Request a Consultation
Lawyers meeting

How Fault Is Determined In A Semi-Truck Accident?

Posted on April 4, 2022 in

Accidents involving larger commercial trucks often lead to significant injuries and massive property damage for Colorado motorists. Any person injured due to the negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company should be able to recover compensation for their losses, but recovering compensation is impossible unless liability is determined first. Here, we want to discuss how fault is determined in a Colorado semi-truck accident.

Evidence Gathering at the Crash Scene

The scene of a commercial truck accident is typically chaotic and confusing for those involved. The number one priority for every party is to seek medical care for any injuries that have occurred. In some situations, there are unseen injuries that individuals are not aware of, so it is crucial to go to the doctor for an evaluation even if a person is experiencing no pain right away.

At the scene of the crash, however, it may be possible to gather evidence that can be used in an injury case moving forward. For example, we always recommend that individuals use their cell phone cameras to take photographs of everything they see. This includes:

  • Vehicle damage
  • Debris or skid marks
  • Traffic and weather conditions
  • Road signs
  • Possible causes of the crash
  • License plate numbers
  • The name of the truck company
  • Injuries

You can even use your phone to take a video of the entire scene after you finish taking your photographs just to make sure that you do not miss anything.

Additionally, if there are any eyewitnesses to a commercial truck crash, it is important for those involved to get the names and contact information of these individuals before they leave the scene. Eyewitness testimony can provide valuable evidence to the insurance carriers or to a personal injury jury.

Gathering Evidence in the Days and Weeks After the Crash

Not all evidence needed to prove liability will be necessarily gathered at the time the crash occurs. There will need to be steps taken in the days and weeks that follow a commercial truck crash to continue gathering evidence, and this will likely involve the use of a skilled semi-truck accident lawyer in Colorado. An attorney can get involved and use their resources to obtain court orders to gather the following types of evidence:

  • The truck driver’s electronic logging device (ELD)
  • The truck’s electronic control module (ECM)
  • Truck company driver training records
  • The driver’s driving record
  • Truck company vehicle inspection and maintenance records
  • Video surveillance from cameras near the accident scene

In some situations, it may be necessary to work with an accident reconstruction expert who can piece together what happened and craft scientific and mathematically improved visuals rendered into 3D models or computer software.

Shared Fault for a Commercial Truck Crash

There are certainly situations where more than one party could be at fault for a semi-truck accident in Colorado. However, when this happens, those involved could still be able to recover compensation. Colorado operates under what is called a “modified comparative negligence” system. Under this type of system, individuals will be unable to recover compensation if they are 50% or more responsible for their own injuries. However, any person 49% or less responsible for their own injuries can still recover compensation. In this situation, individuals will receive reduced compensation based on their percentage of fault.

Our Denver truck accident attorneys can help you seek compensation.