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The Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers of Caffee Law Can Help You Recover For Injuries
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a truck accident in Seattle or a surrounding area of Washington? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or your loss. You should not delay in seeking legal representation for assistance with every aspect of your injury claim. Though no amount of money can take away your pain and suffering or bring back your loved one, an experienced truck accident lawyer will know how to pursue the various forms of compensation that you might be owed.
Numerous Seattle area residents suffer injury or die each year due to the negligence of large truck drivers and the companies that hire them. Many large truck drivers need to arrive at their destinations on specific days and times, which can lead to speeding or inattentive driving because of inadequate sleep. This type of driving is particularly dangerous on the wet and slick roadways we see so frequently in and around Seattle.
The trucking company’s insurance company will likely aggressively defend against any claim you try to file. Don’t let their big insurance company talk you into a quick settlement. Typically, what they offer won’t begin to cover your medical expenses or lost wages or give you what you deserve for your pain and suffering.
Caffee Law understands how to handle commercial truck accident cases and make sure that all negligent parties are held accountable. You can have our Kent truck accident attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (206) 312-0954 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
You will want to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident for several reasons. One major reason is so you can have a lawyer handle any phone calls that you will likely get from an insurance company.
Insurers for trucking companies will usually contact victims very soon after accidents. Agents or claims adjusters will ask people to provide recorded statements, and you should always decline such invitations.
When a representative from an insurance company calls you and claims that they only want to get your version of events, what they are looking for is an opportunity to ask you questions that are designed to get you to (unknowingly) provide damaging responses. In some cases, the insurance company may be more aggressive.
Due to the size of these trucks on our Seattle roads and highways, accident victim injuries are often severe. Many victims require extensive medical care and physical therapy. You may not be able to go back to work for several days or longer. Some victims of these large truck accidents are no longer able to perform the type of work they have done for years and may not be able to return to work at all. You need and deserve a fair settlement from the truck driver’s insurance company so that you can recover and live your life more fully again.
An insurer may offer you a lump-sum settlement, and the agent will typically remind you that you can keep more of it for yourself by not hiring an attorney. These offers are usually not even close to what you are entitled. A Washington truck accident lawyer will know what your case is worth and then fight to recover that amount.
Why Choose the Caffee Law to Handle My Case?
Jeffrey R. Caffee has been honored as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers every year since 2013. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, King County Bar Association, and Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association.
Mr. Caffee received his Bachelor of Science from Saint Leo University before earning his Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School. He has been admitted to state courts in Washington since 2009 when he was honored by The International Academy of Trial Lawyers with an Award for Advocacy for distinguished achievement in the art and science of advocacy.
Caffee Law has been a forceful advocate for Seattle-area truck accident victims for over a decade. We work tirelessly to make sure that big insurance companies don’t try to take advantage of our clients, and especially accident victims who are only trying to focus on getting better so they can resume their lives.
You also do not need to worry about how you’re going to afford an attorney with Caffee Law because we represent clients on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you only pay when you obtain a monetary award. When you contact Caffee Law, we’ll set a time for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Then we will roll up our sleeves and get to work while you focus on healing and your recovery.
Caffee Law can negotiate for a just settlement to your case that provides for all of your needs. We will not be afraid to file a lawsuit when an insurance company proves unwilling to offer a satisfactory level of compensation.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Involved in a Washington Truck Accident?
If you are the victim of a truck accident in Seattle or the surrounding area, call 911 immediately so the dispatcher can get the police and other first responders to the scene. If you have had time to assess your injuries or those of any other victims, let the dispatcher know so that they can send ambulances as required.
Seek medical attention. Even if you and any passengers in your vehicle are able to walk away, you should insist on being evaluated by a medical professional, regardless of whether you were examined at the scene of the accident. Sometimes, pain and injuries from vehicle accidents do not become noticeable until hours or even days later. Large trucks commonly cause significant injuries due to their size. You may have internal injuries you don’t know about. Even injuries that seem minor can prevent you from going back to work right away, causing you and your family to suffer from your lost wages.
Take pictures and notes at the scene. If you are able to safely move around, take pictures on your phone of the accident scene. Pay attention to things like the positions of the large truck, your vehicle, and any other vehicles that were involved in the accident. Write down the weather conditions in your notes. Also, take pictures of any skid marks that you see. If law enforcement on the scene has filled out an accident report, ask for a copy.
Gather witness information. Get the names and contact information from all other individuals involved in the accident or from anyone who witnessed it. Get their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Get the insurance information from any other drivers who also hit your vehicle, even if they couldn’t avoid you due to the negligence of the truck driver.
Naturally, the most important contact information for you to get is that of the truck driver. Be sure to get his insurance information, the name of the company that employs him, and the truck license plate number, as well as any identifying DOT (Department of Transportation) information on the truck. You can also take a picture of any of the information from the side or rear of the truck with your phone.
Contact an experienced Washington truck accident lawyer. Make sure your rights are protected. The truck driver and his employing company will be contacting their insurance company immediately, and they will start preparing to defend against any claims for fair and just compensation.
There are also a few things that you should not do or say:
- Do not have any bodywork done to your vehicle until after you have talked to your insurance company and, ideally, an experienced Washington truck accident attorney.
- Do not provide any statement to the police in which you admit to any degree of fault. You do not want to lie, but it’s safest not to go into any details until after you have spoken to an experienced Washington truck accident attorney. If you are in pain or anxious about an injured loved one, you can truthfully tell the officer that you are too upset and in too much pain to give any statement at that time.
- Do not share any pictures of the accident or post any information on social media. Even a seemingly innocent statement like “thank goodness I walked away” can potentially hurt your chances of getting the fair and just compensation you deserve. Even if you delete it later, someone could see it and have to truthfully testify about what they saw if your truck accident case ends up in court.
Types of Washington Truck Accident Cases We Handle
Commercial vehicles can be involved in a wide variety of motor vehicle crashes. Though some of the causes may be similar to other collisions, there are also those that are unique to commercial trucks.
Common causes of truck accidents include but are not limited to:
- Intersection accidents
- Override accidents
- Overloaded vehicles
- Underride accidents
- Blocking accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Jackknife accidents
- Wide-turn accidents
- T-bone collisions
- Trucking company negligence
- Reckless driving
- Mechanical defects
- Manufacturer negligence
- Unsecured loads
One of the major differences between truck accidents and regular car crashes is that liability can be far more complex. Whereas a driver is usually responsible for a traditional car accident, multiple parties could play a role in a truck crash.
Some of the people or entities that could be liable in a truck accident include:
- Truck owners
- Manufacturers of truck parts
- Maintenance companies
- Cargo loading companies
- Shipping agencies
- Governmental entities
- Another motorist
Another complicating factor in many truck accidents can be pinning down the exact cause of a crash. Trucking companies or their insurers may dispute causes, and they will frequently try very hard to pin as much blame as possible on other drivers.
Investigations often uncover causes, such as:
- Inadequate driver training
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Driver fatigue
- Unsecured loads
- Mechanical defects
- Overloaded trailers
- Brake failure
- Inclement weather
The wide range of issues that are involved in most any case often makes it critical for a victim to work with an experienced Seattle commercial truck accident attorney.
Common Injuries from Washington Truck Accidents
Truck accident victims can suffer from severe injuries due to the size and weight of the large commercial trucks on Seattle area roads and highways. Common injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Injuries to the ribs and torso, including seat belt injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and possible paralysis
- Severe limb injuries that require amputation
You are also more likely to die in an accident involving a large truck than in a wreck with another automobile.
Seattle Truck Accident Statistics
The state of Washington’s 2015 Annual Collision Data Summary reported that 6,091 commercial vehicle or heavy trucks were involved in collisions in 2015. These crashes included 38 fatal collisions, 85 serious injury collisions, 1,352 minor injury collisions, 4,565 property damage collisions, and 51 unknown injury collisions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts stated that 4,440 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2016. The 475,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2016 included 3,864 fatal crashes and 104,000 injury crashes.
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the critical precrash event in 73 percent of large truck fatal crash cases was another vehicle, a person, an animal, or an object encroaching upon on the large truck’s lane. A truck’s own movement or loss of control was the critical precrash event in 23 percent of fatal crash cases.
Contact a Seattle Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a truck accident in the Greater Seattle area or anywhere in Washington state, you should know that you could be entitled to compensation for all of your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Trucking companies and their insurers will try to avoid paying you what you need and deserve.
Caffee Law can fight to make sure that you recover every cent of compensation available to you. Call (206) 312-0954 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.