Laws Affecting Truck Accidents
According to Colorado Revised Statutes Section 42-4-1601 – 1603, the driver of any vehicle directly involved in an accident resulting in injury to, serious bodily injury to, or death of any person shall:
- Immediately return to the accident scene.
- Give the driver's name, address, insurance information, and vehicle registration number to the accident victims.
- Render reasonable assistance, including carrying or making necessary arrangements for transporting the victim to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment.
- Report the accident to the police or law enforcement.
Any failure to fulfill these requirements is punishable by a misdemeanor or felony charge.
Colorado Trucking Regulations
In the state of Colorado, several rules, restrictions, and regulations have been enacted to improve truck safety and mitigate accidents. Here are some Colorado trucking regulations:
- All truck drivers must obtain the required commercial driver's license and meet the necessary requirements for operating a commercial vehicle or truck in the state.
- Truck drivers may drive for only up to 11 hours of the 14‑hour "on‑duty" period.
- After driving 11 hours, truck drivers must take 10 consecutive hours of off‑duty time.
- All commercial trucks exceeding 26,000 pounds shall install metal chains on their tires.
- Commercial trucks that exceed the federal height or weight maximum must obtain the necessary permit to operate in Colorado.
- Truck drivers are prohibited from operating vehicles while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.
- Colorado law requires the use of splash guards (mud flaps) for commercial trucks to reduce the spray of water and other road substances.
Statute of Limitations
Under Colorado Revised Statute Section 13-80-101(1)(n)(I), an action to recover compensation for bodily injury or property damage arising from a motor vehicle or truck accident must be commenced within three years after the accident or injury occurs. Conversely, a wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the victim's death.
Proving liability in a truck accident case is usually not as straightforward as other traffic collisions involving motor vehicles. Depending on the surrounding circumstances, a number of parties could be legally responsible for the truck accident, including:
- The truck driver
- The owner of the trailer or truck
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer or parts and equipment manufacturers
- The maintenance personnel or company
- The cargo loaders or shippers
- A government agency or contractor who failed to maintain the highway properly
An experienced attorney can investigate every detail of your personal situation, determine the liable parties, and help maximize your financial compensation by filing multiple claims.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Colorado is an "at-fault" car insurance state. Under the system, the truck driver who caused the accident or your injuries will be held liable for medical expenses, property damages, and other accident-related losses you suffered from the accident.
If You're the Victim
If you're the victim of a truck accident in Colorado, proceed by:
- Filing a claim with your own insurer
- Filing a third-party claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court
If You're Representing an Incapacitated Loved One
If you're representing an incapacitated loved one in a Colorado truck accident case, you must first establish guardianship or conservatorship. Once you have been confirmed by the court as the legal guardian or conservator of the injured person, you may file personal injury claims on the victim's behalf to recover damages.
If You're Representing a Deceased Loved One
If a person lost their life in a negligent truck accident, the decedent's spouse, heirs of the deceased with the spouse's consent, or designated beneficiary can bring a wrongful death claim within the first year after the decedent's death. In the second year after the death, the deceased person's spouse, children, and designated beneficiary can bring a wrongful death action.
How a Knowledgeable Legal Counsel Can Help
Getting injured in a truck accident can be an emotional experience that affects your physical, mental, and financial well-being. Don't suffer through the challenges and financial burden all by yourself. If you are involved in a truck accident, act quickly to hire a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to advocate for your rights and help pursue your rightful compensation.
At Gama Law Firm LLC, we are committed to providing comprehensive legal guidance and compassionate representation to clients in their truck accident claims. Our knowledge and in-depth understanding of the laws addressing liability in personal injury and wrongful death cases can help guide you through the often complicated legal proceedings. As your legal counsel, we will fight diligently to protect your best interests and attempt to pursue fair financial compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, future medical treatment, any additional pain and suffering, or loss of consortium.