Washington Truck Accident Lawyer
Every day, you share the road with many different types of commercial trucks. Utility vans, dump trucks, public service vehicles like fire trucks, and tractor trailers all dot our highways, transporting goods and the tools to perform services across our nation. These trucks are much larger than your passenger vehicle and because of this, can cause substantial damage to your vehicle and injure you severely if you are involved in a collision with one.
Take the time to educate yourself about your rights as an injury victim before you are involved in a truck accident. If your accident was caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your damages suffered as a result of the accident.
How are Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
Although truck accidents can be caused by the same types of negligence that lead to car accidents, there are a few key issues that separate truck and car accidents. These are:
- The weight and power of commercial trucks. A tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
- Because of this, trucks are capable of a much greater amount of destruction in collisions;
Because of their size, trucks need a greater distance to come to a complete stop and have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles; and
- Certain types of accidents are unique to tractor trailers. These include jackknifing, which occurs when a driver loses control of a truck’s trailer and it swings into a V shape, potentially colliding with vehicles or crushing those caught between the tractor and the trailer. An overloaded trailer can also become detached from its tractor and create a collision hazard.
Another difference between truck and car accidents is how the victim may seek compensation for his or her damages. In an accident between two or more passenger vehicles, the victim may file a personal injury claim with the negligent driver’s automobile insurance provider. When a commercial truck driver’s negligence causes a driver to suffer an injury, the insurance provider with which the victim may file his or her claim depends on whether the truck driver is an owner operator or an employee of one specific company. If he or she is an owner operator, the victim must file a personal injury claim with the truck driver’s motor carrier insurance provider. If the truck driver is an employee, the victim must file his or her claim with the truck driver’s employer’s insurance provider.
Injuries A Truck Accident Victim Can Suffer
In a collision with a truck, the driver or passenger of a smaller vehicle can suffer any of the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Organ or tissue damage;
- Spinal cord injuries; and
These injuries can lead to severe complications for a victim, such as excessive bleeding, permanent scarring, mental health issues following a physical injury, paralysis, and death.
If you are Involved in a Truck Accident
If you or anybody else needs immediate medical attention, call 911 to have an ambulance sent to the scene. If it is safe to do so, pull off the road to a safe spot.
Call the local police to have an officer sent to the scene. The officer will fill out the official police report for your accident, which you can use to support your personal injury claim later. Be sure to take down the officer’s badge number and contact information before leaving the scene so you can contact him or her if necessary.
Take as many photographs of the accident as you feel are needed to convey what happened and how. Before leaving the scene, exchange contact and insurance information with the truck driver and if there were any witnesses to the accident, take down their contact information as well.
Seeking Compensation for Damages Following a Truck Accident
Through a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Your medical expenses. This includes hospitalization, doctor appointments, medication, and any other expenses related to your diagnosis and treatment;
- Your lost wages due to spending time out of work to recover. This can also include bonuses and benefits lost; and
- Pain and suffering damages. This category covers any damages that do not fall into the categories listed above. It includes the need for psychological counseling to work through emotional trauma, the need for a mobility aid, and any other expenses that you incur through your injury.
When you file a personal injury claim with a truck driver’s insurance provider, you must provide evidence to demonstrate that the following occurred:
- The truck driver failed to uphold his or her duty to operate the truck in a safe manner to reasonably prevent harm to others and this failure directly caused your accident to occur;
- Because of the accident, you suffered a physical injury; and
- Because of your injury, you suffered specific damages as listed above.
Your lawyer can help you obtain and use evidence to demonstrate that these factors are true. The evidence you use to support your claim can include photographs of the accident, testimonies from witnesses to the accident, the official police report for the accident, your pay stubs, and your medical bills. Other pieces of evidence your lawyer might obtain to support your claim can be a phone log showing that the truck driver was using his or her cell phone while driving, causing your accident or a digital rendering of the accident from an accident reconstruction specialist.
Work with an Experienced Washington Truck Accident Lawyer
If you are involved in a collision with a commercial truck anywhere in Washington, seek medical attention for your injury as soon as possible to ensure that it is diagnosed properly and that you receive the treatment you need. Then, contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Khan Injury Law PLLC to schedule your free legal consultation in our office. We can answer your questions and advise you about the next steps to take with your truck accident claim.