Semi Truck Accident Attorneys
The Spokane semi truck accident lawyers at Parke Gordon Law Firm are experienced in representing clients in accidents caused by semi trucks, big rigs, tractor trailers, or other commercial vehicles. Semi truck accidents can cause serious injuries and sometimes result in wrongful death claims. Special considerations are owed in handling a semi truck accident due to the special federal and state safety laws that regulate trucking companies and their drivers.
After a Semi Truck Accident, What Should I Do?
Immediately following an accident, call 911. A police officer will create documentation of the accident that can be important to your case. The police will also take statements from you, other drivers involved and witnesses of the accident. Make sure to give the officer an accurate statement of what you remember from the crash. Never rely solely on the police to get statements, however. If you are able, talk with witnesses and get their contact information so your attorney can contact them if needed later in the case. You should also take pictures of your injuries, the crash site, and other vehicles damaged in the crash. It is always beneficial to gather as much evidence and information as possible after a semi truck accident.
Do Not Hesitate to Hire a Semi Truck Accident Attorney
Never hesitate and never wait to hire an experienced personal injury attorney when you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck. Semi truck companies are required by federal law to keep documents about their trucks and their drivers but after a period of time, they may destroy those documents. You need to hire a semi truck lawyer immediately after a truck accident who can preserve evidence that can be used to demonstrate that the trucking company and its driver were negligent. An attorney can protect your rights by sending a special letter called a spoliation letter to the trucking company. After receipt of the letter, the trucking company will be forced to preserve the documents. If the documents show a pattern of willful and reckless behavior, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages.
Do not hurt your chances of obtaining a full recovery by waiting to hire a semi truck accident lawyer. Waiting too long might result in the trucking company destroying valuable evidence that you could have used to prove your case.
Maximize Your Semi Truck Accident Settlement
A person injured in a truck accident is entitled to recover a number of different types of damages, categorized as either economic or non-economical or special or general. Many people settle for much less than they could recover from the trucking company or it’s insurance company because they did not hire an attorney and do not know what types of damages are available to a truck accident victim. Our experienced semi truck lawyers can build your case by employing experts to investigate liability, produce life care plans, economic analysis, and make a vocational rehabilitation assessment to maximize the value of the damages you are entitled to recover.
Determining Fault After a Semi Truck Accident
Determining fault after a semi truck accident can be complex. Accidents involving commercial trucks often have a number of factors that may have contributed to the accident such as weather, road conditions, driver error, vehicle malfunctions, etc. These factors complicate the process of determining fault for a semi truck accident case. An investigation of the accident will take into account all these factors, as well as police reports and statements from eye witnesses, are also used to determine fault after a semi truck accident. The driver or drivers who are determined to be at fault for causing the semi truck accident will be responsible for compensating any person who was injured or wrongfully killed in the accident.
Tips to Avoid a Semi Truck Accident
Semi truck accidents are often catastrophic and involve serious injuries or even wrongful death claims. Truck drivers are trained to be excellent drivers. However, they do work long hours and can be tired at the wheel. Here are some tips to stay safe while driving near a semi truck and avoid a semi truck accident.
- Avoid driving in the semi truck’s blind spot. Blind spots on a semi truck include the left and right sides about two-thirds of the way back and sometimes even directly in front of the truck. Be extra careful when passing a semi truck on either side. Always pass a semi truck on the left as quickly as possible to avoid a semi truck accident.
- When a semi truck is turning, stay out of the way. Never go into any open spaces to the right of a semi truck with their turn signal on. When the truck turns, the trailer of the semi truck with instantly fill that gap crushing anything in its way. This is one of the most come causes of semi truck accidents.
- Watch for warning signs that the truck driver is tired or distracted. A good indication that a truck driver is tired at the wheel is when the trailer is swaying from side to side. This swaying action can easily lead to a rollover accident or jackknife truck accidents. If you see the trailer of a semi swaying, get out of the way. You can pull over, accelerate or slow down, whatever it takes to avoid a semi truck accident.
How Does a Semi Truck Accident Case Defer from a Car Accident Case?
Often times clients involved in a semi truck accident will mistakenly believe their case will be handled much like any other car accident. However, this is not true. In fact, common passenger vehicle accidents are very different from 18-wheeler accidents. Here are some ways in which semi truck accidents differ from car accident cases.
Due to the amount of time semi trucks are on the road as well as the size, nature, and movement of an 18-wheeler, semi truck companies will typically carry 50 times more coverage than an average passenger vehicle. This amount of coverage is necessary to cover the extensive damages and injuries incurred from a semi truck accident.
The worth of an insurance policy for a semi truck can be worth millions. This is exactly why the insurance carrier will often times do almost anything to find a way out of being liable for the accident. This is also why you need an experienced, trusted and aggressive attorney from Parke Gordon Law Firm fighting for your rights.
Because of the nature of a semi truck driver, they are typically governed by hundreds of more regulations than a typical passenger vehicle. These regulations include the maintenance of the semi, the driver’s license and qualifications of the driver, annual inspections, and logbooks.
Truck accidents are often more involved cases because of these regulations. For example, hiring a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following a semi-truck accident is critical for your case. Semi truck companies are required by federal law to keep documents about their trucks and their drivers but after a period of time, they may destroy those documents.
Greater Property Damage
When an 80,000-pound semi-truck hits a 3,000-pound car, obviously the damages are going to be extensive. Injuries from a semi truck accident are often much more severe than injuries incurred from a car vs. car accident. Although many trucking companies will carry large insurance policies to cover such damages, the effects of such serious injuries are often still life-changing if not deadly.
Along with the damage to your vehicle, you may also be facing expensive medical bills. Parke Gordon Law Firm can help. Our experienced attorneys will help you deal with the insurance companies, medical bills, lost wages, and property damages resulting from a semi truck accident. We will fight for every penny you are owed. Call (509) 482-7274 now for a free consultation.
Fatal Semi Truck Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 3,000 to 5,000 fatal semi truck accidents happen each year. These wrongful deaths are all too common. If your loved one has been killed due to the negligence of a semi truck driver, contact Parke Gordon Law Firm immediately.
Semi Truck Accident Statistics
Semi truck accidents are often very serious due to the heavy weight of semis as well as the loads they are carrying. Approximately 130,000 persons are injured each year in truck accidents. According to statistics combined from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 98 percent of all semi truck accidents result in at least one fatality. In addition, for every 100 million miles driven on U.S. roads, there are 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries caused by big rigs or semi trucks.
Statistics from truckaccidents.org reports about 22 percent of all truck accidents involve an injury. Human error is the cause of 90 percent of commercial truck accidents. To read more interesting statistics such as these, read our accident blog.
What is the Value of a Semi Truck Accident Case?
The value of a semi truck accident case varies depending on the severity of the accident. Some of these factors include who is liable, how severe are the injuries, and how hard is your personal injury attorney willing to fight for you. A good lawyer will build the value of an injury claim by pursuing a recovery of all damages by hiring doctors, economists, and other experts to document all recoverable damages. The personal injury attorneys at Parke Gordon Law Firm are experienced in maximizing the value of an injury claim and will fight for every penny you are owed.
Personal Injury Claim Factors
The amount of your claim could be based on the expenses of a few factors such as:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Stress or burdens on you or your family
These factors greatly vary depending on if you’ve been injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, semi truck accident, or suffering a wrongful death of a loved one. The experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Parke Gordon Law Firm believe every client deserves fair representation to gain to compensation deserved from their injury claim. There are many other small factors that could pertain to your particular injury claim. That is exactly why it will be a lot less stressful and easier for you to hire an attorney that knows what to do. Call the law office of Parke Gordon Law Firm today for a free consultation at (509) 482-7274 today to get started on your case.
Typical Causes of Semi Truck Accidents
Approximately 500,000 semi truck accidents occur annually in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Of these, about 5,000 semi truck accident resulted in a fatality. Furthermore, one out of every eight accidents on U.S. roads involves a semi-truck.
Here are some common causes of semi truck accidents.
- Tiredness or fatigue while driving.
- Truck maintenance is poor or improper.
- Equipment failure.
- Distracted drivers.
- Improper merging in front of a semi truck driver.
- Unsafe passing near a semi-truck.
- Driving in the blind spot of a semi truck.
- Not giving a semi truck enough room to turn.
What Causes a Semi Truck Accident to Cause Major Damages?
There are many different causes for semi truck accidents and the damages and injuries they cause. The two biggest reasons are due to the weight and stopping distance.
Big trucks such as 18-wheelers, coal trucks, log trucks, cement trucks, tracker trailers, and buses all weight a significantly larger amount than a 3,000-pound passenger vehicle. On average, a motor vehicle weighs 2.5 tons, while a tractor-trailer can weigh 40 tons.
Another reason for serious damages after a semi truck accident is the amount of time it takes for these large trucks to stop. For example, if a semi truck or tractor-trailer was traveling at 40 mph and started to brake the exact same moment as a standard vehicle, it would take the semi truck 45 feet longer to come to a complete stop. A passenger vehicle needs about 306 feet to stop after braking while a tractor-trailer needs about 525 feet.
Contact a Semi Truck Accident Attorney at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Spokane Now
Do not wait to call a semi truck accident attorney. Doing so could hurt your case. Call our Spokane law office now for a free consultation at (509) 482-7274. This is your opportunity to discuss your case with an experienced semi truck accident attorney at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Spokane, WA. Our law firm can help take the stress out of your semi truck accident claim and make sure you get every penny you are owed. Our law firm works on a contingency fee. You pay nothing until your case is settled. Call now to get started on your semi truck accident case.
You Pay Nothing Until We Win Your Case