It’s easy to understand why so many Denver drivers feel nervous when they see a large tractor-trailer coming up behind their vehicle, or when they pass them on the highway. These commercial trucks are huge. They weigh much more than the average passenger car, and they take longer to stop due to their weight.
When these trucks get into an accident with a smaller vehicle, those in passenger cars are typically the ones who suffer the consequences. Truck accidents can leave a wake of destruction behind them. In many cases, the injuries that accident victims are left with impact them for the rest of their lives. In the worst cases, victims are killed and families are left to pick up the pieces.
While a lawsuit or an insurance claim is not going to change what happened, it can help victims deal with the financial burden of the accident. Respected Denver truck accident lawyer Sean Olson and his skilled legal team have earned a reputation for securing outstanding results and delivering unwavering customer service to injured clients. If you are struggling in the aftermath of a serious truck crash, please contact the Olson Law Firm today to tell us your story. A consultation is free, with no obligation to you.
Why Truck Accident Claims in Denver Are More Difficult Than Car Accident Cases
After being in a truck accident, it’s common for victims to think that the process for filing a claim will be very similar to filing a car accident claim. That is not the case, though. Truck accidents are extremely complex for a number of reasons, and this makes them incredibly difficult to pursue without the help of a knowledgeable truck accident attorney in Denver.
Catastrophic injuries: One of the reasons for the complexity of these claims is the extent of injuries a truck causes when it’s in an accident. Victims can suffer a great number of injuries, all of which are severe and take time and money to treat. In order for accident victims to file a claim, though, they must understand the full extent of their injuries. This is the only way they can ask for the full amount of compensation they are entitled to receive. One of the most challenging aspects of a truck accident case is for the victim to get better, so they can truly understand how much compensation to seek.
Complex rules and regulations: Additionally, all drivers in Colorado understand the rules of the road that apply to them. This includes following posted speed limits and obeying signage and traffic lights. However, trucks have many more federal and state laws that pertain to them. Most drivers don’t understand what these are because they’ve never had a reason to learn. When a trucker or trucking company violates any of these laws, it is negligence. However, you will need an experienced truck accident lawyer who has an in-depth understanding of these rules and regulations in order to successfully pursue a claim.
Multiple liable parties: Another very difficult aspect of any truck accident is that there is the potential for many liable parties. When two cars or motorcycles get into an accident, fault typically lies with one of the drivers. When a truck gets into an accident with another vehicle, however, even when those two vehicles were the only ones involved, there is the possibility of multiple liable parties. The cab and the trailer of the truck are often owned by different companies, which means dealing with different insurers. The trucking company could also be partly liable, as can the truck driver. These are just a few of the possibilities, and it can quickly become confusing.
At the Olson Law Firm, we have extensive experience successfully resolving complex truck accident claims for our deserving clients. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a commercial motor vehicle accident, please do not hesitate to contact trusted Denver truck accident attorney Sean Olson.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Denver Truck Accident?
There are many hands involved in getting a truck on the road. Unfortunately, this also means there are many parties who may try to pass the blame after a serious truck accident. Some of the potentially liable parties our law firm will investigate include:
- Truck drivers: There are literally hundreds of moving parts on a truck. Truck drivers are responsible for knowing how to steer, how to check their blind spots, how to stop safely, and more. All of these things are much harder to do in a truck than they are in a passenger car, but truck drivers must know how to do it all safely. One small misstep such as driving tired, or while impaired, and could cause a devastating accident.
- Truck companies: Trucking companies also have a lot of responsibilities. They must ensure that their truck drivers are competent, receive proper training, and that they do a background check on all of them. If these companies hire a driver, or anyone else, who cannot perform the job safely and they still allow them out on the roads, they can be held liable. Trucking companies also often must ensure their trucks are maintained and street-worthy. When they fail to do that, they can be held liable for a crash.
- Cargo companies: Truck drivers do not always load and unload the cargo onto their trucks. If a cargo company failed to properly load, or properly secure, cargo and it was the cause of an accident, the cargo company can be held liable.
- Truck manufacturers: Truck companies are not the only ones that must ensure a truck is safe for the roads. Truck manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their trucks are safe. They are also responsible for ensuring all parts and equipment on the truck are safe. If part of the truck was defective or faulty and causes an accident, the truck manufacturer can be held liable for damages.
With so many potentially liable parties, it’s easy to see why determining fault in a truck accident is so difficult. Denver truck accident attorneys, however, know how to spot the fault and how to hold responsible parties liable.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Denver?
Being involved in a semi-truck accident is an extremely frightening situation. It’s not uncommon for accident victims to be left unsure of what to do next. However, the steps taken now will have a direct impact on your claim, so it’s important you understand what to do.
- Report the accident: Under Colorado law, you must stop after an accident and report it to the police if it involved property damage, injury, or death. Truck accidents will typically cause at least one of these, so it’s important to report any truck accident immediately after it happens and ask for a copy of the police report.
- Get medical treatment: It’s likely that you will need emergency medical treatment after the accident, and this should be your first priority after the crash has been reported. Even if you don’t think you need emergency treatment, you should still see a doctor. They can perform a full examination and alert you to injuries that may be slow to show symptoms.
- Exchange information: Similar to the aftermath of a car crash, you’ll need to exchange information with everyone involved in the accident. Make sure you write down the truck driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information. Also, ask for the name and contact information of the truck driver’s employer.
- Collect information from witnesses: Witness testimony can greatly help a truck accident claim. If there were witnesses, ask for their names and contact information and possibly even a brief statement of what they saw.
- Document everything: Taking photos can help ensure important evidence is preserved. Take pictures of the truck, particularly the position it was in after the crash and any identifying markings on it, such as the company that leased it. Take photos of your injuries, and once home, document how they have impacted your life.
- Don’t say anything: An insurance adjuster will likely contact you shortly after the accident. It’s important you understand that they are trying to get you to accept at least partial blame for the accident so they can pay out a lower settlement. They may even offer a settlement right away. They don’t want to wait until you’ve learned the full extent of your injuries because this will also mean they will have to pay you a larger settlement.
Once you’ve left the accident scene and have gotten any necessary emergency medical treatment, your next step is to call an experienced truck accident lawyer in Denver. The Olson Law Firm is here to answer your questions and begin working on your claim for compensation immediately.
How Can A Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
After an accident, Sean Olson will be your ally throughout the entire process. This is important because much of the time, you’ll likely feel as though everyone else is working against you. However, our 18-wheeler accident attorney can help you in many ways, including:
- Investigating the accident: We will collect and analyze police reports, medical records, and any other documents. We will conduct interviews with witnesses and hold the trucking company responsible for preserving evidence and providing the black box data from the truck. We will also investigate all other aspects of the accident to determine negligence, such as driving while fatigued or under the influence of a substance.
- Taking care of the paperwork: There is an enormous amount of paperwork involved in a truck accident case. If it’s not properly filled out or filed on time, you could lose your chance at compensation. We will ensure that will not happen and will take care of all the paperwork so you can focus on your recovery.
- Helping you get the care you need: Many insurance companies will attempt to limit your doctor’s visits or state that you don’t require medical care anymore. We won’t let them get away with it. We’ll make sure you receive all the medical attention you need, and work to make the insurance company liable for paying for it.
- Investigating the trucking company: It’s not only the accident scene that is investigated after a truck accident. The trucking company must be investigated, too. We will ask them for inspection reports, maintenance reports, training reports, and any other documentation that could show they were negligent and owe you compensation.
- Negotiating with the insurance companies: This is incredibly difficult after any crash, and a truck accident is no different. The insurance companies will want to deny liability and minimize your claim. Throughout these negotiations, we will fight for the fair truck accident settlement you deserve.
- Litigating your case at trial. Sean Olson is a respected trial lawyer with a track record of winning truck accident cases in the courtroom. He will not hesitate to take a truck accident lawsuit to a jury and let them decide how much you are truly owed.
We Demand Full Compensation in a Denver Truck Accident Claim
It’s natural after a truck accident to wonder how much your claim is worth. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. Attorney Sean Olson will have to review the full facts of your case and determine what your actual losses were. Then he and his team will be able to calculate the amount of compensation you deserve.
There are, however, some common types of compensation that appear in many of the truck accident cases our law firm handles. Compensation available in a truck accident claim may include:
- Emergency medical costs
- Ongoing and future medical treatment
- Rehabilitative costs
- Disability coverage
- Damage to your vehicle
- Loss of current and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of limb
- Wrongful death
- Any related financial damages
This compensation is intended to make you whole again and return you to the same physical, mental, and emotional state you were in before the accident. Colorado law states that accident victims shouldn’t have to pay for any loss incurred due to an accident that was not their fault. Therefore, you can claim any expense or loss you experienced as compensation.
Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Claims in Denver
In Colorado, the statute of limitations on truck accident cases is three years from the date of the accident. (However, in some cases, the time limit can be shorter.) This means that when a claim is filed after this time, it will likely be thrown out and you will be barred from receiving compensation.
In addition to the three-year time limit, important evidence starts to disappear soon after an accident, and the memories of witnesses are often not as clear. It’s for this reason that you must consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Talk to a Trucking Accident Attorney Now
One of the most important steps you could take after a collision is to speak to a truck accident lawyer in Denver. At the Olson Law Firm, we will review your case, advise you on the value of your claim, and demand that insurance companies and at-fault parties pay you the full compensation you deserve.
The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner you can begin to protect your rights and interests, so contact us today. A consultation is free, and there is never a fee to begin work on your claim. In fact, you only pay us if we recover money for you.
What Do I Do After a Truck Accident?
Commercial trucking companies have a duty to operate their fleet in a safe manner. Trucking companies must properly train drivers. They must inspect their trucks and trailers and safely load trailers. Drivers must have reasonable delivery schedules. Companies must ensure that their drivers comply with highway safety regulations as well.
Unfortunately, despite the many state and federal safety rules that govern the trucking industry, serious commercial truck accidents remain far too common. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) nearly 4,000 Americans die in large truck wrecks each year.
Following a commercial truck crash, accident victims need to know how to protect their health, safety, and legal rights. Here, experienced truck accident attorney Sean Olson explains the first four steps injured victims should take after a major truck accident:
Four Steps to Take After a Commercial Truck Accident
Call the Police
The first thing that you should do following a commercial truck crash is contact state or local law enforcement officers. Under Colorado law, you must report any motor vehicle accident that results in an injury or substantial property damage to the police.
It is critically important that the police come to the scene of your commercial truck accident. This will ensure that there is an investigation into exactly what happened that caused the accident and that there is an official accident report filed.
Get Medical Attention
Any person who injured in a commercial truck accident needs professional medical attention. Certainly, if there is a medical emergency, that is the most important issue. an ambulance should transport the victim to the nearest medical center.
In addition, those who have sustained mild or moderate injuries still need quick medical attention. Even if you do not know how extensive your injuries are, it is still imperative that you consult with a doctor and get a comprehensive medical evaluation. Beyond protecting your safety, you will not be able to bring a truck accident injury claim unless you have supporting medical documentation.
Document the Crash
To the best of your ability, it is also recommended that you try to secure evidence and document the truck accident. The more evidence that you have in your possession, the better off you will be when it comes time to make a truck accident injury claim.
In addition to the police report, some of the other common forms of truck accident evidence include photographs of the crash scene, photographs of the vehicle damage, witness statements, and medical documents and records.
How much is my truck accident worth?
Every truck accident is unique, so it’s hard to predict what any particular case is “worth” without a thorough investigation. Some of the factors that affect the value of a truck accident case include the extent of your injuries, the available evidence of what caused the crash, and whether you contributed to the accident in some way. Generally, the more serious your injuries, the more money you might be owed.
Do I need a lawyer to help after a truck accident?
A lawyer isn’t required to file an insurance claim or lawsuit after a truck accident, but choosing to work with one is a smart idea. Your attorney can gather evidence to support your claim, document your injuries, negotiate with the liable parties for a full and fair settlement, and take your case to trial if a deal can’t be reached.
Why are truck accidents usually worse than car accidents?
Trucks are much bigger and heavier than standard cars, which means they strike with more force. This often leads to greater injuries in the event of a collision. According to the IIHS fatality facts report, trucks are 30 times heavier than cars and that is why vehicle drivers are more vulnerable to accidents.
What is the average semi-truck accident settlement amount?
The amount you can receive in a truck accident settlement depends on the circumstances of your crash and injuries. You could receive compensation for:
- Lost wages and your reduced ability to work because of your injuries
- Medical bills and the cost of injury-related future care
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Damaged personal property
How much does a truck accident lawyer cost?
Most truck accident lawyers, including Sean Olson at the Olson Law Firm, work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney covers upfront costs and receives only a portion of the compensation they help you get. That means you don’t need to be rich to afford quality truck accident legal representation.
How is fault determined in a truck accident?
Your attorney might use police accident reports, accounts from the drivers involved in the crash, eyewitness statements, testimony from expert witnesses, medical records, and photos from the crash scene to establish legal responsibility or fault for the crash.
Who is liable in a truck accident — the driver or the trucking company?
Either or both, depending on what the evidence shows. Truck drivers can be held liable if they acted negligently by, for example, driving while distracted. On the other hand, trucking companies must ensure their employees are adequately trained and drive safely, so the company can be held liable for an accident if they failed in these duties. Also, companies are typically held vicariously liable for their employee’s negligence. This means the trucking company would be responsible even if it didn’t do anything wrong.
How long does a truck accident lawsuit take?
Truck accident lawsuits are marathons, not sprints. Most truck accident cases take at least months to resolve. It takes time to gather evidence and medical records to build a strong case for compensation. If settlement negotiations drag on or the liable parties vehemently deny the claim, the case will take longer. Most cases are resolved in negotiation rather than through a trial. A lawsuit generally takes a year or longer.
Sean Olson wrote Results Matter, a book outlining the many stages of a lawsuit so that everyone can understand what goes into a truck accident case. Download your own free copy here.
What type of insurance coverage could be available for a truck crash?
If the truck driver is found to be at fault for the crash, you could recover compensation from the liability insurance on the truck. Additional commercial liability insurance held by the trucking company could also come into play. Commercial trucks must carry insurance with policy limits much higher than what most private drivers have on their cars. Your own insurance may also be available to you if the trucking company’s insurance is not enough to cover all your damages and losses.
Contact a Denver Truck Accident Attorney
Finally, you should always work with an experienced Colorado truck accident lawyer. You do not want to go up against the big trucking company and its insurers by yourself. Truck accident injury claims are notoriously complex. Specialized rules and regulations govern these types of accidents.
At The Olson Law Firm, our legal team has extensive experience handling complex truck accident injury claims. We fight aggressively to make sure that our clients can maximize their financial recovery. If you’re facing injuries from a large truck crash in Denver, please do not hesitate to contact our law office today for a free, no-obligation initial legal consultation.