Edmonds Truck Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving a semi-truck or heavy trucks are extremely serious. Thousands of these accidents occur every year. They can cause serious injuries that can permanently change how the victim lives their life. Many of these accidents are deadly and rob a family of income, love, and affection. If you or someone you love was involved in one of these catastrophic accidents, contact an Edmonds truck accident lawyer right away. You only have three years after the date of the accident to file your claim. Call us as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation. We’ll let you know if you have a valid legal claim. If you do, we’ll explain your next steps and how we can help you protect your legal rights.
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
Semi-trucks and many heavy trucks require a special license known as a CDL to drive. To get that license, a person must pass a state test. If the driver wishes to haul certain types of material, they must undergo even more specialized training and pass tests to get an endorsement for those materials. With all of the education and testing, why do truck accidents happen? Given the weather in Washington, how often does the weather play a big role?
Less than 10% of truck accidents have anything to do with the weather. The most common causes of truck accidents include distracted driving by the truck driver, speeding, fatigue, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, an improperly loaded trailer, and failure to properly maintain the truck.
Distracted driving. Distracted driving, also known as E-DUI when an electronic device is involved, makes holding cellphones, putting on makeup, or eating and driving illegal. In essence, distracted driving may be considered any action that causes the driver of any vehicle, including truck drivers, to not put their full attention onto the road. Distracted driving is particularly dangerous when we’re dealing with vehicles that can be as much as ten times heavier than a passenger vehicle.
Speeding. If there’s one very important factor about semi-trucks and heavy trucks you should know, it is that they cannot stop as fast as a passenger vehicle or truck. Since they’re heavier, it takes them longer to stop. Speeding truck drivers may not have adequate time to react if they run into a traffic jam or if another vehicle suddenly pulls out or swerves in front of them. Speeding is one of the main causes of these types of accidents.
Fatigue. Both state and federal laws determine how long a truck driver may be on the road. Yet, despite these laws, which are created to help ensure that drivers are well-rested, truck drivers may be pressured to try and meet unrealistic or unreasonable deadlines by the company they work for or by the company that contracted them to make the delivery. When a driver is overly tired, they will not react as quickly as they should. It can also inhibit their ability to measure distance.
Driving while under the influence. As a professional driver with a CDL, truck drivers have a different standard when it comes to driving while under the influence. Someone who gets behind the wheel of a passenger vehicle isn’t considered to be driving while under the influence unless their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is .08% or higher. Someone with a CDL may not have a BAC higher than .04%. Also, many prescription drugs and OTC drugs may also cause impairment.
Improperly loaded trailer. Drivers aren’t always responsible for loading and securing the trailer. When a trailer isn’t properly loaded and secured, the load may shift when the driver takes a turn or even when the driver accelerates or brakes. When the load shifts, the trailer may roll, jack knife, or propel the cab of the truck to continue to move forward causing an accident.
Failure to properly maintain the truck. Proper and regular maintenance is a necessity for semi-trucks and heavy trucks. When these vehicles aren’t maintained, the chance of an accident increases. Sometimes, the truck driver isn’t the responsible party. Other potential responsible parties include, but may not be limited to, the trucking company, the contracted maintenance company, the mechanic assigned to the vehicle, or even the manufacturer of a part.
How Can an Edmonds Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
An Edmonds truck accident lawyer can help victims and their families in several ways. We can help you determine who is at fault for an accident. Truck accidents are complex. There may be more than one person (or company) responsible for your injuries. We can help you determine who should be named as a defendant.
We can also help you with the settlement process. Settlement negotiations often take place before a lawsuit is filed. The settlement process is often less stressful, less expensive, and takes less time than a lawsuit. Yet, insurance companies and trucking companies don’t always want to take full responsibility for their actions. They may offer you less than your claim is worth. They may try to pressure you into signing a settlement agreement. We can let you know whether it’s in your best interest to sign a settlement agreement or if the negotiations process should continue. It’s important that you don’t sign anything without first having an attorney look over the document. Signing a legally binding agreement could strip you of valuable legal rights and even the ability for future medical care for your on-going injuries.
Contact Us If You Want to Learn More
If you were hurt in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, future medical care, rehabilitative care, missed time from work, permanent disfigurement, disability, pain and suffering, and more. Families who lost their loved one may also be entitled to final expenses as well as loss of companionship. If you’re ready to learn more, schedule your free consultation with an Edmonds truck accident lawyer right away.