Truck Accident FAQ
Experienced lawyer you can trust answers your questions
If you have been injured in a truck accident caused by a commercial truck driver, you probably have a lot of questions. Knowing where to find accurate information can sometimes be a challenge. There’s so much information out there. Where can you turn for answers you can trust?
Attorney Stephen A. Longo has an in-depth understanding of truck accidents and the rules and regulations governing them in Colorado Springs. That’s because he and his dedicated legal team at The Longo Firm, LLC have been handling such cases for years. As a result, we’re familiar with the state and federal trucking laws. We understand how the legal system works. We know how to tackle tough cases. We rise to the challenge.
What is your truck accident question?
Below, you can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about truck accidents. If you don’t see your specific question, don’t worry. Simply contact us and schedule your free case evaluation. The same is true even if you see your question listed below. That’s because every truck accident is different. That’s why we never take a one-size-fits-all approach. As your lawyer, we will develop a strategy designed to address your unique legal needs.
- Why do truck accidents happen?
- What are common truck accident injuries?
- Who investigates truck accidents?
- Do different laws apply to truck accidents?
- Who determines who is at fault?
- Who’s responsible for paying for my accident?
- How much is my accident claim worth?
- Should I accept a settlement offer?
- Can I ask for more money?
- Who can I sue after my accident?
- Where can I file a lawsuit?
- Is there a deadline for taking legal action?
- How can a lawyer help me?
Why do truck accidents happen?
Accidents caused by commercial truck drivers often occur because the driver was behaving in a reckless or negligent manner. The specific causes of truck accidents can cover a wide range, from speeding to distracted driving, falling asleep at the wheel to poor truck maintenance. Whatever the cause of your crash, your lawyer can investigate your accident and demand the money you deserve for all your accident expenses.
What are common truck accident injuries?
Truck accident injuries are often very serious since large commercial trucks weigh significantly more than most passenger vehicles. As a result, serious head injuries and spinal cord injuries are common. So are broken bones, internal injuries and lacerations. Fatalities also often occur. Whatever type of injury you’re dealing with due to a truck accident, make sure you get the medical care you need right away. Then, talk to an experienced attorney to learn more about the legal options available to you.
Who investigates truck accidents?
One or more different local, state or federal agencies might be involved in investigating your truck accident. Such agencies often include:
- The local police department where your accident took place.
- The state police, especially if your accident happened on a state or federal highway.
- The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), especially if your truck accident was serious or resulted in a fatality.
These are just some of the government agencies often involved in truck accident investigations. In addition, don’t be surprised if the truck company and insurance companies involved in the crash conduct their own investigations. This is why it’s important to have an attorney working for you conducting an independent investigation. That way, you can make sure your accident gets the attention you personally deserve.
Do different laws apply to truck accidents?
Yes. In addition to local and state traffic laws, there are many federal rules and regulations that apply to commercial truck accidents and crashes involved drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Many of these federal laws are known collectively as Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which are part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s regulations. Make sure you hire a lawyer familiar with all the state and federal laws that apply to your crash.
Who determines who is at fault?
While state and federal agencies investigate truck accidents, determining exactly who was at fault in the crash is often largely left up to the insurance companies representing injury victims or the companies involved. That’s because many states, including Colorado, have a fault-based insurance system. This means the at-fault party is responsible for compensating injury victims. In many cases, the at-fault party is the insurance company for the at-fault driver or the trucking company they work for. This is why it’s critical that you have an attorney on your side, especially if there’s some debate about exactly who was at fault. Your lawyer can be part of these conversations and make sure your right to request compensation for your accident is respected.
Who’s responsible for paying for my accident?
The at-fault party is often responsible for paying for your accident-related expenses. In the case of a commercial truck accident, the at-fault party can sometimes be one or more people or companies, including:
- The truck driver who caused your crash.
- The trucking company the truck driver works for.
- The company responsible for maintaining the truck, especially if poor truck maintenance (defective brakes, tire blowout) was a factor.
- The company that loaded the truck, especially if the truck was loaded improperly and caused a rollover or jackknife truck accident.
- The company that manufactured the truck, especially if a mechanical defect caused your accident.
- The insurance companies for all these companies involved.
How much is my accident claim worth?
There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to truck accident claims. What matters is you should be compensated for all past, present and anticipated future expenses related to your accident. Such expenses can include:
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs.
- All medical expenses related to your accident, including emergency medical care, surgical procedures, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy and follow-up surgery.
- Modifications to your home due to a permanent disability.
- Replacement income if you cannot work while recovering from your injury.
- Lost future income if you cannot work ever again due to your injury.
- Funeral expenses if a loved one died in a fatal truck accident.
- Pain and suffering in many circumstances.
Should I accept a settlement offer?
The insurance company for the at-fault party might make a settlement offer soon after your accident. Carefully consider such offers. If you agree to accept it, you often cannot ask for any additional money in the future, even if your accident expenses turn out to be significantly higher several months or years later.
The reality is many initial settlement offers only take into consideration short-term expenses. As a result, you would be responsible for paying for any future expenses related to your accident. Your lawyer can review any settlement offers you receive and help you decide whether or not you should accept such an offer.
Yes. You have the right to ask for more money and can often negotiate a better settlement offer. Insurance companies might disagree and claim their first offer is their only offer. Experienced lawyers know that many insurance companies are willing to negotiate in most cases. That’s why it’s critical that you have an attorney your side who knows how to negotiate effectively with insurance companies.
Who can I sue after my accident?
Like many motor vehicle accidents, you can often file a lawsuit or take other legal action against the at-fault party responsible for your truck accident. What’s different about commercial truck accident claims is there might be more than one at-fault party. This includes the truck driver, the trucking company the driver works for and any other companies responsible for your crash. In addition, each one of these companies often has an insurance company and an attorney handling their case. This is why it’s important that you have your own lawyer exploring your best available legal options.
In the case of accidents caused by commercial truck drivers, you often have a choice concerning where to file your lawsuit or take other legal action. Your choices often include:
- The court that has jurisdiction over the town or city where your accident took place.
- The court that has jurisdiction over the town or city where you live.
- The court that has jurisdiction over the town or city where the truck driver lives.
- The court that has jurisdiction over the town or city where the trucking company is located if applicable.
Certain courts may be more welcoming towards lawsuits filed in connection with a truck accident. An experienced lawyer can investigate this matter and help you decide where to file your lawsuit or take other legal action.
Is there a deadline for taking legal action?
Yes. In many cases, you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit or take other legal action in response to a truck accident. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Each state has its own unique deadlines. In Colorado, for example, injury victims often only have three years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit. Your lawyer can verify the statute of limitations that apply to your case and make sure you meet the deadlines for taking decisive legal action.
There are so many different ways a lawyer can help you after your truck accident. Most important, your attorney can make sure your best interests get the focus and attention they rightfully deserve. The Longo Firm, LLC understands what’s at stake and will work tirelessly on your behalf to demand the compensation you deserve for your accident. To us, your case is about more than just money. It’s about holding truck drivers and corporations accountable for their actions. It’s about making sure your voice is heard loud and clear. We’re here for you when you need us most. You can count on The Longo Firm, LLC in a crisis.