Truck Accident

Colorado Truck Accident Liability

Earl & Earl Help You Win Your Truck Accident Case

    Commercial truck accidents can wreak physical, emotional, and financial havoc on victims’ lives. In Colorado, injured individuals can seek compensation if another party’s negligent or reckless actions cause a crash. But who is liable in a truck accident? Answering that question is far from simple. 

    At Earl & Earl, PLLC, our truck accident lawyers can investigate your case and determine who should be held responsible for your injuries. We know you need money now, and you can count on us to fight for maximum compensation from all available sources. 

    Call or contact us today to learn your legal options in a free consultation. 

    Who Is Liable: The Company or The Truck Driver?

    With the average two-car accident, determining liability usually involves looking at each driver’s actions and identifying who is at fault. Truck accident liability is different. While the trucker’s actions will certainly be part of the investigation, other parties could also be held accountable for the wreck. 

    Why? A tractor-trailer accident might have more than one direct or underlying cause. Fault for the truck crash might not lie with a single entity but may be shared by several, including the individual driver, the truck company they work for, or others.

    Common causes of truck accidents include:

    • Inexperienced or untrained truck drivers
    • Fatigue
    • Speed
    • Alcohol or drug intoxication
    • Distracted driving
    • Poor truck maintenance
    • Design defects
    • Equipment failures
    • Unsecured cargo loads
    • Road conditions

    Truck drivers have a legal responsibility to drive safely and do everything possible to avoid harming others. If a trucker fails in this duty and causes an accident, they could be liable for any resulting injuries. 

    However, the company that employs a negligent driver could also be liable under trucking accident law. If the truck driver is an employee of the company, then the company is likely responsible for the truck driver’s unsafe driving, especially if they made unreasonable demands on the worker or failed to conduct required background checks. 

    Sometimes a truck driver is considered an independent contractor. In these cases, the truck company will not likely be liable unless it was independently at fault. Determining whether a truck driver is an employee or an independent contractor involves looking at several factors, such as:

    • Who exercises more control over the details of the driving, the route, and the loading and unloading of the truck
    • Whether the truck driver is in business apart from the work performed for the company
    • How the truck driver is paid
    • Whether the driver or the company owns the truck
    • Whether the driver and company believe they are in an employer-employee relationship

    Courts put most of their focus on the concept of control. The more control the trucking company has over the driver’s hours and duties, the more likely a court is to find that an employer-employee relationship exists between the two.

    The company may be subject to truck accident liability for other reasons, such as:

    • Negligently hiring or using a driver with a bad driving record
    • Encouraging employees to make early deliveries by violating federal hours-of-service rules
    • Failing to keep trucks in good condition

    Other Liable Parties 

    The trucking industry includes more than just drivers and truck companies. Depending on the facts of the case, these parties could also be held accountable for a commercial truck accident: including:  

    • The truck’s owner
    • Cargo company
    • Mechanics and repair shops
    • Automakers
    • Parts manufacturers
    • State governments and municipalities

    Other potentially liable parties in a truck accident case are other drivers ― including you. In Colorado, you can still collect compensation after a crash as long as you are 49 percent or less at fault. 

    Proving Fault in a Truck Accident

    Proving fault in a commercial truck accident requires a thorough investigation and substantial evidence, such as: 

    • Truck driver logs
    • Police accident reports
    • Company employment records
    • The trucker’s driving history
    • Cell phone data
    • Truck “black box” data
    • Medical records
    • Proof of financial losses, such as medical bills and lost wages

    What If a Malfunction Caused the Truck Accident?

    Truck accidents caused by parts or equipment failure need a thorough investigation to identify what caused the malfunction. If a mechanic, the driver, or the trucking company was negligent in repairing or maintaining the truck, they could be liable for your injuries. On the other hand, if the malfunction was due to a design defect in the truck or a component, the defective product’s manufacturer may be at fault.

    What If There are Multiple Cars Involved?

    Any truck accident involving multiple vehicles complicates the issue of liability. Not only do you have to untangle who may be liable from the trucking industry, but you also have to factor in how every other driver’s actions may have contributed to the wreck. An experienced attorney can help you identify all potentially liable parties. That will likely mean filing claims among several different insurance companies ― something you shouldn’t have to do when you’re recovering from truck accident injuries. 

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    How to Get Compensation for Injuries in a Truck Accident

    The scene and aftermath of a commercial vehicle collision can be chaotic. Getting medical treatment and contacting a truck accident lawyer are the two best things you can do to protect a future legal claim. 

    If possible, take photos and videos of the accident scene. The truck company will send its adjusters to the site quickly. You’ll want independent documentation before the rig is towed away. 

    Get the names and contact information for any witnesses. Eyewitness testimony can be valuable evidence in a truck accident claim. 

    Keep your accident-related bills and a daily diary during your recovery. This information will help your truck accident lawyer craft a strong claim for maximum compensation.

    How Can Earl & Earl Help You Win Your Truck Accident Case

    The truck accident lawyers at Earl & Earl, PLLC are skilled investigators and leave no stone unturned when determining liability for a collision. Let us help you demand justice and compensation today. Call or contact us today for a free consultation

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