Denver Equipment Failure Lawyers
Long-distance trucking is a foundation of American commerce, and the highways and interstates are full of 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles delivering goods that keep this country going. These vehicles are large and complicated, and they must be maintained to strict standards in order to remain safe on the road. Poor maintenance can lead to a devastating accident.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a big rig or tractor-trailer, you need a skilled attorney on your side. The trucking maintenance attorneys at The Bourassa Law Group understand state and federal commercial vehicle law inside and out, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Truck accident cases are extremely complex, often having multiple liable parties in play. We are highly experienced in these types of cases and are committed to delivering results for our clients.
Call us today at (303) 331-6186 for a free consultation. We’re ready to hear your story and provide an honest assessment of your case.
Why You Need A Lawyer
A roadway accident with a large commercial vehicle can be catastrophic. The injuries can be life-altering or even deadly, and damages can reach into the millions of dollars. If you’ve been in an accident like this, your focus right now should be on healing, not on hassling with insurance companies and legal details.
Commercial vehicle laws can be difficult to navigate, but an attorney skilled in major accident claims can do this for you. They can investigate the crash scene and the other parties involved. They can review the records of the trucking company and driver, take witness statements, organize medical records, and assemble expert witnesses, all to make a solid case for your compensation.
Why You Should Hire The Bourassa Law Group
If you’re seeking compensation for your injuries from an accident with a large commercial vehicle, you need a skilled legal team that knows truck maintenance and commercial carrier law. The skilled attorneys at The Bourassa Law Group have helped many clients in this very situation in Colorado and across the Southwest. When you hire our firm, you get a committed team of litigators on your side who will fight relentlessly for your rights to compensation.
We have a proven record of success in accident cases. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and judgments, which our clients have been able to use to pay medical bills, make up for lost wages, and cover other costs related to their accident. At The Bourassa Law Group, we take pride in our ability to provide top-quality representation and personalized attention to each person that comes to us for help.
Causes of Truck Equipment Failure
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all carriers to “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain” all motor vehicles under its control, so accidents of this sort are largely preventable. Unfortunately, maintenance requires money as well as attention to detail, and trucking companies sometimes skimp on maintenance to cut costs or simply miss faulty components that should be replaced.
Although drivers must make a daily vehicle inspection and more detailed inspections are required annually, Federal and state laws don’t always offer guidance on additional maintenance schedules, so carriers must be vigilant to ensure that their fleets are in proper working order.
Some of the equipment that most commonly fails on large trucks and tractor-trailers include:
Brakes – the brake systems on large commercial vehicles are complex and are subject to powerful forces. They have to be able to slow and stop a 40-ton vehicle reliably. Drivers receive special training on how to operate these braking systems, but misuse or poor maintenance could cause the brakes to fail.
Tires – Truck tires are also subject to enormous force and pressure. A blowout on the highway could be catastrophic, but even worn or thinning tread could cause a problem. Worn tires can make the truck harder to control, and debris from shredded tires littering the roadway can cause other cars to have an accident. Tire tread and pressure must be monitored, and the tires must be rotated regularly to ensure their safety.
Signal or warning lights – Headlights allow the driver to see at night, and taillights and other signal lights alert others to what the truck driver is doing. All the warning lights on a truck have an important purpose, and their proper function must be regularly inspected.
Windshield wipers – Wipers are an essential safety feature, as they allow the driver to see in bad weather. If they go out during a trip, the driver must replace them immediately.
Hitch or coupling system – The hitch connects the trailer to the truck. A failure in this component can cause the two to separate, and a catastrophic accident could occur.
Injuries in Equipment Failure Accidents
The injuries you sustain in a crash with an 18-wheeler can be severe and life-altering, owing to the great size difference between the truck and a passenger vehicle. An accident victim might suffer any combination of injuries, but some of the most common are:
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Lacerations from broken glass or metal
- Whiplash caused by a sudden stop or impact
- Neck and back trauma
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Damage to the spinal cord, possibly leading to partial or full paralysis
- Head and brain damage requiring long-term care
Even if your injuries don’t seem severe, you may be suffering from hidden or internal damage that requires urgent medical attention. Always get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Your medical records will be important in any compensation claim, and if you don’t receive medical attention, the insurance company may be able to argue that you weren’t injured at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to a few questions you may have about equipment failure accident claims. Don’t hesitate to ask one of our knowledgeable attorneys for more details on any questions you have regarding your case.
How do you determine who is at fault in a trucking accident?
Your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation of the trucking company and its records, which can bring to light a number of facts related to who was negligent, and what caused the accident. Did the carrier have a maintenance schedule? Was it properly followed? Does the company have its own mechanics, or does it hire a third-party provider to inspect and service its vehicles? Did one of the components on the vehicle fail, causing the driver to lose control? What is the driver’s record, and were they negligent in servicing the vehicle or alerting the company to a problem? A skilled accident investigator will be able to answer these questions and develop a strong claim.
What is “contributory negligence”?
Many states have a rule known as contributory negligence, under which the court assigns a percentage of blame for an accident to each side. If one driver is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, the damages awarded to them would be reduced by 20% to make up for their own negligence. In Colorado, a party must be less than 50% responsible for an accident in order to collect any damages.
What can I do to help my case?
There are a few steps you should take to make sure you have the strongest case possible:
Be wary of insurance companies. Consult with your attorney before speaking to anyone at an insurance company, and before signing any papers or statements. Insurance company agents do not represent your best interests. Their goal is to reduce their financial liability, and that may even try to put your claim in jeopardy by getting you to state or sign something that misrepresents the facts of the accident.
Get medical treatment, and document your injuries. All medical receipts, records, and pictures of your injuries could serve as evidence for your claim. Keep everything together in a special file. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan diligently, and get regular checkups.
Collect and organize other records, such as the police accident report, and the property damage valuation from your insurance company. Keep track of any out-of-pocket expenses you incur. Record days of work or work activities you’ve had to miss because of your accident.
What kind of compensation can I expect?
The type and amount of compensation you receive will vary depending on the specifics of your case, but the amount of compensation in a commercial vehicle accident case is often significant. Compensation can cover some of the following needs:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages from time spent away from work
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of primary household income
- Long-term care expenses
- Funeral and burial arrangements
You should discuss the kinds of compensation available to you with one of our attorneys as soon as possible.
Talk to A Trucking Equipment Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been in an accident, call the trucking equipment lawyers at The Bourassa Law Group right away. We can answer all your questions and put together a solid case to get you the compensation you deserve.
Medical care after a devastating accident with a heavy truck is expensive and can require months or years of rehabilitation. Your focus right now should be on your recovery, not on how you’re going to meet your medical or legal needs.
At The Bourassa Law Group, our truck accident attorneys understand the difficult time you’re going through. But you don’t have to face this alone. Call us at (303) 331-6186 or fill out our contact form today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.
Frequently asked questions
The legal definition of a personal injury is when someone’s failure to use reasonable care in a particular situation results in another person’s physical, emotional, or psychological injury. Personal injury cases often rely on the elements of negligence to prove the responsible party’s actions were the cause of the other party’s injuries.
The length of a personal injury case depends on the type of case and various factors, such as the severity of the injury sustained and the duration of necessary treatment. A car accident case might take six months to resolve, while a wrongful death lawsuit could take two years. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding the case.
No. Whether you got hurt in a car accident or on someone else’s property, you should never speak with their liability insurance company about the claim. They try to save money whenever possible and could attempt to trick you into accepting a low settlement amount or intimidate you into dropping the case. Your Denver personal injury lawyer will handle all communication on your behalf.
It depends. A vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. When we file a claim with the insurance company, we’ll submit evidence that proves you deserve compensation for your injuries. Sometimes the insurer is willing to settle. Other times, they deny the claim or provide a settlement much lower than you deserve. Under those circumstances, we will file a lawsuit and take the case to court.
Mediation is a step during a lawsuit where both sides meet to try to reach an agreement. The mediator listens to the arguments on both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s sides and attempts to resolve the issue. If they can reach an agreement, they will settle out of court, and the case will get dismissed. If they can’t resolve the matter, the case will proceed to trial.