When the power of a commercial truck collides with the vulnerability of a personal vehicle, the consequences can be devastating. If you or a loved one has been involved in such an accident in Monument, Colorado, you need to secure representation you can trust.
At Green Law Firm P.C., we have the experience, resources, and commitment necessary to stand up to trucking companies and their insurers. Our Monument truck accident lawyers will pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries, so you can focus on healing and rebuilding your life. Start your journey to justice with us today. Call us today for your free consultation.
What is a Monument Truck Accident?
A Monument truck accident refers to any collision involving a commercial truck or big rig. These accidents often involve trucks such as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and other large freight carriers that traverse the roads and highways in and around the Monument area. Due to the size and weight of these vehicles, truck accidents can result in significant property damage, severe injuries, and even fatalities. These incidents are often complex, involving factors like driver fatigue, equipment failure, improper cargo loading, and more, requiring a detailed investigation to establish liability and pursue rightful compensation.
Common Causes of Monument Truck Accidents
Some common causes we see from our clients at Green Law Firm P.C. include:
- Distracted Driving: With the prevalence of smartphones and in-vehicle entertainment systems, distracted driving is a growing cause of truck accidents. Truck drivers may be texting, checking their GPS, eating, or otherwise not focusing fully on the road.
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours and may not get sufficient rest, leading to fatigue that can slow reaction times and lead to accidents.
- Speeding and Reckless Driving: Exceeding the speed limit or driving recklessly, such as changing lanes without signaling or following too closely, can easily result in a truck accident, particularly given the increased stopping distance required for large trucks.
- Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious issue that can lead to impaired judgment, slower reaction times, and an increased likelihood of accidents.
- Mechanical Failures: Mechanical problems, such as brake failure or tire blowouts, can lead to loss of control of the truck and subsequent accidents. This is often a result of poor vehicle maintenance.
- Inadequate Training: Driving a truck requires specific skills and training. Inadequate training can result in drivers who are not fully prepared to handle challenging road conditions or emergency situations.
- Load Issues: If a truck’s load is not properly secured or is overweight, it can lead to truck instability and increase the likelihood of an accident.
- Adverse Weather Conditions: Conditions such as rain, snow, fog, or ice can make roads slippery and decrease visibility, making truck driving particularly hazardous.
- Negligent Hiring Practices: If trucking companies do not properly vet their drivers or allow unqualified drivers to operate their vehicles, they can be held liable for any resulting accidents.
Types of Monument Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can take many forms, each with its unique set of circumstances and consequences. Some common types of truck accidents in Monument include:
- Jackknife Accidents: This type of accident occurs when a truck folds onto itself at the point of articulation, creating a V shape similar to a folding pocket knife. This can occur due to abrupt braking, equipment failure, or poor weather conditions.
- Rollover Accidents: Trucks, due to their high center of gravity, are susceptible to rolling over, particularly in high-speed situations or when taking curves too fast. Rollovers can also occur due to abrupt maneuvers to avoid road hazards.
- Underride Accidents: These accidents occur when a smaller vehicle ends up underneath a truck or trailer, often due to the truck making a sudden stop or the smaller vehicle following too closely.
- Rear-End Collisions: These happen when a truck collides with the vehicle in front of it, which can cause devastating damage due to the size and weight of the truck.
- Blind Spot Accidents: Large trucks have sizable blind spots on all sides. If a truck driver fails to check these blind spots before changing lanes or making a turn, they could collide with other vehicles.
- Lost Load Accidents: If a truck’s cargo is not properly secured, it can come loose and fall onto the roadway, causing other vehicles to crash.
- Head-On Collisions: These occur when a truck and another vehicle collide head-on. These are often the result of a truck crossing the center line or median due to driver fatigue, distraction, or impairment.
- T-Bone Accidents: These happen when a truck hits the side of another vehicle, forming a “T”. This can occur at intersections if the truck fails to yield the right of way or runs a red light.
- Wide-Turn Accidents: Large trucks often need to make wide turns. If another vehicle is in the truck’s path while it’s making a turn, a collision can occur.
Monument Truck Insurance Requirements
The insurance requirements for trucks operating in Monument are set by the State of Colorado, along with federal regulations for commercial vehicles that engage in interstate commerce.
The Colorado law requires all drivers, including truck drivers, to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. This is to cover any damages or injuries that the driver may cause in the event of an accident.
For non-commercial personal vehicles, the minimum requirements for liability insurance in Colorado are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
- $15,000 for property damage in any one accident
However, for commercial trucks, the minimum insurance requirements are significantly higher due to the potential for more severe damages and injuries. The federal regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) dictate these minimums and they can range from $300,000 to $5 million, depending on the type of cargo the truck is carrying and whether it is involved in interstate or intrastate commerce.
Keep in mind that these figures represent minimum requirements. Depending on the nature of the truck’s use, the size of the truck, and the type of cargo it carries, many truck owners and operators choose to carry significantly more insurance coverage to protect themselves in case of catastrophic accidents.
Commercial vs. Government-Owned Monument Truck Accidents
Commercial truck accidents and government-owned truck accidents can vary significantly in terms of their legal complexities, the parties involved, and how the claims are handled. Our Monument truck accident lawyers can help create your case and ensure the proper route in winning your truck accident case. Below are some distinctions between the two:
- Parties Involved: In commercial truck accidents, the parties that could be held liable include the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck’s manufacturer (if a defect in the truck contributed to the accident), and potentially others. In contrast, a government-owned truck accident may involve a municipality, state agency, or federal department. In such cases, the driver of the government vehicle may be a government employee.
- Sovereign Immunity: Government entities are often protected by a doctrine known as sovereign immunity, which can make it more difficult to sue them. However, many jurisdictions, including Colorado, have enacted tort claims acts that waive this immunity under certain circumstances, allowing citizens to file claims against government entities. Still, these claims often have special requirements and shorter deadlines.
- Insurance: Commercial trucks are typically insured by private insurance companies, and claims against them are handled through these insurers. Government-owned trucks, on the other hand, might be self-insured or covered by a government risk management fund. This could affect the process of filing a claim and recovering damages.
- Regulations: Both commercial and government trucks must adhere to safety regulations. Commercial trucks are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which sets standards for things like driver training, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and more. Government-owned trucks also have to follow these rules, but additional internal policies may also apply.
Statute of Limitations for Monument Truck Accidents
In the State of Colorado, the statute of limitations for truck accident claims is generally three (3) years from the date of the accident. This means that any lawsuit arising from a truck accident must be filed within three (3) years of the incident, or the claim will most likely be dismissed by the court.
It’s important to note that the three-year limit applies to personal injury and property damage claims resulting from the accident. If a death occurs as a result of the accident, a wrongful death claim must generally be filed within two (2) years from the date of the deceased person’s death.
Contact Our Monument Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Don’t let the legal complexities of a truck accident overwhelm you in your time of need. At Green Law Firm P.C., our skilled Monument truck accident lawyers are ready to fight tirelessly for your rights and will strive to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and loss. We understand the hardship you’re facing and are committed to providing you with the personal attention and effective legal representation you need during this difficult time. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and let us help you start on the path towards recovery and justice.