Truck activity in Washington is on the rise, and with this increased activity, comes the increased risk of Seattle truck accidents. According to available data, over 4,000 Trucks enter Washington from Canada every day. In the same vein, over 4,800 trucks moves across the border towards the North, every day. The increased activities of these trucks is an indicator of the state’s booming economy which is heavily dependent on commercial trucks. Because they typically weigh more than 10,000 pounds they often have astronomically increased risk of causing devastating accidents. Worse still, even though their engines are more powerful than those of standard vehicles, they take twice as much distance to stop.
This means that if a standard vehicle and a Truck moving at the same speed of 55 miles per hour, the vehicle will stop faster. A standard vehicle will usually take around 130 to 140 feet to stop while a Truck will require up to 400 feet. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you could have a claim against the trucking company or the driver. At Oshan and Associates, we help clients just like you understand their rights in Seattle truck accidents and how to exert these rights. You can read through this article to gain a better understanding of what causes truck accidents and the danger they can bring. You will also gain insight into your rights in the event of a truck accident.
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Washington witnessed over 108,363 vehicle crashes in 2018 alone. That’s about 296 crashes every day and a significant amount involved trucks. 504 of the tracked accidents were fatal, and more than 9,000 resulted into minor or severe injuries. The data further shows that Truck Accidents in Washington are 65 percent more likely to result in a fatal injury. This is largely due to the fact that commercial trucks weigh about 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles. Coupled with their slower braking speed, it is obvious why they can be extremely dangerous.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that driver error, which includes non-performance, was one of the most common causes. Along with failure to recognize road hazards and unsafe driving, it caused about 90 percent of large truck accidents. Other situations that would lead to these accidents include when a truck driver over-speeds or drives under the influence of alcohol. Lane defaulting incidents and inattention or loss of concentration also play their part.
If you are involved in a truck accident, there are a few dos and don’ts you need to keep in mind. These include but not limited to:
Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal. It can leave you with demerit points on your driving record or get your driving privileges revoked or license suspended. Even worse, not stopping could get you charged with a hit and run offense, depending on the circumstances. Unless it is an emergency, always wait for first responders or the Police to arrive before you leave the scene of the accident.
Immediately after the accident, make sure you get in a safe location. If there’s no fatal injury done, it would be best to move your vehicle out of the path of traffic. You don’t want your vehicle to cause further accidents to other commuters. Setting up flares or cones to warn other drivers is a very helpful way to prevent more accidents. It is however important that you remain as close to the scene of the accident as possible.
Calling 911 immediately if someone has been seriously injured. You may however also call the local police department’s non-emergency number if there’s no serious injury and all you want to do is file an accident report. Note that every accident that results in injuries or damage to property must be reported to the police. It is important that you get a Police Officer to show up at the scene and write a report. This will be vital for the purpose of proving an insurance or compensation claim later on.
Your well-being is very important. Even if you feel fine you should still see a doctor for hard to detect injuries. Internal bleeding or injury rarely show up immediately but they can get very bad if left untreated.
If you are able to, and it is safe to do so, take pictures and video recordings of the immediate aftermath of the Truck accident. Details about the condition of your vehicle, the truck and any other cars involved in the accident will be valuable to your case. They will come handy in proving or explaining how the truck accident happened.
Contact information for drivers and witnesses is required to enter a detailed police report. Of course, the Police will file an accident report, but it is even more helpful if you can collect information beforehand. What information is useful here?
Full cooperation and disclosure with the Police is obligatory. This doesn’t however mean you should say things that suggest you are partly responsible for the incident particularly when you weren’t. Don’t jeopardize your claim to compensation by saying things like “I should have been more careful”. When asked by the Police, provide honest answers, but do not offer an opinion on who you think is as fault – you’re not a Truck Accident Expert Analyst.
You have no obligation to talk to the company of the truck or their loss adjusters. They may show up at the scene of the accident or call you later with only one thing on their mind. How to further their own interest and minimize or even completely extinguish their liability to pay. You should also avoid saying anything or signing any document from an insurance company without first talking to a lawyer.
First thing to note is that your Lawyer is probably the only person looking out for your best interest – which is why you should get one. After calling the police and getting medical help, this is the next most important thing you need to do.Even more important, because of the particular technicalities involved in truck accidents, you don’t want just any lawyer representing you. What you need is a skilled and experienced attorney sympathetic to your cause. The truck company involved in the truck accident will have an excellent team in place ready to mitigate or eliminate their liability. You need to set yourself up with a team that will go toe to toe with them. At Oshan and Associates, we are known for aggressively fighting our clients’ cases. This determined approach has helped us secure many big wins for clients just like you. Let us help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at 206-355-3880 or fill out our online contact form as soon as possible after your truck accident to get the best legal representation.