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A commercial truck can weigh up to 30 times that of a normal passenger car, and operating these trucks is no easy task, so only those who are qualified should be allowed to do so. Do not settle for any personal injury lawyer. You deserve a quality Seattle truck accident attorney by your side.
Truck companies have a duty to the general public and should ensure that the drivers they have hired are acting faithfully to the rules of the road. However, it is important to note that truck drivers are not always the sole responsible party for causing a collision.
Because of the responsibility they owe to their own drivers and others on the road, a trucking company can be held liable for a catastrophic truck accident. Whether it be because of a failure to perform an adequate background check on the driver, a failure to maintain the truck, or any other reason, truck companies can be held accountable for the pain they have caused you.
The skillful Seattle trucking company negligence attorneys of Caffee Law are ready to provide you outstanding legal care and guidance if you have been hurt in an accident as the result of a negligent trucking company. Contact the reliable team of Caffee Law today at (206) 312-0954 for your FREE confidential consultation.
How Truck Company Negligence Leads to Dangerous Accidents
While it’s easy to want to blame the truck driver in your accident, the reality is they are not always at fault – or only partially at fault. Their employer (the truck company) may have acted in a negligent manner which contributed to your accident and injuries.
Some of the most common forms of truck company negligence include:
Forcing Truck Drivers to Work Dangerously Long Hours
While there are federal regulations and safety laws in place meant to limit the number of hours a truck driver works per day, many companies coerce their employees into breaking these rules by threatening their employment, pay, or through punishment. Some companies may even make drivers illegally falsify records detailing how many hours they have been on the road.
Ultimately, this leads to fatigued drivers who are in no condition to be on the road, and who have a greater likelihood of causing an accident.
Hiring Unqualified Drivers
Truck companies have a duty to hire responsible, safe, and legally qualified drivers. Qualified drivers should:
- Have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)
- Be properly trained on safe driving techniques
- Have a thorough understanding of industry regulations
- Have a clean record
- Follow best truck driving practices
Employers must conduct a criminal background and traffic violations check. If a driver cannot perform their responsibilities or operate a commercial vehicle correctly, then a trucking company should not hire them. Unqualified drivers pose a ‘reasonable danger’ to other parties.
Inadequate Truck Maintenance and Inspection
In May 2019, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducted over 10,000 brake inspections on commercial vehicles to examine the frequency of faulty brakes. Over 1,000 of these vehicles had brake inspection items that had to be taken care of before they could resume service.
Companies are responsible for taking appropriate preventative measures such as routine inspection or taking action when a part malfunctions. Example of parts which require routine inspection include tires, brake pads, lights, engine, and other components. If a trucking company fails to maintain the vehicles in their fleet, they can be held liable when an accident does occur.
Non-Compliance of Truck Regulations
All truck companies must be compliant with the safety regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Regulation standards include but are not limited to:
- Alcohol & drug testing
- Medical assessment of drivers
The hours-of-service establishes the amount of time in which a truck driver may operate their vehicle. When drivers do not comply with the hours-of-service and work more than they are legally able to, they are at the risk of:
- Distracted driving
- Jittery response to stimulants
- Health complications
- Impaired judgment
If companies try and bypass regulations and overwork drivers to save time and money, accidents caused by driver error are ultimately the fault of the company.
Covering Up Driver Violations
Concealing or covering up employee violations or non-compliance is negligence. Drivers who commit the following violations should be held accountable by their employers in order to prevent a recurrence of events:
- Traffic safety violations (ex. speeding)
- Drunk or intoxicated driving
- Exceeding truckload capacity
- Falling asleep when driving
Employers must take appropriate action when their employee acts in a negligent manner that threatens the well being of other drivers on the road. When a trucking company overlooks such violations, this poses an ‘unreasonable danger’ and must be put to an end.
Failure to Secure Truckloads
Fatal accidents, including rollovers and jackknife types, can occur as a result of truck cargos that were not properly loaded. Truck companies and truck drivers have a duty to make sure that all cargo is transported safely. Properly loaded trucks must have secured straps and a balanced cargo.
The FMCSA has established regulations for cargo securement and the proper handling of HAZMAT being transported by commercial trucks. If truck companies do not take appropriate measures to secure truckloads, then victims may pursue damages against said company.
Serious Injuries Caused By Truck Company Negligence
In instances of truck company negligence, serious accidents can occur or even the spilling of HAZMAT. These incidents can cause catastrophic collisions where victims suffer serious injuries and may even face death.
Common injuries that occur in accidents involving commercial trucks can include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Muscles tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
Know that you do not have to suffer alone and that there is compensation available for your injuries when a truck company is at fault. Contact Caffee Law right now at (206) 312-0954 to learn more about rights and legal options.
Proving Truck Company Negligence
Trucking companies are no strangers to accident claims. That is why it can be extremely difficult to challenge a truck company’s insurance company. Their goal is to reduce your claim, even if it means placing the blame on you. Given the size and weight of 18-wheelers, commercial truck companies are required to be equipped with substantial amounts of insurance in the event that an accident does occur.
Our Kent truck accident attorneys have a wide variety of tools at their disposal in order to secure evidence and develop the best claim possible for you. The following forms of evidence will be used specifically to illustrate the negligence of a truck company:
- Hours-of-service logs
- Forged paperwork
- Records of maintenance
- Records of driver violations (traffic safety)
- Documentation of driver licensing
- Scene evidence (ex. truck cargo detached/ spillage)
We will work with a supporting team of professionals to ensure we help you to get a fair and full settlement for your injuries. Find comfort in knowing that at Caffee Law, we will not rest until we help you get the financial recovery you deserve, including damages for but not limited to:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Loss of wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death
How Do I Know Who Is Liable for My Accident?
There are three main parties who may be liable for your truck accident:
- The Manufacturer. If a defective truck part leads to an accident, then the manufacturer of said part may be held liable.
- The Truck Company. Did the company fail to comply with FMCSA regulations, hire unqualified drivers, or bypass safety and supervision in some way that caused an accident? If so, the truck company may be responsible.
- The Driver. Were all truck parts functioning? Did the truck company keep up maintenance to ensure all components were in line? Was some action of the driver the cause of the incident? Drivers may be held at-fault if the answers to the questions above are yes.
Contact our Experienced Negligent Truck Company Lawyers In Seattle
Focus on healing while we hold the negligent truck company who hurt you accountable.
When you seek the help of an attorney from Caffee Law, know that you will be assisted in the following ways:
- Timely and individualized attention to your unique case.
- Diligent investigation and case updates.
- Support dealing with truck and insurance companies.
- Negotiating with insurance companies for higher settlements.
- Confident legal representation for your case in trial.
- Secured damages to assist in your recovery.
Given the multiple parties involved, large insurance policy sums, property damage, and overall greater risks of serious injuries than in a small collision between passenger vehicles, truck accident claims can be legally complex to handle. That is why you need a professional, dependable, and committed legal team.
Contact the trucking company negligence lawsuit attorneys of Caffee Law today at (206) 312-0954 for your FREE, zero-obligation consultation.