in a commercial trucking accident immediately hire counsel who knows how to preserve the many pieces of evidence that are pertinent to these kinds of accidents.
Who Are The Potentially Liable Parties In A Trucking Accident Claim? Is It Difficult To Win A Case Against These Large Companies?
At Baumgartner Law, we beat these large trucking companies every day. In fact, we’ve built our practice on beating these large companies. The people who could be liable or responsible for these accidents include the individual truck driver, the individual truck driver’s immediate supervisor, the company for whom the truck driver is driving, and the company responsible for loading the truck. There could be several companies who could be liable in a commercial trucking accident, which is why it’s important to have an attorney who is familiar with these cases and knows exactly how to maximize compensation.
If The Trucking Company Is Based Outside Of Colorado, Will That Complicate A Personal Injury Case?
If the trucking company is based outside of Colorado, it may complicate the case but will not impair the compensation that the plaintiff is due. If a commercial trucking accident occurs within the borders of Colorado, then the state of Colorado will have jurisdiction to handle the case. At Baumgartner Law, our attorneys are federally licensed, so we are well-positioned to handle out-of-state or federal cases.
Does It Ever Make Sense To File A Case Against The Driver Of The Truck Individually?
Under some circumstances, it could absolutely make sense to file a case against the driver of the truck individually. The individual driver is going to be insured just as the company is, and it is almost always a good idea to file against the individual driver. Later on, strategy may suggest that it’s best to let the driver out individually, but that has to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
For more information on Trucking Accident Claims In Colorado, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (303) 529-3476 today.