Differences Between Truck Accidents and Car Crashes
Truck accidents can be much more severe than collisions involving only passenger vehicles. This is largely because tractor-trailers can weigh up to twenty-five times more than a standard car.
This added mass means that drivers of passenger vehicles often get the worse end of the bargain when it comes to injuries. However, this is not the only difference between a truck and a car crash.
Typically, car accidents result from human error. Perhaps the driver was distracted, driving under the influence, or speeding. On the other hand, many more factors come into play with truck accidents.
For one, the size of trucks makes them more difficult to maneuver. They require more distance to come to a complete stop, so drivers must react more quickly to avoid collisions. They also have a much larger blind spot than a car, which can increase the risk of accidents.
In an auto accident, the liable party will generally be the motorist engaged in negligent driving behavior. While standard car crash claims are certainly not simple, they can be less complex than truck accidents.
Truck accident claims introduce new parties and insurance companies into the mix because most drivers are employees. This means that the trucking company may share in the liability, and they may have separate insurance coverage.
All in all, the complexity of these cases means that it is likely in your best interest to hire an experienced Colorado truck accident attorney.
Read More: How to Prevent Truck Accidents
What Type of Damages You Could Recover After a Truck Accident
In the event of a truck accident in Colorado, you may be able to recover several types of damages. You are likely to recover compensatory damages, which aim to reimburse you for the losses resulting from the crash. Compensatory damages encompass both economic and non-economic damages.
A skilled Colorado truck accident attorney can assess your damages and pursue a fair compensation package.
Generally, you can easily spot the tangible losses experienced due to a truck crash. For example, the cost of medical care can easily add up to staggering amounts, placing a financial burden on you and your family.
Economic damages refer to tangible losses like:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
While often neglected, truck crashes also have a significant psychological impact on victims and their families. For example, after the traumatic event, you may experience depression, which significantly impacts your social interactions. With legal assistance, you could also recover intangible losses.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Decreased quality of life
In Colorado, punitive damages may come into play in certain truck collision cases to address the defendant’s egregious conduct and deter others from engaging in similar behavior. Punitive damages go beyond compensating the victim and aim to punish the responsible party.
To be eligible for punitive damages, you must prove that the defendant engaged in extremely reckless behavior. In the context of a truck crash case, this could involve actions such as driving under the influence.
Colorado Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits
For every type of personal injury claim, there is an associated statute of limitations. This is the legal term for how long you have to file a claim from the date of your crash. If you file a claim outside of that window, your claim will likely be dismissed, and you will be unable to receive any compensation.
The statute of limitations in Colorado for truck accident claims is three years. Therefore, you have three years from the date of your collision to take legal action.
Exceptions to the Standard Statute of Limitations
There may be certain exceptions to the general statute of limitations, however. For example, if the injured victim is a minor, the statute of limitations may be put on hold until they reach the age of majority.
If a victim doesn’t realize that they have suffered an injury until after their crash, then the statute of limitations may not start running until the date of the discovery.
However, banking on an exception to the statute of limitations is not advisable. Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after your crash is recommended to avoid problems with legal time limits.
How Often Do Trucking Accidents Occur in Colorado?
Due to the interstates crossing the state of Colorado and the snowy mountain passes, Coloradoans are at a higher risk of being involved in a truck or 18-wheeler accident.
In 2020, the most recent year for which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has provided data, large trucks were involved in 74 fatal crashes in Colorado. This accounted for nearly 8.4% of all fatal crashes in the state that year.
Fortunately, Zinda Law Group truck accident attorneys have experience dealing with the fallout from these crashes and will fight diligently to help ensure that you and your family recover.
We understand how trucking companies try to pay out as little as possible, and we know how to give you the best possible chance at receiving maximum compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accident Cases
Truck accidents can be overwhelming, especially if you or a loved one has been injured. Even a collision with a semi-truck can have a devastating effect on your life. It’s natural to have questions about what to do next and how to navigate the legal process.
Some frequently asked questions about Colorado truck accident cases may include topics such as compensation and accident reports. As personal injury lawyers, we aim to empower all victims to seek justice by offering easy access to legal information.
How Long Will My Truck Accident Claim Take?
Many factors may impact how long the legal process ultimately takes. Though there is no exact answer, for those who don’t have experience in the area of personal injury law, it can take longer than expected.
The more complex the case and the more parties and insurance companies are involved, the longer it may take. The proceedings may last from a couple of months to years.
Am I Entitled to Compensation After My Truck Accident?
The short, unsatisfying answer to this question is: maybe. This depends on many complex factors. Put simply, whether or not you are entitled to compensation will come down to establishing that another party is liable for your injuries.
Another party may be liable when you can establish that they acted negligently; that is, they had an obligation to act in a certain way but failed to do that.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Because each case is unique, the amount of compensation available will vary. However, the more severe your injuries are, the more financial compensation you can request.
How Do I Choose the Best Attorney for My Claim?
When choosing a lawyer, pick someone with experience dealing with truck accidents and the capacity to give your case the attention it deserves.
Our truck accident lawyers in Colorado have experience representing these types of claims in this state. Furthermore, we have big firm resources that allow us to give your case our full attention.
What Should I Do After a Truck Crash?
What you do after the accident will significantly impact your case. First and foremost, make sure that a medical professional addresses your physical injuries. Visit a doctor as soon as possible to prevent injuries from worsening.
Next, speak to a lawyer about the collision. An attorney could prevent you from making mistakes that could damage your claim. Also, you will no longer have to worry about filing a claim yourself, as this will be handled by a legal professional.
How Can I File a Truck Accident Claim in Colorado?
Filing a truck crash claim in Colorado involves several steps. First, you should hire a truck accident attorney to assist you. Your attorney will likely begin by gathering all the relevant information about the collision, such as police reports, witness statements, street camera footage, and any other evidence to support your claim.
Next, they may negotiate with the at-fault party or parties to get you the best possible settlement.
Finally, if the parties involved cannot reach a settlement agreement, the final step may be going to trial. At this stage, it will be critical to employ the help of an experienced Colorado truck accident attorney if you haven’t done that yet.
Where do I Get a Crash Report in Colorado?
No matter how serious or minor your accident was, filing a crash report may help protect you. The document records the facts and circumstances of the incident so other parties do not attempt to make an unfounded claim at a later date.
There are a few other reasons why reporting your collision is important. First, you may be required to do so under Colorado law.
Second, the damage to your vehicle or your passengers’ injuries may be worse than it appears at first glance. Do not be persuaded by truck drivers at the accident scene who may want to handle things between you.
If you call the police to the accident scene, they may fill out a report there. However, even if you do not contact law enforcement, it is not too late to file a report. This can be accomplished by filling out the form from the Colorado Department of Public Safety.
Call Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys in Colorado Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck crash, seek legal help as soon as possible. The aftermath can be overwhelming, with medical bills piling up and insurance companies pressuring you to settle quickly.
Zinda Law Group can help you navigate the legal process while you recover from your physical and psychological injuries. We believe that victims shouldn’t worry about their ability to afford legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis; you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.
Call our law offices today to schedule a free case evaluation.