Denver has volatile weather conditions and this can make over-the-road trucking difficult and dangerous. In some cases, Denver truck accidents involving bad weather are not simply unavoidable. While no one can control the weather conditions and their effect on the roadways, trucking companies, truck drivers, and those entities responsible for maintaining the road safely all possibly bear responsibility when icy road trucking accidents occur. If you or a loved one have been injured in an icy road accident in Colorado involving a large truck or tractor trailer, you will need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney in Denver.
Sovereign Immunity and Icy Road Claims
Determining which party or parties may be liable can be complex, which is one reason why it is so important to have a skilled lawyer experienced with Denver truck accidents involving bad weather as an advocate. Government entities responsible for maintaining safe roadways may have been negligent, but bringing a claim against a government agency can be complicated since governments typically have “sovereign immunity” shielding them from civil lawsuits.
There are exceptions, however, and an experienced icy road lawyer in Denver can determine whether a claim may fall under an applicable exception. If the road conditions were especially egregious or neglected, the claim is more likely to be successful.
Icy Road and Poor Weather Condition Crash Facts
Weather conditions of all kinds can impair driving and contribute to causing crashes. Temperature extremes, high winds, and precipitation can cause impaired visibility, poor roadway friction, road and lane blockages, windblown debris, accumulated snow, damage to infrastructure, roadway submersion, dangerous traffic flow, weather-related congestion, and reduced emergency response, according to the Federal Highway Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The FHA reports that between the years 2005 and 2014, the ten-year averages for poor weather condition crashes totaled roughly 1,258,978 collisions, 445,303 injuries, and 5,897 fatalities, each year. Most “weather-related” crashes – 73 percent – involved wet pavement, followed by 46 percent involving rain, 17 percent involving snow or sleet, and 13 percent involving icy roads. About 22 percent of all crashes involved bad weather of one sort or another.
Comparative Negligence Doctrine in Colorado
Colorado is a comparative negligence state that operates under the rule that a victim may still recover damages from another party at-fault in causing an accident, even if the victim was partially at-fault themselves. However, under Colorado law, victims are barred from recovering from the other party if they contributed more than 50 percent of the fault in causing an accident and bringing about their own injuries. It is important to begin working with an experienced personal injury attorney who handles icy road truck crashes, no matter who is believed to be at fault.
Regardless of the circumstances that led to the truck accident in which you were injured, an experienced icy road lawyer in Denver can investigate who may be at fault, and whether you may have a valid claim. You may be entitled to recover compensation for your costs, including medical bills, time away from work, rehabilitation, medication, pain and suffering, and other damages.