Accidents involving commercial trucks are often much more severe than accidents that involve only smaller vehicles. Trucks are much heavier than the average car, and they are capable of causing significant damage. Depending on the nature of the accident, victims may be severely injured or even killed. In addition, truck accidents typically cause serious damage to the other vehicles involved.
If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Dangers of Commercial Trucks
Commercial trucks weigh as much as 30 times more than the average passenger vehicle, and they can cause devastating damage during a crash. In fact, one in ten vehicle-related deaths occurs in a crash that involves a large truck. Most of these deaths are the occupants of passenger vehicles. In 2014 alone, 3,660 people died in crashes involving large trucks. Nearly 70 percent of these individuals were passengers or drivers of smaller vehicles involved in the crash. Even more people were gravely injured in truck crashes during this year.
What Causes a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents may occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases, accidents are the result of bad weather or the intrinsic limits of a commercial truck’s ability to stop quickly. In other cases, truck accidents occur because:
- The driver wasn’t paying attention.
- The driver was tired or overworked.
- The driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The driver disregarded traffic laws.
- The driver made a mistake.
Washington Truck Accident Laws
Each state has different laws that govern personal injury claims filed after truck accidents. In the state of Washington, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the party responsible. The state of Washington uses pure comparative fault rules in these situations, which means that you can collect compensation after a truck accident even if you were partly at fault for what happened. For example, if the court determines that you were 20 percent at fault for the accident and that the defendant was 80 percent at fault, the defendant will typically be required to pay 80 percent of your expenses.
Can I File a Lawsuit?
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident that involved a commercial truck, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a lawsuit. However, in order to recover compensation in this manner, you must be able to show that the truck driver, his employer or another third party was responsible for the accident. Specifically, you may win by:
- Showing that the defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care in order to avoid causing injury.
- Showing that the defendant failed to exercise this reasonable care.
- Showing that the defendant’s actions caused the injury you suffered.
- You experienced some type of damage to your property or an injury to yourself.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive?
Every accident is different, and the amount of compensation you may receive will vary considerably. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may receive compensation to cover:
- Medical Bills.
- Damage to your vehicle and personal property.
- Lost wages.
- Cost of ongoing medical treatment.
- Punitive damages for pain and suffering.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
To learn more about filing a personal injury claim after a truck accident, contact Twyford Law Office.