What to do After a Truck Accident in Colorado
Getting hit by a tractor-trailer or semi is an undoubtedly traumatic experience. You may be injured, and you may also be suffering emotional trauma from the accident. The future of your job is uncertain, hospital bills are piling up, and you are in a constant state of worry. The insurance company is pressing you to settle. And you have heard many different ideas about what course of action to pursue. You’re confused, and you feel like you are on your own.
Knowing what to do after a truck accident can feel overwhelming. Luckily, the experienced truck accident attorneys at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., understand truck accident laws in Colorado. We can explain your rights and help you review your options, setting you on the right path to justice. Contact us today, and let us help you fight for the truck accident settlement you deserve.
I Was Hit by a Semi-Truck in Colorado: What to Do?
An estimated 439,206 large trucks were involved in accidents nationwide in 2020. Most of these accidents occurred because of driver negligence. Since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration holds semi-trucks to an entirely different standard after an accident than other vehicles, they are treated differently than accidents involving a passenger vehicle.
Insurance policies on commercial vehicles like semi-trucks can cover $1 million, so it’s important to talk to an accident and injury lawyer about your case before you decide what to do after a truck accident or take action.
If a semi-truck hits you, the injuries you sustain are also likely to be more serious than if you were hit by a smaller vehicle. This is because semi-trucks are much larger and heavier than other vehicles and can cause a lot of damage when colliding with another vehicle.
In fact, semi-truck accidents are some of the most dangerous and deadly types of accidents on the road. In the U.S., 5,700 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2021, an 18% increase from 2020 and a 49% increase in the last ten years.
If you are wondering what happens if you get hit by a truck, the following are reasonable first steps to take after a truck accident.
Prioritize Your Safety and Health
The first step after being hit by a truck is prioritizing safety and seeking medical attention. Call 911 immediately, regardless of the severity of your injuries. Even if you feel fine, it’s essential to undergo a thorough medical evaluation, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Your well-being should always be the top priority.
Stay at the Scene of the Accident
Do not move your vehicle unless it isn’t safe to remain in your current location. If it is necessary to move your car, make sure you do so safely and park it on the side of the road out of traffic’s way. And remember to put your hazard lights on.
Contact Law Enforcement
Colorado state law requires people to report any traffic accident that results in injury, death, or substantial property damage. Law enforcement will conduct an initial investigation and prepare an accident report. This report will include details such as the involved parties, the location, date and time of the accident, potential contributing factors, and often, an initial assessment of who may be at fault. This report can serve as crucial evidence if you pursue a legal claim.
Gather Driver and Witness Information
While waiting for assistance to arrive, gather important information about the accident if possible. Exchange contact details, driver’s license information, and insurance information with the truck driver involved. Additionally, collect contact information from any witnesses at the scene.
Document the Scene
If you can, take photos of the accident site, including the damage to your vehicle, the damage to the other vehicle, and the surrounding area. Make sure also to take pictures of any visible injuries you or other victims suffered.
Get Checked Out by a Doctor
Not every injury is immediately apparent. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, it’s important to visit a medical professional who can examine you and ensure there are no internal injuries or other medical issues you haven’t caught.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. Give them all your information about the incident, including the date, time, people involved, and location. But do not admit guilt or share any information other than the necessary materials. The agent will guide you through the claims process and share any next steps you need to take.
Never Settle Quickly
It is in an insurance company’s best interest to settle quickly, but it is not in your best interest. After settling quickly, you may discover that you had injuries you were unaware of, resulting in extensive medical bills. Your diagnosis may change as your injuries heal or worsen over time. This may affect the type and length of treatment you need for your injuries. It’s hard for you to judge quickly the toll the accident will take on your life physically and psychologically. You need time to evaluate your injuries with the care of a knowledgeable doctor.
Contact an Attorney
Whether Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover or another law firm, we highly recommend seeking legal advice after a truck accident. A skilled personal injury attorney experienced in truck accidents will help protect your rights and be able to advise you on the best course of action. An attorney can also gather evidence, negotiate with insurance, and, if necessary, file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Keep Track of Your Injuries and Damages
Keep a detailed record of your injuries, medical treatments, and related expenses. This includes medical bills, prescriptions, therapy sessions, and any other costs related to the accident. Keep track of the accident’s impact on your daily life and emotional well-being in a journal or voice memo. This information will be vital when seeking compensation for your damages.
What Is Colorado’s Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents?
In Colorado, the statute of limitations dictates the deadline by which people have to file a personal injury lawsuit. So, if you’re filing a truck accident claim, you typically have two years from the accident date to file in Colorado’s civil courts. With some exceptions, if you fail to file your lawsuit within this period, the court will not hear your case, effectively preventing you from seeking compensation for your injuries. The best way to avoid this is to consult with an experienced truck accident.
Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover: Experience You Can Trust
Choosing the right personal injury attorney can be a process. You want to be sure you find someone with skill and experience who is also a good communicator. If you’re searching for a compassionate, skilled truck accident attorney, the advocates at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover have over 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases. To top that off, we’ve achieved over $100 million in client verdicts and settlements.
Yet through it all, we’ve never lost sight of an accident’s physical, emotional, and financial toll on our clients and have prided ourselves on providing personalized guidance and support. Let us help you fight for the financial and emotional compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 303-447-1144 for a free case evaluation.
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