The cost of a serious tractor trailer accident can be catastrophic. Victims who survive can face substantial medical bills and lifelong disabilities, and families of victims who are killed face an unimaginable loss. Due to these economic and non-economic costs, it is important to work with a tractor trailer accident lawyer who can pursue fair compensation for your losses.
Please call Fuller & Fuller at (800) 580-4878 today to discuss your case. Our lawyers serve clients in Olympia and other areas of Washington.
Determining Fault in Tractor Trailer Accidents
Determining who is at fault for a tractor trailer accident requires a detailed investigation. In most cases it will be necessary to collect evidence from many sources, from the driver’s employment records and log books to an engineering report that details how an issue with the truck or the road caused or contributed to the collision.
Depending on what the investigation reveals, multiple parties could potentially be liable for the tractor trailer accident. For example, these cases frequently involve claims against:
- The Truck Driver’s Insurance Company – If the driver of the tractor trailer is an independent owner-operator and his or her negligence led to the collision, then you can pursue a liability claim through the driver’s insurance company. Pursuing an insurance claim after a tractor trailer accident is similar in some respects to seeking coverage after an auto accident. However, given the complex nature of trucking accident litigation means, it is important to hire experienced legal representation.
- The Trucking Company (or Other Truck Owner) – If the driver worked for a trucking company or another company that operates its own fleet of tractor trailers (such as a grocery chain or big box retailer), then that company could also be liable. Trucking companies (and other parties that own the truck, tractor, or both components) can face liability based on both their drivers’ negligence and failure to adequately maintain their vehicles.
- The Truck’s Manufacturer – Tractor trailer manufacturers can be held liable for accidents that result from truck defects. Defective product claims may involve a range of faulty parts, such as the engine, the transmission, the brakes, the tires, and more.
- The Dealership That Sold the Truck – Dealerships can be held liable in product liability claims for truck defects based on their role in the chain of distribution. If the dealership performs maintenance on the rig, they can be held liable for performing negligent service work as well.
- The Government Entity Responsible for the Road – If negligent maintenance or construction of the road was a factor in the tractor trailer accident, then the local or state highway authority could be liable. Under Washington’s Tort Claims Act, there are special procedures for filing claims against government entities.
Thorough investigation is crucial for identifying all of the parties that may be liable for your injuries and losses in a collision involving a semi truck. It is in your best interest to contact an Olympia tractor trailer accident lawyer as soon as possible.
What If Multiple Parties Are At Fault for the Tractor Trailer Accident?
In some cases, several different factors may combine to cause a tractor trailer accident. When this is the case, determining liability requires not only an understanding of each of the causes involved, but also the extent to which each party contributed to the collision.
Depending on which parties are liable, it may be necessary to pursue multiple claims in order to recover full compensation. To determine what is necessary in order to assert your legal rights, you should speak with an attorney promptly.
Contact an Olympia Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer Today
The attorneys at Fuller & Fuller have extensive experience handling complex trucking accident claims. Our law firm has been serving clients in Olympia and throughout Washington for over 45 years.
Please call (800) 570-4878 today to discuss your case. Our lawyers handle claims involving tractor trailer accidents and other motor vehicle crashes.