When Should I Consider Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney

when hire truck accident law firm

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

May 14, 2021

Colorado Springs Truck Accident Law Firm

It is a good bet that the insurance adjuster will contact you before you have a chance to contact an attorney. The adjuster tries to catch you off guard and get you to sign a settlement agreement before the dust settles.

That should be enough to tell you something. So, if you get an early call or an overly polite in-person visit from a trucking company’s insurance adjuster, “there’s your sign,” as comedian Bill Engvall would say.

It’s just not humorous. If you’re thinking about hiring a truck accident lawyer, now is the time to do it.

While it is important to consult an attorney early in the process, you have some time to consider your options. If you are debating whether or not to hire an attorney, have a look at the following situations:

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You were severely hurt in an accident. Broken bones, paralysis, amputation, burns, blindness, and long-term or permanent physical damage are examples of this.

There’s even a chance you’ll be determined to be at fault.

Other vehicles were engaged in the collision.

In the construction or school zone, the accident occurred.

The official accident report is either incomplete or inaccurate in its description of what occurred.

An attorney specializing in 18-wheeler accidents can also assist you in determining what caused the truck collision in the first place. There are numerous reasons for trucking accidents, and sorting through them all to determine the actual cause or causes typically necessitates the assistance of an expert.

The greater the specialist, the more likely they are to discover all of the causes. Many individuals can hypothesize what caused the accident, but only an expert truck accident lawyer can present hard facts.

TRUCK DRIVER ERRORS CAUSE WHAT KINDS OF ACCIDENTS?

Big rigs aren’t always dangerous because of their size, but when they’re operated carelessly, maintained incorrectly, or forced into a tense environment on a busy interstate, we’re all at risk. When driving, maintaining, or troubleshooting, vigilance is essential.

An 18-wheeler’s margin of error is substantially narrower than your Toyota Camry’s. The truck strayed into another lane and sideswiped a car due to the driver’s inattention. A panic stop by a large rig travelling 65 miles per hour takes 525 feet (approximately a tenth of a mile) from the moment the driver becomes aware of the situation to a complete stop. An automobile moving at the same pace would require 316 feet.

That explains why rear-end incidents account for so many 18-wheeler accidents. These aren’t simple fender benders with little property damage and possibly a spilt cup of coffee. These can be extremely dangerous and lethal.

Operating and owning an 18-wheeler has tremendous responsibilities that should never be taken lightly. When they are, disaster can occur.

A semi-truck collision can be caused by a variety of circumstances, just like any other vehicle accident. The trucker’s negligence can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:

DROWSINESS IN TRUCK DRIVERS

Drowsiness has an impact on reaction time, threat awareness, and reasoning. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration controls the number of hours a truck driver can drive per day (11) and per seven-day week for these reasons (60).

Employers frequently pressure drivers to achieve delivery timetables that are very difficult to accomplish without exceeding the specified hourly limits. This results in illegal overtime driving, forged driver’s logs, and, all too frequently, accidents.

Drowsiness can also be caused by the driver’s age, general health, drugs (prescription and non-prescribed), and the amount and quality of sleep he gets during his downtime.

In many lawsuits, this is a key point. It is beneficial to win a case to show that a driver-operated tractor-trailer rig knows he had not logged the legally required downtime. A second consideration is whether the driver felt obligated to disobey the road rules to meet his employer’s deadline for delivering the cargo.

TRUCK DRIVING WHILE IS IMPAIRED

It’s terrifying to consider that drivers of 80,000-pound monster trucks on our highways could be high on anything from alcohol to drugs, but it happens.

As per the most recent Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts Report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,600 truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01 or above – 2.5 percent of truck drivers in these fatalities were legally intoxicated.

Like the rest of us, truck drivers suffer from aches and pains, and many of them suffer from chronic diseases that necessitate the use of powerful medicines. These medications frequently have negative side effects and can impair driving ability. In court, disregard for these side effects becomes a distinct liability. Several big rig accidents have been linked to over-the-counter drugs.

TRUCKS SPEEDING UP AND DRIVING TOO FAST FOR THE CIRCUMSTANCES

Almost every driver has witnessed a huge rig speeding by slower moving traffic in instances where a gentler tap on the throttle would have been appropriate. Technically, unless the truck exceeds the posted speed limit, it is not speeding, yet unsafe and illegal. It is a ticketable offence to drive too quickly for the conditions.

Conditions that necessitate driving significantly below the posted speed limit, according to the FMCSA, include:

Roads that are wet or icy

Fog

Cracks in the pavement

Roads that are uneven

Zones of construction

Roads made of gravel

Curves

Intersections

A lot of traffic

“Speeding of Any Kind,” according to the FMCSA report, is the biggest cause of truck accidents, accounting for 6.5 percent of fatal collisions.

TRUCK DRIVING WITHOUT RESPONSIBILITY AND VINDICTIVENESS

Duel, a thriller about a crazy truck driver attempting to force a helpless vehicle down a difficult mountain route, was Steven Spielberg’s debut feature-length film. It took advantage of people’s worry that big rig drivers are out to “get them.”

Thankfully, this isn’t the case. However, there have been other instances in which a truck driver has been prompted by another vehicle and has reacted badly. Aggressive driving/road rage was a factor in less than 1% of fatal truck accidents, according to the FMCSA.

In the courtroom, proving that the trucker drove aggressively or was under the influence of road rage is a difficult undertaking that frequently necessitates the use of third-party witnesses.

DISTRACTED TRUCK DRIVING

Truck drivers are forbidden from texting, talking on the phone, or accessing the internet while driving. According to the FMCSA, driver distraction was involved in approximately 6% of fatal truck incidents. These are some of them:

Distraction from outside the car by a person, item, or event

Reaching into the cab for items

Making phone calls

Making a phone call

Making use of a mobile device (texting, using apps, etc.)

Consumption of food or drink

Changing the audio and climate settings

Daydreaming

Smoking

In terms of mortality, injuries, and property damage, big rig accidents caused by a distracted truck driver can be the worst of the worst. Because of their actions behind the wheel, drivers have been found guilty of murder. Commercial drivers who text while driving a moving vehicle face harsh penalties, although the laws vary by state.

OTHER TYPES OF 18-WHEEL TRUCK DRIVER MISTAKES

Accidents have a variety of causes; however, the following are the most common ones that have not yet been mentioned:

Distracted driving includes texting, eating, listening to music, and other driving activities.

Departure from the lane

Disobedience to traffic signs and signals

Perplexed vision

Failure to comply with the law

Failure to correctly perform turns and lane changes

Overcorrecting

Incorrect passing

Paying too much attention (tailgating)

Truck accidents are frequently caused by a combination of poor decisions and risky actions. When a driver is tired or drunk, he or she is more likely to drive too fast or make risky mistakes that result in an accident.

These choices, on the other hand, are not made in a vacuum. The truck driver may be following his or her employer’s orders, which expands your case to include more defendants.

WHAT ROLE DOES NEGLIGENT TRUCK MAINTENANCE PLAY IN ACCIDENTS?

The “runaway truck ramp” sign on steep-grade highways is a sobering reminder that things don’t always function perfectly on big rigs. This is a regular occurrence in mountainous areas, where brake failure on steep hills is normal.

Brake failure is an unfortunate situation that truck drivers and their employers must deal with. An 80,000-pound runaway truck is a terrifying concept and a dangerous thing. Brake failure is a common and but brake failure is an unfortunate condition that truck drivers and their employers must deal with.

Overheating, hydraulic failure, and a variety of other mechanical issues can cause brake failure. Brake failure due to improper maintenance, on the other hand, should never happen. If a truck’s or trailer’s brakes aren’t kept up to date, the results can be disastrous — usually for other vehicles on the road.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees the safety and maintenance of 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. Individual states may have their own set of regulations as well.

SEMI-TRUCKS’ BRAKES

A signal that notifies drivers of braking failure must be installed on a truck. The indication must be visible – usually a dashboard warning light – for vehicles built after 1973. The functioning pressure gauge on air brakes must be visible to the driver, whether on the truck or the trailer.

According to federal standards, the braking system must feature automated adjustment to compensate for the wear of brake linings, drums, or discs. A manual inspection of the braking system is necessary to document any brake repairs, replacements, or new installations.

SEMI-TRUCK SAFETY DEVICES

Safety devices include coupling devices that keep trailers attached to the vehicle carrying them and stabilizers that keep them from swaying side to side.

SECURITY OF LARGE RIG LOAD

Several 18-wheeler accidents have been caused by shifting load. Cargo shifting or falling out of the trailer adds a layer of complexity to the insurance settlement.

In most places, if a shifting load is identified as the cause of an accident, the firm responsible for loading the trailer is held liable. However, prosecuting a case alleging that a changing load caused the accident is generally a difficult undertaking.

There are guidelines to follow, including the FMCSA’s criteria for weight distribution, weight support, space management, tie-downs, the center of gravity, dunnage (material used to fill gaps between cargo items), and weight limitations.

During all trailer movements, whether planned or unexpected, the load must stay stable. This includes panic stops, abrupt lane changes, quick curves, sloping or uneven pavement, severe winds, and anything else that causes a trailer to move on the road.

Different types of goods necessitate various levels of security. Different types of tie-downs are required for a load of logs versus a load of potato chips. Any inconsistency in the FMCSA document that lays out all of these laws might be crucial in assessing liability in an 18-wheeler crash.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A TRUCK ACCIDENT?

Identifying the parties at fault is an important element of every semi-truck accident investigation. Typically, this includes the driver on the scene, the corporation that hired the driver, and any companies participating in the rig’s activities.

We investigate and take action against all parties whose negligence contributed to your injuries in a truck accident at Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers, including:

THE TRUCKING BUSINESS

Cargo delivery is a time-sensitive enterprise. Everyone in the firm may prioritize the bottom line, from supervisors to CEOs, at the expense of their drivers and public safety.

The following are examples of trucking business negligence:

Requiring drivers to work more than the legally mandated hours of service

Not having the appropriate types and quantities of insurance coverage.

Pressuring drivers to preserve erroneous service and maintenance records

Failing to test drivers for alcohol and drug use, as well as medical issues that could jeopardize their ability to operate rigs properly

Hiring inexperienced or unskilled drivers who lack the necessary licences.

Failure to provide sufficient training to drivers

These measures may not be visible at the time of the accident, and trucking corporations will go to great lengths to hide their tracks. Warrior Car Collision Lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the role of corporate negligence in truck accidents.

CREWS FOR TRUCKING MAINTENANCE

Your truck accident claim may also be influenced by the question of who services the semi. If the trucking firm owns the tractor and trailer, in-house maintenance employees or a contracted third party may charge upkeep. However, if the trucker is an independent contractor who owns the rig, he or she is responsible for keeping it in good working order by scheduling tune-ups and maintenance.

With 18-wheelers driving thousands of miles each year, frequent maintenance and replacement of worn-out equipment are critical to a truck’s safety. You might be entitled to compensation from the individual or company that services the truck if the accident was caused by a tire blowout or other failure due to carelessness in maintenance and repairs.

COMPANIES THAT SHIP

During a haul, trucks may stop at several businesses and distribution facilities. As the personnel load and unload freight, it’s critical that they distribute the weight evenly and secure items so that they don’t shift during travel.

Trailers with an unequal weight distribution risk tipping over, maybe onto a car on either side of the rig. Shifting loads could cause the truck to jackknife or cargo to spill onto the road.

The role of unsecured or poorly balanced loads in truck accidents is one of the primary aspects that investigators will look at. Our attorneys will examine these reports and gather further evidence to guarantee that the entity responsible for loading the vehicle is held accountable.

MANUFACTURERS OF PARTS

Defective vehicle components can cause truck accidents. A tractor or trailer part failure (or both) might lead the driver to lose control of the vehicle, resulting in a collision.

In general, product liability cases necessitate a thorough examination of the failed part’s design and production and the company’s activities to warn the public. Regrettably, many corporations will go to great lengths to safeguard their profits at the risk of public safety.

Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers aggressively litigates against negligent firms who produce and sell defective trucking parts, just as they do with trucking companies and other parties, many of whom have billions of dollars and teams of lawyers on their side. We work with skilled teams to investigate what happened and then take action on your behalf.

TRUCK ACCIDENTS CAUSE WHAT KINDS OF INJURIES?

In a truck accident, the risk of horrific injuries is extremely high. Commercial vehicles, after all, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, causing forces that even a heavy-duty pickup or SUV can’t handle in an accident.

As a result, major injuries are more often than not the norm. The following are some of the more serious injuries we find in truck accident cases at Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers:

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Injury to the spinal cord

Ruptured discs and other injuries to the neck and back

Surgical removal of a limb

Burns

Scarring and disfigurement

Organ damage and internal bleeding are examples of internal injuries.

Multiple fractures of the bones

Muscle, ligament, tendon, and other soft tissue damage

The death of one or more individuals is the most terrible outcome of a transportation accident. Unfortunately, fatalities from incidents with big rigs are all too common, with the driver and occupants of passenger vehicles being the most vulnerable.

HOW MUCH CAN I RECEIVE WHILE CLAIMING TRUCK ACCIDENT?

Serious injuries necessitate long-term care. After an accident, you may need to be admitted to the hospital, have many operations, and undergo months of physical therapy. You may endure lifetime physical and cognitive disadvantages, not to mention the emotional strain of adjusting to your new circumstances, even with prompt intervention and the best medical treatment.

Meanwhile, as medical expenses build up following a truck accident, many victims cannot pay since their disabilities prevent them from returning to work.

If you’re in this scenario due to a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers will help you get full compensation. If your injuries interfere with your capacity to earn a living, you may be eligible for damages such as 

Medical expenses 

Diminished future income

Suffering and pain

Lost pay 

Special damages for home improvements, hired help, and other costs specific to your circumstance

Negative effects on family relationships (often referred to as “consortium loss”).

The jury may also award you compensatory damages if the facts of the truck accident warrant it. This type of remuneration is only given in extreme carelessness, purposeful disregard for safety, malice, or fraud. Punitive damages are rarely given, but they convey a strong message to the defendant that their actions are unacceptable when they are.

Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers could file a wrongful death claim on your family’s behalf if a loved one were killed in a truck accident. In Colorado, a wrongful death case can be filed by the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents for reimbursement of economic losses, such as lost wages and the costs of burial, cremation, and funeral services, as well as non-economic damages related to the emotional toll of the loss.

WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE?

Taking the following procedures at the scene of the semi-truck accident, if possible, can help your claim right away:

Interviewing witnesses 

Photographing the accident scene, the damage to the involved vehicles, and your injuries

Gathering information on the truck driver (as well as any other drivers involved)

Giving a statement to the police

Unfortunately, many truck accident victims require rapid medical attention owing to the catastrophic injuries they have sustained. In case you or someone close to you has been involved in a truck accident, you should contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

On your behalf, our attorneys will take photographs of the site, identify potential witnesses, and gather information on the truck driver, trucking business, and other parties. Our inquiry will also contain the following elements:

Vehicles are examined by experts.

Thorough examination of the trucker’s logbooks and other documents

Obtaining and evaluating all local, state, and federal accident reports • Obtaining electronic evidence, such as mobile phone records, GPS coordinates, and data from the semi truck’s “black box” (see below)

ON SEMI-TRUCKS, THE “LITTLE BLACK BOX”

The “little black box,” also known as a digital event recorder or an electronic logging device (ELD), can be found in commercial planes, railways, cruise ships, passenger automobiles, and semi-trucks. Each ELD is configured for the type of vehicle it is mounted to record data from multiple sensors.

The ELD can be a useful tool for determining the cause of a truck accident, and its data is frequently used as evidence in court cases. It keeps track of things like • driving speed • GPS data • steering wheel position.

The number of times the brakes were applied and how quickly they were applied

If you’re hurt in an 18-wheeler collision, don’t expect the trucking business or its insurance representative to release the data from the truck’s black box freely; in fact, don’t expect them to keep it.

This is one of the reasons it is a good idea to hire an attorney as soon as possible following an accident. Your attorney can get a court order to save the black box data and set up a joint viewing with the other party’s counsel.

TRUCK DASH CAMS: FRIEND OR ENEMY OF THE TRUCK DRIVER?

A brief look at YouTube or any other video-sharing website will reveal the widespread use of dash cams on roadways around the world. Dash cams are used by many trucking businesses and independent drivers to defend themselves from false claims, and other companies use dash cams that face the driver to demonstrate his or her reaction to traffic problems.

Dashcams may record what happens in front of, behind, and even to the side of the truck. They may indicate that the truck driver was at fault in some cases. They may indicate that the car driver was at fault in some cases. It’s not always easy to tell.

Dash cams are popular among trucking businesses — when they work in their favour, that is. However, if the tape reveals the truck driver’s recklessness, the corporation will almost definitely try to suppress it.

Hiring an attorney early in the process, as with black box data, enhances the likelihood that dashcam footage will be made accessible for examination.

HOW LONG DOES A TRUCK ACCIDENT CLAIM TAKE TO RESOLVE?

“How long does it take to settle a vehicle collision with a truck?” is a question that is frequently asked. Settlement times can range from a few weeks to well over a year, depending on various events, the majority of which are beyond the plaintiff’s control. Impatience is not a virtue in a truck accident case.

It’s in the insurance company’s best interests to settle promptly, whether it’s yours or the trucking company’s before long-term health issues emerge. Conditions that arise after a truck accident lawsuit is settled are usually the plaintiff’s financial responsibility. While there are times when a case should be reopened, the settlement agreement is the final word most of the time.

Aggressive insurance adjusters frequently include an expiration date on the settlement offer, implying that you will not receive any compensation if you do not agree to the terms by that date. They know they can’t do anything, but it’s a win for the insurance company if it scares the injured party into accepting a settlement offer.

All state in the United States has a deadline for filing a trucking accident lawsuit, but these deadlines are typically very generous, giving plaintiffs plenty of time to recover from their injuries, collect medical bills, gather accident data, determine their options for returning to work, and review the case with their attorney.

Medical issues, government-based accident investigations (frequently the source of significant delays), witness depositions, and research into the trucking company’s compliance with safety rules, vehicle maintenance, and driver policies can all cause delays in the case.

WHAT CAN OUR ATTORNEYS FOR TRUCK ACCIDENTS DO FOR YOU?

Our mission at Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers is to hold irresponsible parties responsible for the harm they cause to our clients. This frequently effectively takes on multibillion-dollar trucking companies and their insurance companies in 18-wheeler accident lawsuits.

We are familiar with the strategies used by these companies to underpay and deny legitimate accident claims. When you engage Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers, you can rest assured that these firms will not be able to exploit you.

Attorneys, business strategists, and other specialists make up our team, which takes a holistic approach to craft your case. We calculate every penny you are owed for your injuries and fight hard to get you the just compensation you deserve.

Many firms are willing to settle when confronted with the armies of lawyers and big pockets of the companies engaged in trucking accident claims. That is not the case with Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers.

We spend time getting to know each of our clients individually; we are dedicated to achieving results that other law firms can only dream of. We recognize the challenges you and your family face, which motivates us to do everything we can to help you.

GET IN TOUCH WITH ONE OF OUR COLORADO SPRINGS TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS TODAY

Time is of the essence following a commercial vehicle collision. The trucking firm and its insurance are already circling the wagons in preparation for an injury claim, which is why you need to contact a lawyer who can investigate how the truck accident has affected you.

Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers’ attorneys will gather all necessary information and assess the total amount of compensation you may be entitled to. Then, against all responsible parties, our squad will go on the offensive. Whether we can achieve a satisfactory settlement or must go to court, we will be with you every step of the way.

Begin by getting a free evaluation of your truck accident case. Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers can be reached at 719-300-1100 or on our website. Our law office represents trucking accident victims in the Greater Colorado Springs area, Colorado, and across the country.

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