Making a Claim for Injuries Caused by a Truck Accident
Truck accidents are more dangerous if you’re in a smaller car. Commercial trucks, due to their sheer size and weight, may inflict significant damage to passenger cars. Your car may be crushed, resulting in life-threatening injuries. Loved ones might be murdered. If you or a loved one has just been in a major truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact the truck accident lawyers at Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers to discuss your options.
On Colorado’s highways, truck accidents are all too common. In the most recent year for which data were available, 225 truck accidents resulted in incapacitating injuries, and 771 resulted in non-incapacitating injuries, according to the Colorado Department of Highway Safety and Motor Cars. During the same year, 46 persons were slain.
However, after the grief and shock of a truck accident has passed, it’s natural to think, “What can I sue for?” You might be facing astronomical medical bills, be unable to work, and be traumatized. It may seem that someone should pay. Fortunately, the question “what can I sue for?” has an answer. In Colorado, the answer might be complicated. Thus there are numerous options. They’re right here.
Damages are covered first by your insurance
Colorado is a no-fault state for car insurance, as most Coloradans are aware. In essence, this implies that the first step is to realize that you will not be able to suit right away.
Medical payments coverage (MedPay) coverage of $5,000 is compulsory for all registered drivers. No-fault regulations are intended to remove the possible annoyance (as well as the time and expense) of proving who is at blame. Each motorist looks at their injury protection (MedPay) first.
MedPay is meant to pay 80% of your medical expenditures in the event of a truck accident, regardless of who is to blame. If you require time to heal or recuperate from your injuries, it will also pay 60% of your lost income from work. You must also carry $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) to cover any property damage, such as damage to your car.
If You Have Been Seriously Injured in a Truck AccidenT…
Truck accidents are quite likely to result in losses over $10,000. Fortunately, if a person is seriously harmed, Colorado enables them to move beyond the no-fault system. This is referred to as “stepping outside” of the no-fault zone.
However, the term “serious injury” has a legal meaning. As a direct consequence of the accident, you must have suffered at least one of the following:
A permanent restriction of the use of a body part or organ
A significant limitation of use of a body function or system
An injury that leaves you disabled for at least 90 days
If you have one or more of these, you have the option of filing a third-party claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
In certain situations, you may be able to sue for the following:
Medical bills that have previously been paid, such as doctor’s bills, hospital/surgery expenses, prescription drug bills, rehabilitative treatment fees, and so on.
Medical costs to be expected in the future
Lost income from work
Lost wages expected in the future from employment
Pain and suffering and other non-economic losses
Damages that are not monetary
Because non-economic losses like pain and suffering are never reimbursed under no-fault, having the opportunity to claim for them after a serious accident might be crucial to securing a fair settlement.
Economic damages such as medical expenditures and lost earnings are frequently multiplied by a multiplier to compensate for pain and suffering. The multiple is generally between 1.5 and 5. If an injury is projected to heal without causing long-term consequences, the multiplier will be on the low side.
Injuries with a greater pain and suffering multiplier are more likely to have long-term consequences. Catastrophic injuries have an immediate detrimental effect on a person’s life, such as a spinal cord injury that results in lifelong paralysis. They often result in the afflicted person requiring round-the-clock care for the rest of his or her life.
Higher multipliers may also be awarded if the injuries have a long-term impact on the individual in ways that they do not have on other people. A professional athlete who is made unable to compete due to a truck accident injury would almost certainly be given a greater pain and suffering multiplier than someone who suffers a serious injury but is unlikely to damage their career.
If a loved one has died, what may you sue for?
What if a truck accident claimed the life of a loved one? In such circumstances, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. What is the definition of Wrongful Death? Wrongful death is a sort of personal injury lawsuit in which the victim dies due to harm.
In Colorado, only specific persons linked to the dead individual are eligible to receive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The deceased’s surviving spouse
The deceased’s surviving children
The deceased’s surviving parents are the parties involved.
A blood-related or adopted sibling of the dead, as long as they were partially or entirely reliant on the decedent for assistance or services.
In Colorado, wrongful death actions may only be filed by a dead person’s estate representative. If no personal representative is named in a will or estate plan, the court will normally appoint one. Every party that has a stake in the case must be listed in the suit. Wrongful death lawsuits may seek compensation for both monetary and non-monetary losses.
Medical expenditures paid directly by the estate or by a surviving family member are examples of economic losses.
The estate or a surviving family member pays the funeral costs directly.
Wages, benefits, and other earnings lost, such as the value of the lost earnings that the dead may have reasonably expected to earn if they had lived.
Lost potential net estate accumulations or the worth of profits the estate might have reasonably anticipated to receive if the dead had lived.
Non-economic damages are intended to reflect that the loss of a loved one may substantially affect the surviving.
The worth of assistance and services supplied by the dead person to the remaining family member(s)
Loss of companionship, protection, and direction offered by the deceased
Mental and emotional anguish and suffering if the deceased was a kid
Punitive damages may be sought if the truck accident was caused by a particularly egregious failure on the side of the at-fault party. Courts seldom award punitive damages, but they do occur, and they are intended to penalize wrongdoers for hurtful or unjust activities.
Identifying Who Is at Fault in a Truck Accident
As you can see, persons who have been hurt or the survivors of those killed in a truck accident have the right to claim for the damages caused by the disaster.
However, suing someone in a car accident is predicated on identifying who was responsible for the event. Injured persons (and survivors of accident victims) may only sue if another party is responsible for their injuries.
The conclusion of carelessness determines liability. Simply expressed, negligence in law is defined as “failure to act with the amount of care that a prudent person would have exercised in the identical circumstances.”
That may seem straightforward, but assessing fault in a truck accident may be anything but straightforward. Many truck accidents need more investigation to establish who or what is to blame. Numerous parties can be at blame.
Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. When an 18-wheeler enters a bend too quickly, it rolls over. Rollovers are one of the most frequent and dangerous types of truck accidents. The rollover hits the front of your car. Spilled goods from the rollover break a window.
Attorney Jeremy D. Earle, JD specializes in truck accidents.
Your first and most natural response could be to point the blame at the motorist. In other circumstances, the driver may be to fault, in which case the driver would be named as a defendant in the litigation.
Negligence is not limited to drivers.
Truck accidents, on the other hand, might have several causes and participants. What if the driver tried to slow down on the bend but couldn’t because the brakes weren’t working properly? Companies who installed, produced, examined, or serviced the brakes may be at blame in this situation. Isn’t it also true that faulty brakes are one of the most prevalent causes of truck accidents?
Different firms may be responsible for installation, production, inspection, and maintenance. Hence the negligent parties may vary. These activities are sometimes performed by the owner of a car or fleet. Still, in other circumstances, they are performed by different entities (in the case of truck or component production), independent organizations, or subcontractors.
These independent businesses may each have their own insurance company to cover their responsibilities and their lawyers to represent them at insurance hearings and in court. What if a badly constructed or maintained highway was to blame for the inability to slow down? In such instances, the body responsible for designing or maintaining the road might be held liable. What if the driver was speeding because his firm was pressuring him to deliver by a specific time and date—a time and date that couldn’t be accomplished without speeding or skimping on sleep? Driver weariness is also a common cause of accidents.
If a truck’s cargo is inadequately loaded, secured, or overly heavy, it is more likely to overturn. Truck owners may pack, load, and transport freight themselves, or they may hire independent firms or subcontractors to do so. Accidents may be caused by improper loading or securing, and these firms may be held accountable.
In a nutshell, every truck accident might be caused by the carelessness of one or more of the following:
The truck driver
The owner of the truck
The trucking business
The maintenance and repair firms
The loading company
The car or component manufacturers
If they are found to be at responsibility, any or all of these parties (or their insurance companies) may be sued.
How to Prove Fault in a Truck Accident (6 Steps)
To claim negligence in any car accident, documentation of what caused the accident is required, and truck accidents are no exception.
First and first, when someone is hurt in an accident, police enforcement should be summoned. They’re going to file a police complaint. A police report documents what happened, including the location, time, and date of the accident, the individuals and cars involved, and the reason.
If feasible, law enforcement questions the drivers involved as well as any eyewitnesses. They’ll take down the weather, road conditions, and any other pertinent information.
Second, if you are able, taking photographs or taking notes at an accident site is an excellent idea. In a world where many people have cellphones, their ability to take pictures may be quite useful.
Pictures of your injuries might show where and how your car was hit, which can be a valuable source of information regarding what occurred. Proof may also be provided by taking pictures of all of the cars involved from various angles. If you don’t have a camera or a smartphone, take notes on what occurred as quickly as possible.
Third, if there are any eyewitnesses available and you can interview them, do so.
Fourth, when it comes to determining the reasons for accidents, legal firms usually collaborate with investigators. They may check to see if any security camera video is accessible, for example. Truck drivers are obliged to maintain logbooks, which might show when they last stopped and their examination of the truck’s condition, as well as any comments they may have made.
(Car drivers must check the truck at particular points throughout a run, but the primary examination is performed by inspection, maintenance, and repair organizations.) They can question Federal accident investigators.
Fifth, the records of injuries kept by a doctor or an emergency room might be utilized to recreate what occurred in an accident.
Sixth, forensic investigators may be used to recreate an accident in certain cases. Skid marks, damaged or broken road barriers, damaged vegetation such as wayside trees or bushes, and other signs of what occurred are often used as evidence.
If you have any further concerns, speak with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer right away.