Helping Truck Accident Victims Since 1992
Fort Collins is dedicated to traffic safety awareness. The city analyzes accident locations, publishes crash statistics, and has signed on to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Moving Toward Zero Deaths initiative. Despite these safety initiatives, distracted and reckless drivers continue to plague the city’s streets. While Fort Collins is safer than many cities, tragic accidents continue to occur. Accidents that involve a semi truck often result in serious injuries, or even death, to those involved.
Semi trucks can weigh over 26,000 pounds; when they collide with a private passenger vehicle, their weight and speed intensify the impact. The force of a big truck can twist and crush a smaller vehicle, leaving the occupants with little chance of survival. Victims of underride accidents, jackknife crashes, or other serious truck collisions who are able to recover compensation often must still deal with catastrophic injuries, a lifetime of pain, costly medical treatment, disabilities, and financial losses.
At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we believe that individuals who cause an injury should be held responsible. Our firm understands the nuances of personal injury law, and how to deal with insurance companies. We rely on our significant experience litigating personal injury lawsuits in Colorado, as well as our firm’s extensive resources, to manage any complications and resolve difficult cases. Let us fight for the best possible result in your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Our Firm’s Accident Case Results
At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, our experienced attorneys have resolved many complex Colorado truck accident cases. We’ve negotiated settlements for our clients when possible, but we have also taken cases to trial when necessary. Each case is unique, with different circumstances and liability issues. While we cannot guarantee a positive result in any one case, our prior case results are representative of our hard work:
$1,050,000: A truck driver rear-ended our client’s car. The impact caused serious back injuries that required surgical intervention. Our client’s continuing disabilities decreased his work capacity. We settled for the negligent driver’s policy limits.
$1,350,000: Our client was injured when struck head-on by another vehicle. The impact severely injured her ankle, foot, and leg, and her treatment required hospitalizations and surgery. We determined that the driver had three policies that covered the accident. Our settlement included policy limit contributions from all three policies.
$950,000: A speeding teenage driver struck our client’s vehicle from behind on I-25. The client contacted us after unsuccessful negotiation attempts with the teen’s insurance company. After a year of litigation in Montana and Colorado, we settled the case for policy limits during trial preparation.
Each case is unique, and it is not possible to guarantee an outcome. Our track record illustrates our commitment to providing every clients with effective, passionate representation.
What Types Of Injuries Do Truck Accidents Cause?
When a truck crashes into a car at high speeds, the resultant damage and injuries can be devastating. Even at lower speeds, the impact can crush a car, shatter its windows, or cause an explosion. Collisions with trucks often cause fatalities or leave the survivors with catastrophic injuries that change their lives forever. Possible injuries include:
- Spinal cord trauma and paralysis
- Back and neck injuries
- Severe burns
- Dislocated and herniated discs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Skull and facial fractures
- Traumatic amputations
- Internal organ injuries
- Multiple fractures
I had a VERY difficult auto accident case where I was rear ended by a truck while I was waiting at a red light…I highly recommend Todd…a wonderful attorney with high principles, integrity, and amazing work ethic.
– Ray R.
Who Are the Liable Parties in a Truck Accident?
When a semi truck causes an accident, the truck driver is often responsible. However, there can be numerous other responsible parties as well. Other drivers on the road may have acted negligently, or there may be a contractual duty to assume liability or an agency relationship with other involved parties that may affect who must pay. Parties who could potentially be held responsible include:
Driver: a driver’s liability is based on his actions behind the wheel. Negligent actions may include distracted driving, intoxication, or improper loading. Drivers must also follow industry safety standards that limit drive time hours. Many are under a mandate requiring them to track their drive-time with Electronic Logging Devices, which may be used to establish negligent behavior.
Employer: a truck driver’s employer may ultimately be responsible for a negligent truck driver’s actions. They are also responsible for negligent hiring and supervision issues.
Truck owner: if a driver or motor carrier leases or borrows a rig, the owner may share liability for truck accidents where maintenance, safety, and vehicle defects are a factor. Oftentimes, the owner transfers responsibility for their liability through a lease contract.
Trailer owner: a separate entity often owns or loads the trailer attached to a semi truck. The trailer may belong to a product shipper or a leasing company. Furthermore, issues of liability can get even more complicated when a driver is deadheading (transporting an empty trailer) or bobtailing (traveling to pick up a trailer).
Shipper: when improper loading causes a tractor or flatbed to flip, the entity that loaded the cargo may be held responsible, along with the driver.
Maintenance contractor: when maintenance contractors fail to perform proper maintenance on a semi truck, they may be liable for any accidents that result from their failures.
Truck manufacturer: the manufacturer may be responsible if a truck or trailer manufacturing defect causes an accident.
What Types Of Damages Can A Truck Accident Victim Recover?
The potential damages that an injured person may recover fall into two broad categories: economic damages and general damages. Economic damages are calculated based on actual out-of-pocket losses or projected future losses. Accidents that cause serious injuries can result in significant medical expenses, and can affect a victim’s ability to work. Economic damages may include:
- Current and future wage losses
- Medical treatment
- Prosthetics and mobility devices
- Physical therapy
- Medical transportation costs
- Costs to replace household services that an injured person would have otherwise been able to perform
General damages can be difficult to calculate, as they often depend on intangibles. These damages recognize the mental and emotional toll that an accident can have on a victim, and also consider how any injuries may have affected, and continue to affect, a victim’s life. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we help our clients evaluate their potential for recovering general damages, which can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Inability to provide spousal services
- Inability to care for children
- Loss of reproductive capacity
- Loss of bodily functions
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disabilities
If your case goes to trial, and the evidence establishes that the defendant’s malice, fraud, or wanton conduct caused your injuries, the court may also award punitive damages.
How Do Liable Parties Attempt To Avoid Paying?
Because truck accidents can cause serious and expensive injuries, legal action is often the only way to ensure victim compensation. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we investigate the circumstances surrounding an accident—including who owned, operated, maintained, and loaded a truck—to determine liability. We handle negotiations with the trucking company representatives, insurance claim adjusters, and other involved parties. Even if responsibility for the accident seems obvious, the involved parties often seek to limit their liability. Potential defenses include:
No negligence: the driver and other responsible parties dispute that they acted negligently.
Comparative negligence: Colorado law bars an injured person from recovering damages if the defendants proves that the injured person was at least 50 percent responsible for the accident.
No defect: when a brake, axle, or other defect causes an accident, the manufacturer may attempt to prove otherwise to reduce its liability.
How Much Does A Truck Accident Lawyer Cost Me?
At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we offer free consultations for Fort Collins area truck accident victims. When you call, we will listen to your story of the accident, assess the validity of your claim, and determine if we can help. Our clients never pay attorney’s fees unless we successfully recover in their case, either through settlement, or at trial.
The Tenge Law Firm, LLC Wants to Help
If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, the experienced Fort Collins auto accident attorneys at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC may be able to help. Contact us at (970) 212-4777, or online, to speak with one of our attorneys today. We have been assisting injury victims for over 26 years, and we want to help you seek justice.