Proven Olympia Truck Accident Attorneys Ready to Assist You
There’s never a dull moment in Olympia, where town-wide events happen almost every weekend. Ours is a town that makes “hand-crafted” a calling and a way of life. And we hold many events that allow our artists – from culinary to canvas – to showcase their talents for residents and visitors alike.
But whether you are simply on your way to work or enjoying a weekend trip to one of our brew fests or art walks, truck crash accidents can happen. And if you or a loved one were involved in a semi-truck accident, your life can change in an instant. And if that should ever happen, we want you to know that the Olympia truck accident lawyers at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner PLLC stand ready to assist you in every way that we can. Our goal is to help you put your life back in order after a tragedy occurs.
What Makes Commercial Trucks So Dangerous?
In two words: size and physics.
The average size of a commercial truck on the road, including cargo, is about 70,000 pounds. Compare that to the average weight of a passenger vehicle, which is about 3,000 pounds, and you can see the problem right away.
Add to that the tendency of trucks to jackknife, and the fact that these trucks have enormous blind spots that cover most of the rear right and left corner as well as directly behind the truck, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
How Is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident Case?
A professional will take many things into consideration when assessing fault in a truck accident case. They will look at police reports of the accident and speak to any witnesses that are listed in the report to get their perception of what happened. Photographs of the accident before anything was moved are also very helpful, so if you are not too injured after the truck collision, try to remember to take some photos.
An experienced Olympia truck accident attorney will also investigate the truck driver that was involved as well as the company they work for. The driver may have a bad driving history or been involved in more than one other crash where they were at fault. Furthermore, your lawyer will look at the relationship between the company and the driver. Is this employment relationship one of the actual employees or independent contractors? This is a critical question, and not as easily answered as you might think. There are some grey areas that need to be addressed so that it can be ascertained whether or not the trucking company, as well as the driver, can be held liable for your injuries. For instance:
- Was there an electronic, on-board recorder going at the time of the crash? If so, an experienced attorney will get it and review it in detail.
- How was the driver trained?
- How long were they trained?
- What is the company policy for the length of time a driver can drive before they must rest?
- Was this rest minimum reached in this case, or was the driver driving drowsy?
- Worse yet, was the driver in any way compromised – like drugs or alcohol?
- Is the driver considered a legal agent of the company – so that they are responsible for his actions while on duty?
- Were the trucks and their cargo fully secured?
- Were there any regulations that weren’t followed? (e.g., was the weight of the cargo over the safe limit?)
- Was the vehicle maintained properly by the trucking company?
- And many other questions may become quite important, depending on the facts of the case.
The Insurance Company Is Calling. Should I Speak to Them?
In a word: No. Please don’t. The voice on the other end of the phone may sound sweet, sympathetic, and ready and willing to “help” – but never let that disguise fool you. Insurance adjusters really have one basic job, and that is to save the company money in every possible way that they can. And that means they must seek to pay out as little as possible for each claim filed, including yours.
And how do they do this? Well, first of all, they hope that claimants will not be educated on how important it is to have a lawyer. They are hoping that you choose to “go it alone” because it gives them the opportunity to work on you. First, they will have conversations with you where they get you to say things that will hurt your case – should it ever see a courtroom. They are trained in methods to get a claimant to accept responsibility for the crash when they really have none, and in ways to get you to take their initial, low-ball offer and get the case off their desk. Seek help from knowledgeable Olympia truck accident lawyers who can guide you through your case.
Safety Regulations Can Impact Your Truck Accident Case
Hundreds of truck accidents occur in Washington state every year. There are numerous laws governing truck driving in Washington state, but they are not always enough to keep all parties safe on the road. Further, if a safety error on your part caused your accident, it may change how much money you can recover.
In Washington, drivers are subject to laws regarding how long they may be on the road at one time. These laws are designed to make sure that the drivers get adequate rest and can drive as safely as possible. Currently, drivers are limited to 12 hours of driving after 8 hours of not driving.
Washington state also has drug testing. An impaired driver cannot be a safe driver. If you have been in a fatal truck accident, drug and alcohol testing is mandatory. If a CDL driver has been in an accident where people were injured, testing is also required. Therefore, if you have been in a truck accident, it is likely that you are required to test, and if you do not, you may be subject to penalties.
Washington state also has a number of laws relating to the safety of your load and how it is secured. For instance, hay bales must be secured in a certain way, hazardous loads must be handled according to regulations, and there are load weight limit requirements you must comply with. If a load issue caused your truck accident, it may impact the damages that you are entitled to.
All of the above-mentioned safety precautions are in place for a reason and can impact your recovery of financial damages in your truck accident case. Luckily, our proven Olympia truck accident lawyers can go over your case with you in a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation to determine what damages you may be entitled to.
Call Us Today
If you’ve been in a crash with a commercial truck, it is in your best interest to speak with an Olympia truck accident attorney at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner PLLC as soon as possible. Let our Olympia truck accident attorneys help you put your life back together while you do the important job of healing.
Our services are free unless we win compensation for you, so call today or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential case consultation.