Truck Accident Lawyers Serving Fort Collins and Northern Colorado
If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash in Fort Collins or elsewhere in Northern Colorado that was caused by the driver of a tractor-trailer or other large truck, then you know how frightening and damaging these accidents can be.
The lawyers of Ray & Heatherman Law, PLLC, want you to also know the following:
You Need to Investigate Your Truck Accident Right Away
Truck carriers and their insurance companies will move fast after an accident. They often send their own investigators directly to the accident scene right after the crash happens.
Their goal is to minimize their liability. In a state like Colorado, for instance, a defendant can evade paying any compensation if the plaintiff who brings a truck accident lawsuit is found to be equally at fault (or more) than the others involved in the wreck.
So, if you plan to take legal action after your crash, you will need to move fast, too. You will need to hire a lawyer who can put investigators on the scene as well and make sure important evidence in your case is preserved.
The vehicle damage and skid marks on the scene, for instance, can reveal whether speeding or following too closely caused the wreck. An inspection of the vehicle may reveal how mechanical errors or unsecured cargo caused the accident to happen.
Immediately after the crash, it will also be important to request documents from the trucking company, including:
- Phone and texting records
- Inspection and maintenance records
- Driver logbooks and other monitoring documents
- Data from the truck’s electronic on-board recorder (EOBR, or “black box”)
- Hiring and employment records
- Copies of any insurance policies.
Your attorney can also obtain all police reports, accident reports and toxicology test results.
The Truck Driver May Not Be the Only One Liable for Your Losses
The goal of obtaining this evidence will be to establish what occurred in your crash and who was at fault. In many cases, more parties than the truck driver can be held responsible.
Certainly, the truck driver can commit careless or reckless acts that cause an 18-wheeler to careen out of control and harm others. Examples of wrongful driver conduct include:
- Drunk driving (or driving under the influence of drugs)
- Drowsy driving (because the driver violated federal rules that limit work hours)
- Distracted driving (talking on a cell phone, for instance, or texting while driving)
- Failing to inspect the vehicle
- Failing to secure cargo.
However, the trucking company can also be held liable for the wrongful conduct of the driver. (The company is treated as if it committed the wrongful acts itself). The carrier can also be held accountable for its own misconduct such as:
- Hiring a driver with a history of traffic accidents and tickets or drug and alcohol use
- Sending trucks onto the road without proper inspection and maintenance
- Forcing drivers to break federal “hours of service” rules
- Failing to provide drivers with proper safety training and equipment.
In addition to the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck and its parts could be liable. Among the leading causes of tractor-trailer wrecks, for instance, are tire blowouts and wheel roll-offs. Faulty brakes also frequently contribute to trucking accidents.
Contact a Lawyer Serving Fort Collins and Northern Colorado Truck Accident Victims
As “Pathfinders for Injured People,” the lawyers of Ray & Heatherman Law, PLLC, will go wherever the facts lead us in your truck accident case. We will thoroughly examine the evidence and consult with highly qualified experts who can identify who should be held responsible for your losses and the amount you deserve to recover.
With our military backgrounds and years of experience in courtrooms throughout Colorado, we have what it takes to take on trucking companies and their insurers on your behalf. We also serve clients in Wyoming, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Get started right away. Contact us today. We will review your case free of charge. You will also pay nothing for our services unless we recover compensation for you.
For More Information:
- Large Trucks, Traffic Safety Facts, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Truck Safety Alert: The Rising Danger from Trucks, and How to Stop It, American Association for Justice