Any personal injury lawyer Pasco, WA residents trust will tell you that truck accidents are a major problem on our state’s roads and highways. Washington is a major transportation hub along the West Coast, and large semi-trucks are constantly delivering goods within Washington and/or traveling to other states and Canada.
While these trucks perform crucial and beneficial services, they are also responsible for some of the worst motor vehicle accidents. Nationally, more than 4,000 people are killed each year in crashes with trucks. Tens of thousands more are injured. In the vast majority of cases, the victims who suffer injury and death are the occupants of the smaller vehicles.
Statistics show that there are nearly half a million truck accidents each year in the U.S. What causes all these accidents, and who can be held liable after an injurious or fatal crash? Although there are common causes of truck accidents, liability questions are unique to each specific case. As a result, it’s important to connect with the experienced Pasco, WA personal injury lawyer team at Telaré Law as soon as you can after a crash occurs so that we can help to protect your rights and to walk you through your legal options.
Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer In Pasco, WA
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck drivers are not always at fault in crashes between trucks and smaller vehicles. But when are to blame, causes and contributing factors include:
- Inattentive and distracted driving
- Fatigue caused by driving for too many hours (in violation of national regulations)
- Fatigue caused by untreated sleep apnea and other medical conditions
- Faulty brakes and other equipment that is in disrepair
- Cargo that is either unsecured or unevenly distributed (causing weight imbalance)
- Alcohol and drug impairment
- Speeding and aggressive driving
Who Can Be Held Liable for Truck Accidents?
In cases where the truck driver caused the accident, he or she is unlikely to be the only defendant in a lawsuit. Many drivers work for trucking companies who own the equipment and hire the drivers. As such, trucking companies are responsible for regularly inspecting and repairing their trucks and for hiring/training/monitoring responsible truck drivers. In many cases, a lawsuit may be filed against a truck driver and/or against their employer.
Second, commercial trucks are required to carry commercial insurance policies. This is critical, since injuries and deaths from trucking accidents can total millions of dollars in damages (which trucking companies rarely have in reserve). Nearly any accident involving a commercial trucking company will include the company’s insurer.
Finally, a truck accident may also involve other defendants unconnected to the driver, company or insurer. If drivers of other cars were driving recklessly and contributed to the accident or your injuries in any way, you may also be able to name those drivers as defendants in the lawsuit.
Telaré Law Can Help You
Following a truck accident, you might be in physical pain and suffering from emotional distress. Your life may be forever changed. To make matters worse, you may be facing thousands of dollars in medical bills. Bill collectors might be asking you for payment, and you’ll also be expected to cover all of your co-pays. Finally, working might be impossible. Now you are nearing a financial downfall, and you’re unsure about what you are going to do. As a personal injury lawyer Pasco, Washington has to offer, we know many clients who have been in this situation. We know what you are going through and are ready to provide you with the legal assistance you are looking for.
If negligence caused you to be harmed, let us hold the liable party responsible. Call our firm now.
What You Should and Should Not Do Following a Truck Accident
Big trucks can weigh thousands of pounds, and when they are loaded, their weight can be 40,000 – 60,000 pounds. When these vehicles impact with a family car, the results can be devastating.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, our Pasco, Washington personal injury lawyers would like to offer you some basic advice regarding things you should or should not do.
- Call 911
- Get medical help
- Take as many photos of the scene as possible (if you can do so)
- Get the contact information of witnesses
- Make sure a police report has been filed
- Do your best to remain calm
- Follow all of your doctor’s orders
- Be sure to complete your treatment
- Reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Pasco, Washington
- Hesitate or delay in getting medical attention
- Wait to see how things unfold
- Accept fault or blame
- Apologize for what happened
- Talk with the insurance company before you talk with a lawyer
- Accept a settlement from the insurance company
- Accept an under the table offer from the liable party
- Sign any documents from the insurance company
- Talk about what happened on social media
It should be noted that you will very likely be unable to do many of the things above. For example, getting photos of the scene may not be possible. This is okay. What is most important is that you get medical care. Once you have done so, you are encouraged to call a personal injury lawyer to learn more. A lawyer can investigate what happened, gather the necessary documents, and build a supportive case.
Can A Police Report Affect My Truck Accident Claim?
It is very common for the occupant of a vehicle to blame the driver of a truck for causing the collision. Furthermore, these people tend to expect police to back up their assumption of liability, and include this opinion in the police report. This does not always happen.
Understanding Police Accident Reports
Police officers are assigned to a number of duties. One of these is to protect the people. Naturally, these officials are generally more concerned about criminal activity over civil litigation matters. This can result in police reports that lack details or are inaccurate. If you believe this is true for your case, and the odds of recovering compensation are largely on the police report, there could be possible.
A personal injury lawyer in Pasco, WA will need to review your police report. Even if it is inaccurate, it will be needed. Keep in mind that it is not the duty of a police officer to ensure a reports’ accuracy. Nor is it their job to determine whether you can recover compensation.
The Point of a Police Report
When a truck accident occurs, police should be called to the scene. If the accident happened on private property, it is possible that you will have to specifically ask for police to come. Once they arrive, they may call for medical help, if it has not already been done. They may also take photographs and measurements of the scene. Witness statements may also be taken, as well as a driver statement. Using this information, a police report will be drafted. Finally, in the report, the opinion regarding what happened, from the police officer’s point of view, may be included.
Any insurance company involved will review this report to get a better idea of what happened. This is not the only document used; however, if the police report says you are liable, an insurance adjuster may be more likely to refer to it.
Why Are Police Reports Used In Civil Cases?
Sometimes a truck accident is not serious enough to give way to a private investigation. In this case, the police report may be referred to. Any good Pasco, WA personal injury lawyer will know that a report might not be completely accurate. That said, it can affect your case.
If the police officer wrote that you are at fault, the insurance company may refuse to offer you a settlement, or encourage you to accept, what is, a low-ball settlement immediately. Just because a report says you are at fault, does not mean it is true. A lawyer should be ready to investigate the case and verify whether or not the officers’ opinion was correct.
Police officers do make mistakes. They are only human, and they are very busy. If you feel that your accident police report is inaccurate in any way, or biased, you should talk with a personal injury lawyer in Pasco, WA to review and investigate it.
How Telaré Law Can Help You
When you choose Telaré Law, please know your case will be in good hands. Our efforts are considerable. Some of them include:
- Investigating what happened
- Rebuilding the scene
- Getting a sworn statement from the witnesses
- Calling upon expert witnesses
- Reviewing the police reports
- Managing communications with the insurance company
- Arranging a medical lien on your behalf
If you would like to learn more about Telaré Law, and how we can help victims of truck accidents, call our Pasco, WA personal injury lawyer.
When Do I Call a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have been involved in a serious accident, you may be wondering what to do next. emotions are running high, and you need to make the right decision for your recovery process. The first thing you need to do is seek the care of a medical professional. Then, you may want to reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Pasco, WA, such as an attorney from Telare Law. What are a few examples of situations where you might want to call a personal injury lawyer?
After a Car Accident
The first situation where you might want to call a personal injury lawyer is following a motor vehicle accident. Even if you think the accident was minor, you still need to visit a doctor to make sure any injuries are properly diagnosed. Just because you feel fine now doesn’t mean you haven’t sustained any injuries. After you see a doctor, you should talk to a lawyer about your car accident.
After an Accident in the Workplace
You probably don’t expect to get hurt when you go to work in the morning, but an accident can happen at any time. If you have sustained injuries due to a workplace accident, you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer in Pasco, WA. You might have suffered serious injuries, and you may not be able to return to work right away. A personal injury attorney can help you with the recovery process.
After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you have slipped and fallen, you may have suffered a serious injury. You may have broken your arm or wrist, and you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury. A slip and fall accident can be serious, and you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Then, you should talk to a personal injury attorney about the circumstances of the accident. You might be entitled to compensation that can cover your medical expenses.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney Who Can Help You
There are countless situations where you might want to call a personal injury attorney. If you have been involved in an accident that has led to physical injuries, you need to rely on a lawyer who can help you. After you seek medical care, you may want to talk to a personal injury lawyer in Pasco, WA, such as an attorney from Telare Law. Make sure your rights are defended.
Discuss Your Case With a Personal Injury Lawyer Pasco, WA, Relies On
Telaré Law is pleased to offer free initial consultations to prospective personal injury clients. If you’ve been seriously injured in a commercial truck crash, we can help you seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Similarly, if you’ve lost someone you loved in a truck accident, we are ready to represent you in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact us today to get started with a free consultation. Our Pasco, WA personal injury lawyer team looks forward to speaking to you at this challenging time.