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If you have been involved in a Westminster truck accident, you may be dealing with the consequences for years afterward; it’s possible you have suffered from injuries that have both physical and financial consequences. You may find it difficult to navigate dealing with insurance companies and your employer after the accident. A skilled Westminster Truck Accident attorney will be able to help you file a claim to seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Our Westminster personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law have experience helping those who have been involved in truck accidents in Westminster and the surrounding area. They have the experience needed to help you determine your next steps and navigate the legal system.
What kind of Trucks are Involved in Trucking Accidents?
Trucking accidents involve semi-trucks and 18-wheelers. A semi-truck is the actual cab of the truck, which is the vehicle that hauls the semi-trailer. Semi-trucks can run on their own without hauling a semi-trailer; the semi-trailer is the large container that holds the cargo that the truck is transporting.
The term “18-wheeler” refers to the combination of a semi-truck and semi-trailer. When connected they form a single unit referred to as an 18-wheeler. The name is based on the total number of wheels for the entire unit.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the most common cause of truck accidents is driver error, which accounts for 87% of accidents. Driver errors leading to accidents includes driving too fast for road conditions, unfamiliarity with the roadway, prescription and over-the-counter drug use, and fatigue.
Accidents can be caused by mechanical issues. These issues include tire problems, brake problems, and cargo shifts. The FMCSA has found that 10% of accidents are due to mechanical problems.
The remaining causes for truck accidents, accounting for 3% of all accidents, involve environmental factors. Environmental factors include roadway issues, such as icy conditions, and traffic flow issues, such as congestion.
Common Injuries from Trucking Accidents
Injuries are common in trucking accidents, and they range from mild to life-altering. If you believe you have not been injured or that your injury is minor, you should seek medical attention immediately anyway. The adrenaline rush from the accident could be masking a more serious injury that you are not aware of.
Common injuries resulting from truck accidents include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Fractured and broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Mild or severe burns
- Head injuries, including concussions or skull fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- And wrongful death
Once you receive medical attention for your injuries, ask your doctor for any documentation detailing the extent of your injuries. This information can help you receive the maximum compensation amount you are entitled to.
What to do After a Trucking Accident
What you do immediately after a trucking accident has a significant impact on determining fault and receiving compensation. The information you gather after the accident will assist a Westminster personal injury attorney in helping you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. These are the steps you should take immediately after the accident occurs:
Report the Accident
Call the police immediately after the accident, and if someone is injured, call emergency medical services. You must remain at the scene of the accident and leave the vehicles—including the truck(s) involved—in place. The police will investigate the scene and write up an accident report. Be sure to request a copy of the report.
Document the Accident Scene
Take pictures of the scene, including the damage to the vehicles, their license plates, and any company logos on the vehicles. Be sure to take pictures of the area and conditions surrounding the accident scene. If you sustained any injuries, take pictures of them; these pictures will be useful as evidence later in determining the amount of your compensation.
Gather Insurance Information of All Parties Involved
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party or parties involved in the accident. If another truck is involved, be sure to get the information of the company the driver works for. Once the other parties leave, it can be difficult to track them down if you do not already have their information.
Talk to Witnesses
Anyone who witnessed the accident can give you or the police a statement at the scene. Get their contact information in case further details about the accident are needed later. Witness statements will help to determine who was at fault for the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident, even if you feel you only have a small injury or are uninjured. An injury that seems small to you could have caused more damage than you realized. Be sure to request any documentation from your physician regarding the extent of your injuries.
A determination of liability impacts the value of your truck accident claim. Colorado is a “fault” accident state. This means that the person or persons who are found responsible for the accident are responsible for the financial costs of the accident. To succeed with your claim, you must prove that the other parties involved were responsible for causing the truck accident; valid disputes regarding liability could lower the value of your claim.
It is possible that not only is the other driver responsible for the accident, but also the company they work for. Our skilled injury attorneys near you understand each of the factors that can impact the determination of liability and can work to get you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
What Can be Covered by a Financial Reward
There are two types of damages sought after in a truck accident case: punitive damages and compensatory damages. Punitive damages are meant as a punishment for the defendant and to deter others from engaging in the same negligent, reckless, or malicious behavior. Alternatively, compensatory damages cover consequences stemming from your injuries.
Examples of Compensatory Damages
An accident can wreak havoc on your finances. You may be paying out of pocket for medical expenses, including doctors’ visits and for physical therapy. Medical costs will typically account for a large portion of your award if you receive compensation from your claim.
You may be unable to return to work for some time after a truck accident; it’s even possible you may never be able to work again, depending on your injuries. Compensation for lost wages can make up a portion of your financial award. You can recover for claims already lost as well as wages you will lose in the future as a result of a long-term injury.
A truck accident can be incredibly traumatic for everyone involved; the effects of this experience can last for weeks and even years afterward. It’s common for victims to experience stress, anxiety, shock, and humiliation following the accident. The psychological effects stemming from the trauma of the accident, combined with any injuries you have suffered, can have a significant impact on your quality of life; as a result, plaintiffs are entitled to seek compensation for humiliation and emotional distress.
There are other costs that add up as a result of being injured and out of work; these costs include alternative transportation, childcare, or home modifications, to name a few. You should keep track of these costs as diligently as possible. Keep records including invoices and receipts to share with your attorney during the initial consultation.
Truck Accident Laws in Colorado
The laws for the trucking industry for Colorado are controlled by federal regulations. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains most of the applicable regulations. These regulations establish a set of standards for the operation of semi-trucks and 18 wheelers and are used to determine who is at fault for an accident. An injury lawyer near you who has experience handling truck accident cases will understand these regulations and can use them to help you determine liability, better preparing your case so that you can maximize the value of your claim.
Contact Zinda Law Group Today
Our experienced truck accident attorneys in CO can help you figure out how to best move forward after a truck accident. The days and weeks after a truck accident can be a very confusing time; you will likely have many questions. Our Westminster truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group possess the knowledge and skill necessary to address your concerns.
Experienced attorneys can help you navigate the complex legal system involving truck accidents and help you receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. Here at Zinda Law Group, we have a No Win, No Fee Guarantee, meaning you will pay nothing unless we win your case.
If you have been involved in a truck accident and are unsure of what to do next, call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our Westminster truck accident lawyers.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.