Our trucking accident attorneys are well versed in all types of truck accident cases. We understand that all cases, but especially accidents involving commercial trucks can be a search for the truth. The insurance company representing the trucking company will work hard to protect itself from liability. If the insurance company can shift blame from the commercial truck driver, you won’t be properly compensated. Often times truck accidents are caused by negligent truck drivers who may be overloading trucks, failing to obey traffic laws, driving for too long or have a lack of truck driving experience. Unfortunately, trucking companies hire insurance companies that work diligently to shift blame in the case of an accident. Don’t let trucking companies and their insurance providers deny you the compensation you deserve. Contact our Washington trucking accident lawyers today so we can help you file a claim against the responsible party.
An accident involving a commercial truck can be devastating. While the truck driver may be able to walk away from the accident unharmed, those in the other vehicle may not be as lucky. These accidents can be traumatic, unexpected and potentially fatal. Those involved in the truck accident typically suffer debilitating injuries and face a long, painful recovery. Truck accidents can result in extensive property damage, loss of income during recovery, medical bills and more.
Legal claims for compensation arising out of trucking accidents (i.e. accidents involving big-rigs, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, logging trucks) are much different than car accident lawsuits involving only passenger cars. While most personal injury attorneys handle auto collision lawsuits, they do not understand the special considerations, mitigating circumstances and trucking regulations that help you to win your case. It is imperative you hire an experienced and knowledgeable trucking accident lawyer.
Drivers of large trucks and trucking companies are subject to an extensive regulatory framework that covers a range of safety issues that include:
These are just a few examples of the types of special regulations imposed on the trucking industry to minimize the safety risks posed by these extremely large vehicles. Trucking companies that operate across state lines (interstate trucking) will be subject to regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Commercial carriers that operate exclusively within Washington will be subject to state regulations. Violation of these safety regulations often constitute the primary basis for liability in a trucking case, so Washington trucking accident lawyers must be thoroughly familiar with these regulations. There are other relevant laws and trucking industry practices.
Accidents involving commercial trucks can have some similarities to crashes that traditional vehicles have. There are, however, unique accident risks that are particularly common in the trucking industry.
Trucks that are parked do not generate profits, so trucking companies often utilize compensation plans that encourage drivers to ignore special regulations called “hours of service” (HOS). Hours of service rules are designed to reduce the risk of fatigue-related crashes. When drivers that are paid per mile exceed the permitted amount of time behind the wheel, the risk of a tractor-trailer collision rises dramatically.
Trucking companies and commercial drivers are also subject to strict regulations regarding vehicle inspections and maintenance. When these requirements are disregarded, brake failure, trailer hitch malfunctions, tire blowouts and other equipment-related issues can result in horrific crashes.
Trucking industry regulators have imposed special recordkeeping requirements because of the danger posed by fatigue and maintenance issues. However, these logbooks are so frequently falsified that they are disparagingly referred to as “lie books”. Trucking accident lawyers must move quickly to avoid the destruction of evidence that is vital to your truck accident case. If the appropriate steps are not taken, trucking companies might conveniently lose black box data or repair body damage to semi-trucks and logging trucks destroying evidence of the accident.
Our Washington trucking accident lawyers frequently send warning letters to trucking companies indicating that the big-rig and data stored in a big-rig’s black box must not be altered or destroyed. If the trucking company disregards this notice, we seek sanctions against the trucking company. These sanctions can include judge imposed presumptions that favor the plaintiff regarding what the destroyed evidence would have revealed.
Immediately following a crash, trucking companies and their insurance companies will launch a full-scale investigation of the scene. Both companies have detailed procedures in how to handle a trucking accident claim to limit the amount of compensation received by those who were injured in the crash.
At Washington Law Center, our truck accident lawyers work with experts directly after the crash to complement the state’s investigation. Our attorneys can assist in reviewing all available camera footage, interview witnesses, review police & accident reports; analyze medical records, and consult experts to reconstruct the accident scene.
There are a number of parties who could be at fault for your trucking accident including:
Our trucking accident attorneys have handled many logging, semi-truck, and trailer accident cases and understand what to look for to help establish liability. Our attorneys can and will investigate:
If you are involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, call Washington Law Center right away. At Washington Law Center we fight…you win.