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Larimer County trucking accident lawyerLast week, a Chicago truck driver died in an accident near Fort Collins. Although the official cause of death has not been released, the 52-year-old man was declared dead at the accident site. Initial reports, however, have declared that intoxication or speed were not contributing factors. There were also no other people were injured during this accident on Interstate 25. The semi-truck went off to the right side, hit a sign, and rolled over. Any death on the road is a tragedy, but we know when a truck accident happens, the casualties can often be very serious. 

A Truck Driver's Negligence Can Cause a Crash  

What is unusual about this crash is the death of the truck driver. Statistically, passengers of other vehicles are much more likely to die as the result of a truck accident. In 2017, 683 truck occupants died in accidents, while 2,797 car passengers died in the same year. People in cars are much more vulnerable to truck accidents. Cars have more protection than a motorcycle, but either can be helpless against an 80,000-pound truck at full speed. 

Although preliminary reporting on this Fort Collins truck accident suggests that speeding or substance abuse was not involved, many truck accidents involve negligence. When drivers do not take proper precautions, like following the rules of the road, they can be at fault for causing an accident. Trucking companies can also be held liable for poor maintenance and not following industry standards. When a person in another vehicle is injured and suffers because of these failures, the victim has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for their damages. 

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Larimer County trucking accident injury attorney

Most people have records of when they work. Whether this is simply for recordkeeping, or to ensure that employees are properly paid for the hours worked, it is important to keep accurate data. If an hourly employee tried to manipulate his or her time card to make it appear as if he or she was working, the worker may be disciplined or even fired for stealing corporate time. However, when a truck driver records incorrect data and provides false driving records, this can not only affect a company's bottom line, but it can result in safety issues. If a driver falsifies information in order to exceed their allowed number of hours on the road, this can lead to dangerous truck accidents

CMV Driving Limits

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are subject to continuous driving limits. A CMV is any type of vehicle that is used for business purposes and meets any one of the following criteria:

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Larimer County workers compensation lawyer

When it comes to workers’ compensation, truck drivers who are injured are in a unique situation in Colorado, depending on their employment status with a company. Many trucking companies hire drivers as independent contractors as opposed to regular full-time employees in an effort to save costs. There are many liabilities with having truck drivers as employees, so technically, an independent contractor would not qualify for workers’ compensation. Instead, under 2018 legislation, independent contractor truck drivers in Colorado qualify under occupational accident coverage for vehicles weighing more than 16,001 pounds. This coverage must be comparable to the employer’s workers’ compensation benefits. 

Types of Truck Accidents

Every type of job has the potential for a person to get injured while performing their occupational duties. Truck drivers are different than office workers due to the amount of time they spend on the road for their jobs. While truck drivers are subject to common workers’ compensation claims, such as slips and falls, they can also be involved in accidents specific to trucking. The following are accidents that a truck driver may face while on the job: 

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Fort Collins truck accident attorneyAll companies must uphold the standard practice requirements of their industry. These standards keep consumers safe from issues such as faulty products or contaminated foods. When companies neglect to fulfill these standards, and someone gets hurt as a result, the company may be held liable for the injuries. The same goes for transportation corporations when a truck accident is caused by poorly maintained vehicles.

What Are the Federal Standards for Truck Maintenance?

It is required that all commercial vehicles on the road are driving safely and operating within the conditions set by federal regulations. For instance, if a truck cannot safely carry freight, then it should not be on the road. Companies can monitor how a fleet is operating by keeping accurate and frequent records, requiring regular inspections, and having a staff that routinely maintains the vehicle. 

Commercial companies in Colorado are required to keep maintenance records for any vehicle that has been a part of their fleet for 30 days or more. These records must include:

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Larimer County truck accident lawyer

Trucks are not inherently dangerous. With the proper driver training and maintenance of the truck, goods can reach their final destinations safely. However, accidents involving trucks can and do happen on many highways across the country. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2017. Crashes can occur due to many reasons, including driver error, bad weather, traffic, and road conditions. No matter whose fault a truck accident is, the consequences can result in devastating injuries and even fatalities for the truck driver as well as passengers in other vehicles.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

The legal weight of a semi-truck can be up to 80,000 pounds without an oversize permit. Such massive machines require specific training and maintenance compared to passenger cars. Driver fatigue is often associated with truck accidents. Truck drivers are pressured to complete their routes within specific time frames while being legally required to rest in between shifts. An overly tired person can experience the same impairments to physical and mental coordination as someone who is over the legal limit for alcohol use while operating a vehicle. While this is a common reason why truck accidents happen, other factors include inexperienced or negligent driving, inclement weather, brake failure, tire blowouts, or poor road conditions.

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Larimer County truck accident lawyer

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of accidents involving a large truck or bus increased by 40 percent from 2009 to 2017. An 18-wheeler truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can cause massive destruction in an instant. Driving on the road next to a semi-truck can give anyone anxiety. Knowing what circumstances can lead to a truck accident may make you a more mindful driver. Being knowledgeable about truck accidents may also help you determine if a truck driver or trucking company was liable for your accident.

Contributing Factors

There is more at stake during a truck accident due to the size and weight of trucks versus passenger cars. It takes an experienced truck driver to know how to properly handle safe road conditions, let alone poor weather. When a truck driver or company is at fault for a severe or fatal accident, passenger car occupants are the most vulnerable. Even with a seat belt, the force of a truck and its impact can change a person's life forever. To know your rights after a truck accident, it is important to consider the following factors that contribute to truck accidents:

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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