Truck accidents in Pueblo, Colorado are extremely serious. Around 10% of all the traffic on Colorado highways is made up of big rigs and commercial trucks. These trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when they have loaded trailers. With a passenger car weighing approximately 4,000 pounds, it’s no surprise that Pueblo truck accidents often have devastating and deadly consequences.
Pueblo Truck Accidents Cause Serious and Often Fatal Injuries
Thinking about the size and weight of a semi truck, it’s not surprising that these accidents have the potential to cause serious and often fatal injuries. The scary truth is that almost 75% of the fatalities of these wrecks are the occupants of the passenger vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, close to 85% of all truck accidents happen on a weekday.
The consequences of Pueblo truck accidents are often tragic and can permanently change your life. Common injuries from truck accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries, such as those to the kidneys or pancreas that causes internal bleeding or organ perforation
- Serious cuts that could leave permanent scars that disfigure you
- Broken ribs that puncture the lung
- Traumatic brain injuries that could leave you with a lifetime need of medical and specialized care
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Wrongful death
How Are Truck Accidents Caused?
Like car accidents, there are several things that can cause a truck accident. However, it’s important to remember that both federal and state law dictate how long a truck driver can be on the road during any given day. Although most truck drivers have specialized training and passed a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) test, that’s no guarantee that they’ll operate the truck in the safest way possible. It’s also not a guarantee that there’s not some sort of defect with the truck. Pueblo truck accidents may be caused by:
- Alcohol and drug use. Driving under the influence of any drug (including prescriptions) or alcohol is even more dangerous when someone is behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound machine. The blood alcohol content limit for truck drivers is .04%. That shows you the seriousness of the damage these trucks can cause when the driver is intoxicated.
- Driver fatigue. Federal and state legislators realize how dangerous it can be if the driver falls asleep behind the wheel. Fatigue can drastically limit the focus of the driver. Under federal law, a commercial truck driver may only drive 11 hours in a day and they can only work a total of 14 hours. Yet, many drivers are often pushed to meet unrealistic deadlines for delivery and drive for much longer than they should.
- Improperly loaded trailers. Truck drivers aren’t always responsible for loading their own trailers. An improperly loaded trailer is dangerous. If the driver must slam on their brakes or takes a turn, there’s a chance that the load will shift. This can cause the trailer to jackknife or for the truck to lose control and flip.
- Lack of maintenance and repairs on the truck. Large trucks must be properly maintained. When owners, operators or trucking companies don’t take care of their trucks, it creates a serious danger. Additionally, poor or improperly completed repairs can also cause trucking accidents.
- Distracted driving. It’s extremely important that truck drivers devote their full time and attention to the road. Distracted driving kills. Because of the size and weight of a truck, it’s much harder for it to come to a stop if the driver is cut off or finds themselves in the middle of an unexpected traffic jam or construction zone. The U.S. Transportation Department has a specific rule that states truck drivers are not allowed to text.
- Another common cause of Pueblo truck accidents is speeding. The truck driver hits the brakes, but it takes longer for an 80,000 pound vehicle to slow down or stop. Trucks need up to 40% more distance to stop than standard vehicles. Jerking the wheel to avoid the accident can create another terrible situation that causes the truck to flip and injure more people.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Rights After a Pueblo Truck Accident
Pueblo truck accidents are traumatic. It’s hard to think. You’re in in pain. You could be seriously injured. Your car is likely totaled. What should you do to protect yourself and your potential legal rights?
Before you do anything, call 911 if you have a medical emergency. Your health and well-being is the most important factor. If you don’t have a medical emergency, get out of your car if you can. Call the police to come and take a report. Do not leave the scene of the accident. Leaving the scene of the accident is against the law. The police will come and document the scene and create a report. They can also help you exchange the proper information with the truck driver.
Don’t stand too close to your vehicle. If there’s a leak that starts a fire, your car could explode. Stand far enough away that you’ll be safe. You should also take photographs to document the accident scene. Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and to the truck. Take photos of the road conditions and the debris. Take a photo that documents the time of day and the weather. These images can be very helpful in a truck accident claim.
Call Heuser & Heuser as soon as you can. These accidents can quickly get complicated when it comes to determining liability. Heuser & Heuser has more than 25 years of experience handling truck accidents. We’ve helped victims recover millions of dollars in compensation. You could be entitled to money for your injuries, medical care, damage to your car, and pain and suffering. We can help you identify your legal rights and explain your options. Let us handle your truck accident claim while you focus on getting better. Call us at 719-419-9478 to schedule your initial consultation.