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Truck accident fatalities increase for third year in a row

If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you know that it can result in minor or serious injuries and property damage. However, when a large vehicle like a truck is involved, the stakes are much higher, as the likelihood of serious injury increases significantly. Additionally, it is much more probable that the accident results in a fatality.

Unfortunately, truck accidents are now killing more people than in the past, according to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The report found that the number of people killed in truck accidents increased 3.7 percent during 2012, which is the most recent year that data is available. This is the third consecutive year that this number has increased.

Although truck accidents are caused by many reasons, a significant number are caused by the negligence of the driver or trucking company. In some instances, the driver may be fatigued due to his or her failure to get the required amount of sleep under federal law. In other instances, the accident may have been caused by improper loading of the truck, maintenance issues, or drug and alcohol use.

If you have lost a spouse or loved one due to the negligence of a truck driver, you may find yourself facing unexpected expenses and losses (e.g. medical and funeral expenses) in addition to emotional pain. Fortunately, under Colorado law, you have the right to seek recovery of these expenses and losses from the negligent driver or trucking company in a wrongful death lawsuit.

In Colorado, a wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the carelessness, neglect or negligence or another person, company or governmental entity. Under the law, losses suffered by the decedent's spouse, heirs and parents (in some cases) may be recovered. Colorado law allows the recovery of both economic and noneconomic losses such as:

  • Loss of the decedent's income
  • Medical bills
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of services of decedent
  • Pain and suffering, emotional loss, and loss of companionship (limited to $250,000)
  • Punitive damages, if responsible party's conduct was especially reckless, willful or wanton.

Consult an attorney

Although it will not bring your loved one back, wrongful death lawsuits can help you move on with your life by making you financially whole. If a loved one has been killed in a car or truck accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can investigate the circumstances of the accident, determine whether negligence was responsible and work to protect your right to compensation under the law.

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