Have you been injured in an Accident with a Truck?
Few things are scarier than getting hit by an 18-wheeler. If you have the misfortune to get hit by a truck, you must take action quickly to protect your rights.
The statute of limitations for a personal injury action in Washington is just three years. If you are injured in a truck accident, you should contact Earl and Edwards, PLLC as soon as possible in order to protect your rights. Our attorneys will evaluate your claim and help you decide if the matter should be brought to court. While some people think they can handle the matter themselves, this is unwise. It is a near-certainty that the trucker who hit you will be represented by counsel. As will be seen below, a Washington car accident case is not as simple as “The guy behind the wheel of that 18-wheeler was driving like a maniac-make him pay me!” You should not go into court alone. You should retain the experienced lawyers at Earl and Edwards to represent your interests and make sure you recover every penny you deserve.
A common thing we hear clients tell us is “The driver was going 65 in a 50 mph zone. That means I win automatically, right?” Well, that is actually not the case. While the posted speed limit is a factor in Washington truck accident cases, Washington courts have held that is not the sole deciding factor. The attorneys at Earl and Edwards are familiar with these doctrines.
There are many causes that can lead to truck accidents. Some of the most common are:
Poorly Maintained Trucks – Trucks are often driven thousands of miles per week and if they are not properly cared for, they can become dangerous quickly. While worn brake pads or a cracked windshield must be dealt with if they occur on smaller vehicles, they can be the cause of a major accident on a truck.
Equipment Failure – Defective parts on a truck may not be the fault of the driver, but they can turn deadly. Your attorney will be able to tell if a trucking company or manufacturer may be liable for your accident in addition to the truck driver.
Improperly Loaded Cargo – Loading the beds of commercial trucks must be done carefully and in accordance with the law. If they are loaded improperly, the contents on the truck may spill out onto the road and cause accidents and injuries.
In order to recover damages for injuries caused by a truck accident in Washington, you must prove that the trucker was negligent. In other words, you must prove that the trucker did not use ordinary care in operating the truck. In any negligence case in Washington, including motor vehicle accident cases, the plaintiff must prove: that the defendant was negligent, that the plaintiff was injured, and that the defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Unlike in a criminal case, this does not need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The plaintiff need only show that it is more likely than not that the defendant was negligent, that they were injured, and that the defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause of their injuries. The attorneys at Earl and Edwards, PLLC are familiar with the elements of negligence in Washington motor vehicle accident cases, and will examine your case to determine if there is a chance of recovery.
Can you sue the company who hired the trucker that hit you or just the trucker? As lawyers commonly say, “it depends.” Holding the owner of a truck liable for what the driver did is known as negligent entrustment. To prevail on a negligent entrustment claim, you must prove that the owner knew that the driver was reckless, headless, or incompetent. The lawyers at Earl and Edwards, PLLC are familiar with negligent entrustment, and will make sure as many people as possible contribute to your compensation.
If a trucker does not use ordinary care in driving their truck, and as a result of this someone is injured, the trucker is liable for damages. They can be required to pay for medical expenses the person they injured already incurred, and for medical expenses they will incur in the future (for example, if their doctor anticipates that surgery will be needed). They can be required to pay for lost wages, as well as lost earnings potential. The motorist can also be made to pay for the injured person’s pain and suffering. Of course, they can also be made to pay for the damage to the car they hit. The attorneys at Earl and Edwards, PLLC are experienced in proving damages to juries, so by retaining us, you will be sure of recovering what you deserve.
Commercial freight trucks tend to weigh 80,000 pounds or more, twenty time the weight of passenger cars. Despite regulations that exist to ensure truck drivers do not drive more than ten hours per day, they are often given financial incentives for traveling large distances faster, which can directly infringe upon other drivers’ safety.
Increased Property Damage – As noted above, the weight and overall size of an 18-wheeler commercial freight truck are much larger than that of a typical vehicle. That means that any surrounding property is going to be affected much more than in a crash involving two cars.
More Serious Injuries – Similarly, the injuries that are common in car accidents are also far more sever and can include intensive medical care and bills. From serious whiplash and broken bones to brain trauma and sever lacerations, injuries following a truck accident are life changing.
Much Larger Medical Bills – The amount of time spent in a hospital tends to be much longer than car accident related injuries. Victims of truck accidents are unable to return to work for a prolonged period of time, if at all. By working with an experienced lawyer at Earl & Edwards, we can more accurately calculate your current and future pain and suffering to obtain the compensation you truly deserve.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when you are injured in a truck accident in Washington. You should retain experienced counsel who is familiar with the details of Washington negligence law as applied to truck accidents. The attorneys at Earl and Edwards fit that description. We will examine your case, determine how to prove the defendant’s negligence to the jury, determine what defenses the defendant could assert and how to defeat them, and show the jury what damages you suffered, so you can recover what you deserve.