Seattle Truck Accident Lawyer

Any accident can be severe, but when a passenger vehicle collides with an 18-wheeler, it often results in catastrophic and life-changing injuries for the vehicle’s occupants. In many instances, fatal injuries occur.

Though commercial vehicles must be regularly maintained and in compliance with federal statutes, and the trucks must be operated by people with special commercial driver’s licenses, these vehicles are often the cause of serious accidents.

Obtaining compensation after one of these crashes is often much more complicated than in a traditional car crash. While passenger vehicle collisions typically involve drivers and their insurance companies, the liability for commercial vehicle accidents can be with more than one party and require an extensive investigation.

Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a truck accident in Seattle or a surrounding area of Washington? 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.

The The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee understands how to handle commercial truck accident cases and make sure that all negligent parties are held accountable. You can have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (206) 899-5415 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.

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 lawyer will know what your case is worth and then fight to recover that amount.

Why Choose the The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee 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.

You also do not need to worry about how you’re going to afford an attorney with the The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee because we represent clients on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you only pay when you obtain a monetary award.

The The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee 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.

Types of 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

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 commercial truck accident attorney.

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, 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.

The The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee can fight to make sure that you recover every cent of compensation available to you. Call (206) 899-5415 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.

FAQs

Frequently
Asked
Questions

The first thing that you should do after any kind of truck accident is to seek medical attention. Regardless of whether you believe you were hurt, it is always important to get proper medical care, so any injuries you suffered will be immediately treated. Another valuable step that you can take is to get several pictures of the accident scene. Photograph all of the people and vehicles involved in your crash as well as other items you believe might show contributing factors, such as obscured road signs or skid marks, and try to get as many pictures as you can from many different angles and distances. If there were people who saw your crash, ask them for their names and phone numbers. These individuals may end up being valuable witnesses. If you are unable to take these steps yourself, ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to do this for you. Try not to discuss your accident with anybody, and be especially careful not to post anything about it on social media sites to avoid insurance companies possibly using your statements against you. Make sure that you have a lawyer before signing any paperwork or speaking to any insurance company.

Under the Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.080, a person has three years from the date of a truck accident to file an action for injury to their person. The statute of limitations is also three years when a person is killed in a truck crash, but the limitations period begins on the date of the person’s death instead of the date of the accident. The statute of limitations can be tolled (or delayed) under the Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.190 in certain circumstances, such as when a victim is under 18 years of age, is “incompetent or disabled to such a degree that he or she cannot understand the nature of the proceedings,” or is imprisoned on a criminal charge. These categories of victims are given three years from the date that they become able to file an action, whether it is when they turn 18, become mentally competent, or are released from prison. Another possible tolling of the limitations period under the Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.180 applies to cases in which a defendant leaves the state or is concealed within it. The period of time that a defendant cannot be located is not counted as occurring within the limitations period in such cases.

Unlike many other states in which a person’s negligence can prohibit them from filing a claim for damages in a personal injury case, Washington is one of only 12 states in the country that uses what is known as a pure comparative fault system for determining negligence in civil cases. This means that an individual is able to recover damages even if they were primarily at fault for their crash. Under pure comparative fault, the plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault, so a person who is awarded $100,000 in a truck accident case but found to have been 75 percent at fault will have their damages reduced by $75,000 and ultimately receive $25,000.

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The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee has years of experience handling all manner of injury cases. Our Seattle truck accident attorneys care about you and want to help you through the overwhelming challenges that you face as a victim of another person's negligence. Our firm is available at (206) 899-5415.