Injured in a Truck Accident?
The Denver truck accident lawyers at Franklin D. Azar & Associates are dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered from a truck accident. Our goal is to take the stress out of the process so you can focus on recovery and get your life back.
Truck Accidents are Complicated
Just like any auto accident, an accident involving a semi-truck or large commercial vehicle can drastically change your life. However, in collisions with trucks, the occupants of the car are far more likely to face the prospect of major or even fatal injuries. Big rigs are 20-30 times heavier than passenger cars, with much greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller cars getting the brunt of the impact and being dragged under the truck.According to U.S. Department of Transportation data, 4,316 people died in large truck crashes across the U.S. in 2018. In two-vehicle crashes involving a large truck and a passenger car, more than ninety percent of the fatalities were occupants of the car.
A collision with a commercial truck is also much more complicated legally, due to the potential number of negligent parties in addition to the driver, such as the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, etc.
A host of federal regulations spell out the requirements for operating large trucks safely and protecting the public. For example, there are hours-of-service regulations that establish how many hours a single driver can operate a large truck in a day. But driver fatigue, substance abuse, and claims that some companies encourage drivers to ignore hour-of-service limits remain common problems.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there may also be allegations of carelessness on the part of the trucking company — questions about its training and hiring procedures; the way it maintains and services its equipment; or its compliance with other regulations.
Without specialized knowledge of trucking laws and industry regulations, it can be difficult to accurately assess liability issues and the options available to the injured parties.
Importance of Having an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Denver
Whether you were injured by a tractor-trailer while traveling an interstate, or injured by a delivery truck on your street, you will need a top truck accident lawyer that knows how to manage and litigate big truck accidents.
Finding an injury attorney with experience litigating accidents where tractor trailers or large trucks are involved is crucial. If you’ve been injured by a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, then you need an accident attorney with the knowledge and resources to analyze how the accident happened, what factors may have caused the accident–such as driver fatigue, drugs and alcohol, equipment failure, or improper loading–and how to use that information to make sure you get the compensation/representation you deserve.
Truck Accident Injuries
The types of injuries that occur when you are injured by a tractor-trailer or other large trucks can be catastrophic, even at low speeds. Many of our clients have suffered from the following types of injuries related to collisions with trucks:
Back and Neck Injuries
Ranging from minor neck pain to serious dislocated discs in the spine.
Head injuries may result in brain trauma, which can be life-altering and heartbreaking, as they can cause loss of motor functions and cognitive functions.
These types of internal injuries can involve the spleen, liver, bladder, pancreas, or kidney, which can be difficult to treat.
Broken ribs are particularly dangerous because of the vital organs they surround.
Unfortunately, the severity of damage involved in truck accidents is significantly more likely to kill someone than a regular car crash.
An Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Can Establish Driver Negligence in Accident Cases
Every case should be prepared as if litigation will be required, so you need an accident attorney experienced with litigating cases with tractor trailers, semi-trucks, and other large commercial vehicles. Those vehicles operate under federal regulations, which often vary depending on the weight, type of cargo, and other factors. Thousands of commercial trucks are involved in crashes on federal and state roads, often due to reckless driving, but also because of carelessness on behalf of the companies employing those drivers. If you’ve been injured by a tractor-trailer or other large commercial vehicle, then you need a law firm that knows and understands those regulations and how the failure to comply with those rules may have caused your accident.
The trucking companies and their insurers are not going to pay you fairly for your injuries. They will use every means possible to minimize your injuries and their liability. You need a personal injury lawyer that knows how to obtain the necessary information to prove your case, and the skills and experience to put that information to work to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you or a family member has been injured by a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, then Franklin D. Azar & Associates can help. We have an experienced Denver truck accident attorney ready to help. We have the dedication to our clients to ensure that your claim will be handled efficiently and aggressively until you get the recovery you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Big Truck Accidents
According to data tracked by the National Safety Council, 4,965 people died in large-truck crashes across America in 2020. That’s an increase in truck-related fatalities by almost a third over the past decade and represents more than ten percent of all traffic deaths. Lawmakers, industry experts, and others have expressed concern about the disturbing upward trend and are seeking solutions. Here are some important questions and answers about what causes big-rig crashes and how to avoid them.
Why are big-truck crashes more dangerous than other accidents?
It’s a simple matter of physics. Big rigs are 20-30 times heavier than passenger cars, with much greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller cars getting the brunt of the impact and being dragged under the truck. In two-vehicle crashes involving a large truck and a passenger car, close to ninety percent of those seriously injured or killed were occupants of the car.
What’s the reason the number of fatal crashes has increased so much over the past decade?
For many years, increased regulation and tougher industry requirements were credited with playing a significant role in reducing the number and severity of truck accidents; by 2009, the mortality figures were less than half of what they’d been 30 years earlier. But several factors may have played a part in the subsequent increase in fatal crashes, including more trucks on the road, driving millions of more miles each year. Today’s big rigs have more built-in safety features than ever before, but driver shortages, aging fleets, inadequate training and other industry woes have contributed to the problem.
What are the most common causes of truck accidents?
Studies indicate that at least one “driver-related factor” shows up in roughly a third of all large-truck fatal crashes. Speeding is the most commonly cited risky behavior. Distracted driving is pretty common, too; more than half of all fatal truck crashes occur in rural areas, where drivers are likely to become distracted or inattentive after hours of traveling largely empty roads. Impairment, from drug or alcohol use or simple fatigue, may be greatly underestimated but still shows up as a factor in one out of every seven truck crashes.
But driver error isn’t the only culprit. Weather and road conditions, defective equipment or mechanical failure can play a part; tire defects alone are said to be responsible for a third of all truck-related crashes. In other instances, unbalanced or excessive loads could be involved, too. And, of course, some crashes are caused by the behavior of other drivers.
Can the trucking company be held responsible for a truck crash?
Liability depends on the individual circumstances. For example, if the company was negligent in its hiring or training procedures, failed to address important maintenance or repair issues for its vehicles, or encouraged drivers to ignore federally established hour-of-service limits, it may well share the blame for subsequent crashes. An experienced truck accident attorney can provide more guidance on this often complicated question.
What steps should be taken to avoid a truck crash?
Trucks of all kinds should be approached with care in any traffic situation, whether it’s a delivery van in your neighborhood or an 18-wheeler on the highway. Too often, drivers of passenger cars don’t make allowances for the fundamental differences in the way trucks operate, from braking capability (a loaded tractor-trailer can take up to 40 percent longer than a car to stop) to general maneuverability. Give truckers a wide berth, and don’t lurk in the “no-see zone,” the areas beside or behind or a truck where the driver has little or no visibility. Don’t change lanes abruptly in front of a truck, and don’t underestimate the speed (or overestimate the braking ability) of an oncoming rig when turning left at an intersection. Share the road, and everybody has a better chance of getting home safely.
Our proven track record and expertise have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Aurora, Denver, Thornton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo.