Colorado Truck Accidents: The Challenges Of Determining Liability
UPDATED: February 19, 2020
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Determining liability in a Colorado truck accident can be challenging – especially when the truck’s cab and trailer are owned by different entities with different insurance coverages and may be subject to federal and various state laws.
CO truck accident cases are generally not straightforward. That’s what Jim Chalat, a Colorado attorney with over 30 years of experience whose firm focuses its practice in personal injury law, told us in a recent interview. He explained:
Most of the truck drivers in Colorado drive very carefully, particularly in very challenging conditions. Many lawyers think that these are easy cases and they advertise for them. However, they’re not. They’re very complicated. They involve an overlay of federal and state laws, sometimes multiple states depending on the licensing, registration, log-book keeping, driving limitations and management of the trucks. They present extremely complicated insurance issues because oftentimes the cab, which would be the tractor, and the trailer are insured by different entities and have different types of coverages. Depending upon whether the case is caused by brake-failure, driver failure or mechanical failure, those differences will imply different outcomes and different insurance coverages. So it’s very complicated. One of our lawyers, Russell Hatten, has specialized training and experience in these cases so he is lead lawyer for our truck accident clients.
Are Black Boxes Reliable?
Many large trucks have black boxes similar to airplanes that can provide information about an accident. We asked Chalat how reliable he thinks these are when it comes to using them for litigation purposes. He told us that, unfortunately, the answer to that question depends on numerous factors and is quite case specific. He said, “It’s hard to make generalities as to what truck has it, whether or not it’s employed, whether or not it’s obtained, what the information is that it’s carrying and whether or not it provides accurate feedback.”
Catastrophic Truck Accidents Uncommon - But Do Occur
Chalat says that there are a lot of lawyers who are advertising for trucking accident cases. However, the number of trucking accidents that result in significant injury, catastrophic injury or death in Colorado is not very substantial. There are probably about 50 of those cases annually in Colorado and maybe only three or four of them involve fatalities which would be the truck-driver’s fault. However, if you happen to be one of the unlucky victims of a truck accident, you’ll want an experienced attorney who understands the ins and outs of Colorado truck accident law representing your best interests.
If you’ve been injured in an truck accident, contact an experienced Colorado truck accident attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.