It is more difficult to drive a vehicle towing a trailer than to drive an ordinary vehicle such as a sedan. Because of this danger, drivers must be specially trained to drive while towing trailers.
Additionally, drivers must observe certain safety precautions. If they fail to observe these precautions and cause an accident that injures you, you probably have a personal injury claim.
Many of the safety precautions that a driver hauling a trailer must observe are codified under Colorado trailer towing laws.
Registration and Title
If you tow a trailer behind a vehicle in Colorado, the trailer itself must include a license plate and an up-to-date vehicle registration.
You cannot drive your trailer legally in Colorado without complying with these requirements.
If you are hauling a trailer or semi-trailer with a weight of 3,000 pounds or more, your trailer must have its own brakes.
The trailer must be designed such that the brakes work automatically if the trailer breaks away from the primary vehicle.
In Colorado, you cannot tow a trailer that is longer than 70 ft. The maximum width is 8.5 ft, and the maximum height is 14.5 ft.
Double Towing Laws in Colorado
Colorado double towing laws do not prohibit double towing as long as you adhere to maximum length limitations.
Lighting and Signals
Colorado requires every trailer to include at least one light on the back of the trailer. The height of the light must be between 20 inches and 72 inches, and the light itself must be visible for at least 500 feet behind the trailer.
All trailers must include safety chains that can pull the trailer if the trailer hitch fails.
Every driver owes a duty of ordinary care toward every other driver on the road. Other drivers must drive safely to avoid causing accidents.
When a driver breaches this duty (by exceeding the speed limit, for example) they are behaving negligently. If they cause you to have an accident this way, you can hold them financially liable.
A driver doesn’t have to break the law to be negligent. As an example, even if you comply with Colorado double towing laws, you can be negligent for hauling two trailers in a manner that is hazardous to other vehicles on the road.
Proving negligence in the absence of a specific violation of the law can be tricky, however.
Negligence Per Se
In many cases, proving negligence is quite straightforward. Colorado recognizes a principle known as negligence per se.
Under negligence per se, a driver is automatically negligent if they violate a safety rule or regulation, such as one of the Colorado trailer laws mentioned above.
Defenses Against Negligence Per Se
It is possible under limited circumstances for a driver to prove that they were not negligent even though they violated a safety law or regulation.
Let’s suppose, for example, that the driver was driving on the wrong side of the road because a jaywalking pedestrian was in their lane, and they needed to swerve to avoid the pedestrian.
In this case, a court might not consider the driver negligent.
Causation and Damages
Proving negligence goes a long way toward winning your case, but it is not all you need. There are two other elements of your claim that you must prove to obtain damages.
First, you must prove the exact amount of the damages you are claiming.
Second, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence is what caused your damages. You can be certain that the insurance company or the defendant’s lawyer will contest both these issues.
We Are Standing by to Help
We founded Tenge Law Firm in 1992 with one mission—to seek justice for victims of personal injury. Personal injury law is what we do, and it is all we do.
If you have suffered a serious personal injury, right now is a very difficult time of your life. Let us handle compensation issues while you focus on recovering your health.
Contact Tenge Law Firm at 303-529-6742, or contact us online. Let’s get started preparing your claim today!