Dedicated Truck Accident Attorneys in Washington State
Commercial truck accidents cause devastating injuries and loss of life.
In all our years as truck accident attorneys in Washington State, we see the most serious claims arise from accidents involving commercial trucks. The size and weight of the truck, compared to those of a standard passenger vehicle, means that when a crash happens, the likelihood of serious or fatal injuries increases. If you suffered injuries in a collision with a large truck, speak with a Washington truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Another aspect of commercial truck accidents is that the injured victims are often very traumatized by their experiences. Driving on freeways that are full of commercial trucks can be an excruciating experience for survivors of trucking crashes.
At Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, our greatest advantage is our extensive experience working with clients injured in commercial truck accidents. Our Washington truck accident attorneys understand what our clients will be facing as they move toward recovery. We know how to build complete and compelling personal injury claim, and how the multiple insurance companies involved in a trucking crash will respond.
Common Types of Truck Accidents in Washington
Truck accidents can be categorized into several different types. The most common ones we see include the following.
A jackknife accident occurs when a truck’s trailer swings around toward the truck cab, forming a 90-degree angle. Braking too quickly is one of the most common causes of jackknife accidents. These are especially dangerous because the truck can drift into other lanes or even into oncoming traffic, resulting in multiple injuries or fatalities.
Large trucks are prone to rollovers, which can happen in several different ways. Perhaps the driver was going too fast around a curve or over-corrected. When a rollover occurs, drivers traveling alongside the truck are at serious risk of injury because the truck can roll over onto their vehicles.
If a trucker steps on the brake too fast, the vehicle behind might not have time to stop. The vehicle can collide with the truck and become trapped underneath. Underride accidents are especially terrifying for motorists in smaller vehicles. The Department of Transportation requires trucks with trailers to have rear safety bars to help prevent underride accidents. However, there is no requirement to have the bars inspected. That means drivers may not have them installed or have ones that do not provide adequate protection.
A head-on collision with a large truck often involves one or more fatalities. Motorists who are trying to pass on one-lane roads can cause head-on crashes.
Large trucks need to swing wide when making a right turn. If a car tries to pass on the right, it can become trapped between the front and rear of the trailer.
Tire blowouts and brake failures are also common causes of truck accidents. If a tire explodes or brakes fail, the truck driver might lose control and crash into other vehicles or stationary objects.
Common Causes of Washington Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can happen for a wide variety of reasons. Common causes are:
- Distracted driving;
- Driving while fatigued;
- Driving under the influence;
- Speeding or other traffic violations;
- Mechanical issues;
- Adverse weather conditions; and
- Road hazards.
It’s common for there to be multiple contributing factors in an accident. For example, a truck driver who has been on the road too many hours could be fatigued and also speeding because they are trying to reach their delivery destination sooner.
What You Should Do Following a Truck Accident
Your actions following an accident can affect your potential compensation down the line. Start by contacting the police if no one else has. Request medical support at the scene. Depending on the severity of your injuries, if you can safely take photos of the scene, you should. Take pictures of all the vehicle and truck damage, skid marks, and any other elements in the surrounding area that could be important in the claims process.
If your injuries don’t warrant emergency transportation to the hospital, it’s crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, get checked out. You could have internal injuries that you don’t know about. Failure to seek timely medical treatment can also harm your claim because the defendant’s insurance company will allege your injuries weren’t severe.
It’s important to report the claim to the truck driver’s insurance provider and employer. However, you must be cautious of what you say. Insurance adjusters are looking for anything they can use against you. The adjuster will ask you to consent to a recorded statement. You should speak with a truck accident attorney before agreeing to give a statement.
The insurance company will also lead you to believe you don’t need an attorney early on in the claims process. Do not be persuaded by them. The defendant’s insurance company and the trucking company are not on your side. You need a legal advocate to protect your rights.
Proving Liability in a Washington Truck Accident
Proving liability in a truck accident requires a thorough investigation. To successfully prove a defendant is liable for your injuries, you must show the defendant was negligent. There are four things you must prove to show a defendant was negligent:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty;
- The defendant breached their legal duty;
- The breach is what led to your injuries; and
- You sustained damages.
All motorists owe each other a duty to drive responsibly and follow all traffic laws and regulations. When someone speeds, runs a red light, or drives under the influence, they likely have breached their legal duty. You must also show the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries.
If something unrelated to the defendant’s breach led to the accident and your injuries, that defendant might not be liable for your injuries. Your Washington truck accident attorney will explain how these factors apply to your particular case and help you gather evidence to make your liability claim stronger.
Recoverable Compensation in a Washington Truck Accident
The amount of money you can collect from a truck accident claim depends on various circumstances, such as who is liable, the severity of your injuries, and the amount of damages. Damages are the tangible and intangible losses you suffer in an accident. Examples of potential damages include:
- Medical expenses incurred to date;
- Future expected medical expenses;
- Property damage;
- Lost wages;
- Future loss of earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Disability and disfigurement;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Loss of companionship.
Victims with more severe injuries typically have more damages. An experienced lawyer can determine if your case would benefit from experts who can help you more accurately calculate your damages. If you don’t have a Washington truck accident lawyer representing your interests, you might lose out on valuable compensation.
What Does a Successful Trucking Accident Claim Look Like?
When a client is suffering from injuries caused by an at-fault truck driver, our Washington truck accident lawyers take special steps to identify the extent of their injuries and damages and to determine how the collision affects our client’s life, now and in the future.
Many injuries require long-term, costly medical care, and we ensure that this cost is fully factored into the insurance-claim process. A successful claim is one in which our client receives a settlement or verdict that enables them to fully recover financially, and compensates them for their current and future losses.
Hire a Truck Accident Law Firm in Washington State and Get the Justice and Compensation You Deserve!
As truck accident lawyers, we have achieved extraordinary results for our clients after a truck crash, including:
- $1 million for a client severely injured in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer with bad brakes;
- Largest Wrongful Death Jury Verdict in Kittitas County History; and
- $150,000 – Woman suffers serious shoulder injuries from a truck collision.
Call Your Injury & Truck Accident Lawyers Today!
If another driver’s negligence caused you injuries in a truck accident, let the skilled legal team at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner protect your legal rights. We aren’t afraid to stand up to trucking companies and their legal departments. With over 40 years of experience, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to trial if necessary and won’t back down from a fight. Schedule an initial consultation with a Washington truck accident lawyer at our firm to learn how we can assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve. Contact us today!