Commercial Truck Accidents: What you Need to Know
An automobile accident involving a commercial truck, such an 18-wheeler, and a passenger vehicle can be much, much worse than a typical auto accident. A fully loaded semi truck can weigh 80,000 lbs. The average passenger vehicle weighs about 3,000 pounds. The basic laws of physics say that an accident between two vehicles with such a tremendous size disparity is going result in more serious and fatal injuries. The danger from the size disparity in commercial truck accidents can be compounded by the kind of cargo the truck is carrying. Some commercial trucks carry flammable or otherwise dangerous materials that can cause secondary injuries. If you’ve been injured in a commercial truck accident in Colorado you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
How is a Truck Accident Different?
In addition to the much greater potential for serious injury and death as the result of a commercial truck accident, there are a number of special considerations that you and your auto injury attorney may need to take into account. A large commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler is prone to special types of accidents, such as jackknifing. The fact that a truck jackknifes, however, is not in itself proof of operator negligence, because there are many present in which there is no way to avoid jackknifing without risking some other form of catastrophe. Also, large commercial trucks make wide turns and can sometimes hit other drivers or parked cars. It’s not always clear, however, what constitutes negligence in these situations. An attorney experienced in auto and truck accidents can navigate through these issues.
Additionally, commercial truck accidents may have more potential defendants than a normal auto injury case. In addition to the truck driver, trucking companies, contractors, employers, insurance companies, and in some cases the manufacturer of hazardous materials carried by the truck may also be liable. Liability, however, can be very complicated in these cases and dependent on a large number of variables. It’s important that you and your attorney identify as many potential defendants as possible.
As in any auto accident, it’s important to take the necessary steps to first protect you or your loved one’s heath and safety, and then to protect your right to fair compensation for your injuries. Move clear of debris and potentially hazardous materials, and seek medical attention immediately. Then act to protect your rights. Keep track of any police reports, medical bills and expenses, lost wages, and any other documents relevant to your case so that you can give them to your attorney, and contact a Colorado attorney experienced in personal and auto injury to get you the compensation that you deserve.