Issaquah Truck Accident Attorney
Sitting at the juncture of Interstates 5 and 90, the Seattle area is directly linked to the length and width of the United States, and with its seaport and airport, we are a gateway to the Pacific Ocean and the rest of the world. No wonder then that several million container trucks make their way in and out of the area every year. But with that much tractor-trailer traffic day and night, the risk of an 18-wheeler accident on the highway is an ever-present danger. Indeed, Washington state experiences several thousand truck accidents annually, resulting in hundreds of injuries and dozens of deaths.
Semi-truck accidents represent a small portion of all traffic accidents in the state, but they account for a disproportionately large percentage of fatal crashes. Trucks outweigh passenger cars by more than 70,000 pounds, and when cars and trucks collide, the passengers in the smaller cars don’t fare very well. Part of our job at Injury Law Group NW involves helping truck accident victims and their families get the care and compensation they need after a tragic encounter with an 18-wheeler. Our Washington truck accident attorneys are ready to go up against the biggest trucking companies and their insurance carriers and hold them accountable for a serious personal injury or wrongful death caused by a truck driver’s negligence or a trucking company’s lack of care in maintaining its fleet safely.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident in King County, Washington, let the lawyers at ILG take on the burden of dealing with doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies, making sure you get the care and the financial help you need while you focus on getting better and getting your life back in order after a tractor-trailer crash has turned it upside down. Call us for a free consultation.
Truck Crashes Are Some of the Most Dangerous Traffic Accidents
Because of their size and weight, tractor-trailers need about 200 yards of stopping distance, and truck drivers need extra reaction time to respond to a traffic slowdown or other changes in traffic patterns or road conditions. Their enormous weight also means that even at low speeds, a collision with another vehicle is going to impart a great deal of force upon impact. Like motorcycle accidents, truck accidents prove fatal at a much higher rate than crashes between two vehicles of similar size and weight. Survivors of truck accidents often suffer the most catastrophic injuries – compound fractures, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injures, amputations – that can take them months or years to recover from or never fully heal. Survivors are sometimes left with a lifetime of disability or daily living challenges, along with the psychological and emotional trauma of living with the memory of that day and the scars it left behind.
At Injury Law Group NW, we understand the needs of truck accident victims when it comes to medical care, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other legal damages. If you are feeling lost or hopeless like you are not being heard by your doctor or the insurance company, we will advocate for you and be your voice. We also know how to build a strong case against the at-fault parties and hold them accountable for the full measure of your legal damages.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Washington
Having spent more than 16 years handling thousands of injury cases for insurance companies and defendants, on top of our time as plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers, we have come to know all the many and varied ways semi-trucks can cause accidents on the roads and highways in and around Seattle and King County. Here are some of the most common reasons we have seen:
Truck Driver Fatigue
Federal law limits how much time truckers can spend on duty and behind the wheel, but these limits are not terribly limiting. They let truckers work 14-hour days with 11 of those hours spent driving, including driving for eight hours straight before taking a 30-minute break. They can even work two hours longer if “adverse driving conditions” slow them down. Truck drivers can legally work 60 hours over a seven-day period or 70 hours over eight consecutive days before they have to take off 32 hours.
That might seem like a lot of driving, and it is. Even worse, truck drivers routinely violate the rules and drive even longer, falsifying their logs to make them look like they were in compliance. Whether from a desire to complete their route as fast as possible or due to pressure from their employer, truck drivers risk drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel when they work longer than they should. Fatigued driving causes a loss of alertness, slower reflexes, delayed reaction time and errors in judgment. Tractor-trailer drivers can’t afford to make these mistakes when they are in charge of 80,000 pounds of cargo barreling down the highway.
Negligent Truck Maintenance
Trucking companies should inspect and maintain their vehicles between every trip, but they don’t. Routine safety inspections conducted annually across North America result in one in five commercial trucks getting pulled off the road because of bad or missing brake components, unsafe tires, malfunctioning electrical signals and coupling devices, and other defects that make them too dangerous to be on the road. There is no excuse for trucking companies who put these 40-ton behemoths on the highway in such a dangerously unsafe condition.
Negligent Cargo Loading
Trailers might be loaded by the trucking company, the shipper or a third-party freight company, but whoever is in charge is responsible to load the trailer properly. Overloaded trailers can raise the center of gravity and increase the risk of a rollover. Unsecured loads can come unbalanced during transit, leading to a loss of control and a dangerous rollover or jackknife truck accident. Trailers must be carefully loaded at the start of the trip, and truck drivers should check and secure their loads routinely during transit to ensure safety.
Despite being professional, commercial drivers, truck drivers are susceptible to making the same mistakes other negligent drivers do, including speeding or aggressive driving, drinking and driving, and texting while driving or engaging in other distracted driving behaviors. Truck accidents are complex events, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of a crash. Our experience investigating, litigating and settling truck accident cases help us to identify the cause and hold the proper parties responsible for the damage caused by their negligence.
Our Law Firm Is Here for You After a Serious Washington Truck Accident
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident in Renton, Bellevue, or surrounding areas in King County, Washington, call Injury Law Group NW for a free consultation. We’ll help you get the care and compensation you need and deserve after getting hurt because of a negligent truck driver or Seattle trucking company.