Battle Ground Truck Accident Lawyers
Holding truck drivers, shipping companies, brokers, and others liable for Clark County trucking accidents
Most drivers understand that it's best to stay away, as far as possible, from large trucks such as flatbeds and tractor-trailers. Large commercial vehicles are extremely dangerous because their size and weight means that any impact with your car can cause death or catastrophic injuries. Trucks of all types and sizes are difficult to control because of their dimensions, because of their blind spots, and because the rear of the truck may pivot in a direction different than the cab.
At Philbrook Law Office, our skilled Battle Ground truck accident lawyers understand in truck accident cases, many companies may be liable in addition to the truck driver. We represent the families of anyone who was tragically killed in a truck driving accident. We demand payment for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and property damage when a truck strikes your car. Our lawyers have a strong track record of settling cases on behalf of our personal injury clients. We also have the experience and resources to try your case before a jury.
What rules and regulations govern truckers traveling through Battle Ground, WA?
Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules that regulate:
- The hours of service for truck drivers – how long drivers can operate a truck before resting and/or sleeping
- The conditions for loading a truck and securing the load
- The inspection of a truck – trucks must be regularly inspected before each trip
- The logs that trucking companies and truck drivers must keep.
Truck drivers must also comply with Washington’s traffic safety rules which govern the legal weight of trucks and the rules of the road with which truck drivers must comply.
Trucking companies that put profit before these safety measures and other trucking industry safety standards deserve to be held accountable for the accidents they cause.
Why do Battle Ground truck accidents happen?
The leading causes of trucking accidents are:
- Driver fatigue. Many truck drivers push the limits of endurance by driving long hours so they can make more deliveries and get the deliveries to their destination ahead of schedule.
- Driving while intoxicated or drugged. Drivers should never drink and drive or use drugs and drive.
- Driving while distracted. Many drivers unwisely try to relieve the boredom of long drives by eating or drinking while driving, texting or talking on their cellphone while driving, or constantly adjusting the radio while driving. Drivers should use an eyes-free GPS system so they don’t become distracted by looking at a monitor or screen.
- Speeding. Truck drivers must obey the speed limits and must slow down when bad weather makes it difficult to drive.
- Truck drivers should be properly trained. For example, drivers should understand the proper procedures for backing out into traffic.
- Improper loads. Loads should be properly secured. The loads shouldn’t shift while the truck is in operation. Loads that spill can endanger the truck driver and every car or person near the spill.
Trucks should be in good condition. Truck manufacturers such as Kenworth and Mack can be held strictly liable if any truck part is defective and the defect causes a Battle Ground truck accident. Brakes need to work in an emergency. The tires and axles should function properly. Every part of the truck should work, from the fuel line to the windshield wipers.
What are the common types of truck accidents in Battle Ground?
Truck accidents are often caused by the same things that cause car accidents: broadside collisions, head-on, and rear-end collisions from other drivers, dangerous, defective roads, and defective truck parts. But trucks have some unique features which cause dangers that passenger vehicles generally don’t have. Those accidents include:
- Rollover accidents. Trucks are more susceptible to rollovers than cars – which is why it’s such a big deal when SUVs start rolling over in a wreck – because they have a different center of gravity. Trucks often roll over when the driver is going too fast for conditions - especially when the driver is taking a curve too fast. Cargo that shifts can also cause the truck to roll over. Truck rollovers may be fatal to the driver. Truck roller rollovers often cause multi-car crashes as any vehicle nearby tries to avoid the truck.
- Blindspot accidents. Everyone knows that truck drivers have difficulty seeing behind them and to their sides. Truck drivers even have trouble seeing directly in front of them. Truck drivers need to use extra precaution when they try to navigate around these blind spots. These precautions include using mirrors, honking their horns, flashing their lights, and using newer technology such as rear camera technology. Truck drivers should proceed slowly and with extreme caution when trying to pass another vehicle.
- Truck jackknife accidents. These accidents occur when the trailer of the truck doesn't move or pivot in the same direction as the cab of the truck. They often occur when drivers make turns, travel on wet roads, or navigate through curves. The trailer ends up at right angles from the cab of the truck. Jackknife accidents can cause multi-vehicle accidents as the drivers nearby try to avoid the truck.
- Underride accidents. Small cars may be lower than the underside of a truck. If, for example, a car is too close to the truck at the time of an accident, the car may slide under the truck immediately killing the occupants of the car. Trucks are required to have rear guards to prevent these underride accidents.
- Wide turn accidents. You've probably seen signs on the rear of trucks that say that drivers should be aware of trucks making wide turns. Truck drivers need to leave a lot of room, need to look out for cars nearby, and need to slow down when making a right or left turn.
- Cargo shifts and cargo spells. When liquid or solid cargo moves around in the truck, the driver may lose control of the truck. If the cargo is improperly secure, it can spill out onto the highway creating a nightmare for any drivers or people near the spill.
- Tire damage and blowouts. There's a reason some trucks are called 18-wheelers. It’s because they have 18 tires. If just one tire blows out, there will be a catastrophic truck accident.
Who is liable for truck accidents in Clark County?
Our Battle Ground truck accident lawyers work aggressively to hold all responsible parties liable for your injuries or for the death of a loved one. We file claims against the people and entities that may have caused your accident:
- The truck driver
- The owners of the truck which are often different than the truck driver
- The broker that arranged for the shipment
- The trucking company that hired the driver to deliver their goods
- The owners of any loading or unloading dock
- The manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of any defective truck parts
- Anyone or any business that served alcohol to a truck driver when that truck driver was visibly intoxicated
In addition, construction companies, the Washington Department of Transportation, and other people and businesses may be liable for your injuries or the death of a loved one.
What kinds of injuries are caused by truck accident in Battle Ground?
Commercial trucks, box trucks, and any type of truck can cause the death of a loved one. Survivors of truck accidents often suffer one or a combination of the following types of injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries including paralysis
- Amputation of a limb
- Simple or compound fractures
- Muscle damage
- Soft tissue injury
- Nerve damage
- Damage to internal organs
- Heart attacks
- Cuts bruises and strains
- Burn injuries
Talk with our respected Clark County truck accident lawyers today
It's important to speak with the truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. At Philbrook Law Office, our Battle Ground lawyers immediately review the police report, send out investigators to examine the accident site and talk to any witnesses, and begin the discovery process where we ask questions of anyone involved in the accident. Moving quickly also helps you because our lawyers work with your doctors and independent doctors if necessary to help you get the medical care that you need. We demand compensation for all of your injuries and for the damages you're entitled to if a loved one dies. To discuss your truck accident case with a premier trial lawyer, please call us at 360-695-3309 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case.