Types of Truck Accidents

Jun 28, 2024 | Truck Accidents, Blog

While large commercial trucks play a vital role in our economy, they can also pose significant risks to other motorists. Truck accidents can lead to devastating consequences, causing severe injuries and even fatalities. Several different types of truck accidents can occur, each with its unique set of challenges and complexities. 

If a truck accident injured you or someone you love in Colorado, you may obtain compensation from those responsible for your losses. 

However, you need to have an experienced truck accident attorney by your side to protect your rights, guide you through the claims process, and fight vigorously to maximize your financial recovery.

Contact a Colorado truck accident lawyer near you for a free consultation.

8 Types of Colorado Truck Accidents

As mentioned, commercial trucks can cause unique accidents compared to other motor vehicle accidents due to their size, weight, and maneuverability.

Here are seven common types of truck accidents that occur in Colorado:

  1. Rollovers: Trucks and their trailers have a higher center of gravity. This makes them more susceptible to rollovers, especially when taking sharp turns or navigating steep inclines.
  2. Jackknife: This occurs when a truck’s trailer swings out to the side, forming a 90-degree angle with the cab. Jackknife accidents often result from improper braking or slippery road conditions.
  3. Wide turn accidents: Trucks require extra space to make turns, especially right turns. If a truck driver fails to properly turn, they can collide with vehicles in adjacent lanes or cause other motorists to crash. Additionally, large trucks, especially those with trailers, may ride onto the sidewalk or shoulder of the road when trying to make a turn, potentially injuring or killing pedestrians.
  4. Rear-end collisions: Due to their weight and size, trucks require more time and distance to come to a complete stop. When a truck driver can’t brake in time (or when a truck’s brakes fail), it can lead to a rear-end collision with the vehicle in front.
  5. Head-on collisions: These accidents occur when a truck crosses into oncoming traffic and collides with another vehicle head-on. Head-on collisions between large trucks and passenger cars have a high rate of car-occupant fatalities due to the immense forces of the truck colliding with the smaller vehicle.
  6. T-bone collisions: Also known as side-impact collisions or broadside collisions, these accidents happen when the front of a truck strikes the side of another vehicle, forming a “T” shape.
  7. Sideswipe accidents: These accidents occur when a truck veers into another lane and collides with the side of another vehicle. Sideswipe accidents can be particularly dangerous when they involve smaller passenger cars. 
  8. Underride accidents: These accidents occur when a smaller vehicle collides with a truck and becomes lodged underneath the trailer. These accidents are particularly dangerous because the trailer can shear off or crush the top of the smaller vehicle, causing severe head and neck injuries or fatalities to the car’s occupants. Rear underride accidents often happen when a truck stops suddenly, when a truck is making a wide turn, or when a driver fails to see a smaller vehicle in their blind spot.

To help prevent underride accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truck owners/operators to equip their trailers with underride guards. The design of these guards intends to prevent smaller vehicles from sliding underneath the truck in a collision. However, these guards are not always effective, especially in high-speed crashes or when they are poorly maintained.

If you suffered injuries in any type of commercial truck accident, seek legal guidance from an experienced truck accident attorney immediately. A knowledgeable lawyer can protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you need for your injuries and losses.

How to Determine Liability in a Truck Accident

You can hold multiple liable parties accountable for your injuries and losses, including:

  • distracted drivingThe truck driver: If the driver’s negligence, such as distracted driving, fatigue, or impairment, caused the accident, you can hold them liable for your damages.
  • The trucking company: Trucking companies are responsible for hiring qualified drivers, maintaining their vehicles, and ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations. If they fail in these duties, you could work with an attorney to hold them liable.
  • The truck manufacturer: If a defective truck part contributed to the accident, your lawyer could hold the manufacturer accountable for your losses.
  • Truck maintenance company: Likewise, the truck may have experienced mechanical issues due to improper maintenance. In such cases, your attorney could seek compensation from the company responsible for the truck’s maintenance.
  • The cargo loader: Improperly loaded or secured cargo can shift during transport, causing the truck to become unbalanced and increasing the risk of an accident. If shifting or falling cargo caused the truck accident, your lawyer can work to hold the party responsible for loading and securing the load.

In many cases, several parties bear liability for truck accident injuries. In fact, you could have a case against another passenger vehicle motorist if their carelessness or recklessness caused the truck accident in Colorado.

What to Do if a Commercial Truck Causes an Accident that Injures You

After sustaining injuries in a truck accident someone else caused, to ensure your health and protect your safety and legal rights:

  • Seeking medical attention immediately: Make your health and well-being your top priority. Even if you feel fine after the accident, some injuries may not immediately maifest, such as concussions or internal bleeding. You must have a medical professional evaluate you as soon as possible to diagnose and treat any injuries.
  • Calling 911 and reporting the accident: Contact emergency services to report the accident and request medical assistance if needed. The police will create an accident report, which you can use in your claim.
  • Documenting the accident scene: If you can, photograph the accident scene, including damage to the vehicles involved, skid marks, and road conditions. Also, take pictures of any visible injuries you have sustained. If there are witnesses, collect their contact information, as their statements can support your case.
  • Exchanging information with the truck driver: Obtain the truck driver’s name, contact information, commercial driver’s license number, and insurance details. Also, collect information about the trucking company, including its name, address, and phone number.
  • Not admitting fault or apologizing: Refrain from apologizing or making statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault for the accident. Stick to the facts when speaking with the truck driver, police, or insurance representatives.
  • Following your doctor’s advice and attending all medical appointments: To ensure a proper recovery and to strengthen your claim, follow your doctor’s treatment plan and attend all scheduled medical appointments. Keep records of all medical bills, prescriptions, and any other expenses related to your injuries.
  • Keeping a journal of your recovery: Document your daily pain levels, symptoms, and how your injuries have impacted your life. This information can be valuable when seeking compensation for your pain and suffering.
  • Contacting an experienced truck accident attorney: Reach out to a skilled truck accident lawyer who can guide you through the complex legal process and protect your rights. Your attorney can communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, gather evidence to support your claim, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

By taking these steps after a commercial truck accident, you can protect your health and legal rights and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and losses. 

How an Attorney Can Help You Get Compensation

Hiring a skilled truck accident attorney can significantly improve your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Your attorney can:

  • Gather evidence, interview witnesses, and consult experts to build a strong case
  • Determine all parties who may be responsible for your losses, increasing your potential for compensation.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation
  • Represent you in court if the other parties and their insurance company refuse to negotiate a fair settlement

What Types of Compensation Can You Receive from a Truck Accident Claim?

Truck Accident ClaimWhen your attorney helps you successfully navigate a truck accident claim in Colorado, you could receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses and future medical expenses
  • Lost income, wages, and other work-related benefits
  • Loss of future earning capacity if you suffered a permanent disability that affects your capacity to work
  • Pain and suffering damages for the physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the accident and your injuries 
  • Property damage compensation to help you replace or repair your car and other damaged property

If a truck accident killed a close family member, you may qualify to bring a wrongful death action against the responsible parties.

An attorney can assess your case and inform you of your rights and options. The damages your attorney can recover include funeral and burial costs, final medical expenses, and loss of income and support, among others.

How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Colorado?

In Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident lawsuit is generally three years from the date of the accident. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, and it is best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to understand what deadlines apply in your case.

Contact a Colorado Truck Accident Lawyer Right Away

If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident in Colorado, you must act quickly to protect your legal rights and pursue compensation. 

The experienced truck accident attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates, P.C., are here to help. We have a proven track record of success in handling complex truck accident cases and fighting for the compensation our clients deserve.

 Don’t wait to seek legal guidance. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our dedicated team will review your case, answer your questions, and provide you with the guidance you need to move forward.