Trucking accident claims are incredibly complicated. It is essential that these types of claims are investigated thoroughly as soon as possible after the accident. The Colorado State Patrol will investigate the accident, but they often do not discover the information that is so important to proving your claim.
Every truck now has “black box” information contained in computers within the truck. This black box information is usually quite informative in terms of how many hours the truck had been traveling, how many miles, etc. This can be helpful in proving that the driver should not have been driving because he did not take enough rest to be driving safely. It will also provide details about the accident itself, including how fast the truck was traveling before and during the impact.
It is also important to know as much about the driver of the truck as possible. Ideally, the Colorado State Patrol will perform a sobriety test on the driver as well as a forensic toxicology test on the driver’s blood. Often, two people will be driving the truck as part of a team, so it is best if both drivers are thoroughly tested. The Colorado State Patrol has the power to search the cabin of the truck to look for signs of drug or alcohol use.
We like to have our own accident investigators inspect the truck if there are serious injuries. This costs money that will eventually be backed out of the settlement, but it dramatically increases the value of these cases. Laybourne Law Firm fronts the costs of the accident investigation, so you do not have to come up with the money to do this. After the case is over, the settlement funds will be used to reimburse us for the investigation. If you do not do the investigation, you will be costing yourself money, not the other way around. This is because a weaker case results in less compensation.
Unfortunately, it is necessary to have a lawyer handle a trucking accident case for you. It is just too complicated for a lay person or even an attorney who is not experienced in this type of claim. In an ideal world, the insurance company for the trucking company would be fair with you and just pay you what your case is worth. However, this is not the case. The insurance company will attempt to get you to settle your case for way less than it is worth.
Another complicating factor is that at the end of your case, you have to reimburse your health insurance company for the treatment for which they paid. The same applies to Medicare, Medicaid, or whoever else paid anything toward your care. The good news is that the amount you have to pay back is always negotiable. The amount you have to reimburse is determined by exceedingly complicated laws and rules that a lawyer who is skilled can use to greatly reduce the amount you have to pay back. The net result is more money in your pocket instead of that money going to the health insurance company. In fact, we have had several cases recently where the amount owed in reimbursement to health insurance was completely waived.
The damages you are entitled to after being injured in a trucking accident are your medical bills, your lost wages, any lost earning capacity, permanent impairment, and pain and suffering. The actual billed amount of your medical costs are what you are entitled to under Colorado law, not the amount that the health insurance company actually pays. For example, if the health insurance company only pays 60% of the billed amount to the health care provider under certain contractual obligations, you can make a claim for the full, 100% billed amount of the medical bill. Then your worst-case scenario is that you only have to reimburse the health insurance company the 60% that they paid to the health care provider. The difference between the two amounts goes in your pocket.
If you do not have health insurance, it is still possible to get the medical care that you need. Our office has made arrangements with health care providers where they will accept payment for your treatment after your case is over and you have money to pay them out of your settlement.
If a trucking accident has caused the death of a loved one, a different type of claim called “wrongful death” may be filed by certain family members. In this type of case, the deceased’s family members can sue the trucking company for their damages caused by the tragic loss, including mental stress and anguish. We specialize in this type of claim. We also specialize in claims that involve the following types of injuries:
- Spinal Cord Trauma
- Head Injuries
It sounds crude, but money is how we settle disputes in the United States. It is important that you end up with a significant amount of money in your pocket to approximate the justice that you deserve after being injured in a trucking accident. This concept goes back to our laws that were developed at the founding of our country. For example, we discovered early on in our history that if someone’s livestock escapes and eats the neighbor’s crops, the owner of the livestock has to pay for the damage to the crops. This is not only good for the neighbor who lost his crops, but it is also good for the owner of the livestock because he can go on with his life with a clean conscience knowing that he paid his debt to the person he injured.
The owner of the livestock also learns to be more responsible for his cattle and to better maintain his fences. High dollar settlements convince trucking companies to take better care of their employees and equipment in order to avoid future accidents. Your settlement can save a life.
We offer free, no-obligation consultations. Please call 719-381-1707 to speak with an attorney today.