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What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Truck Crash
Call the Police/911 & Seek Medical Attention
After a truck crash, first, get to safety and make sure there is no additional danger. Then call 911. Calling 911 will alert first responders to your location so that injured accident victims can receive medical treatment. Let them know how the truck crash happened. It is very important to seek medical attention after an incident to determine if you have been hurt. The adrenaline from a truck crash can hide injuries. It can sometimes take hours or even days before pain sets in.
Document the Crash
Immediately after a truck collision or crash, if you are able, document and gather general accident information including the other driver’s license and insurance information and the police report number. Take pictures of both vehicles and the truck accident scene to share with your Denver truck accident attorney.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once you are safe and have seen a medical provider, you should contact your insurance company to set up a claim. You will most likely be contacted by the at-fault truck driver’s insurance company as well. Do not provide a statement or sign any authorizations. Talk to a truck injury attorney first.
Call a Denver Truck Accident Lawyer
As soon as you are able, contact a Denver truck accident lawyer. Valuable evidence can be lost or destroyed if you don’t act quickly. Experts might be needed to investigate the crash. Most newer trucks come equipped with electronic logging devices, data recorders, or other GPS tracking systems. It is important to request that this information isn’t lost or deleted following a truck accident. A Denver truck accident attorney will help guide you through this process and make sure important evidence is preserved.
Work with a Colorado Truck Accident Lawyer You Can Trust.
Eisenstein Law is devoted to our truck accident clients. We will make sure your rights are protected every step of the way. Our 18-wheeler accident lawyers will guide you through the insurance claims process. If a settlement is not possible, we are ready to take your case to trial. Don’t settle for less, contact one of the best Denver truck accident lawyers today.
Frequently Asked Truck Accident Questions
How serious of a problem are truck crashes?
Truck crashes involving commercial vehicles, including big rigs, tractor-trailers, or 18-wheelers are deadly serious. A commercial vehicle is a large truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds or is designed to transport 16 or more people including the driver. The majority of fatal truck incidents in 2016 involved heavy large trucks with GVWR greater than 26,000 pounds. In 2016, there were 4,317 people killed in truck accidents, which was a 5% increase from 2015. Of those people killed, 72% were occupants of other vehicles and 11% were nonoccupants like pedestrians or bicyclists. Only 17% of the fatalities were occupants of the large trucks.
How are truck crashes different from car crashes?
Unlike standard motor vehicle collisions involving two or more passenger cars, truck crashes are more likely to involve catastrophic injuries and more complicated claims. The danger of injuries in a truck accident isn’t surprising when you consider the size and weight differences between an 18-wheeler and a passenger car or smaller pickup truck. Commercial trucks generally weigh twenty to thirty times as much as passenger cars; they have greater ground clearance, are taller, and they take 20-40 percent longer to stop – even more when roads are wet, or the brakes are poorly maintained. These facts mean that even small collisions with a tractor truck can have devastating consequences. If this wasn’t enough, surveys suggest that truck drivers frequently violate regulations including exceeding hours of service requirements.
Who is at fault for a truck crash?
In trucking crashes, there are potentially multiple negligent parties including: the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner of the trailer, and more. Trucks are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) which makes them unique when compared to most car wrecks. Truck drivers are held to a higher standard of care. They have specialized training and licensing requirements because of the increased risks. In addition, there are many underlying causes of truck accidents that typically do not apply in passenger car crashes. These can include tractor-trailer accidents caused by impaired or fatigued drivers; trucking accidents caused by falling and shifting cargo; tractor-trailer incidents caused by drunk or drugged drivers; trucking accidents caused by defective conditions, or faulty inspection or maintenance; catastrophic injuries and wrongful death caused by tractor-trailer wrecks because of negligent entrustment, hiring or training by a trucking company; trucking incidents caused by a driver failing to maintain a safe lookout; etc.
What should I do if I’ve been injured in a truck crash?
First and foremost, seek medical treatment for any injuries immediately. Your health and safety should always be the most important concern. Truck wrecks are usually very severe and the weight difference between trucks and passenger vehicles means that even relatively slow impacts can cause serious damage to the occupants of passenger vehicles. If you can, take pictures of any injuries, the damage to your vehicle and the truck, and the scene of the trucking accident. If you have been injured in a truck crash, it is important to secure as much evidence as possible early on in the case. Take videos on your cell phone of the surrounding area and conditions, including any traffic control devices. Take pictures of any DOT stickers or other numbers on the tractor and the trailer. Make sure you obtain the truck driver’s insurance information and make a statement to the police. Hiring a Denver truck accident lawyer early on in the case is one of the best things you can do to help preserve the evidence and protect your legal rights.
What evidence is important in a truck crash case?
There are lots of types of evidence that could be potentially important in a trucking wreck case. A Denver truck accident lawyer will be able to provide you with additional guidance, but some of the important evidence includes the actual tractor and the trailer involved in the collision along with any other vehicles that were part of the truck crash. Any onboard electronic logging devices, data recorders, and GPS tracking systems such as OmniTRAC or Qualcomm can provide important information regarding the speed and location of the truck at the time of the truck accident and in the days leading up to it. Event Data Recorder (EDR) records are equally important. These onboard devices process information from computers and record that information in the several seconds before and after crashes. Witnesses, videos, weather information, police reports, drug and alcohol testing, etc. are all similarly crucial. If feasible, a professional engineer can be utilized to perform a truck accident reconstruction.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations also require trucking companies (motor carriers) to maintain driver duty status logs and other relevant documents for a period of time. These can include bills of lading for shipments, the driver’s qualifications file, post-collision drug and alcohol testing, accounting records, driver logs, inspection reports, and much more. Your Denver truck injury attorney will help make sure this important evidence is secured, and not deleted or destroyed, to maximize your recovery from your trucking accident case.
What contributes to truck accidents?
Truck crashes can be caused by a variety of factors. First, there is a significant weight difference between the truck and passenger vehicles. Next, there is the fact that trucks have blind spots where the truck driver is unable to see vehicles around them. Their large size and heavy weight also means less maneuverability and longer stopping distances.
Another problem with trucking companies is the industry itself. There are some trucking companies that comply with the regulations, but there are many others that do not. Far too many trucking collisions are caused by careless truck drivers or trucking companies that do not have adequate safety policies and procedures in place. More than 22% of large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2016 had at least one prior speeding conviction and 9.1% of commercial truck drivers had previously had their licenses suspended. Trucking companies often pay drivers by the mile which puts an incentive on truck drivers to travel farther every day without resting. This can lead to tired drivers controlling vehicles weighing as much as 80,000 lbs. There is also the problem of drivers who choose to use drugs or alcohol, or are distracted by cell phones while behind the wheel of their commercial tractor-trailers. It requires a knowledgeable trucking accident lawyer to hold all of the parties accountable.
What kinds of injuries are caused by truck wrecks?
Personal injuries that result from trucking crashes can be very severe. Oftentimes they involve traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, severe torso injuries such as damaged organs and fractured ribs, internal bleeding, and even wrongful death. It is very important to seek prompt medical attention to properly diagnose and treat any truck incident-related injuries.
Should I talk to the insurance companies after a truck crash?
No. You should not talk to an insurance company or sign any documents after being injured in an 18-wheeler or trucking accident before you talk to a Denver truck accident lawyer. From sending low settlement checks to demanding blanket authorizations for all of your protected medical records, the insurance companies know what they are doing. Insurance companies try to minimize the amount of money they have to pay you for the actions of their negligent truck drivers who caused you injuries. Make sure you talk to a truck injury attorney before talking to an insurance company.
Should I go to the doctor after a truck accident?
Yes. You should go to a doctor to make sure you haven’t been seriously hurt in a truck accident. Not seeking medical care, gaps in between treatments, or not following up with recommended care, when you claim you are still injured can be very damaging to your case. Defense attorneys will argue that if you were truly hurt, you would have continued to seek medical care. Always continue to treat if your doctors have recommended it. Make sure you tell your doctor the specifics of your pain and symptoms. You should talk about the location, the duration and frequency, and what makes it better or worse. You should also be sure to discuss pain that you cannot see such as shooting, stabbing, burning pains, numbness, or tingling. Memory and thinking issues, irritability, and sleep disturbances should also be reported to your doctor. Oftentimes, cognitive issues and minor brain injuries are overlooked by emergency room doctors and primary care physicians. These types of injuries are very common in trucking crashes. Make sure you follow up with your primary care doctor and explain all the symptoms you’re experiencing from a trucking accident, even if the ER doctors may have overlooked them.
Do I need to call a Denver truck accident lawyer?
If you have been injured in a tractor-trailer incident, you will need an experienced truck accident lawyer to properly navigate the web of potentially liable parties, complex facts, and regulations. Personal injury cases involving truck crashes also generally involve more complicated discovery issues than most state-specific auto accident cases. Your experienced truck injury attorney will be able to bring claims for negligence, but potentially also claims against the trucking company or other parties for negligent hiring, supervision, and entrustment. An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to properly style the case and secure the evidence necessary to make sure you are compensated for your injuries.
We can make the roads safer for ourselves and our community by holding trucking companies and negligent drivers responsible for their actions. If you have been injured in a crash, an experienced truck accident attorney at Eisenstein Law will let you focus on the important job of recovering while we handle the rest.
Calling the incident a truck crash or a truck accident?
It is critical that we use the appropriate terminology to describe the situation, especially when inattention, distracted driving, and other avoidable actions are involved. Inattentive drivers and poor driving behavior cause traffic accidents, which are avoidable. They are not by chance and are not accidents. As truck injury lawyers, we believe it’s important to use the correct terminology to describe injuries, crashes and the negligent conduct of at-fault parties in trucking wrecks.
When people refer to anything as an “accident,” there is an implication that no one—not even a negligent, fatigued, or drunk driver—is to blame for the outcome. Using the phrase “accident” implies that the results are outside the realm of human control. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The number of fatalities on the roads is rising at a rate not witnessed in the last 50 years as a result of driver-related collisions, wrecks, and other mishaps. Risky driving habits, such as drinking and using a cell phone while driving, are at blame for almost all wrecks. Only about 6% of all traffic incidents are caused by faulty vehicles, bad weather, and other circumstances.
Truck crashes are the predictable result of specific human actions. Usually, these actions are that an 18 wheeler driver or a trucking company ignored safety rules that are designed to protect us all from serious injuries or death. Since the causes of truck crashes, truck collisions or truck incidents can be identified, we can hold negligent people accountable, and we can take actions to avoid similar trucking injuries in the future. Changing the ways that we think and talk about truck crashes makes everyone safer.
Experienced Representation for Truck Accident Cases with Eisenstein Law
Eisenstein Law has the best truck accident lawyers who represent those who have been injured or killed in a variety of truck accidents. Our attorneys have years of truck crash case experience and are ready to fight for you. They will work to investigate the primary cause of the accident and gather evidence to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our truck injury attorneys also offer legal service for those needing a distracted driving attorney, pedestrian injury lawyer, wrongful death attorney, and much more.