Semi-Truck Rear-End Accidents
No matter where you drive in Washington State, Olympia, Seattle, Kirkland, or Bellingham, you see semi-trucks or 18-wheelers on the road. These trucks are enormous and they can cause significant damage if they rear-end a normal-sized car, truck, or SUV on the road. These 18-wheelers or semi-trucks are common fixtures on I-5, 405’s, and other highways across the state of Washington. When a rear-end collision occurs between a normal car, truck or SUV and a large 18-wheeler or semi-truck, there are only a couple of reasons why the accident occurred when it is not the driver’s fault of the car, truck or SUV.Washington State Semi-Truck Rear-End Accident Laws
In Washington State, if you have been injured by a semi-truck or 18-wheeler that has rear-ended you, then you have a valid claim against the insurance company that insured the semi-truck. There are two sources of fault when there is an accident with a truck that is not your fault. It is either the driver’s fault or the truck company’s fault. On some rare occasions, there can be a combination of both.
Common reasons for semi-truck accidents when the driver is at fault:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver inexperience
- Driver inattention
- Driver distraction
- Driver speeding too fast for the conditions
In order for a commercial driver to be on the road in Washington State, the driver has 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 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:
- Tire blowouts
- Brake problems
- 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 may be a record or history of the truck company hiring a driver who has a history of speeding too fast for conditions or getting tickets in his personal vehicle for speeding too fast for conditions. If the driver has a history of speeding too fast for conditions or rear-ending people, then the company has a duty to find out about this and properly vet the driver, to ensure they are not hiring drivers who are a danger to others on the road.
There are times, however, the insurance company for the semi-truck company or 18-wheeler company will attempt to conceal internal company documents that show how neglectful the company has been in properly and safely maintaining their vehicles, which leads to rear-end truck crashes, depending on how many they have in their fleet.Common Rear-End Truck Accident Injuries
If you have been in an accident with an 18-wheeler or semi-truck, chances are you facing serious injuries. These semi-trucks or 18-wheelers are enormous and can cause significant damages. The most common injuries associated with 18-wheeler or truck injuries are:
- Death or wrongful death
- Traumatic brain injuries
- ACL or MCL tears
If you have suffered any of the injuries listed above, the likelihood is not good that these injuries will just disappear. 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 semi-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 speeding truck that has rear-ended you, 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 18-wheeler or semi-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.
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 speeding truck that has rear-ended you, feel free to call for a free consultation to discuss your case.