Do you know what to look for in a Truck Accident Attorney?
The fatal truck crash in Mead, CO this week has devastated our community. Do you know what to do after a truck crash?
By Jason Hernandez
5 min read
Tragedy Strikes Loveland
On Monday of this week our Northern Colorado Community lost a beloved educator, mother and friend to a tragic and avoidable accident caused by a semi-truck. Megan Arneson and her 10 year old son were returning home to Loveland from Water World in Denver, Colorado. While on I-25, the arm of an excavator hauled by a semi-truck collided with the concrete crossbeam of the Weld County Road 34 bridge.
According to Colorado State Patrol, Megan was behind the big rig when the bridge was struck, sending large chunks of concrete through her windshield.
Witnesses said that Megan’s white SUV quickly pulled to the inside median, coming to a stop against the steel cables and barriers separating the Northbound and Southbound traffic. An SUV making evasive maneuvers at 70 mph can easily result in a devastating rollover crash, but Megan was able to avoid the fallen excavator and bring her vehicle to a stop. The injuries Megan suffered from the fallen debris were fatal, but her final selfless acts as a mother and protector kept her 10 year old son safe.
What are Truck Accident Attorneys? When do you need one?
After reading multiple comments about this case being "open and shut," we needed to correct some of the obvious misconceptions about truck accidents.
Over the last 40 years, our firm has helped hundreds of victims and their families through similar crashes and wrongful death cases.
Earlier this summer, one of our Colorado Truck Accident Attorneys, Grant Lawson, was interviewed by 9News about one of our truck crash cases. This truck accident case involved another I-25 fatal crash that ended five lives among three generations in one family.
Tractor trailers are required to follow strict safety regulations when traveling on Colorado roadways. 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks have significantly higher policy limits with their insurance companies due to the severe injuries caused by large trucks.
When those rules are violated they almost always result in serious injuries or even the loss of life as suffered by Megan and her family. Many injured victims suffer life-altering injuries that can require years of expensive medical treatments or may lose the ability to continue their career.
In order to hold the trucking company and their drivers responsible for devastating injuries and deaths, it is important to immediately have an experienced truck accident team investigate the crash and protect critical evidence. This is called Spoliation.
Our Loveland Truck Accident attorneys will send a spoliation letter to notify potential liable parties that particular evidence needs to be protected.
Evidence such as black box data from the semi-truck, dashcams, and other digital materials may be deleted and physical evidence may be destroyed or lost permanently. While it may sound nefarious to the average person, companies have policies that may require memory cards from dashcams to be reused every 30 days or to immediately repair damaged equipment.
This is one of many ways truck accident litigation cases are different than other personal injury cases.
Even if a personal injury attorney knows they need to act quickly, evidence can still be lost. Without significant experience litigating truck accident cases, the scope of evidence in the attorney’s spoliation letter may be too narrow allowing evidence to still get destroyed. In other cases, their scope is too broad allowing the truck company’s defense attorneys to have a Judge reject the request.
The truck accident lawyers in our Fort Collins office have been asked to litigate cases after evidence was lost both ways.
Many trucking companies use quick reaction teams of attorneys that get notified immediately when a truck driver has a collision with the exact location of the crash. These teams arrive quickly to build their defense and possibly build a case against the passenger car driver.
Our Loveland truck accident attorneys have seen cases where these teams have arrived before first responders and other cases where they have removed monitoring equipment from inside the truck cab. Injured victims need to have a team of experts working on their side in the same fashion.
Some truck crashes my look cut and dried to inexperienced eyes, but these cases are complex – far more complicated than any crash between two 3,000lbs passenger vehicles. Many people will immediately blame the truck driver after a semi-truck accident, and although they often share part of the liability, this isn’t always the case. Our Loveland truck accident attorneys use investigators, crash reconstructionists and many other experts to gather evidence for a full spectrum picture of all responsible parties.
Extensive investigations can reveal multiple liable parties. Experienced truck crash attorneys can then gather enough evidence to prove their liability in court. This is increasingly important when our client is a truck driver.
Some cases have involved a trucking company knowingly sending an inexperienced driver on a dangerous highway or experienced drivers into dangerous weather. Others involved a maintenance company that used cheap parts or components that failed because they were not rated for the stresses or load capacity of the truck. The truck accident lawyers at Metier Law Firm have successfully won cases for truck drivers because we leave no stone unturned during our truck crash investigations.
Because truck accident cases are so specialized, we highly recommend that victims talk with a law firm that has expertise handling and winning truck accident cases. For example, Tom Metier is Certified in Truck Accident Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the past President of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys.
Tom has travelled the country sharing his experience as a Trial Attorney and teaching other attorneys for years along with Grant Lawson. Grant has been featured in local news, on podcasts and has helped thousands of injured victims across the nation by teaching hundreds of attorneys at conferences how to successfully litigate complex injury cases.
Whether victims contact our firm or another, we highly recommend that injured victims meet with a law firm with the capacity, experience and industry recognition for winning truck accident cases. If you or a loved one has been injured by a semi-truck or tractor trailer, our truck accident attorneys offer free consultations in-person, virtually or over the phone. Call our office anytime at 866-377-3800.
I hope this article opened your eyes to the complexities of these crashes. If there's a topic you'd like us to talk about, please let us know.
Do I have a case?
How much should I be offered?
Do I need an attorney?
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