Distracted Driving Truck Accidents in Greeley
Distracted driving is always dangerous, but the stakes are especially high in the case of a distracted truck driver. Because of the sheer size and weight of these vehicles, crashes can be catastrophic and even fatal. Truckers must be acutely aware of their surroundings at all times to avoid collisions with other vehicles.
If you were in a distracted driving truck accident in Greeley, contact an attorney immediately. An 18-wheeler collision lawyer could investigate and secure evidence that could prove whether a distracted trucker caused the accident that injured you.
Laws Against Distracted Driving
Colorado Revised Statutes §42-4-239 bans drivers from using cell phones to text or access apps while driving, although they may speak on the phone. Motorists may wear a single earbud or headphone while driving.
However, cell phone use is only one form of distraction. Any activity that draws a driver’s eyes or attention away from the road could cause dangerous inattention. Some common distractions that lead to truck accidents in Greeley include:
- Personal grooming, such as putting on makeup
- Adjusting the sound system
- Conversing with passengers
Truckers are especially prone to distraction because they work long and tedious hours. A Department of Transportation rule bans commercial drivers engaged in interstate commerce from texting while operating their trucks. Drivers who disobey the ban could have their commercial driving licenses restricted or rescinded.
Distracted Driving is Negligent
Whether a driver is distracted by their cell phone or some other activity, failing to be attentive to the road and surroundings is negligent behavior. When someone is not using reasonable care to prevent injuries to others, this is known as negligence.
Truck drivers have a greater duty to keep others on the road safe than regular motorists. Truck drivers are negligent if they fail to use the utmost care when operating their vehicles. If they were violating the state and federal laws against cell phone use while driving, that is proof of negligence. Any other proof that the driver was engaging in another activity or task while operating their truck could be evidence that the driver was negligent.
Any injured person seeking damages in a lawsuit must prove another party was negligent. A Greeley attorney could collect evidence regarding the trucker’s activities in the minutes before the crash to identify negligent acts or omissions that led to the accident.
Damages in a Distracted Trucker Case
When negligence causes someone an injury, the negligent party is responsible for paying compensation, or damages, to the injured party. Damages should cover all the losses the individual experienced due to the accident.
Damages usually include medical expenses and costs relating to medical care, reimbursement for diminished income, and payments to cover any future injury-related medical care and long-term reduction in earning potential, if applicable. Damages also provide compensation for pain, suffering, disability, scarring, and other non-economic impacts.
In some cases, additional compensation known as “punitive damages” could be available. Punitive damages can come into play when the negligent party acts with complete disregard for others’ welfare. If a Greeley attorney could present evidence that a truck driver was texting or intentionally engaging in a distracting activity while operating the vehicle, a jury might find that the behavior was so egregious it merits punitive damages. Colorado law restricts punitive damages to no more than the total of the injured person’s compensatory damages.
Rely on a Greeley Attorney After a Distracted Trucker Crash
Truck drivers know that they must pay close attention to their surroundings but still engage in distracting activities. If an inattentive truck driver caused an accident that injured you, seeking compensation is your right.
Talk to a local personal injury attorney after a distracted driving truck accident in Greeley. With the help of a capable legal professional, you could get compensation for your losses and hold the trucking company accountable. Get in touch with our office today to discuss your case with a dedicated member of our team.