Construction Truck Accidents
Driving on the highways of Seattle, Kirkland, Olympia, and all across Washington State you are likely to see many construction trucks. It seems like they are everywhere: on 405, I-5, and all the residential and neighborhood streets as well. This is because Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue, and Olympia have been among the fastest growing cities in the country for the past decade. With this explosive growth has come a need for a lot of construction to not only fix roads but to add even more roads and highways.
With all of this construction on the roads, common reasons for accidents with them involves the large semi-trucks and 18 wheelers that breakdown on the road on the way to their intended destination. When these trucks breakdown, especially if they stop very suddenly, they can create very serious accidents.
Other reasons for construction truck accidents involve mechanical issues where the tires blowout or come off from poor maintenance and brake issues and brake failure. It is federal law that truck drivers, before operating their construction truck, check their truck to make sure it is in good working order and there are no maintenance or mechanical issues.
These inspections do not always take place, either at all or as thoroughly as they should, because many truckers—and the trucking companies who employ them—are incentivized to get to their destination as quickly as possible and doing such inspections can slow the trip down considerably.
The most common construction truck accidents involve accidents with cranes, forklifts, earthmovers, bobcats, ice and snow removers, road graders and street sweepers,Washington State Construction Truck Laws
Construction trucks are normally considered commercial vehicles. This of course means more government regulation and larger insurance policies insuring the vehicle. The government has harsher regulations on commercial vehicles.
There are two sources of fault when there is an accident with a construction truck that is not your fault. It is either the driver’s fault or the construction truck company’s fault. On some rare occasions, there can be a combination of both.
Common reasons for construction truck accidents when the driver is at fault:
- Drivers who are too sleepy to drive
- Driver inexperience
- Drivers not paying attention
- Drivers who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol
In order for a commercial driver to be on the road in Washington State, operating a truck, they need to have what is called a CDL or a commercial driver’s license. This kind of license is not easy to obtain. A driver must pass a background check and pass several fitness tests as well. In addition, responsible companies should also have internal background and fitness checks with which they screen their applicants. However, as you can imagine, companies do not always do their due diligence in hiring a trucker for their company.
While the majority of construction truck accidents are the result of driver error, there can also be instances when the truck company is at fault. Common reasons for truck accidents when the company is at fault:
- Brake issues
- Tire problems
- Tires that have not been serviced
- Vehicle maintenance issues
- Failing to properly screen or vet drivers
Sometimes truck companies fail to properly maintain their vehicles and they put their drivers in trucks that are not safe, for a variety of reasons, ranging from brakes that are aging and faulty, tires that are bald and need replacing, and other mechanical issues that need addressed and fixed. If this is the case, the company shares responsibility for the accident they caused.
There are times, however, the insurance company for the construction truck company will attempt to conceal internal company documents that show how neglectful the company has been in properly and safely maintaining their truck or trucks, depending on how many they have in their fleet.Common Construction Truck Accident Injuries
If you have been in an accident with a construction truck, chances are you’re facing significant and life-altering injuries. These vehicles are usually quite large, larger than normal cars or SUVs most commonly on the road. The most common injuries associated with tow truck injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- ACL or MCL tears
- Broken bones
If you have suffered any of these injuries, the likelihood is not good that these injuries will resolve on their own. In most instances, you will have to see a medical professional to help you recover. Aside from primary care doctors, the most common kinds of healthcare providers to treat people who have been in accidents with trucks are osteopaths, physiatrists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists.
Any of these healthcare providers can render quality care to you and they likely know the appropriate specialist who can treat you if you have been injured by a truck.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help
If you have been injured by a construction truck, then you are likely in one of the more difficult times of your life. You are likely facing phone calls from insurance companies, medical appointments, you may be losing money from work since you are unable to work, and many phone calls from insurance companies. If this is the case, why go through this process alone? The Jackman Law Firm can help you recover:
- Money for lost wages
- Money for pain and suffering
- Money for medical bills
- Money for lost wages
The Jackman Law Firm can assist you with all of these things. In addition, we can stand between you and the insurance company for the construction truck. While it is not common, there are also instances when the truck company’s insurance company may allege that you were either partly or completely at fault for the accident. If this unfortunate and untrue allegation is brought against you, then you need an attorney who can help you.
In these kinds of cases, it is also important to understand who owned the construction truck who caused your injuries: a private company or a city, state, or municipality. If it is owned by a government entity, you have to be aware of this because you may have to file a state or federal tort claim form before you can proceed with your case. If you don’t do this, your case could be dismissed.
The Jackman Law Firm can assist you by sending subpoenas for any video footage that may have captured the accident, interviewing witnesses and bystanders, and speaking to the police, assuming an investigation was done. If it is clear that the vehicle was not properly maintained, then the Jackman Law Firm has the resources and experience to investigate the company internally and find out if the company was failing to properly maintain their vehicle, such as not checking and fixing their brakes, making sure the tires are properly maintained and inflated, and making sure the vehicle is safe to be on the road.
If you have questions about your truck accident, feel free to call for a free consultation to discuss your case.