The Denver truck accident attorneys at The Bourassa Law Group are dedicated to delivering swift justice in the form of full compensation for the damages you have suffered. Our highly skilled personal injury lawyers fight tooth and nail to win for our clients, and we provide the one-on-one attention you deserve throughout your entire case.
Driving near an 18-wheeler on the highway is an intimidating experience.
When an accident happens, these large trucks can deal costly damage to passenger vehicles, and often, victims of these types of accidents can sustain severe injuries – or worse.
Our experienced truck accident lawyers are waiting for your call. Contact us at (800)870-8910 or reach us online to set up a legal consultation with one of Colorado’s best truck accident lawyers today.
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Why You Need The Bourassa Law Group to Handle Your Truck Accident Claim
Large truck accidents are completely different from “regular” car accidents. These behemoth-sized vehicles are often 20 to 30 times heavier than regular passenger cars. Because of this, large trucks like 18-wheelers or other types of commercial vehicles can inflict catastrophic injuries.
That’s why you need the skilled, experienced, and dedicated truck accident lawyers like the ones at The Bourassa Law Group. Our legal guidance is unmatched in Colorado, and we treat every client with the respect and attention they deserve.
There are several factors about a truck accident that vastly differ from that of a traditional car accident. Those factors include:
- Serious Injuries – Because of a commercial truck’s sheer size, when they are involved in an accident, the injuries sustained by victims tend to be much more severe in nature when compared to passenger vehicle accidents. It isn’t uncommon for a victim of a large truck accident to sustain a life-altering injury. To ensure that you win full compensation, the evidence collected by your truck accident attorney must reflect this.
- Property Damage – As you could imagine, the damage caused by a vehicle that weighs over 80,000 pounds can be devastating. It is likely that your vehicle will be totaled if you are involved in an accident with a large truck.
- Multiple Parties Involved – Finding fault in a truck accident isn’t a straightforward process. These types of accidents often have multiple parties involved, such as the driver of the large truck, the manufacturer of said truck, or the trucking company’s inspectors. Any of these parties – alongside other ones – can be responsible for the accident that caused your injuries and the damages you suffered.
- Complex Insurance Policies – Trucking companies utilize multiple insurance coverages, and that in itself can make retrieving compensation rather difficult. On top of this fact, these insurance companies are professionals at diverting the blame off of their clients and on to you. To combat this, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to wrangle these bad-faith actors into compliance and get the full compensation you deserve.
The Denver truck accident attorneys of The Bourassa Law Group have what it takes to win your case and earn you the maximum compensation.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
No matter how severe, any accident with an 18-wheeler or large truck can be one of the scariest and most traumatic experiences of one’s life. Keeping a clear head and knowing exactly how to respond is a challenge, but it’s important to have a plan with a few basic steps to follow to ensure your rights are protected from any additional harm.
First and foremost, make sure you and everyone involved in the crash is safe. If you are able to drive your vehicle, do your best to get off the highway or at least get to the shoulder. If you can’t move your car, turn on your hazard lights, put cones around your vehicle, or use road flares to prevent any additional accidents.
- Stay at the crash scene and call 911 to report the accident and injuries – Do not under any circumstances leave the scene of the accident. While waiting for law enforcement and the emergency vehicles to arrive and keep any victims as still as possible and out of harm’s way. Once they arrive, law enforcement will assess the scene, complete an accident report, and pass on any instructions on how to proceed. Be sure to request a copy of the accident report to use in the event your case goes to court.
- Take care of yourself and passengers – Truck accidents are typically violent and often cause serious injuries. While you may not believe you are injured in the moment, some injuries manifest later on after the adrenaline from the accident wears off. If you didn’t receive any medical attention at the scene, visit a doctor as soon as possible so a medical professional can check you out not only for your health but also to strengthen your case down the road.
- Exchange contact information with the truck driver – If you are able to, try to get as much information about the truck driver and vehicle as possible. At the very least, make sure you get their name, phone number, insurance details, and the name of the company they work for. This will make it easier to track down the driver or the trucking company in the future if we decide to take legal action.
- Document the accident scene – You can seriously strengthen your case by documenting as much evidence as possible from the accident scene. No detail is too small or insignificant. Take notes and photos of the damage to your vehicle, as well as the surrounding area, such as skid marks, road defects, traffic signs, etc. Also be sure to take notes or photos of the truck, especially if you aren’t able to talk with the driver. This can help us identify the trucking company in case they were partially responsible.
- Talk with witnesses – In many cases, other vehicles or people near the crash will stop to make sure everyone is okay. Talk with witnesses and get a statement, or the very least, their contact information. You can also check the accident report to see if the police talked with anyone.
- Be careful who you talk to – An insurance adjuster will contact you in the days following the accident. You can be polite, but we strongly recommend you limit what you say in these interactions and do not give a written statement. Insurance companies can use anything you say against you to undervalue or deny your claim. The best advice we have is to let a Denver truck accident attorney handle all interactions with insurance adjusters.
- Contact a Denver truck accident attorney – Even if you believe your case is cut and dry, there is still a chance that you can run into some problems. At The Bourassa Law Group, we will make sure you get the financial compensation you need and the justice you deserve.
What Does a Truck Accident Investigation Look Like?
One of the first and most important parts of the legal process following a truck crash is investigating the cause of the accident. Everything depends on this investigation, and getting it right is of utmost importance. Investigating the cause of an accident on your own without the skill and resources of a specialty law firm is all but impossible. You need detailed knowledge of the trucking industry and years of experience. This is where The Bourassa Law Group really excels.
To receive financial compensation from a trucking company’s insurance provider, we have to prove that the company or the driver acted negligently and was therefore responsible for the crash. More specifically, we have to prove the driver or company’s negligence directly caused the crash and your injuries. To prove this, you need concrete evidence. The kind you can only get through a detailed, thorough investigation.
Our abundance of resources gives us access to industry experts who can carefully dissect every detail of the crash to reconstruct the scene and determine a cause. Our investigation will include the following methods and resources:
- The police report – This is often the first piece of the puzzle and can lead investigators to investigate a number of seemingly insignificant details that eventually connect the dots. We’ll pour over every word and see if the truck driver was issued any citations, broke any laws, or was even suspected of driving under the influence.
- Interviewing witnesses – In many instances, witnesses who gave statements to the police at the scene will remember new details later on. By tracking down these witnesses and interviewing them again, we may be able to discover new details about the crash.
- Video footage – In some instances, security cameras from nearby buildings may have recorded the crash. Unfortunately, many accidents involving 18-wheelers occur on the highway, where surveillance footage is rare. However, some trucking companies have video cameras inside their vehicles to ensure drivers operate vehicles safely. If video footage exists, we’ll do everything in our power to find it.
- Accident reconstruction – In some cases, a combination of the police report, photos of vehicle damage from the scene, and other evidence paint a clear enough picture for an expert to reconstruct the accident scene and determine fault. These experts can present their findings to the insurance company or in court.
- Black box data – Commercial vehicles like 18-wheelers have black boxes that record data any time the truck is in motion. Similar to a black box inside an airplane, it records data about the truck’s speed at the time of the accident.
- Truck records – Commercial vehicles are regulated by state and federal laws regarding how many hours a driver can operate the vehicle before a break, load limits, and vehicle inspections. Our lawyers can track down these records to see if the company or driver broke any law or regulation that eventually caused the crash.
- Medical Records – We track down and review all records related to any medical care you receive following an accident and then work with experts and medical professionals to determine the specific causes of the injuries in relation to the accident.
Compared to other crashes, truck accidents are significantly more complex and require a team of professionals working around the clock. During an accident investigation, we spend hours pouring over documents and consulting with experts to uncover every possible detail. This kind of work cannot be done without the experience and resources of an established and respected law firm.
Why Are Truck Accident Claims More Complicated?
For those unfamiliar with personal injury law, the process of filing a claim to receive financial compensation after a truck accident should be as straightforward as it is in any other motor vehicle crash. Sadly, it can be a complicated and drawn-out affair, especially when dealing with multiple insurance companies fighting you every step of the way.
There are a number of reasons for this increased complexity, including the following:
- Difficulty Securing Evidence – There is a mountain of evidence that could potentially strengthen your truck accident case, but it can be difficult to obtain, especially if a trucking company is the one with access to it. Determining fault means pouring over driver logbooks, maintenance records, and driver records, all of which can be falsified or even destroyed to benefit the trucking company.
- High Policy Limit Insurance – While all motorists are required to carry some level of accident insurance, trucking companies are required by law to carry much higher policy limits. These high limits incentivize insurance companies to fight accident claims because the amount of money victims can recover is much higher than normal passenger vehicles. Accidents may also involve multiple insurance policies, oftentimes spanning multiple states.
- Federal Regulations – Under federal law, the number of hours a truck driver can operate their vehicle is limited on a daily and weekly basis. Investigating whether or not the driver failed to comply and violated federal law adds another layer of complexity.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Our truck accident attorneys excel at determining who and what caused your truck accident. Some of the most frequent causes that can contribute to a large truck accident include, but are not limited to:
- Driver Error – All it takes is for one negligent truck driver to maneuver into the wrong lane, make an illegal U-turn, or act in some other negligent manner to cause a serious truck accident. Let’s not forget that distracted driving (ex. texting while driving, fumbling with other equipment or devices, etc.) can also put other drivers on the road at risk.
- Equipment Failure – A significant portion of truck accidents happen because of equipment failures such as tire blowouts or malfunctioning brakes.
- Poor Truck Maintenance – Trucking companies must adhere to strict maintenance schedules, and if they don’t, they risk putting a vehicle on the road that can harm a lot of individuals. To ensure that trucking companies do not commit this sort of negligence, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that these trucking companies abide by certain standards, including inspections and maintenance.
- Improper Cargo Weight Distribution – Heavy cargo that isn’t properly secured or loaded would be constituted as unsafe. An imbalanced 18-wheeler can be more susceptible to rollovers.
- Sudden Stops – One of the worst places for a passenger vehicle to be is in front of an 18-wheeler speeding down the highway. Should the need for a sudden stop arise, the 18-wheeler behind you needs ample amounts of space to make a safe stop. If the truck driver is tailgating you, however, a sudden stop can cause them to run into the rear of your vehicle – and the resulting damage is way worse than a normal fender bender.
- Jackknife Accidents – If a driver needs to make a sudden stop or fails to keep the vehicle under control during a maneuver, the trailer could swing out wide and fold in on the cab, in a jackknife accident. These accidents are particularly dangerous since they can cause the truck and trailer to strike other vehicles, overturn, and block the roadway.
- Rollover Accidents – When a semi-truck rolls over in an accident, those nearby face the possibility of being hit or crushed by 80,000 lbs. of truck and trailer that can span more than 70 feet. When these accidents happen, severe or fatal injuries can and do occur with alarming frequency.
Common Injuries Sustained in Truck Accidents
A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh in at around 80,000 pounds. A traditional passenger car, at its heaviest, weighs in at around 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. This difference in size and weight creates a substantial risk of sustaining a range of severe injuries in a truck accident such as:
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Broken Bones
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Torso and Rib Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Amputated Limbs and Extremities
- Wrongful Death
Work with the best Denver truck accident attorneys at The Bourassa Law Group to win your case and secure maximum compensation to help you on your path to recovery.
Types of Truck Accidents We Handle
Our highly skilled truck accident attorneys have a wide array of legal experience, resources, and capabilities at the ready to help you win your truck accident claim. That said, we are more than capable of serving victims that have sustained injuries in accidents involving:
- Trucking company negligence
- Big rigs, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, or 18-wheelers
- Moving vans (e.g., minivans or box trucks)
- Delivery vans that transport goods for businesses
- Flatbed trucks loaded with cargo
- Tanker trucks carrying hazardous chemicals, gases, and materials
- Fuel truck tankers
- Commercial work trucks
- Tow trucks
- Cargo trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Bus accidents
- Firetrucks and other emergency response vehicles
- Construction Vehicles
- Coal, log, and refrigerator trucks
Your pain matters to us at The Bourassa Law Group. You deserve compassionate legal care and attention. Let our Denver truck accident attorneys deliver just that. Contact us today at (800)870-8910 to begin the process of securing full compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Determining Who is Liable in Your Truck Accident Claim
Acquiring experienced legal representation is a must-do when it comes to successfully litigating your truck accident case. We work day and night analyzing all angles of your case and securing evidence to help build your case, such as:
- Your Vehicle – This is your primary source of evidence in a truck accident claim. In order to win you full compensation, we need your vehicle to stay in the condition it was after the accident. Repairing it during this process is essentially throwing away your strongest piece of evidence.
- Inspection Reports – Every commercial truck must pass an inspection. It verifies that the trucking company approved it to be serviceable. If they forgo this important step, that is considered negligence.
- Maintenance Logs – These logs contain all of the information as to what maintenance was performed before the truck went out on the road. If any of these records indicate that the truck was in poor condition before it left the garage, it only further validates your claim.
- Cargo Logs – These logs contain important information about what the truck hauled while it was in transit. A commercial vehicle that is hauling heavy cargo that exceeds the gross vehicle weight rating can strain the brake system, which can ultimately lead to brake failure.
- Alcohol and Drug Testing Results – Random alcohol and drug tests are what trucking companies use to ensure that their drivers are driving sober. Usually, if a truck driver is involved in an accident, they may be tested for these substances afterward.
- Any Other Important Information – This usually covers any information regarding the driver, the trucking company, any protocols and procedures that the company enforces, and other important information.
What Is the Cost of a Truck Accident Lawyer?
This is rightfully one of the most common questions and major concerns of our future clients when we sit down to talk for the first time. Many victims are looking at a stack of medical bills, a totaled vehicle, and the prospect of missing months of work because of a debilitating injury. They wonder how, on top of those expenses and losses, will they ever be able to afford an attorney?
Because many truck accident victims have never dealt with a personal injury lawyer before this moment, they don’t understand how payment works. At The Bourassa Law Group, we offer free consultations and then work on contingency. This means that after accepting your case, we will work as hard as possible for as long as it takes without any upfront costs from you. We collect payment after securing financial compensation from the truck driver or trucking company’s insurance company either by settlement or by the rule of a judge.
Colorado Truck Accident Laws
It’s important to be aware of Colorado state laws that may have an impact on your truck accident case and ability to recover financial compensation. The most important is the statute of limitations, which constrains the length of time a plaintiff can sue for negligent conduct. Truck accident victims must file a lawsuit under this deadline if they want to seek legal action against a negligent driver or company, otherwise, they’ll be unable to pursue compensation.
In Colorado, victims of automotive accidents that involve cars or trucks must file their lawsuit within three years of the accident date with a few rare exceptions. These include:
- Discovery rule – Because not all injuries manifest the moment after an accident, this rule allows victims to take legal action within a period of time after discovering the injury as opposed to the date of the accident.
- Tolling – This covers a number of extenuating circumstances outside of the plaintiff’s control. The act of “tolling” delays the case until the issue is resolved. This may occur if the victim is under the age of 18 when the accident took place, is deemed mentally unfit following the injury to take legal action, or has foreign objects still in their body.
- The plaintiff can file several causes of action from the same accident.
It is almost impossible to pursue legal action after the statute of limitations has expired, so make sure you contact a Denver truck accident attorney as soon as possible following your accident.
Accident Claims Process
Colorado has moved to a tort system of auto insurance, meaning that victims must seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company as opposed to their own. The only exception to this would be if the at-fault driver is either uninsured or underinsured. In these instances, injured drivers may be able to receive compensation from their personal insurance policy, provided they have uninsured/underinsured coverage. Fortunately, the trucking industry is highly regulated, and truck driver companies are required to carry insurance coverage .
After contacting our Denver truck accident lawyer, we will begin the process of filing an insurance claim pursuing financial compensation to cover damages like medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. The proceedings will generally move through the following steps:
- Filing the Claim – After determining whether the driver worked for a trucking company or under their own authority, we will file a claim with the appropriate insurance company.
- Dealing with Adjusters – After receiving the claim, insurance adjusters will begin their investigation into the accident to determine who was at fault. They will usually try to contact you for a statement or provide documentation related to the accident. We will handle all interactions with adjusters on your behalf.
- Send Demand Letter – After collecting evidence and conducting our own investigation of the accident, a Denver truck accident lawyer will then draft and send a personal injury demand letter to the insurance company of the truck company or driver. This letter will lay out the physical, emotional, and more importantly, financial damages you have suffered and the financial payment amount necessary to cover those costs.
- Reviewing Settlement Offers – After the adjuster completes their investigation and receives the demand letter, they will either accept the demands and proceed with an out of court settlement or send a counteroffer. If we cannot reach a deal, we will proceed with filing a lawsuit and go to trial.
In most cases, we reach a settlement outside of court, but we are prepared to take the necessary legal steps if insurance companies act in bad faith and deny or severely undercut your claim.
Types of Compensation We Will Help to Secure
Our Denver truck accident attorneys know what it takes to win. We’ll fight with everything we have to get you full compensation to cover:
- Past and ongoing medical costs
- Lost wages
- Mental pain
- Financial damages
- Economic damages
- Punitive damages
If, unfortunately, the victim has passed away, we still have plenty of options to help your family recover any funeral expenses, as well as damages for pain and suffering. The surviving members of the family may be eligible for:
- Recovery for lost wages and future earnings of the decedent
- Recovery for loss of benefits of the decedent
- Recovery for loss of companionship
- Recovery for loss of consortium
- Recovery for mental anguish
- Recovery for pain and suffering
- Recovery of punitive damages
- Recovery for medical expenses
- Recovery for funerary expenses
It is worth noting, however, that if you sign any documentation or accept a settlement from the insurance and/or trucking company, you may be waiving your right to seek full compensation in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact a lawyer before signing anything.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a catastrophic accident with a commercial motor vehicle or 18-wheeler, The Bourassa Law Group wants you to know we are standing by, ready to do everything in our power to get you through this challenging time. Truck accidents aren’t like other car accidents and can result in life-altering injuries that leave you permanently disabled, disfigured, and unable to return to work to provide for your family. Don’t waste another day dealing with bad-faith insurance companies who have denied or seriously undercut your claim.
We are Denver attorneys ready to fight for you. At The Bourassa Law Group, we take pride in our work, winning cases that earn full compensation for our clients so that they can fully recover. We care deeply about our clients and won’t rest until you get every dollar you need to pay for medical bills, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact us at (303) 731-6230 or fill out our contact form to schedule your legal consultation with one of Colorado’s best truck accident attorneys today.