How to File a Truck Accident Claim in Colorado
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you should understand the steps for filing a truck accident claim. Due to the size and weight difference between commercial trucks and passenger cars, collisions between these vehicles tend to result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Many injured victims find that despite surviving a crash, their lives are forever changed. Colorado law permits you to recover compensation for your losses when a truck driver was negligent and caused your injuries. Learn more about how to file a truck accident claim and how an attorney can help you.
How to File a Truck Accident Claim
When you retain an attorney, they will explain the truck accident claim process so that you have realistic expectations regarding your claim and how long it may take to receive compensation.
Statute of Limitations
After suffering injuries in a truck accident, it may be challenging to think about pursuing a lawsuit. However, in Colorado, you must file a truck accident legal claim within three years from the accident date. Failing to file within this period can prevent you from being able to file a lawsuit later if no exception applies to your case.
Notify Insurance Company
You should notify your insurance company about your accident as soon as possible. The truck driver’s insurance company might also try to reach out to you directly. However, avoid speaking to insurance adjusters yourself. They may attempt to pressure you to accept an initial settlement offer that fails to cover your financial needs. Your attorney can handle communications with insurance companies on your behalf and protect your rights at every stage of the process.
Your attorney will draft a demand letter to the truck driver’s insurance company. A demand letter provides the following information:
- A summary of the accident,
- Why their insured is responsible for the accident,
- The extent of your injuries and the impact they had on your life, and
- An estimate of your current and future medical bills and other losses.
Demand letters provide a deadline by which the insurance company must respond. Once a response is received, your attorney negotiates with the insurance company for a favorable settlement.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the insurance company fails to offer fair compensation for your losses, your attorney can file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit signals to the insurance company that your attorney is prepared to litigate your case at trial. Although the trial process takes more time, going to trial can help you get the compensation you need to move forward with your life after suffering severe injuries.
Gathering Evidence for a Truck Accident Legal Claim
A personal injury attorney assists injured clients in various ways throughout the truck accident legal claim process. One of those ways is by gathering evidence related to your accident. With this evidence, your attorney builds a strong case and works to establish the truck driver’s negligence. Gathering proof requires the following actions:
- Obtaining the police report. A police report contains vital evidence regarding your accident as recited by a non-interested third party—a police officer. Responding officers assess the accident scene, interview witnesses, identify involved parties, and sometimes determine liability.
- Contacting witnesses. Using the accident report or information you gathered at the scene, your attorney contacts witnesses to record their statements. Promptly speaking to these witnesses helps preserve an accurate picture of the events leading up to your accident.
- Obtain video footage. Some commercial trucks may have dash cams, and some busy streets or areas might have surveillance cameras that recorded your accident. If there is footage, your attorney can analyze it to determine if there are any signs of negligence on the truck driver’s part.
- Collecting photographs. You or the truck driver may have taken pictures at the accident scene. Gathering this evidence can help your attorney reconstruct the accident scene.
- Review medical records. A clear understanding of the scope of your medical expenses and injuries helps your attorney calculate an accurate demand for compensation.
- Reviewing truck logbooks & GPS data. Commercial truckers must maintain a log book recording their hours and follow other rules. Failing to adhere to federal regulations can help establish that the truck driver was negligent.
All these actions help your attorney figure out how your accident happened and who caused it. The evidence your attorney gathers during their investigation will also help support your claim and your demand for compensation. A qualified personal injury lawyer has a wealth of resources that help them gather this evidence promptly, which can help you start negotiations sooner. The sooner negotiations can start, the sooner you and your family will receive the financial support you need.
The legal team at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., possess over 100 years of combined legal experience representing injured victims in personal injury cases. We know that every case is unique, which is why we take the time to get to know you and your case. We understand you’re facing one of the most difficult challenges you have ever faced, and we want to help you and your family move forward. Since opening our doors more than 30 years ago, the Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover team has won over $100 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to find out how we can assist you.
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