Firouzbakht Law Firm | Colorado Personal Injury Law Firm
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Denver Truck Accident Lawyer

Those who live in Denver are probably very familiar with the unfortunate turn of events that occurred in April 2019, when an out of control semi-truck being driven by Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos crashed into backed up traffic on I-70 in the foothills. Aguilera is currently awaiting trial on a total of 41 charges. The prosecution has named him as the liable party in the case. The accident killed four people and damaged or destroyed 28 vehicles. It is not apparent if any civil charges have been brought against him at this time. Still, it is a possibility given the egregious nature of the accident. The investigation into the accident seems to be ongoing.

When you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with a semi-truck, you need a Denver truck accident lawyer to handle your case. Semi-trucks are often driven for larger commercial trucking companies, making it a struggle to collect the financial compensation necessary after an accident. Firouzbakht Law Firm takes cases in Colorado for truck accidents, providing legal services to those clients who need it.

Common Safety Concerns with Semi-Trucks

When you look at your car compared to a semi-truck, the truck likely weighs 20 to 30 times what your car does. The weight difference offers a unique set of safety concerns that drivers in and around these monstrously-sized trucks need to be aware of.

  • The blind spot on a semi-truck is wider than those on a regular automobile. Drivers call these “no zones” because there is absolutely visibility in these areas of the road for the drivers.
  • The starting and stopping distances for a semi-truck is different than those of an automobile. If you have ever driven a manual transmission car, you know that getting up to speed quickly can take longer than in an automatic. When trying to stop, semis require a lot longer distance, which is why rear-end collisions happen.
  • Many trucks are in charge of carrying and transporting hazardous materials. Looking back at the Aguilera accident, he was carrying lumber – what would the accident have been like if he had been transporting an explosive material? In pictures of the accident, you can see the lumber strewn across the roadway. Hazardous materials transported by semis have the potential to exasperate the accident and potentially increase fatalities.
truck accident

The Concern with Active Drive Time

Many truck drivers, especially those who specialize in long-haul, are on the road for hours on end. Even though driving times are a part of federal regulations through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) primarily through the use of logbooks and mandated hours of service, it doesn’t mean that some drivers aren’t slipping through the cracks. The goal of the FMCSA is to reduce the number of trucking accidents by imposing stricter trucking measures.

Truck driver fatigue is a serious issue. With the demanding deadlines and schedules that these drivers have to uphold, they often go with very little sleep or periods where they only take short “power naps.” Another phenomenon that truck drivers experience is bursts of microsleep. These short bursts can last up to 30 seconds. Have you ever been so exhausted that you felt yourself begin to nod off and jolt awake? That is what happens when a driver behind the wheel of a truck (or any vehicle) experiences microsleep. Many crashes may be attributed to these types of conditions.

Many commercial trucking companies may offer their drivers incentives to take shifts or drive longer hours, trying to better their bottom line. Unfortunately, all it does is add more risk to those who are on the roadway.

Common Truck Accident Causes

Much like the accident in April 2019, the preliminary cause of the accident states that Aguilera was traveling far too fast and recklessly, causing the truck crash. There are other common factors of a truck crash that occur in and around Denver, Colorado, besides just traveling too fast for the current conditions.

These include:

  • following the vehicle in front of them too closely, not accommodating the increased stopping distance, especially when there is excessive weight in the load
  • the truck is not maintained properly, making it unworthy to be driven on the road
  • the brakes of the truck are worn, which was not rectified in an inspection resulting in the incapacity to stop the semi
  • trucker fatigue or falling asleep behind the wheel
  • distracted driving
  • drug use (includes use to keep themselves awake) resulting in slow reaction time
  • using certain types of prescription medications, which can alter the mental or physical state
  • not following traffic laws and making illegal driving maneuvers
  • loss of control due to inclement weather or shifting load and ignoring road hazards
  • road conditions play a huge role in how a truck reacts during an accident, especially the wheels

Types of Truck Accident Injuries

The injuries sustained in commercial trucking accidents can be catastrophic. If the wreck does not result in fatalities, it can leave the victim with severe injuries that could take years or longer to recover from. In some instances, the victim never fully recovers, resulting in disfigurement, disability, or a loss of quality of life.

Common truck accidents result in the following types of injuries:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Internal Injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Death 

If you or someone you love has sustained an injury at the hands of a truck driver's negligence, you need the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer in Denver. Only a Colorado truck accident attorney has the knowledge and experience to handle personal injury cases against an at-fault party, trucking company, and insurance company for their clients.

Colorado Chain Law

The Colorado Chain Law goes into effect from September 1 to May 31 each year. All commercial vehicles driving in Colorado along I-70 between mile marker 133 and 259 are required to use chains during this time of the year. In fact, any vehicle that exceeds 26,000 pounds must install and use chains on its tires to enable it to climb the steep mountain terrain in the state. The chains help to prevent stalled vehicles, stop delays, and prevent road closures from accidents. The state also requires that all federal trucking regulations be followed at all times while on the roads. 

Determining Fault in a Truck Accident

There are many different areas in which blame may be laid in a truck accident. In some instances, it isn’t the truck driver who is at fault in the accident. In personal injury lawsuits, there is someone who is to blame for the accident, which is where your Denver personal injury lawyer can help.

To prove negligence in a case, a lawyer must prove the following:

  1. the existence of a legal duty by the defendant in the case was owed to the victim
  2. the defendant breached that duty
  3. the plaintiff suffered an injury because of the breach
  4. proof that the breach of the defendant is what caused the injury

Even if there is a modified comparative fault at play and both parties are responsible to some extent, there is still a possibility of recovering a percentage of the damages. Often times, the occupants of passenger vehicles end up with the brunt of the injuries in the accident.

In some cases, the breaking of the law may be enough to prove negligence in a case.

Types of Compensation in Truck Accidents

There are three common types of damages that you may be able to recover in a truck accident injury claim. These are economic, non-economic, and in some cases, punitive damages. Each type of damage has specifically assigned losses that may be recovered.

Economic Damages – these are the losses that can be assigned a quantified amount, such as medical bills, hospital bills, lost wages, physical therapy costs, and property damages.

Non-Economic Damages – these are the losses that are not as easily quantifiable, like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment.

Punitive Damages – punitive damages are often awarded by a jury. These damages are done for no other reason than to punish the defendant for an egregious offense and make an example of the situation.

For truck accident victims, the only compensation they may see from the responsible party will come in the form of a settlement. Settlements are a type of compensation, often paid by the trucking company or insurance company, to the victim or their survivors (in wrongful death claims) as a deal to pressure victims to drop the civil charges against the defendant. Before accepting a settlement, your lawyer will determine if it is a fair settlement, often by looking at the limits for the liability insurance policies. Firouzbakht Law Firm pursues the maximum settlement amount.

Not all defense parties try to provide plaintiffs with fair compensation. That is why a lawyer who understands the process of truck accident claims are important when seeking restitution from a commercial vehicle accident.

When seeking any type of compensation, hiring a legal team that specializes in truck accident lawsuits is your best option. Most of the commercial truck accident lawyers in Denver provide clients with a free case consultation.

The personal injury claims handled by these Denver truck accident lawyers are as much for the victim as it is for the family who is also suffering from the injuries of the accident. These injuries often put unnecessary strain on the lives of the family and if catastrophic injuries or fatal injuries occur, it can be devastating. Firouzbakht Law Firm is skilled in handling fatal truck accidents and claims for those injured passenger vehicle occupants.

denver truck accident lawyer

What to Do After a Commercial Truck Accident

When you are in an accident with a commercial truck, the steps you take are the same as any motor vehicle accident. The next steps are for those crashes where there are minimal to minor injuries. In cases of severe injury, seek medical attention and worry about the finer details later.

  1. Make sure all of those who are involved are safe. Call 911 if there are injuries. If there are no injuries, call the police to file an accident report. The police are the ones who can make the initial determination of fault in the accident.
  2. Exchange insurance information with the truck driver. This step will also be required on an accident report. Get the name, contact information, and insurance information (including the company they work for) of the driver. Many truck drivers may be from out of state.
  3. NEVER ADMIT GUILT – this includes not apologizing for the accident or indicating in any way that you may be to blame, as this can be used in a lawsuit against you.
  4. If you have the ability, take pictures of the scene and the roads. These photos may help you set the stage later on about the roadway conditions and the area at the time of the accident. Try to get the contact information of those who may have witnessed the accident. This information may be helpful later on. Make sure you get the pictures of the passenger vehicles involved, the commercial trucks, and any other vehicle or pedestrian that may find themselves involved.
  5. Keep track of all your medical records from the accident. If these injuries interfere with your daily activities, keep a journal to be used as a part of your evidence.
  6. Do not talk to the insurance company or the insurance adjuster for the trucking company without representation from a legal team. Do not agree to any recordings, any settlements, or anything that may be admissible in court. It is best to let your lawyer handle this.

One of the most important things you can do when handling claims for these types of accidents in Denver is find an attorney with the skills to take cases against commercial truck drivers and their employers.

Your Denver Truck Accident Lawyers - Firouzbakht Law Firm

If you or someone you love has fallen victim to a commercial truck accident, Firouzbakht Law Firm is the truck accident lawyer you need in Colorado.  As a victim or survivor in a wrongful death claim, you have exclusive rights to compensation after financial losses are incurred from a traffic accident. Experienced attorneys know what fatal crashes can do and how the commercial trucking industry tries to delay justice. 

If you need a personal injury attorney who can handle your truck accident case in Denver, you can contact us by phone or through the online contact form. We try to make the process as stress-free as possible and making you our priority. We supply the answers to your questions and provide you with a free case consultation.

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