A Personal Injury Attorney is Crucial If You Are Hit By a Semi Truck
All auto accidents can cause injuries, but when a traffic accident involves a semi truck, the likelihood of major injuries goes up exponentially – and so does your need for a personal injury attorney.
If you have been injured in an auto accident involving an 18-wheeler semi truck, you need an auto accident attorney who is dedicated to fight for your rights. Let the experienced personal injury attorneys at Ritchie Reiersen Law work for you. We are passionate about helping our clients get the settlement they deserve.
In 2018, a total of 4,136 people died in auto accidents involving large trucks. Only 16 percent of these deaths were occupants in the truck. Large trucks can be any truck over 10,000 GVW, and the classification includes both commercial and noncommercial vehicles. However, 75% of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2018 were semi trucks or 18-wheelers.
Heavy trucks are the biggest vehicles on the road, which means they cause the most damage and injuries when they are involved in an auto accident. These large trucks often weigh 20-30 times more than the average passenger vehicle. Additionally, many semi truck accidents happen at highway speeds; a loaded truck needs 20-40 percent more room to stop than a passenger car needs.
The combination of speed, size, and stopping capacity makes semi trucks particularly dangerous to other vehicles on the roads, causing over 4,000 fatalities a year.
Contact an Experienced Trucking Accident Attorney
Traffic accidents involving an 18-Wheeler semi truck are much more likely to cause serious injuries or death than your typical auto accident. If you have been in an accident involving a semi truck, Ritchie Reiersen Truck Injury Attorneys have the experience and resources to properly handle your personal injury case.
Semi truck accident claims take a focused determination to fight for the rights of the occupants of the vehicle that was hit. Trucking companies often pour money into protecting their drivers. It is important to have an auto accident attorney on your side who has experience taking on the large firms and will fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Free Consultation With Experienced Trucking Accident Lawyer
Ritchie Reiersen Law has offices throughout the State of Washington in Kennewick, Yakima, Tacoma, and Auburn servicing the entire Seattle area. We also have an office in Portland to serve individuals in the Portland/Vancouver area. Our personal injury attorneys understand how car accidents, especially crashes involving an 18-wheeler semi truck, can have a huge affect on your life. We work hard to get you the compensation you deserve for the suffering you have endured.
Our job as your truck accident attorney is to handle the insurance companies and manage medical bills and expenses related to your accident. Most of all, we help you get the compensation you deserve.
The consultation is always free and we only get paid if you win. Don’t allow a car accident to destroy the rest of your life, especially if you have been injured by an 18-wheeler semi truck. Call Ritchie Reiersen Law Personal Injury Attorneys today at (888) 884-7337.
There are Federal Safety Regulations for semi truck drivers, with the main purpose of preventing trucking accidents that cause serious injuries and death. These trucking laws limit how many hours a semi truck driver can spend behind the wheel, and require periodic maintenance inspections and drug and alcohol testing.
Unfortunately, many drivers do not follow these regulations all the time. Experienced truck injury attorneys understand these regulations, and can help decide whether a violation contributed to the trucking accident.
The trucking company and their insurance carrier will have numerous lawyers on their side, protecting their bottom line. For the best chance at receiving a fair compensation and having your rights protected, contact a personal injury attorney at Ritchie Reiersen Law today at (888) 884-7337
Frequently Asked Questions
What steps should I take at the scene of a semi-truck accident?
- Remain calm, and assess for serious injuries. Call an ambulance if necessary.
- Call the police.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident, as well as all vehicles involved.
- Get name, phone number, and license information for the other driver; also get trucking company name and info.
- Get name and contact info for all witnesses.
- Never admit fault.
- Document everything, with as much detail as possible.
- Call an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with semi-truck accidents.
If I am injured in an accident with a semi-truck, who besides the driver can be held responsible?
While semi-truck collisions typically cause massive injuries and the liability seems fairly obvious, there are times where a third-party (or two) can share in the responsibility of the collision and therefore be on the hook for compensation. Some possible third-party entities in a semi-truck collision case may include:
- The owner of the truck or trailer;
- The person or company who leased the truck or trailer from the owner;
- The manufacturer of the truck, tires, or other equipment that may have caused or contributed to the severity to the accident; and
- The freight loader or shipper, in cases where the injuries are caused by the truck’s cargo.
In collisions involving semi-trucks, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney helping you with your claim. Usually there will be some quarreling between the driver of the truck, the owner of the truck, and the trucking company as to who might be responsible. An attorney who has successful experience in semi-truck claims can help determine liability and include evidence to support that in order to recover proper compensation for the injured victim.
I’ve heard that serious injuries often occur in accidents involving commercial trucks. What is considered a “commercial truck”?
A commercial truck is a vehicle that is used in the course of business or for the transportation of commercial goods. Examples of commercial trucks are 18-wheeler tractor trailers, delivery trucks, tanker trucks, and other large freight trucks. Commercial trucks tend to be much larger than a standard pickup, serve a specific purpose (i.e. cement trucks), and require a commercial driver’s license to operate. Because of the size of commercial trucks, collisions with one typically cause significant injuries to occupants of the other vehicle.
How is fault determined in a truck accident?
Determining fault will take into account the scene of the accident, eyewitness accounts, and a police report. It is important to take photos at the accident scene. Photos should include your vehicle, the truck, and the scene around where the accident happened. An experienced truck accident attorney will also investigate the truck driver as well as the company that employs them. Determining factors that might contribute to fault could also include how the truck driver was hired and trained; how many hours they had been working; and the condition of the truck.
Why shouldn’t I just accept the insurance settlement offer after an accident with a semi-truck?
Insurance companies make quick offers for the lowest reasonable amount possible. Accidents involving a semi-truck can be catastrophic, resulting in severe injuries and even death. Accepting what the insurance company offers you shortly after opening a claim is likely to leave you without enough compensation to cover the bills you will have as a result of the accident.
With the help of an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer, you are more likely to recover the full amount of compensation that you’re due – an amount that will cover all of your expenses as well as lost wages from work, future medical expenses, and even compensation for pain and suffering.
What are common causes of truck accidents?
Truck driver error: while there are many possible causes of truck accidents, some of the most common driver-related causes include being distracted, speeding, tailgating, and being drowsy.
Violating federal regulations: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has enacted rules and regulations that aim to keep the roads safe. The regulations regarding maximum allowable consecutive driving hours are often ignored.
Pressure to deliver load: Truck drivers are often under extreme pressure to deliver their loads on time – even if it means breaking the federal regulations.
Trucking company negligence: Trucking companies are responsible for hiring qualified drivers and keeping the equipment in good working condition. They must be in compliance with state and federal regulations regarding driver training, inspections, record-keeping, driving hours, and truck maintenance.
Improper inspection, repair, or maintenance: Improper truck maintenance can lead to mechanical problems – which, in turn, can lead to an increased risk of an accident.
Improper cargo loading: If the cargo shifts around because it was loaded improperly, it can change the center of gravity of the truck hauling it, causing an accident.
What precautions should I take after being in an accident involving a large truck?
- Never sign anything from an insurance company without talking with a lawyer first. Insurance companies do not have your best interest at heart – they are working to protect their bottom line.
- Don’t be fooled by insurance adjusters who pretend to be working for you. They will often try to convince you to accept settlement offers which are significantly below what you deserve to receive for your damages.
- Document your injuries fully and seek medical care as soon as possible.
- Keep track of all expenses related to the accident, including medical expenses, mileage to and from doctor appointments, prescription costs, and days off of work.
- Maintain a detailed log of all medical appointments and treatment you receive for your injuries related to the accident.
- Follow all treatment instructions and keep your scheduled medical appointments to document your active cooperation in your health and rehabilitation process.
Large trucking companies have teams of investigators and lawyers working to protect their interests. Your best chance at having a positive outcome with a fair settlement offer is to have an experienced semi-truck accident attorney working to protect your rights.
How much will a semi-truck accident attorney cost?
Attorneys who have experience working with victims of semi-truck accidents typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will have no up-front fees, and you don’t pay unless they win your case for you. A contingency fee is actually advantageous for you as a client, as it keeps your costs down and it gives us extra incentive to work hard to get you the best possible settlement offer for your situation.
At Ritchie Reiersen Law, we have many years of experience with putting the needs of our clients first. We are passionate about the work we do and strive to consistently be honest and dependable members of our local community. Call us today for a free consultation, where you will receive no pressure and will have no obligation, but you can get honest legal feedback on your case.
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Figuring out the best course of action after an auto accident involving a semi truck can be intimidating. Without taking the correct steps to protect your rights, you could miss out on a significant sum of money. Our attorneys will go the extra mile to secure the maximum compensation you deserve. Get our free e-book on car accidents. You’ll learn everything you need to know about choosing the right auto injury attorney, dealing with insurance issues, getting medical coverage and more. To discuss the specifics of your case during a free consultation, get in touch with our office.
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— Jordan from Yakima.
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