Trucking Accident Attorneys Serving Denver and All of Colorado
You need an experienced truck accident lawyer to handle your claim after a wreck with an 18-wheeler. Commercial trucking accidents are traumatic events for everyone involved; however, the injuries and damages tend to be much worse for those in passenger vehicles.
Reasons to choose a truck accident lawyer at Burg Simpson to handle your claim include:
- More than $2 billion in results. We have recovered billions of dollars in compensation for our clients via settlements and trial awards.
- Decades of experience. Founded in 1976, Burg Simpson is synonymous with quality legal counsel. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience handling trucking accident litigation and other complex matters.
- Award-winning attorneys. Multiple lawyers at Burg Simpson have received some of the legal industry’s top awards year after year in recognition of their results and high ethical and professional standards.
You have a limited time to take legal action against the truck driver, the trucking company, and other parties responsible for the accident. Burg Simpson will get started on your case right away.
Call 303-792-5595 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Our truck accident lawyers serve clients in Denver and throughout Colorado.
Colorado Truck Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCIMS) provides valuable insights on trends in commercial vehicle crashes nationwide. MCIMS statistics show that Colorado had 2,008 accidents involving large trucks and buses in 2021. This is a 4.3% increase from the prior year.
Large truck crashes make up nearly 94% of Colorado’s motor carrier collisions. These truck accidents resulted in 97 fatalities and 642 injuries.
In total, CDOT recorded 92,966 motor vehicle accidents and 617 fatalities in 2021. Although truck accidents only accounted for about 2% of the state’s crashes, trucking accidents made up more than 15% of fatalities in wrecks.
How Truck Accidents Are Different from Car Accidents
You should never assume that a trucking accident claim will be the same as pursuing compensation after a car accident. Truck accident litigation is much more complicated than a “standard” motor vehicle case, and it is important to seek qualified legal guidance to handle these issues.
Experienced truck accident lawyers at Burg Simpson can help you navigate the challenges unique to cases involving commercial vehicles. These include:
A catastrophic injury is a severe form of trauma that can alter the course of a victim’s life. The effects of a catastrophic injury are often permanent, resulting not only in serious physical disability but enormous mental, emotional, and financial burdens as well.
Truck accidents have a greater likelihood of catastrophic injuries. Extensive medical intervention may be necessary before these injuries are designated “stable,” at which point a trucking accident attorney can accurately calculate what your case is worth.
Specialized (and Short-Lived) Evidence
The evidence needed to prevail in a truck accident claim is extensive. In addition to the photos, eyewitness testimony, and accident reports that form the bedrock of any successful auto accident claim, winning a truck accident case may require:
- Hiring and employment records for the truck driver
- The truck driver’s log book (may be a paper or electronic document)
- Data from the truck’s “black box” (a.k.a., the electronic data recorder)
- The truck driver’s cell phone records
- A manifest of the truck’s cargo at the time of the accident
- Inspection and maintenance reports
- The truck and the trailer; expert inspection may uncover defects, faulty repairs, and other issues
Commercial carriers are not required to keep records forever. It is important for your truck accident lawyer to collect as much evidence as possible as soon as possible. Often, this involves knowing what records are in the trucking company’s possession and taking legal action to ensure their preservation.
In addition to the rules of the road in Colorado, truck drivers and their employers are bound by an extensive network of federal regulations. Motorists are generally unaware of these regulations, which can make it difficult to know when a viable cause of action may exist after a truck accident.
Experienced truck accident lawyers know the federal motor carrier safety regulations inside-out. A knowledgeable attorney can investigate, determine what rules were violated, and hold the offending party or parties accountable.
The negligence of multiple parties may lead to a trucking accident. Liable parties in truck accident claims may include:
- Truck drivers
- Commercial trucking companies
- The owner of the truck and/or the trailer (third parties may own one or both parts of the big rig)
- Parts manufacturers
- Third-party mechanics and service companies
- Shipping companies
Each of these parties will have its own insurance company trying to pay as little as possible after an accident. It is crucial to have an experienced truck accident attorney who can handle complex litigation involving multiple defendants and insurers.
Another major difference between truck accident cases and claims involving other types of motor vehicles is the amount of compensation that may be recovered. Significant damages tend to be at stake in trucking accident litigation.
Truck accident lawyers at Burg Simpson can pursue the full compensation you are entitled to, including:
- Medical bills to-date
- Lost wages
- The cost of future medical care, including surgery, therapy, rehabilitation, and home-based assistance
- Loss of earning capacity
- Damage to your vehicle and other personal property
- The cost of prescription medications, assistive devices, and other expenses you pay out of pocket
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
As a rule, the defendants and insurance companies will not pay the full value of your losses without a fight. It is of the utmost importance to have a truck accident attorney with a history of proven successes in commercial vehicle accident claims handle your case.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Multiple issues can lead to a trucking accident. Although errors on the part of a truck driver account for a significant portion of crashes involving big rigs, prompt and thorough investigation may reveal that a combination of different factors contributed to the wreck.
Issues that commonly lead to semi-truck accidents include:
- Speeding and driving too fast for road and weather conditions
- Errors in applying the brakes
- Truck driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Improper passing and merging
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
- Following other vehicles too closely
- Reckless and aggressive driving
- Failure to inspect the rig and cargo before driving
Careless actions on the part of the truck’s driver are often just one part of the story. Truck accident lawyers at Burg Simpson will also examine how the negligence of the trucking company may have led to the crash.
Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire qualified drivers. Commercial drivers need to be properly trained and supervised to ensure that they operate safely. This includes ensuring that drivers obey the hours of service regulations, conducting regular drug testing and screening for drugs and alcohol after an accident, and inspecting and maintaining the trucks in their fleet.
Both the trucking company and any third parties responsible for the maintenance and repair of the tractor-trailer can be held liable for mechanical failures that lead to a truck accident. These may include:
- Brake failures
- Tire blowouts
- Malfunctioning head lamps, tail lights, and signals
- Faulty transmission
- Defective steering
- Trailer hitch failures (decoupling)
Sometimes 18-wheeler accidents occur because of a defective component on the truck or trailer. This can give rise to a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
Finally, it is important not to overlook the role that poorly loaded or improperly secured cargo can play in a trucking accident. Commercial carriers and shipping companies have a duty to (a) abide by state and federal weight limits, (b) load trucks so cargo is balanced on each axle, and (c) ensure that all cargo is securely fastened to avoid shifting during transit. Similarly, truck drivers are responsible for inspecting the cargo before each trip.
At Burg Simpson, we investigate all of these factors to determine how the trucking accident occurred. Our truck accident lawyers will then take action on your behalf to hold all of the parties at fault for the crash accountable.
Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Factors such as high speeds and the immense difference in size and weight between big rigs and standard automobiles greatly increase the likelihood of serious injury in a trucking accident. At Burg Simpson, our lawyers specialize in cases involving severe injuries stemming from crashes with semi-trucks.
Our truck accident lawyers represent clients who have suffered a wide range of injuries in big rig collisions, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Injuries to the head and face
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Thoracic injuries (injury to the chest)
- Abdominal injuries
- Bone fractures
- Severe lacerations and blood loss
- Internal injuries (such as internal bleeding, damage to organs, etc.)
- Nerve damage
- Burn injuries
- Loss of limbs
Trucking accidents often result in fatalities. If you lost a loved one in a crash with an 18-wheeler, Burg Simpson can pursue compensation for you and your family through a wrongful death claim.
How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations in Colorado for personal injury claims involving the “use or operation of a motor vehicle” is 3 years (see Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-80-101). If you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck, you have up to 3 years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit.
Important evidence in your truck accident claim will not last the full three years. You should talk to an attorney about your case as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and improve the potential for a timely and favorable resolution.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
The first thing you need to do after an accident with a semi-truck is check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If you or anyone else is seriously hurt, you need to call 911. Wait for help to arrive. Allow the first responders to evaluate you for injuries and, if necessary, extract you from your vehicle. You may need to be taken to the emergency room for further intervention.
This is the situation many truck accident victims face. It is frightening and stressful. However, it is critical to keep a clear head.
If you are not seriously hurt and it is safe for you to move around the accident scene, you should take the following steps:
- Call the authorities. Motor vehicle accidents in Colorado that result in bodily injury, death, or property damage must be reported to the police. If possible, you should provide a statement to a law enforcement officer before departing the scene.
- Take photos. Photograph the accident scene from multiple angles, paying close attention to the positioning of the vehicles and any damage they have sustained, as well as the injuries you have suffered, conditions at the scene, the roadway and surrounding area, etc.
- Exchange information. Just like after a car accident, you will need to get identifying information and insurance coverage for each of the drivers involved in the truck accident. You will also need to get the name and information for the truck driver’s employer (if applicable).
- Interview witnesses. Ask bystanders to describe the accident and get their contact information in case you and your lawyer need to reach them at a later date.
- Seek medical attention. You should go to the emergency room or make an appointment with your doctor the day of the accident. Truck accident injuries may not always appear immediately, and you don’t want serious symptoms to catch you unawares.
Next, you should contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can review the details of your case and discuss your legal options.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed after a trucking accident. Being seriously injured or grieving the loss of a loved one presents immense challenges to which seeking legal counsel would likely take a backseat. At Burg Simpson, we handle the difficulties of your case so you can prioritize your recovery.
What a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
Given the burdens you are likely to face after a truck accident, it is strongly in your best interest to get legal assistance from an attorney with experience navigating these complex matters. There are a number of steps a trucking accident lawyer can take on your behalf, including:
- Investigating the accident. The scene of a truck accident may contain a wealth of evidence. Unfortunately, victims may be unaware what evidence is needed for their case to succeed. Our attorneys know what evidence to collect and how to build a strong case against those responsible.
- Determining liability. All liable parties need to be identified to recover maximum compensation in your truck accident claim. Timely and thorough investigation by a truck accident lawyer is essential for determining who is at fault and what insurance coverage may be available.
- Assessing your injuries. Quantifying the damages in your case depends on an accurate and complete grasp of the injuries you suffered in the trucking accident. Our truck accident attorneys examine your medical records and work closely with your doctors to understand your prognosis.
- Consulting experts. Experts in medicine, the trucking industry, and other fields can support your claim. Hiring these experts is prohibitively expensive for the average individual, but Burg Simpson has the resources to work with the top professionals in multiple disciplines.
- Evaluating your damages. The victims of truck accidents are often unaware of the full extent of compensable damages they might be due. You might know how much you owe in medical bills and the wages you’ve lost to date, but you may not know that you could be entitled to compensation for future expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Burg Simpson can accurately calculate all of these losses on your behalf and pursue the compensation you deserve.
The importance of having a truck accident lawyer on your side during settlement negotiations and, if necessary, at trial cannot be overstated. Attorneys at Burg Simpson are consummate negotiators and preeminent trial attorneys dedicated to obtaining the optimal outcome in your case.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Worth?
The total value of a truck accident claim depends on a number of different factors. Our trucking accident lawyers will evaluate each of the following to determine how much you may be entitled to in compensation:
- The severity of your truck accident injuries
- Any long-term or permanent disability you have sustained
- Your current medical bills, as well as anticipated expenses
- The impact on your ability to work, including lost income to date and whether you will be able to return to work
- Physical pain, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages
- Effects on your day-to-day life, including the ability to engage in favorite hobbies, relationships with family members, etc.
The impact of a truck accident is far-reaching. Although a monetary payout or trial award will not return your life to the way it was prior to the crash, our trucking accident attorneys will strive to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf to cover your present and upcoming expenses and provide you with resources to address the challenges you and your family are facing.
How Common Are Trucking Accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) gathers crash data from around the country. In Colorado, from 2020 – 2022, the FMCSA recorded:
- 5,448 large truck crashes
- 1,846 truck accidents resulting in injuries
- 278 fatalities in truck accidents
In 2022 alone, 614 people were injured and 93 people were killed in commercial trucking accidents in Colorado.
When Does a Truck Accident Need to Be Reported?
Under Colorado law, a truck accident must be reported to the police if it results in injury, death, or property damage (see Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-4-1606). While reporting these types of wrecks is required by law, it is also in your best interest to do so in support of a potential future claim. A police report can serve as an important piece of evidence when trying to prove the negligence of another driver.
What Evidence Is Used in a Truck Accident Case?
In a truck accident case, various types of evidence may be used to establish liability and damages. Some of the key types of evidence that may be used include:
- Police reports: The police report filed at the scene of the accident can be an important source of information about what happened, including details about the vehicles involved, the location of the accident, and any witness statements.
- Eyewitness testimony: Witnesses who saw the accident happen can provide valuable testimony about what they saw and heard.
- Video footage: If available, video footage from traffic cameras, security cameras, or dash cameras can provide clear evidence of what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.
- Driver logs: Truck drivers are required to keep detailed logs of their driving time and rest breaks. These logs can be used to establish whether the driver was in compliance with federal regulations governing hours of service.
- Maintenance records: Trucking companies are required to maintain records of their vehicle maintenance, including any repairs or inspections that were conducted.
- Black box data: Many commercial trucks are equipped with electronic control modules (ECMs), also known as “black boxes,” that record data about the truck’s speed, braking, and other performance metrics. This data can be used to reconstruct the accident and determine whether the truck was being operated safely.
- Medical records: If you were injured in the accident, your medical records can provide evidence of the nature and extent of your injuries, as well as the treatment you received and the associated costs.
An experienced truck accident attorney can help you gather and analyze all relevant evidence in your case to build a strong legal argument and maximize your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries and damages.
To successfully claim damages in a truck accident lawsuit, evidence and testimony from experts who are familiar with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are crucial. An experienced truck accident lawyer can calculate a reasonable settlement offer and determine when it may be necessary to pursue litigation and present your case in court.
Are Truck Drivers Tested for Alcohol and Drugs After a Crash?
Yes, truck drivers are typically tested for alcohol and drugs after a crash. This is because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations in place that require commercial drivers to be drug and alcohol-free while operating a commercial vehicle.
In the event of a crash, the FMCSA requires that the driver be tested for alcohol and drugs as soon as possible. This is usually done through a breathalyzer test for alcohol and a urine or blood test for drugs. If the driver is found to have alcohol or drugs in their system, they may face penalties such as fines, suspension or revocation of their commercial driver’s license, or even criminal charges.
It’s worth noting that not all crashes involving a commercial vehicle will result in alcohol and drug testing. Testing is typically required if there is a fatality, if someone is injured and requires medical attention away from the scene, or if there is significant property damage. However, companies may also have their own policies in place for testing drivers after any type of crash.
How Is Negligence Determined in a Truck Accident Case?
Negligence in a truck accident case is determined by examining the specific circumstances of the accident and assessing whether any party involved failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the accident from occurring. The legal concept of negligence generally requires that a party owes a duty of care to another, that the party breached that duty of care, and that the breach of duty caused the other party’s injuries and damages.
In a truck accident case, negligence may be attributed to various parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts, or even other drivers on the road. Here are some factors that may be considered when determining negligence in a truck accident case:
- Violation of traffic laws: If the truck driver violated any traffic laws, such as speeding, running a red light, or failing to signal, they may be considered negligent.
- Hours of service violations: Truck drivers are required to comply with hours of service regulations to prevent fatigue-related accidents. If the driver was driving beyond their allowed hours, they may be considered negligent.
- Improper maintenance: If the trucking company failed to properly maintain the truck or its parts, such as brakes or tires, and this led to the accident, they may be considered negligent.
- Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo: If the cargo was overloaded or improperly loaded and this caused the accident, the trucking company may be considered negligent.
- Insufficient driver training: If the trucking company failed to adequately train the driver, they may be considered negligent.
- Negligent hiring: If the trucking company hired a driver who had a history of accidents or safety violations, they may be considered negligent.
- Negligence of other drivers: If another driver on the road was negligent and caused the accident, they may be held responsible.
Ultimately, negligence is determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all the relevant facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. It’s important to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney at Burg Simpson who can investigate the case and help determine who may be liable for your injuries and damages.
Can I Sue Someone Personally After a Truck Accident?
Yes, it is possible to sue someone personally after a truck accident if they were responsible for causing the crash. Depending on the specific circumstances of the collision, you may be able to sue the truck driver, the trucking company, or both.
To have a successful personal injury lawsuit after a truck accident, you will need to establish that the other party was negligent or reckless and that their actions caused your injuries and damages. Negligence in a truck accident case may include actions such as speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or violating hours of service regulations.
If you are successful in your lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the responsible party for their reckless or intentional conduct.
It’s important to note that truck accident cases can be complex and may involve multiple parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts, and insurance companies. For this reason, it’s important to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and work to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve.
Contact a Denver Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured or a member of your family was hurt or killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler, time is of the essence. A truck accident lawyer at Burg Simpson can take steps immediately to begin building your case.
Our award-winning attorneys have achieved national renown for handling complex personal injury cases. Truck accident litigation is extremely complicated. Burg Simpson has the knowledge, the experience, and the results to represent the victims of commercial vehicle crashes effectively.
At Burg Simpson, you get the full benefits of large-firm resources combined with the personal touch of a local law office. Our lawyers and staff are available 24/7 to answer your questions, address your concerns, and put your mind at ease.
Call Burg Simpson at 303-792-5595 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Our truck accident lawyers serve clients in and around Denver and throughout Colorado.