Individuals and families involved in a crash with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle suffer injuries which are usually serious and often permanent. Collisions with big rig trucks may result in spinal cord injuries, broken bones, brain trauma, and even wrongful death. Because personal injuries with these type of vehicles tend to be more serious, the issues of negligence, liability, damages and causation will often be hotly contested. Insurance coverage in these cases is often under a million-dollar liability policy. As a result, most of these cases are closely scrutinized and are often challenged.
Commercial Vehicle Accident Complications
Any accident with a commercial vehicle is likely to present complications. If your accident was with an over-the-road big rig, federal safety laws will impact the owner, the driver and anyone involved with the semi truck or its maintenance. Liability may even be found on the company packing the trailer portion if the load shifted and contributed to the accident. It is not unheard of for some truck drivers to maintain two sets of books to avoid stringent federal and state laws on the amount of time a driver may be behind the wheel.
If a governmental agency was involved in your accident, unfair governmental immunity laws are likely to apply. For example, if a Regional Transportation District bus (RTD bus), a police department, a jail, hospital or any other department was involved, you need to be wary of these unfair governmental immunity laws.
These laws impose unreasonably short time frames on accident victims. In virtually all cases, you will be required to provide “notice” to the department within 180 days of the collision. You also will need to provide this notice to specific individuals or entities in order for your notice to be deemed valid. RTD or any other relevant government department is likely to eventually try to avoid liability if your notice is simply given to an adjuster. In many cases, the department successfully avoids liability on this basis. This can be true even if the adjuster has obtained your records and bills and has begun negotiations.
Consult an attorney immeditaly if you think that some sort of governmental agency may have contributed to your injuries.