Our Goal: To Assist People Injured by Commercial Drivers
Truck accidents happen so quickly.
We all know what it’s like to drive near a large commercial vehicle: the difficulty of seeing around them, the fear of getting too close to them, and the knowledge that any error on their part could cost us dearly.
Commercial trucks are ever present on the interstates and highways connecting Tacoma and Olympia in Washington state.
Sadly, truck drivers do make errors. If you have recently been injured in a truck accident, or if your loved one was killed in one of these terrible collisions, you may be entitled to substantial financial relief.
Liability for the accident often extends beyond the truck driver to his or her employer (that is, the company that owns or operates the truck).
At the Fuller & Fuller Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers will fight to protect the legal interests of individuals and families who’ve been unfairly harmed by a negligent truck driver or trucking company.
Drawing on our nearly four decades of experience and a long record of success, our family of personal injury attorneys come together to provide our clients with passionate and strategic legal counsel.
We know that trucking companies and insurers sometimes won’t offer a fair settlement until you have experienced legal representation on your side. So let us start working for you as soon as possible. Call our office at (800) 570-4878 and talk to a Washington truck accident attorney today.
How Do Truck Accident Claims Different from Other Auto Accidents?
Commercial trucking accidents are inherently more dangerous than other vehicle accidents. Because they are much larger and heavier than the cars around them, trucks can collide with far greater force and inflict far greater damages.
But the differences between truck and car accidents aren’t limited to the physical impact itself. The claims process can differ too.
Sometimes, the companies that own and operate these trucks carry very large amounts of insurance coverage. For the victim, that can mean two things: there is more money available for covering all your damages, but the insurer can also be extremely aggressive in trying to defend itself against your claim (because it doesn’t want to suffer a large financial loss).
Nevertheless, the law is clear. Victims are entitled to financial compensation from the negligent parties that cause them harm. In fact, the law is another key area in which truck accidents differ from car accidents: there are special regulations and legal provisions that apply to the trucking industry.
For these reasons, it is in your best interest to consult with a truck accident lawyer who has direct experience in handling truck accident claims.
What Are the Most Common Truck Accident Injuries in Washington?
Truck accidents result in a wide range of injuries, sometimes severe. These may include:
- Whiplash or soft tissue injury
- Severe burns, bruising, lacerations, or scarring
- Concussions or other traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Impaired senses (e.g. vision loss, hearing loss)
- Broken or fractured bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Partial or total paralysis
- Disability or disfigurement
- Wrongful death
How Much Compensation Is Available After a Truck Accident?
Of course, it is impossible for any court or settlement agreement to undo your injuries, take away your physical pain, or make up for the loss of someone you love.
What the claims process can do, however, is provide you with financial compensation to approximate the magnitude of your loss. Compensation may cover:
- Medical expenses
- Pain, suffering, and/or emotional distress
- Lost wages due to time away from work
- Future loss of income due to disability
- Physical therapy expenses
- Loss of value in property damage
These are only examples. A truck accident lawyer in our law firm can review those details and help you get a better understanding of the compensation that might be available to you.
What Causes Most Commercial Trucking Accidents in Washington?
Almost all commercial trucking accidents are caused by negligence (that is, careless driving behavior). Some of the more common kinds of trucking negligence in Washington are:
Driving faster than the speed limit is always a bad decision. Unfortunately, commercial trucks are sometimes found speeding, despite the fact that their size makes excessive speed especially perilous. Truckers sometimes speed in order to meet unrealistic deadlines imposed by their employers. There is never any excuse, however, for traveling at an unsafe speed.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Cargo transported inside commercial trucks and vans must be safely secured and should never exceed the maximum weight limit for that vehicle. Companies are responsible for making sure weight is evenly distributed, that cargo is fastened securely inside whenever needed.
Texting behind the wheel continues to be a problem for drivers, including those licensed to operate large commercial vehicles. Even though federal regulation strictly prohibits the use of a cell phone while driving a truck, it still happens.
Cellphones aren’t the only distractions, either. Anything that diverts a trucker’s attention from the road — maps, food, radio controls, etc. — can constitute negligence under Washington personal injury law.
Drowsy driving is one of the greatest dangers facing truck drivers in Tacoma and Olympia. Long hours alone on the road can quickly lead to exhaustion, and drivers may find themselves nodding off by accident.
To help combat that problem, the federal government has passed strict rules about how much rest drivers must get before operating a truck. For its part, the Washington state legislature has gone even further, enacting stricter Hours-of-Service regulations designed to keep sleepy truckers off the road.
Despite these measures, truck driver fatigue continues to be a problem here in Washington State. At the Fuller & Fuller Law Firm, we try to identify cases where drowsy driving played a role in a truck crash, and we are prepared to take legal action against companies that push their drivers to the brink of exhaustion.
Any business that employs truck drivers has a duty to hire, train, and monitor those employees carefully. Any failure to do so can subject the company itself to direct liability for the accident.
Which Parties Are Potentially Liable for a Truck Accident in Washington?
When pursuing a truck accident claim in Washington, you might seek compensation from one or more parties, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crash. Liable parties can include:
Truck drivers are required to behave responsibly behind the wheel, obeying all traffic laws and treating other drivers with care. Additionally, as outlined above, special rules of law apply to truck operators in Washington and under federal guidelines. Violation of any of these legal standards can result in the driver being individually liable for the injuries they cause.
The Corporate Truck Owner
More often, it is the company that owns or operates the truck (and their insurance provider) that must ultimately pay for the victim’s damages. These companies often times have greater financial resources than the individual driver. But because these companies have such extensive resources, they are also able to put up a fight before paying victims what they really deserve. That’s why it is so important to work with an experienced truck accident attorney.
Other Third Parties
Additional parties in a truck accident matter can include:
- Companies responsible for loading the truck
- Manufacturers of dangerous cargo
- Other motorists whose negligence contributes to the accident
- Truck rental companies
- Governmental organizations
- And more, depending on the facts of the case
An experienced truck accident lawyer at the Fuller & Fuller Law Firm can help you identify each of the potentially liable parties in your legal matter.
How a Fuller & Fuller Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case
At Fuller & Fuller, we’ve been fighting on behalf of injured Washingtonians for more than 47 years. We are family members who went into legal practice together decades ago — and we treat all our clients like part of the family too.
Through hard work, experienced, and tried-and-true strategy, we have made a decisive difference in many of our clients’ cases. We believe we can make a difference for you, too.
Remember: we will not charge you a fee unless we get you a recovery.
Even then, our fee will only be a portion of your overall recovery.