Legally? No. Realistically? Yes, you do. Truck accidents are much more difficult cases than car accidents and other types of personal injury accidents for many reasons. Commercial truck accidents are often more deadly than other types of accidents. There are many federal and state rules that regulate the safe operation of trucks and the qualifications of the drivers. There are many more different types of truck accidents than car accidents. Most truck accident cases have multiple defendants. Trucking companies can afford some of the best defense lawyers. You need an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side, too.
Why are truck accidents so catastrophic?
Truck crashes are often more fatal and cause more serious injuries such as head trauma and spinal cord damage than other vehicle accidents – because trucks are heavier, longer, taller, and wider than other vehicles. When a truck collides with a car, the car takes most of the force of the collision.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, trucks generally weigh 20-30 times more than a passenger car. A fully loaded tractor-trailer needs 20-40 percent more stopping distance than a car. The ability to stop becomes much worse when trucks try to stop on wet or slippery roads.
More than 4,000 people died in large truck crashes in 2020. Only 15 percent of those victims were occupants of the truck. Sixty-eight percent of the victims were occupants of passenger vehicles. Sixteen percent of the truck accident victims were motorcyclists, pedestrians, or bicyclists.
Understanding the federal trucking laws
Skilled Kennewick truck accident lawyers understand the federal laws that regulate commercial trucking, such as the hours of service rules required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the loading and unloading rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Generally, truck drivers can drive no more than 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours. Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving for eight cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. Truck drivers may not drive more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days, and 70 hours in eight consecutive days.
Trucking companies and businesses need to load their trucks carefully. Trucks that aren’t loaded properly can cause the driver to lose control of the truck. In dangerous cases, the truck cargo can spill onto the highway, endangering the lives of everyone nearby.
Drivers of commercial trucks are also required to have a state-authorized commercial driver’s license (CDL).
What type of truck accident claim should I file?
Our experienced Kennewick truck accident lawyers work with investigators and truck accident professionals when any type of truck accident happens. Many truck accidents occur the same way that car accidents do. Common examples include head-on crashes, broadsides, rear-end collisions, single-vehicle crashes, and multiple vehicle crashes.
Our truck accident lawyers are also skilled at handling accidents that are unique to trucks. These include truck rollovers, jackknifes, wide-turn accidents, accidents due to blind spots, underride accidents, and overpass accidents.
Our lawyers are skilled at collecting the necessary evidence when truck accidents happen including examining any log information that records the driver’s route and travel times and examining any black boxes on the truck. We review all maintenance and repair records. Our lawyers also work with product safety experts when a defective truck part causes a truck accident. Truck accidents may occur due to a defective hydraulic system, electrical system, tires, brakes, seatbelts, and other parts of the truck.
Skilled truck accident lawyers file different types of claims depending on how the accident happened. The different types include:
- Personal injury claims – Generally asserting that the defendants were negligent.
- Product liability claims – Generally asserting that a defective truck part caused the accident.
- Breach of warranty claims – Generally asserting that the truck accident happened due to the breach of express or implied warranties made by the manufacturer and seller.
- Wrongful death claims – These are filed when a loved one tragically dies due to a truck accident. We seek wrongful death damages for the surviving family members.
Fighting for victims of truck accidents in Kennewick
Our lawyers fight for truck accident victims in many different ways:
- We work with professionals to determine how the accident happened and who is responsible.
- We file the correct claims in the correct courts.
- We work with your doctors and our own network of doctors to fully understand and verify what injuries you have, the severity of the issues, the type of medical care you need, and every way the injuries are impacting your life.
- We guide you through each stage of the litigation process.
One of the main challenges in a truck accident is determining who is responsible. Our lawyers file claims against all liable parties. In addition to the driver, the following defendants may be responsible for your trucking accident:
- The owner of the truck – if the owner is different than the driver.
- The trucking company that requested the shipment.
- The broker that arranged to match the shipping company with a truck driver.
- The company that receives the shipment.
- The manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of any defective truck parts.
- A seller of alcohol, if the driver was served while visibly intoxicated and then caused the truck accident due to the intoxication.
- The Washington Department of Transportation or other state entities, if their failure to design the roads properly or maintain the roads properly – including closing roads in bad weather – contributed to the accident.
Our Kennewick truck accident lawyers are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies and trying cases before judges and juries.
Compensation for your injuries after a truck accident
Many truck accident victims suffer catastrophic injuries, permanent injuries, and serious injuries. These injuries include traumatic brain injuries, traumatic amputation, spinal cord damage and paralysis, fractures, burn injuries, nerve damage, and many other types of injuries.
We demand compensation for all your damages – current and future – including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of function
- Loss of life’s pleasures
- Loss of consortium
Speak with an experienced Kennewick truck accident lawyer today. At Telaré Law, our truck accident attorneys are respected by former clients, truck accident insurers, and defense lawyers for our dedication to our clients and our strong record of impressive settlements and verdicts. We’re local lawyers who get statewide results.
We have offices in Kennewick and Richland, and serve Pasco, Walla Walla, the Tri-Cities, and all of Southeast Washington. Truck accident victims and families can call 509.737.8500 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.