Mintz Law Firm
Commercial vehicles are generally large vehicles requiring more experience and skill to operate than a standard passenger vehicle. While there are laws in place to ensure these vehicles are maintained and operated to a legal safety standard, accidents still happen. Every year, commercial vehicle accidents cause serious and even fatal injuries. These types of collisions may involve catastrophic injuries resulting in life-altering impairments.
Despite the immense damage caused by commercial vehicle accidents, commercial vehicle companies are notorious for trying to get victims to settle for as little as possible. Recovering maximum compensation from these companies trying to protect their bottom line requires the knowledge and experience of a personal injury lawyer. At Mintz Law Firm, our Dever commercial vehicle accident lawyers believe in holding negligent parties accountable and helping our clients secure the fair compensation they are owed. Increase your chances of recovering maximum compensation by contacting Mintz Law Firm today.
What Is Considered a Commercial Vehicle in Colorado?
In Colorado, a commercial vehicle is defined as any vehicle with the following characteristics:
- A vehicle weighing 10,001 pounds or more and is used in commerce
- A vehicle designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver), with the expectation of school buses
- A vehicle that does not have a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 or more pounds, owned or operated by a school district that doesn’t receive remunerations for its use
- A vehicle designed or equipped to transport other vehicles by towing, pulling, or lifting when used in commerce
- A vehicle used to transport large quantities of hazardous materials that require placarding by regulation
Any individual who operates a commercial vehicle must have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL).
How Do Commercial Vehicle Accidents Differ from Standard Car Accidents?
Commercial vehicle accidents are generally more complex than standard car accidents because there tends to be more than one defendant who played a role in the occurrence of the accident. The obvious liable party for an accident is the vehicle’s driver due to reckless, distracted, impaired, or fatigued driving.
However, liability rarely stops with the driver. The commercial vehicle company that employed the driver and is responsible for the vehicle’s maintenance may also be liable. The company may have knowingly hired an inexperienced driver, allowed the driver to exceed mandated hours of services, or failed to properly expect and maintain the vehicle. The loading or shipping company responsible for loading the commercial vehicle may also be partially responsible for the accident if they fail to appropriately load and secure the load inside the vehicle. The manufacturer responsible for the commercial vehicle’s parts can also be held liable if one of the vehicle’s parts malfunctions or is defective.
In addition to the multiple defendants in a commercial vehicle case, due to the catastrophic injuries victims sustained, these types of cases are more complicated because of the significantly greater amount of compensation a victim can receive. Catastrophic injuries completely alter a person’s quality of life, and the value of the claim must compensate for their losses.
Building a Personal Injury Claim After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
Investigating a commercial vehicle accident requires gathering extensive evidence that can be challenging to collect due to the multiple parties involved. This evidence includes witnesses, details of the accident, details on the vehicles involved, the police report, and various other details that are critical to building a claim. Additionally, commercial vehicle accidents don’t just involve the standard evidence collected in a car accident. These cases also involve examining the following:
- The log from the commercial vehicle’s black box (this provides information about the vehicle’s speed at the time of the accident, amongst other important data)
- The logbooks and records from the driver and the commercial vehicle company
- The vehicle’s maintenance records and maintenance invoices
- The results of DUI tests performed on the vehicle’s driver
- The driver’s records from the company’s HR department (to help verify the driver’s qualifications)
- Cargo load information
Logs and records are sometimes only kept for a specific period, after which they are discarded. An experienced Dever commercial vehicle accident attorney knows how to track down the relevant evidence and obtain it from various sources in time before it can be discarded.
Obtaining access to any of the information listed above may require extensive communication with all possible liable parties, some of whom may wish to avoid answering questions. This is why it’s important to work with a skilled and trusted Dever commercial vehicle accident attorney. They can handle the ins and outs of your claim so you can focus on getting better.
Recoverable Compensation From a Commercial Vehicle Accident
The damages awarded in commercial vehicle accident claims aim to aid the victim in getting back to the life they were living before the accident, or as close as possible. Victims can receive compensation for direct costs that they had to pay or will pay in the future, along with for the trauma and emotional injuries. Some various damages available include:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing treatment
- Loss of potential future income
- Future medical costs
- Income lost during recovery
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- A decline in quality of life
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
The damages you can receive and their value largely depends on the specifics of your injury and the unique ways it has impacted you and your life.
Work With Mintz Law Firm to Recover Fair Compensation Today
The road to recovery from a commercial vehicle accident is often long, painful, and incredibly expensive. At Mintz Law Firm, our Dever commercial vehicle accident lawyers help our clients build a strong claim that ensures they can secure the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. No amount of money will make up for what our clients have lost, but we can achieve favorable outcomes on their behalf to at least aid them in the financial burdens caused by the accident and their injuries.
Mintz Law Firm is committed to aggressively protecting our client's rights to fair compensation, even if it means going to trial. Partner with a firm committed to you and protecting your rights and best interest by contacting Mintz Law Firm. You can schedule a consultation by calling us at (303) 462-2999 or completing our online contact form.