Claims related to injuries sustained in commercial truck accidents can be made against a truck driver due to their inability to safely operate the vehicle due to sleep deprivation or DUI for example, a trucking company, a truck maintenance company or a manufacturer of truck parts. Each case is unique and all causal factors regarding the accident should be reviewed by an attorney to assess the negligence of responsible parties.
In 2017 Colorado’s trucking industry provided 1 out of 20 jobs in the state giving them a distinct presence on Colorado roadways. Roadway accidents involving trucks tend to yield a higher level of damage to property and people as seen in a recent crash in Denver causing multiple deaths due to brake failure. Accident damages often carry life-long complications due to physical injuries and wrongful death. The higher weight class of a truck over 16,001 pounds moves them into the commercial vehicle category in accordance with Colorado law and impacts personal injury claims. In the United States, nearly 5,000 people are killed in truck accidents annually and 98% of the time, the driver of the other vehicle is killed. Every 16 minutes a person is injured or killed from a truck accident. Passenger vehicles share the roadways with an estimated 15.5 million trucks operating in the United States with 3 million tractor trailers, certainly increasing chances for an accident involving a truck.
The trucking industry has a “Share the Road” program where a team of professional truck drivers goes out to communities around the country to teach drivers about truck blind spots, stopping distances and how to merge safely around large trucks in an effort to reduce the number passenger vehicle accidents with trucks.
As an effort to keep trucks safe and reduce roadway incidents spot checking equipment before each trip is required by drivers. This is important because if an accident occurs some fault may be with the driver if the conditions of the truck were not checked before the trip. The equipment that must be checked before trips includes:
- service brakes, including trailer-brake connections.
- Parking brakes.
- Lighting devices and reflectors.
- Steering mechanisms.
- Tires – it is common for a truck to lose a tire, or for tread to break apart.
- Windshield wipers.
- Coupling devices.
- Wheels and rims.
- Rear mirror.
- Emergency notification markers and equipment.
In a case where an injury, damages and/or loss of life occurred in Denver Colorado, consulting with a knowledgeable attorney such as Andrew T. Brake who specializes in trucking accidents to investigate and review your case is a wise choice. A driver who did not inspect the vehicle before getting on the roadway could be responsible, the carrier or owner of the truck could be responsible if they did not properly maintain the vehicle, and there are occasions where parts manufacturers could also bear some responsibility if there was a known defect that was not corrected.
Andrew T. Brake, P.C.
3615 S Tamarac Drive
Denver, CO 80237