Seattle Truck Accident Lawyer
Tractor-trailers and commercial trucks are the largest vehicles on the road and inherently more dangerous than other vehicles. Therefore, truck drivers and the companies managing them have a higher duty of care than private individual drivers. If you or a loved one recently suffered damages from an accident in the Seattle area, the Seattle truck accident attorneys at Washington Injury Law can help you determine your legal options for recovery. Contact us today to schedule a case review with a Seattle personal injury attorney and find out what kind of compensation you could see from a successful lawsuit.
Why Work With a Washington Injury Law Attorney?
If you need an attorney for a truck accident in Seattle claim, it is crucial to find one that helps you approach your lawsuit with confidence. The Seattle accident attorneys at Washington Injury Law have the tools and experience to help maximize your recovery.
- Washington Injury Law has extensive experience with all types of personal injury cases in Washington.
- Our compassionate Seattle personal injury attorneys will work closely with you to explore every avenue of compensation and maximize your recovery.
- We will strive for a speedy and fair settlement but are not afraid of going to trial on your behalf if necessary.
- Our firm offers contingency fee agreements with every case. A contingency fee means you only pay legal fees when we win your case, and there are no up-front costs for our legal services.
Finding the right truck accident attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of any personal injury claim.
Seattle Truck Accident Statistics
- In 2018, 4,951 people died as a result of a truck accident. This number has increased by 46% since 2009.
- More than half of the fatal truck accidents in 2018 happened on rural roads.
- 64% of truck crashes happen during daylight hours.
- The peak month for truck accidents is October, with April having the fewest number of crashes.
How Our Seattle Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
A truck accident has a high chance of involving substantial damages, and liability is not always clear in these cases. Your Seattle accident attorney will review the evidence available in your case and gather more if necessary. Your attorney can also handle correspondence with insurance companies on your behalf, helping you avoid the tactics many claims adjusters use to undervalue or deny legitimate claims. We can also help you manage personal affairs and provide you with consistent updates while you wait for a settlement or jury verdict.
You may believe that liability is clear in your case and you could save money by representing your own interests instead of hiring a Seattle personal injury attorney. While in rare cases some individuals have successfully done so, the average person will not have the time or energy to devote to such an issue after suffering damages in a truck accident. Hiring an accident attorney from Washington Injury Law means your legal affairs are in safe hands while you focus on your recovery.
How Soon Should I File a Truck Accident Claim in Seattle?
Time is a critical factor in any legal situation. In Washington state, personal injury claims fall under a three-year statute of limitations for filing lawsuits, starting on the date an accident occurred. You must file your complaint within this time period, or the defendant named in your complaint can simply file a motion to dismiss, which the judge hearing the case will likely grant.
If your accident resulted in injuries such as brain injuries, burn injuries, or spinal cord injuries, you need to report it as soon as possible and seek immediate medical care, even if you think you only sustained minor injuries. Any delays in seeking treatment will reflect poorly on you, possibly causing an insurance claims adjuster or jury to doubt the seriousness of your injuries. Taking swift and appropriate action afterward increases your chance of securing compensation for your damages, preserves the integrity of your case in the eyes of insurance carriers and jurors, and ultimately speeds your recovery.
How Much Does a Seattle Truck Accident Attorney Charge?
The high cost of legal representation is an unfortunate barrier for many people who need legal counsel after suffering injuries. Many attorneys charge by the hour, and it is not uncommon for a plaintiff’s legal fees to exceed his or her compensation when working with such an attorney. At Washington Injury Law, we believe the cost of legal fees should not deter you from seeking legal representation when you need it the most. We take every case on a contingency fee agreement.
A contingency fee means you pay nothing in legal fees unless we win your case. We also promise no up-front charges for any legal services we provide. Our Seattle truck accident lawyers want to help you maximize your recovery after a truck accident, not nickel and dime you for every bit of work we do on your behalf.
Trucking Laws and Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a government oversight agency responsible for the United States’ trucking industry. The FMCSA sets rules and guidelines for trucking companies and their drivers to ensure safety and minimize accidents. The FMCSA also collects and analyzes truck accident data to refine their policies and create more functional rules for truckers.
The FMCSA sets strict hours of service rules for the trucking industry to ensure drivers do not spend too much time behind the wheel without adequate rest. Truck drivers who push themselves too far to meet deadlines significantly increase their risk of having accidents.
The trucking industry must also follow federal regulations for the safe transportation of cargo, especially certain cargo types that require special safety devices or specially-designed trailers. Trucking companies must ensure to properly vet and train their drivers, and any company responsible for loading a large truck for transport must follow FMCSA rules to ensure a safely balanced and secured load.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Seattle
Truck accidents happen for many reasons.
- Driver error can cause a truck accident just like any other vehicle accident. Failure to pay attention to the road, over-correcting steering, speeding, or distraction can easily cause a truck accident.
- Driving under the influence is always dangerous, but the potential for severe injuries and fatalities increases significantly when an accident involves a tractor-trailer. Alcohol diminishes reaction time and impairs judgment while also increasing the likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel.
- Vehicle malfunctions can also cause truck accidents. A defective vehicle or part could cause an accident, implicating the manufacturer. Poor maintenance may lead to a serious accident and implicate the trucking company or service provider responsible for the vehicle’s care and maintenance.
- Road damage may also cause a truck accident, and the government entity responsible for the road on which the accident occurred will be liable for the resulting damages. However, pursuing a civil claim against a government entity is very different than taking legal action against a private individual, and some government agencies have immunity from civil claims.
- Third parties can cause accidents by driving aggressively, following too close behind a large truck with a driver who cannot see them or swerving around tractor-trailers causing drivers to react suddenly.
- Inclement weather also increases the chances of an accident. Drivers should use extra caution when driving through storms or any other severe weather, and trucks are highly susceptible to strong winds when their trailers are empty and vulnerable to strong forces from the sides.
Types of Truck Accidents in Seattle
These types of accidents may only involve the truck itself if the driver was distracted, was under the influence, driving through a remote area, or made some error that caused the truck to veer off the road. In these cases, liability could fall to the driver, the driver’s employer, the trucking company or another party depending on what caused the accident.
A semi-truck that tips over a curve could potentially fall into an adjacent lane of traffic and cause catastrophic damage to any other vehicles nearby. In some cases, a truck’s trailer will swing out to one side in a jackknife, causing the cab and trailer to form a “V” or “L” shape covering multiple lanes. Several other drivers could potentially suffer damages from such an event.
Some truck accidents happen due to poor cargo handling practices. If a distributor or loading company fails to pack a trailer correctly the vehicle could be imbalanced. Since tractor-trailers have higher centers of gravity than typical passenger cars this imbalance can be incredibly dangerous on the road, causing the trailer to tip over around a curve.
Damages Available in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
The plaintiff in a trucking accident lawsuit can claim compensation from the truck company or insurance company for any and all damages resulting from the accident.
- Medical expenses including immediate treatment costs and expected long-term treatment costs usually form a large portion of a plaintiff’s economic damages in a claim. A plaintiff can claim compensation for hospital bills, physical therapy costs, counseling fees, and any other expenses related to the necessary medical care.
- The injuries a driver suffers may prevent him or her from working for an extended time during recovery. The plaintiff can claim compensation for wages lost in this manner as well as lost future earnings if a severe injury causes a disability that prevents him or her from working in the future or returning to his or her previous job.
- An injured driver can also claim compensation for vehicle damage or replacement costs that insurance cannot cover.
- Plaintiffs can receive compensation for their physical pain and mental suffering resulting from the truck accident. Proving the extent of intangible damages like these generally requires expert witness testimony, but the potential recovery amount can be quite substantial. This is especially true when a truck accident causes a permanent injury or disability.
- In rare cases, a jury may award punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior involved egregious negligence, criminal behavior, or reckless disregard for the safety of others.
The plaintiffs may face significant damages, but the potential recovery can be substantial with the right attorney.
Contact A Seattle Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries and economic damages from a truck accident in the Washington state area, we want to hear from you. The attorneys at Washington Injury Law have the resources and experience to help you recover after a devastating accident, and we make the process as painless and straightforward as possible by leveraging our experience and skill. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation with a Seattle truck accident attorney and learn more about your options for legal recourse after a truck accident.