Big rigs, semi-trucks, and 18-wheelers when mishandled are rolling disasters waiting to happen. These vehicles are a force on the road. Truck accidents cause serious injuries or death to occupants of passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and bike riders. The cause of the accident is almost always somebody’s negligence. Persons who have suffered injuries in a trucking crash, or lost a loved one in a truck accident, may be entitled to compensation.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Driver negligence is the main cause of truck crashes. The sheer weight and size of big trucks is the reason that truck accidents are deadly. A truck takes a lot longer to stop. An out of control truck can cause mayhem. The mistakes of truck drivers come in many different forms, including:
- Driver fatigue and falling asleep behind the wheel
- Driver inattention and distraction
- Driver drug and alcohol use
- Careless driving, including speeding and following too closely
- Illegal truck maneuvers, including improper lane changes
- Inadequate driver training
There can be other causes for a truck crash as well:
- Unsafe cargo loading
- Defective or worn out equipment
- Improper maintenance and repair
- Violations of federal and state regulations
- Negligent hiring of the truck driver
Who Pays For A Truck Accident – Who is at Fault?
Often multiple parties are legally liable in a truck crash. In that case, compensation may be available from one or more of the following:
- Truck driver
- Truck driver’s employer
- Truck owner or leasing company
- Maintenance or repair company
- Truck or equipment manufacturer
- Cargo loading company
Figuring out all the persons and companies who are responsible for a truck accident can be complicated. Companies may be located out-of-state. More than one big insurance company may be involved. Medical payers want to get repaid via subrogation. Multiple issues can arise and delay or prevent you from getting a fair recovery.
Government regulation is also very important in these matters. The federal and Washington State governments regulate the trucking industry. Many of the regulations are safety-related. If a trucker or trucking company violates any regulation, that violation can provide the basis for liability. Violations are determined through detailed investigation and analysis of the circumstances of the accident. Working with the Department of Transportation and knowing applicable regulations is helpful.
What About Insurance Companies?
Insurance companies are big players in almost all trucking injuries.
- Insurers for trucking companies have an army of attorneys and seasoned claims managers ready to do battle.
- Your own insurance company should be helpful
- For more information see:
Compensation for Truck Crash Victims – How Much Will You Get? What is Fair?
If you received serious injuries in a truck crash, and that crash was the trucker’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages to include:
- Medical and hospital costs
- Future medical treatment costs
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Permanent injuries and disability
If you lost a family member in a trucking accident caused by negligence, the personal representative of the estate may be able to file a wrongful death action. These lawsuits provide compensation for specific beneficiaries of the deceased person. Money can be recovered for:
- Medical costs and pain and suffering prior to death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Beneficiary compensation for lost financial support, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship and care
Securing fair payment for a truck crash can be a challenge. Trucker’s insurance companies are full of seasoned investigators and aggressive lawyers. They have no plans to pay you what you deserve. If an adjuster calls you, choose your words carefully or tell that person to talk with your Seattle truck accident lawyer.
Time Deadlines – The Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents
The Statute of Limitations is a deadline by which you must settle or file a lawsuit. Miss the deadline and you lose your claim. Washington State has a three year Statute of Limitations for negligence. There are other deadlines for other situations. Consult with a truck accident lawyer about your deadlines. File or settle your case before it’s too late.
Why You Will Benefit from a Good Lawyer for a Seattle Area Trucking Accident
Truck accidents are more complicated than passenger vehicle accidents. You will benefit if you have a Washington truck accident lawyer to pursue your claim for compensation. Here’s what your Washington truck accident attorney can do for you:
- Accurately determine the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries or for your family member’s death, both economic and non-economic
- Collect all the available information about the accident, including data from the truck’s “black box” and the driver’s logs
- Investigate and evaluate the accident and determine the causes, using expert witness’ when necessary
- Determine applicable federal and state laws and regulations
- Pinpoint all the violations of laws and regulations that occurred
- Identify all the potentially liable parties and where their operations are headquartered
- Compile information about the insurance companies that are involved
- Contact the insurance companies and make a claim on your behalf
- Negotiate aggressively with the lawyers for all the insurance companies
- Address insurance subrogation issues that arise
- File a lawsuit against the responsible parties if you are not offered a settlement that compensates you fairly for all your losses
Serious Truck Accident Claims are Worth More with a Truck Accident Lawyer in Seattle.
- Not because lawyers are cheap, but rather because insurance companies are cheap and don’t want to pay you for what you have lost.
- Most of a good recovery is worth more than no recovery at all.
- Contingent fees make getting a good Seattle truck accident attorney possible.