When a Truck Driver Leaves the Scene of an Accident

Truck Driver Leaves the Scene

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

May 3, 2022

HIT-AND-RUNS BY COLORADO TRUCK DRIVERS

A personal injury lawsuit in Colorado permits persons who reckless truck drivers have hurt to seek damages (monetary compensation). Victims may be entitled to compensation for medical expenditures, lost earnings, future wages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish if a lawsuit is brought within four years of the date of the accident (the statute of limitations).

Spouses of wounded victims may be entitled to obtain damages for the loss of their marriage, and families may be able to launch a wrongful death action.

However, you must first determine who is to blame for your injuries to bring a case. What happens if the truck driver who caused the collision flees the scene? If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, contact a truck accident lawyer to discuss your case.

Truck accident victims may have significant injuries that result in lifetime physical suffering. Even if they have insurance, bills build-up, leaving sufferers feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Even after paying copays, deductibles, and coinsurance, accident victims may find themselves with a mountain of bills they can’t afford. Those who don’t have insurance are much worse off since they are accountable for every dollar spent on diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

Each year, big trucks (almost 15.5 million) deliver approximately a trillion dollars in retail and manufacturing products inside the United States and between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Approximately 32,000 incidents involving large trucks occurred in Colorado alone in one recent year. Because of the large number of trucks on our highways, incidents involving trucks and passenger vehicles are almost bound to occur.

Because of the enormous difference between the two, cars—and their occupants—almost always lose in truck collisions. Automobiles sustain greater damage than trucks, and both drivers and passengers suffer more serious injuries in cars.

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OBLIGATIONS OF TRUCK DRIVERS

If they are involved in an accident, all drivers in Colorado, even truck drivers with licenses from other states, have a legal obligation to stop and remain at the site. They must also dial 911, wait for and cooperate with police, and exchange personal and insurance information with other drivers on the scene.

Leaving the site of an accident is known as a hit and run, and it may result in criminal penalties of up to 30 years in jail if the motorist is responsible for a death.

A civil personal injury lawsuit is distinct from any criminal guilt imposed in a criminal prosecution; they are two distinct processes. The government must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the motorist did indeed leave the accident scene and caused the injuries or death in a criminal proceeding.

Your standard of evidence in a civil action is substantially lower—you simply need to establish that the driver was more likely than not to be the cause of your injuries. That means that even if the motorist is charged with a felony and found not guilty, you may still file a personal injury claim and be successful in obtaining damages.

AFTER A HIT-AND-RUN BY A TRUCK DRIVER

Hit-and-run accidents occur when one motorist flees the scene of an accident. The motorist who stays at the accident site should take specific precautions both at the moment of the accident and in the days and weeks that follow. If your injuries are severe, you may not be able to do any of these chores immediately but complete them as soon as you can or seek the aid of someone you trust.

AT THE SITE OF A TRUCK COLLISION

If you were involved in a hit-and-run truck accident, make a mental note of all you saw and remember about the other vehicle and driver while the memories are still fresh in your memory. You may use your phone to produce a movie, scribble notes on paper, or write a digital note.

Make a list of everything you observe, including any marks on the truck or trailer that would identify whose firm the driver works for, the driver’s attributes, the license plate number, and state if you can see them.

JEREMY D. EARLE, JD., IS A TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER

Obtain the contact information of everyone who saw your accident. Even though law enforcement will conduct its investigation and acquire information, you should do so. Even if you don’t see a license plate or get a good look at the driver, knowing the trucking company’s name might be quite useful; trucking firms are obligated to preserve extensive data about their drivers.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT

If you are engaged in a hit-and-run, you should phone 911 immediately, just as you would in an accident when all parties remain put. Even if you don’t believe you or those with you have any injuries, receive a medical evaluation and urge others to do the same when medical responders come.

If you’re in shock, certain injuries may go unnoticed, and the symptoms of some critical injuries may seem mild at first but worsen over the following several days or weeks.

If paramedics advise that you be sent to a hospital or an emergency room, take their instructions and go. To be able to collect the expenses of your injuries in a lawsuit, you must keep a detailed record of them.

Officers from the local law enforcement agency will also be present. It is their responsibility to gather information, interview witnesses, and create a report. They will take photographs and chat with you, your passengers, and any witnesses throughout this procedure. Cooperate with them and encourage people in your immediate vicinity.

Although you may have previously recorded certain information, provide the police with whatever information they seek. This information will be included in their report and may come in handy if you decide to pursue a lawsuit in the future.

Officers will create a report when they depart the site. You have a legal right to a copy of this report, so request one and make sure you get it. The procedure of getting a police report may take a long time, so you should photograph and videotape the events of the case. You may hand over your notes to your lawyer straight away, and none of the specifics will have vanished.

In The Days And Weeks Following The Truck Accident

Following your accident, you may experience a period of bewilderment and agony. You might be in the hospital and need surgery. Hospitalization necessitates time away from work. You could be looking for someone to look after your children or pets.

Physical or other sorts of treatment may be required. And you can start getting medical bills before you even leave the hospital. If you have been seriously hurt, you may be facing the risk of permanently altering your life due to injuries inflicted by a careless truck driver.

Nonetheless, if feasible, take the required procedures to guarantee that you are not without recourse against the driver.

Speak With A Truck Driver Hit-And-Run Lawyer

While you should contact an attorney as quickly as possible following any kind of accident, it’s especially important if you’ve been wounded in a hit-and-run. Finding the driver might be difficult, and you don’t want to do it alone.

A reputable truck accident legal company will almost certainly have detectives on board who can begin the process of locating the truck driver who injured you and determining who his or her employer is. Because you don’t want to run into or completely miss the statute of limitations, these professionals need to get started on your case right away.

They may start with your notes from the incident and use the police report after it’s been released by law enforcement to talk to witnesses and get further information, search public records based on the vehicle’s description, and attempt to find out who the driver was working for at the time.

Trying to pursue a personal injury case on your own is nearly always a terrible decision. In addition to the extensive research that goes into these lawsuits, the persons and corporations you’re suing will almost probably come to your case with full legal representation. Trying to defend oneself against skilled personal injury attorneys may easily lead to insufficient or non-existent compensation.

Submit An Insurance Claim

Most car insurance companies need you to file a claim within a certain amount of time to get money for the damage to your vehicle. Keep track of when your claim was filed, any conversations you had with your insurance company, whether your vehicle was totaled or not, where and when the damage was repaired, and how long you were without a vehicle.

Keep Track Of Your Medical Expenses

As intimidating as opening invoices might be, it’s a duty you can’t avoid. Check your mail and pay your debts. Then save them somewhere secure, so you can use them to establish the number of damages you’re owed. Because medical expenses are determined by the charges you paid, you won’t be able to reclaim them if you don’t have documentation.

Keep Track Of Lost Work Hours

In a personal injury claim, lost earnings are recoverable damages. However, just as with medical expenses, you must be able to demonstrate how much you have lost. Keep note of not just the days and hours you’ll be out of work due to your ailments but also any commissions, retirement contributions, or tips you’ll lose out on as a result of your injuries.

Possible Consequences

You may be able to claim damages from both the driver and the driver’s employer in a hit-and-run truck case. This is why any description of the vehicle that struck you is crucial—it helps identify the firm responsible for the driver’s improper hiring, training, or supervision. Although each case is unique and requires a separate legal investigation, victims of these sorts of incidents may be entitled to various damages.

Medical Expenses

In a personal injury case, you may collect almost all of the expenses associated with diagnosing, treating, and recovering from your injuries. The cost of your initial treatment, ambulance transportation, surgeries, follow-up appointments, therapy (physical, speech, occupational, or mental health), medications, rehabilitation treatment, and medical devices and equipment such as canes, walkers, oxygen tanks, or prosthetic devices are all included.

Wages Lost In The Present And Future

As previously said, keep note of your missing work hours since the lost money is a recoupable loss. You may be able to recover lost future earnings in addition to the money you are now losing. While the amount of this loss is more difficult to compute than the money you’ve already lost, an actuary can generate a realistic figure based on your age, life expectancy, education and professional training, and development potential.

Damages That Aren’t Monetary

Non-economic damages pay victims for losses that don’t have a defined monetary cost—things you don’t receive a bill for but that are nevertheless very real consequences of your accident. Physical pain and suffering, disability, emotional agony, and deformity are among them.

In rare situations, victims’ spouses may be eligible to obtain damages for their pain and suffering, such as compensation for the loss of the victim’s affection and companionship or compensation for the inability to have sexual relations with the victim.

Damages For Punishment

Punitive damages may be available in cases when a person’s acts are particularly heinous or immoral. While not often given in Colorado personal injury cases, the goal is to penalize the at-fault party (rather than repay the victim) and deter future similar conduct.

HOW A TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY FROM WARRIOR LAW FIRM CAN HELP

Tuck hit-and-run accident injuries can be devastating, but a skilled truck accident lawyer may be able to assist you in locating the driver and obtaining the compensation you are entitled to.

Consider consulting with an expert hit-and-run accident attorney as soon as possible if you have concerns about your rights as an accident victim or aren’t sure what to do next after a hit-and-run truck accident.

Call our Colorado Springs office at 719-300-1100 or contact us online to book your free consultation with Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers.

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