Russell & Hill, PLLC

Heavy trucks are a common sight on the highways and byways of Seattle and all over the country. These trucks carry freight across the state and the nation, and without them, we would not have access to many of the products we depend on. However, although truckers are a crucial part of the American economy and many of them drive their hauls to their destinations safely, when these gigantic vehicles do become involved in road crashes, the outcome can be extremely destructive. The large size and heavy weight of these vehicles make them culprits for multiple-vehicle collisions that could result in multiple serious injuries or even fatalities. If you or someone you love was hurt in a truck accident, contact a truck accident attorney in Seattle at Russell & Hill, PLLC to find out more about your legal rights as an accident victim.

Truck accident statistics

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration publishes reports on heavy truck injury and fatality crashes each year. According to their data, an estimated 119,000 people sustained injuries in heavy truck collisions in 2016, and more than 4,200 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents that same year.

What to do after the accident

Sustaining an injury in a truck crash is not only painful, but also frightening, and this combination of serious pain and fear can make it difficult to determine what to do after an accident. Here is what you need to do after being hurt in a collision with a heavy truck:

  • Get medical attention: Even if you think your injuries are minor, you need to get a medical evaluation by a trained professional. Some injuries go unnoticed at first and only become painful after some time has passed (as is common with soft-tissue injuries like whiplash).
  • Keep records related to your accident: Compile a file of documents pertaining to your accident and injuries, and include photos of the injuries themselves, contact information for witnesses to the crash, and copies of medical bills from injury treatment and pay stubs showing the number of lost wages due to missing work while recovering from injuries.
  • Present your documentation to a truck accident injury attorney: Your attorney can review your file and discuss what your legal options may be as an accident victim.

We help truck accident injury victims

If you were hurt in a truck crash and need a truck accident attorney in Seattle, the truck accident injury specialists at Russell & Hill, PLLC is available for a consultation. We have a history of getting major settlements for our clients, and we are passionate about personal injury litigation. We will work hard to ensure that you recover every dollar you are entitled to under the law, and we will advocate for your best interests, whether that means going to trial or pursuing a cash settlement. We offer our services on a fee-contingency basis, so you will not pay an attorney’s fee until your case has been resolved. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

How often do truck accidents occur?

Large trucks are a vital part of our livelihoods here in Seattle. The commercial truck activity provides us with the goods and services we need on a daily basis. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that approximately 148,000 people were injured in truck crashes during the latest reporting year in the United States.

If a blow to our truck tire caused my crash, can I get compensation?

A tire blowout on a truck can lead to devastating accidents. In some cases, a blowout leads to the entire truck crashing while operating at high speeds. In other cases, a tire can shred right off of a truck and fly into traffic without the driver even realizing it.

In either case, you may be eligible for compensation. Vehicle failure on any part of a large truck is usually preventable:

  • Tires and wheels
  • Suspension
  • Lighting
  • Brakes
  • Powertrain
  • Steering
  • Connections and hitch

Truck drivers and companies should regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles to prevent these incidents from occurring.

Are there strict regulations on truck drivers?

There are federal regulations in place to ensure that truck drivers operate safely at all times. These regulations include limits on the number of hours a driver can operate in between rest/sleep breaks as well as how much weight they can carry at once.

As with anyone on the roadways, truck drivers should never operate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They should also never be distracted by electronic devices while operating.

What kind of insurance do commercial truck drivers and companies need?

For truck drivers who operate in multiple states, which are the majority of drivers on the road, the FMCSA has minimum requirements depending on what type of freight is being hauled. The amounts range from $300,000 to $5,000,000.

Many shippers and brokers require drivers and companies to have liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 regardless of what type of freight they haul.

What are the common injuries from these incidents?

Commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. When they impact a passenger vehicle, they can cause major injuries. It is not uncommon for us to see the following in the aftermath of a truck crash:

  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations or amputations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries

How will I go about getting compensation for my injuries and damages?

There are many parties involved in truck accidents – the trucking company and driver, the company they were hauling for, insurance carriers, and more. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our Seattle truck accident lawyers are ready to help you secure the following:

  • Your medical expenses related to the incident
  • Lost wages and benefits if you cannot work
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of personal enjoyment damages
  • Possible punitive damages against the driver or truck owner

You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 206-516-2045. We will get to work investigating your incident and negotiating on your behalf.

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Date published: 2017-05-18
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