Everyone is familiar with the large 18-wheeler trailers, delivery trucks, and oil tankers on our highways, freeways and surface streets. Many people are apprehensive about driving near one of these large vehicles, sometimes with good cause.
These commercial trucks are often part of serious collisions which result in severe personal injuries to everyone involved.
The Roles and Dangers of Commercial Trucks
Commercial trucks are designed to transport goods from business to business. In order to carry such heavy loads, these trucks are constructed to be as sturdy as possible.
It is not uncommon to find fully loaded commercial trucks that weigh over 80,000 pounds. In contrast to these oversized vehicles, most passenger automobiles weigh around 3,000 pounds.
During a traffic accident with a commercial vehicle, this size discrepancy creates numerous problems for everyone involved.
The dangers of an accident involving a commercial truck may be compounded by the freight the truck is transporting. If the truck was carrying flammable goods, fires could easily break out, causing severe burns and respiratory problems.
In addition, if hazardous materials are present, irreparable damage can occur both to the victims and the environment.
Truck Accident Laws in Washington State
Several rules govern tractor trailers, semi-trucks, and other commercial trucks in Washington state. The rules and regulations apply to drivers, the employers of the drivers, and the owners of the trucks.
There are also rules and regulations that apply to any injury or death that may occur due to a trucking accident in Washington when it involves the negligence and carelessness of the truck driver. The entire federal law concerning commercial trucks can be found in Title 49 of the Federal Code.
Negligence in Trucking Accidents
Negligent driving is one of the leading causes of trucking accidents. Many different elements can go hand in hand with negligence, however. Driver fatigue, speeding, driving under the influence, defective equipment, improperly secured cargo, and not paying attention are all factors that can play into a trucking accident.
A semi-truck driver should not drive more than eleven hours following a minimum of ten consecutive hours off duty. These regulations can be found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and will provide more insight on the rules for highways.
The driver of the truck should also maintain logs to prove that there has been no violation of these rules. The restrictions and rules set in place are meant to help combat driver fatigue and allows for a more alert driver while at the wheel.
A trucking accident that happens due to driver error is also common. Following another vehicle too closely, speeding, or improper use of signals and disregard for traffic laws may also cause trucking accidents.
Improperly Securing Cargo
When cargo is improperly secured, it can cause devastation on the roadway. Falling cargo accounts for several trucking accidents. Therefore, the driver needs to be aware of how to properly secure their cargo each and every time.
Truck Accident Prevention
Statistics state that almost 88% of trucking accidents are actually avoidable. When the driver is not aware of what is going on, the ramifications of their behavior can be fatal.
Pedestrian and truck accidents can be avoided when proper precautions are taken, and both the driver and pedestrian are alert and aware of their surroundings. The driver can prove this by doing everything in their power to try and avoid an accident from occurring.
Another type of preventable trucking accident involves a rear end collision. Again, the driver remaining alert and focused can avoid this type of accident.
Mechanical conditions can also be prevented with regular pre-trip inspections of the truck and the mechanics of the vehicle.It is a thorough safety inspection that should be performed on all commercial trucks prior to their trip.
Truck Accident Attorney for Washington State
A truck accident attorney for Washington state will be knowledgeable when it comes to any kind of trucking accident. They are well aware of the different state laws and truck regulations that exist, so they can help guide you through a successful claims process.
No matter what kind of trucking accident it was, they are ready to help. They can aggressively pursue your claim and can effectively advocate for every trucking accident victim.
How to File a Claim for a Trucking Accident
If you have been involved in a trucking accident, then it is imperative that you write down all the details pertaining to the accident. Your details will work in combination with
the police report which can also include witness testimony, photographs of the accident and the area, and other evidence that may be involved in the accident.
You will then want to speak to an experienced truck accident attorney in Washington who is familiar with the laws in the state. They will be able to provide you with a clear picture of the case and how the claims process works.
They will also be able to navigate the field when it comes to negotiating with insurance adjustors. The insurance will most likely try to get you to settle and will not have your best interests in mind. An attorney will be able to help you receive fair compensation and will not let you settle for anything less than you deserve.
The attorney will then help you prepare all the necessary paperwork, help to establish liability, and negotiate full and fair compensation.
If you’ve been involved in a collision involving a truck, contact a Washington truck accident attorney with Peterson Law Offices. Our dedicated attorneys have solid experience with personal injury law and can help you get the maximum settlement possible.
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