Anytime you drive down I-82, you are sure to see multitudes of tractor-trailers. These trucks are huge and can cause devastating accidents when handled inappropriately. If you or a loved one have been in a trucking accident, you know exactly how terrible the outcome can be.
If you have suffered injuries or damages in a trucking accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Contact the Kennewick personal injury lawyers of Tamaki Law today at (509) 783-8333 so that one of our experienced attorneys can review your case and advise you about your rights.
Why You Need a Trucking Accident Lawyer
Insurance companies that represent truckers and trucking companies are ruthless. Their main goal is to save the trucking company money. They don’t care about your well-being or health. These insurance companies litigate hundreds or even thousands of claims yearly, so they have a multitude of experience and can easily run rough-shod over someone inexperienced in legal matters. They will not hesitate to take advantage of you.
A trucking accident attorney from Tamaki Law has just as much experience, if not more, as these insurance companies. They know the ins and outs of the law and can help you get the money you may be entitled to. Attorneys will deal with the insurance companies so that you can focus on healing. They will also investigate your claim fully and make sure any evidence is preserved for your case.
Don’t wait to contact an attorney. There are time limits on bringing trucking accident claims. Your attorney will know those time limits and make sure you file your case within the deadline.
Why Choose Us?
Our team combined has over 100 years of legal experience. We know the laws surrounding trucking accidents and can help you with your claim. We care about your case and will help you get the justice you are entitled to. You can trust us. Check out our results pages to see what kind of settlements and awards we’re earning for our clients.
Another benefit of hiring Tamaki Law is that we don’t get paid unless you do. We take on the majority of our personal injury cases on a contingent basis. That means you pay nothing upfront. You don’t pay us unless we get a settlement or an award for you.
Trucking Accident Types
A multitude of accidents can involve commercial trucks. Some of the different types of trucking accidents include:
Wide Turn Accidents
While many trucking accidents may occur at high speeds, there are also accidents that can occur while trucks are moving slowly. One of those such accidents is a wide turn accident.
Commercial trucks are much larger than a typical passenger vehicle and must take turns differently and with more caution than a passenger vehicle would. The truck must take right turns by swinging out into the left lane to accommodate the length and size of the truck.
If a trucker is not trained properly, these turns can lead to accidents. A trucker can pull too far to the left and cause a head-on collision. A passenger vehicle may also become wedged between the truck and the curb.
Also known as frontal collisions, these accidents can be frightening and often fatal. This accident occurs when a truck traveling in one direction collides with a passenger vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. The front of each vehicle is the point of collision.
These types of collisions can lead to serious injuries because the speed of the collision is multiplied since the drivers are going in opposite directions. Rural roadways are notorious spaces for these accidents to occur as there is little or no room to maneuver the vehicles.
Head-on collisions have a variety of causes. The truck driver may be driving on the wrong side of the road due to confusion or drug use, may fall asleep and drift into the other lane of traffic, may ignore a solid line on the road, and dangerously pass the vehicle in front of it without being able to see around it, or may be texting and driving.
A jackknife accident is named after a closing jackknife, which the truck resembles when it accidentally folds in on itself due to mishandling or inclement weather. When the trailer of the truck swings out, if the tractor stops suddenly, this can pose a danger to everyone on the road.
A trucker properly trained in how to handle the truck in all circumstances will know how to avoid a jackknife incident. If a trucker is not properly trained, traffic congestion or bad weather may cause him to lose control of the vehicle and injure those around him. An unbalanced load or the driver following too closely behind the vehicle in front of him can also cause a truck to jackknife when the front driver slams on the brakes.
Due to a truck’s high center of gravity, there is a higher possibility of a truck flipping over in certain situations. A rollover accident occurs when a truck flips over due to a loss of control of the vehicle. Rollovers can happen at any time, so drivers should be constantly alert. Rollover accidents can be devastating to those involved.
Rollovers are most often caused by truck driver error. Because of this, most of these accidents are completely preventable. The manufacturer of the truck may also be to blame for these accidents. Faulty brakes can cause a truck to flip over. A driver overcorrecting may also cause instability in the truck resulting in a rollover accident.
Blind Spot Accidents
A blind spot is an area around a truck that the driver is unable to see. Trucks are such a large size that they have much larger blind spots than a regular passenger vehicle. In addition, the trailer they pull prevents them from being able to use a rear-view mirror like those of passenger vehicles. The resulting “no-zones” are specific areas that the truck driver cannot see from the cab. These spots can occur in the front, sides, and back of the truck.
If a vehicle is traveling in one of these spots, an accident can occur. A trucker may be at fault for these accidents if the proper mirrors aren’t installed on the truck, if the driver is not trained properly to drive that kind of truck, or fails to keep a lookout for vehicles around the truck.
Underride or Override Accidents
Trucks sit higher off the ground than regular passenger vehicles. This can lead to collisions known as underride or override accidents.
An underride accident occurs when a car collides with a truck and is wedged underneath the back of the truck. When a trailer is higher up than the hood of the car, this is more likely to occur and can cause a passenger compartment intrusion. An intrusion occurs when the truck enters the passenger space of the vehicle, which often results in fatalities.
An override accident occurs when a truck collides with a passenger vehicle and essentially runs the vehicle over. This takes place when a truck is unable to stop in time and cannot avoid running over the vehicle. The vehicle can then have its top ripped off or even be dragged down the road by the truck. Injuries resulting from override accidents can be tragic and fatal.
When driving down Route 395, you’re sure to see pieces of tire and rubber strewn on the shoulder of the road. This is from the aftermath of a tire blowout. Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their trucks properly. Tires need to be checked and serviced regularly to be sure they’re safe to drive on. If tires are not properly maintained, a blowout can occur.
A tire blowout makes a loud explosive sound when the tire bursts. The blowout can cause the truck to lose control and swerve into other lanes or even flip over. A tire blowout can result from tire underinflation, low tread, overloaded cargo, or using a spare tire for too long. All of these things can be avoided if a trucker or trucking company takes proper care to inspect the tires and replace them as necessary.
Lost Load Accident
Whoever is in charge of loading the truck must take the proper steps to load and secure the cargo. If this person is careless or not trained properly, a lost load accident can occur. A lost load accident happens when a load of cargo falls onto another vehicle or into the roadway. This can cause another car to crash into the lost load and can result in major injuries. A load can also shift and cause a trucker to lose control of the vehicle.
The federal government has implemented regulations and guidelines that truckers and trucking companies must follow to ensure a load is properly secured. If a truck driver fails to check their load before departing, they may be at fault for a lost load incident. Other causes of lost load accidents include overloading the truck or not following the proper procedures and guidelines when loading the truck.
Trucking Accident Injuries
Due to the large size of trucks, accidents involving them can result in terrible injuries and even death. Some of the injuries commonly associated with trucking accidents include:
- Loss of limb
- Spinal injury
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Traumatic brain injury
These injuries can result in medical bills that are astronomical. The stress of these bills can be debilitating. To ensure you receive adequate compensation for your injuries, you need to be sure you hire an experienced trucking accident attorney like those at Tamaki Law. Don’t let your claim go unpaid.
Trucking Accident Compensation
The financial impact you suffer due to a trucking accident can change your life. If you weren’t prepared for a catastrophic life event, or if you had no savings, those giant medical bills can soon land you in debt. If you file a claim or a lawsuit to pursue compensation for the losses you suffered because of the accident, you may be able to recover “damages.” Damages are money you can be paid to cover your accident-related losses.
These damages are straight-forward. They have a clear market value. Some of these damages include:
- Medical expenses. Ambulance rides, prescription medications, hospital stays, and ongoing physical therapy can get very expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance. You don’t deserve to go bankrupt because of these necessary costs.
- Damage to your vehicle. Your vehicle may be damaged or even destroyed. In today’s society, we know how important it is to have your vehicle to get around in. You may even be able to recover damages for rental fees from renting a car while your vehicle was repaired.
- Lost wages. Due to your extensive injuries, you may be unable to work for a short or long period of time. You may be able to recover compensation for lost wages due to the injuries from your trucking accident.
These damages are more difficult to define as they do not have a set market value. They include:
- Psychological suffering. Due to the often terrifying nature of having a huge truck collide with your vehicle, you may suffer psychological trauma. You may be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other psychological diagnoses. You may be able to recover monetary damages for the psychological suffering you suffered not only during the wreck but also after the wreck as well. These psychological conditions may be temporary or permanent, and you deserve to be properly compensated for them.
- Physical suffering. Pain and permanent disfigurement may result from your injuries in a trucking accident. You may lose a limb or have a permanent handicap. The physical suffering damages are intended to compensate you for your pain and suffering during the trucking accident and after the trucking accident as well.
Investigation of a Trucking Accident
At Tamaki Law, we will thoroughly investigate your claim to help you with your case. We will gather and save any evidence that may help you. Some of the evidence we look for includes:
- Witness statements
- Police statements
- Phone records
- Driving records
- Maintenance records
- Training procedures of trucking company
- Hiring practices of trucking company
- Accident reconstruction evidence
- Photos or evidence of the scene
This information can be incredibly important to your case. This evidence can help determine who is at fault for the trucking accident. If this evidence is not preserved, your claim may be difficult to pursue. Our attorneys will gather and keep this evidence so that the trucking company or trucker can be held accountable for their actions.
Who May Be at Fault for a Trucking Accident?
There may be more parties involved in a trucking accident than just the trucker. You could potentially recover damages from some or all of these other parties. The trucker may be at fault if they were negligent in their driving or upkeep of their vehicle. The trucking company may be at fault due to their hiring practices or training procedures. They could also be at fault for how they supervise their drivers or maintain their vehicles. The manufacturer of the truck may also be at fault if they designed a part negligently or did not install a part correctly. The loading company may be at fault if they failed to follow proper cargo loading procedures.
Protect Your Rights After a Trucking Accident
After a trucking accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed by what has happened. You may wonder what you should do next. Here are some steps to take to help protect your claim:
- Do not accept fault. When you are talking to anyone at the scene of the accident, do not say “I’m sorry” or anything else that may suggest you were at fault in any way. This can be used against you later in your case to diminish or deny your compensation.
- Seek medical treatment. Trucking accidents can cause serious injuries. You may not even be aware of injuries you have sustained, so it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Keep track of all documentation related to your medical treatment as well. To avoid being blamed for continuing injuries, also be sure to attend all follow-up appointments or ongoing therapy.
- Document the scene. Obtain as much information as you can at the scene of the accident. Take photos or video of both vehicles. Take photos of any nearby street signs or lights. Obtain information from the trucker, such as a photo of their license, the trucking company they work for, and the trucking company’s insurance information.
- Contact Tamaki Law as soon as possible. The insurance companies that work for trucking companies will try to give you a lowball offer to make the claim go away. They will do their best to take advantage of you. Don’t let that happen. Contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can deal with the insurance company and help you with your claim.
Contact Our Experienced Trucking Accident Attorneys Today
We know how devastating a trucking accident can be to you and your family. We don’t want you to go through this difficult time alone. We will help you with all aspects of your case so that you can rest easy and focus on yourself and your family. Contact Tamaki Law today at (509) 783-8333 and let us get started on pursuing the compensation you deserve.